Fitting In Fitness – Diary of a New Dad. Simple Ways for Busy People to Get In Shape and Live Healthy Life.

Newborn Hospital Dad and Asher

In my first couple weeks of being a Dad, I am finding that my normal schedule is most definitely being ‘adjusted’.  Sleep schedules, feedings, diaper changes, & just wanting to put the world on hold to spend time with my new little man are all variables that didn’t exist in my daily “24 hours” a month ago.  Like with any new ‘life situation’, if something new is introduced, the things that were already scheduled out have to get rearranged, tapered down, or eliminated all together.


As someone who has lost 80 pounds, and now a health/fitness Coach to others, my workouts are a vital part of my daily routine.  Not only to maintain my fitness level, but I find mentally and emotionally I am a better husband, worker, friend, encourager…and now father on the days I invest in doing some kind of workout.  The closer the day came to Asher being born, I had heard stories about how much my life would change and that there just ‘isn’t any time’ to workout that first month.  Well I was bound and determined to find a way to both be there for my wife & new baby…AND make sure I invested in ‘me time’ to be the best I could be for both of them.


Perhaps you aren’t a new parent, or even have kids at all, but TIME is still the bug-a-boo that stands between wanting to live a healthier life and actually putting that into action.  So I thought I would put a few tips together on Fitting In Fitness:



1.    Take Inventory of your current schedule

When I started my fitness journey, I was 245 pounds, taking a full semester of college classes and working 2 jobs.  If anyone didn’t have extra time it was me.  However, once I decided I wanted to change it was amazing where I found wasted hours.  TV, Internet, Video Games, Happy Hours were areas where hidden time just waited to be put into productive action!



2.    Early Bird Gets the Worm

I had always considered myself a ‘night owl’.  I thought that it was just how my body clock operated and I was a slave to it.  So initially I tried doing my workouts later in the day, but I quickly found out any curve ball life threw me during the day- my workout was the first thing to get sacrificed. So I had to change my body clock and do my workouts first thing in the morning.  That way I knew, regardless of what unpredictable variable popped up in my day, my workout was already done guaranteeing me a productive day!


3.    1 hour of Food Prep a Week

So we all fall victim to this scenario. You haven’t eaten in hours and find yourself starving, yet the fast options at your disposal are less than ideal to keep your waistline in check.  So we grab what is easy and undo a day of good intentions. Something that helped me combat this was using my weekends to prep for the week ahead.  A family pack of chicken breasts, six sweet potatoes  and veggies could be thrown in the oven to cook while I watched my Sunday afternoon football.


4.     Take out the guess work

Ultimately what works, is going to be the program you will DO! That means it fits into your lifestyle. Many people struggle to find time to pack a bag, drive to the gym only to fiddle around for 30 minutes, not see results and get discouraged.  My saving grace was finding an in home program I would do in my jammies with bedhead, but that got me immediate results. Beachbody has some great programs with minimal time commitment like Tony Horton’s Ten Minute Trainer, or Chalene Johnson’s Turbo Jam.  Both take the guess work out of what to do, they keep you motivated & come with meal plans to ensure your success.


5.    On the go Meal Replacement

In this Go, Go, Go world we live in sometimes I still find myself out and about when huger pains strike.  I know it is important for me to eat every 3-4 hours to keep my metabolism running.  So I try to always have on-the-go options with me in my bag or car at all times.  Options like: apples, almonds, or baby carrots. If there is no time for a whole food source there are bars & shakes that can be effective as well. But make sure you do your homework on getting a quality meal replacement.  Some I like: Lara Bars, P90X Protein Bars, or my favorite on the go goodness Shakeology.  



Again, it’s finding what you like & what you will utilize that ultimately will determine if you are successful.  It doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your busy schedule.  If you can find one or two ways to make better choices today than you did yesterday, those little choices over time can produce huge results!


  1. Amity Hook-Sopko | February 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    You’ve figured out a lot in just a few weeks, Jimmy. Way to go :) As a parent to school-age kids, it’s still easy to forget to plan meals and exercise around their activities. Thanks for sharing and increasing my resolve.

  2. Lorri Kane Randle | February 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Way to go Jimmy! I think a really important thing is that its a journey, so there will be bumps-and little bundles of joy-but as long as you keep it in a lifestyle perspective, you’ll work through those times.
    Its funny how for me, having 2 now seems ‘normal.’ Exercise, eating right, changing two children’s diapers, it all becomes part of a daily routine. So happy you are figuring this out. Many congrats to you AND your wife!

  3. Anonymous | February 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    As a parenting coach I love that you understand the value and necessity of “me time”…this is so important for parents to realize. The wonderful tips and suggestions you offer will serve to help so many make this a reality in their lives…you have shown it CAN be done! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Kathy | February 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Great stuff Coach Jimmy! I have found out for myself that if I don’t knock out my work out first thing in the morning then something WILL get in the way. Great advice :)

  5. Angelambrooks | February 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    It is amazing how a baby as small as they are control the whole house hold. My exercise life changed once I had kids. I used to stay in the gym 4 days a week – run 3-5 miles a day – bench press 120lbs and squat 225. Now that they are older and I could get back in the gym – the desire has changed to walking and I am working on getting my eating style back to the way it used to be. Your an amazing example of someone who has lost 80lbs (wow pictures?) Thanks for being the coach you are!

  6. Mdcoop2003 | February 18, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Great “common sense” comments! As a father of one year old twin boys, I can tell you that shakeology and p90x have changed my wife and my life. Good stuff here.

  7. Susan McKenzie | February 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    If a new parent of a 1-month old can find time to exercise, that eliminates all my excuses! Thanks for sharing a great article and motivation!

  8. Anonymous | February 18, 2011 at 3:08 am

    What a cute little muffin! I want another one! Anyway, speaking of workouts, Jimmy, you’re talking about something I’m having major problems with myself, especially since I ramped up the business activity big time upon joining Sandi’s programs. Thanks for the great advice- the meal replacement is one I definitely need to do asap! (I had brownies and a Whopper Jr. for dinner last night- example- and I’ve gained 15 in the past four months.) Ugh.


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