When I was young people use to tell me that I was so good with kids that I was going to make a great father.  Well, boy were they wrong.  I love my children almost more than I can speak, but it is not easy being a father.  Good or Bad — I try my hardest, but most of the time I feel like I am not doing enough, or I am not setting the right example, or I wish I could handle food being spilled and wiped and spit on me better.

One of the things about being as Obese (Gosh I have to write a blog soon on that word!) is the toll it takes on your kids.  I stopped going to lunch at school with my kids because the other kids told my children that they did not want to sit near us — because of their dad’s size.  I volunteered to help in the Garden but stopped because I heard a kid say — “Here comes Edan’s fat dad!” Now I know, from my own youth of being fat, that kids can be mean, but I have two healthy normal sized kids who really don’t need to be teased about their fat father.  I hate the fact that in this world of “tolerance” and “acceptance” of our differences that “fat people” or “obese people” are still fair game to take shots at.  But I am not going to take up the mantle and slay the dragons of hatred at my kids expense — I am just going to disappear so that they don’t have to deal with it.

Part of the reason I went on Optifast was to lose weight and be able to be a more “active” participant in my kids’ lives.  This means going to school and sitting with them and eating celery if I have to — but be there and not have them picked on.  This goes with my often mentioned goal of going to Disney with my kids and being able to ride the rides with them — right now, I would have to stand at the bottom of the ride and cheer them on.

So with all of this in mind, I entered the 2011 Father’s Day Season with every intention of maintaining my Optifast diet.  The first thing was a call from my father-in-law — He wanted to know what time we are all leaving for Golden Corral.  My wife mentioned that I was not eating, which he knew, but he was determined (as always) to have the best Father’s Day possible which included some of the worst binging on food you could ever imagine.  So there went my family off to eat at the Golden Corral.  I stayed home.  There just is no point in going there even to just have coffee! So empty house and all, I sat and read my paper and drank my coffee with dog and cat at my feet.

At this moment, I decided this was going to be a new kind of Father’s Day — maybe a new lasting tradition — maybe not.  But this was not going to be hijacked by the Golden Corral — even if those sausage and gravy biscuits were calling my name.  I got up and put on my new pedometer (I highly recommend the Fitbit Pedometer — Http://www.fitbit.com/ ) and went for a long walk.  I walked 4 miles and it took me an hour or so.  I enjoyed the sounds of the Sunday morning in the piedmont of North Carolina.  I walked down The Plaza passed the stately old mansions, I crossed over Central Avenue with John’s Breakfast Place — line out the door — past the Nova Bakery (Coffee and Danish anyone?) and headed into the Grocery Store.  I bought a bottle of water and sat for a few minutes watching the folks moving in and out of the commerce on Central.  Then I got up and walked up Club Street to Country Club which has the Triple “C” Ranch (Charlotte Country Club) where I was almost hit by a tinted windowed Mercedes that flew past the Guard Shack.  I continued on home — Mecklenburg Avenue.  Nice long walk.  A new tradition for Father’s Day.

My family came back from Golden Corral. They looked like they were about to burst and if they did I am sure the cheapest syrup you have ever seen would have oozed out.  They announced that Grandfather was coming over to swim in our pool (not an invitation — he just says he is coming over) and then he wants to make steaks on my grill. At this point, I am thinking that he wants me to buy the steaks and the beer for what is quickly becoming a “Father’s Day Festival”.  I explained to my family that it was my day as well.  Even if I was not the best father in the world, my family and their grandfather would have to understand my need not to “grill” at my house this year.  It was a new Father’s Day Tradition — which threw out the stodgy old tired “Father’s Day Festival” — the world had changed and everyone had to come along with me on this brand new day!

Well after the crying and yelling and throwing of things stopped — everyone agreed that Grandpa could come over, but there would be no steaks on the grill this year.  My kids asked me what I wanted to do on Father’s Day and I told them that I would show them but they had to get into the car and come with me — no questions.  So everyone loaded up and I drove them over to the local middle school.  We drove around back and I parked by the athletic field.  I got out — and for a minute everyone sat inside and looked back and forth at each other — then they got out.  I announced that we were going to jog at least 2 times around the track (1/2 mile) and then walk 2 times around the track for a total of one mile.  There was silence.  I told them this is what I really wanted to do on Father’s Day.  They could sit in the stands and cheer me on or join me.  So there I was on the track starting to jog — by myself — then suddenly my kids started running after me.  We all jogged around the track twice and then walked around.  As we walked around we all talked and discussed my weight and my diet.  Honestly, my first thought was please God, don’t let me die in front of them all, but then I relaxed and walked.  It was a great family moment.

We got back home and Grandpa and Grandma were already in the pool — they said they let themselves in — really?  I kinda got that one.  We swam for a few hours and played with the kids and then at dinner time (looking kind of sad) they went out to dinner (I think it might have been the Golden Corral again!) . The kids and my wife had a quick dinner and I sat and sucked down a lovely chocolate optifast shake… YUM! NOT!

We all settled in for an evening of screens — me on my trading system (Japan opens at 9pm EDT), the kids on the Disney Channel, and my wife on her laptop — Facebook is my guess.  Then off to bed.  My son said to me as I put him into bed, “I hope you had a great Father’s Day, Dad.”  I said, “I did.  It was a different kind of Father’s Day than in the past. But I liked it very much.”  I think we have a new tradition.  One that does not require food.  One that has exercise and diet sprinkled throughout.  It was a different kind of Father’s Day — but it was a very nice one indeed!


  1. Wow, this brought tears to my eyes. What a great “new” tradition. It is SO hard when we have these patterns we’ve done for years, and don’t want to disappoint love ones, and it is so easy to fall under the spell of tradition. Congratulations on breaking the pattern for something fun and healthy and life-affirming. You deserve the dad of the year award in my book, because your love for your kids is an important part of your journey, and you are traveling it with courage and wisdom.

  2. Shonnie says:

    That was an AWESOME new father’s day tradition. I am glad you put your foot down and took good care of yourself. 🙂 I will say more when my brain isn’t so wiped out from pookiness.

  3. Great job! Don’t get me started on the lack of tolerance towards heavy people. That is the only subset of civilization that people can openly mock without anyone telling them to stop or stepping in.

    Sounds like you had a great day. Smart to stay away from the buffet. Walking into a place like that with the best of intentions can still end in disaster.

    Great post as always.


    • Yes, well, that is like the woman who was asked to pay for two seats because she was not able to squeeze into one. The Supreme Court has ruled that overweight people are not a protected minority — hence, open season on the obese!

  4. nondiscrypt says:

    While it’s freezing here in Melbourne Australia – your post warmed my heart !

    • Thanks very much for the comments… and a shout out to my friends in Sydney. For those who do not know the temperature as I write this is 46 Degrees and the high tomorrow will be 55 Degrees with cold rain as far as the eye can see. Too bad you are not from Melbourne, Florida in the U.S. — 92 and maybe some isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. I hope you enjoy the posts and keep coming back… Today is weigh in day…. scary!

  5. Jennifer says:

    This post touched me so much. (I’m sitting on my deck taking a break from raking leaves balling my eyes out!) you should be so proud of your strength as a father and role model for your children.

    I started optifast yesterday, so I’ve been devouring your blog for 2 days. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    • Your message was an inspiration to me. Thanks so much for posting! I have to remember that the newbie optifasters out there need a blog like this — and it has motivated me to get going and get the last part off! I hope you are doing well and are sticking with it. If you are blogging let me know the site and I will check it out. If you need anything — any advice or some questions answered — please email me! I wish you so much success.

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