All Myanmar Youths
Four well-rounded fathers tell us why their incredible kids have made weight gain worth it
The researchers discovered these new dads are lacking body confidence as a result, with more than a quarter of them so insecure they are unwilling to go topless on a beach.
JENNY FRANCIS meets four men who insist that a little extra wobble is not worth worrying about.
‘I look into the mirror and see a loving dad’
SCAFFOLDER Ashley gained 3st after the birth of son Brooklyn in 2016. The 28-year-old, who lives with wife Sandra, 43, an accounts manager in Brentwood, Essex, says: “I want to spend every minute of spare time with my son.
“I’m enjoying every stage of his life so far, so I don’t mind being labelled as having a “dad bod”.
“We didn’t think we’d be able to have kids as Sandra had been in a car accident when she was younger.
“When we found out we were expecting on her 40th birthday we were so happy.
“Before becoming a parent I used to play football weekly and we were quite active, walking everywhere.
“I first noticed I’d put weight on when Brooklyn was eight months old. We began ordering takeaways every weekend.
“I’ve gone from a 30 to a 36in waist but on the rare occasions I have enough time to look in the mirror, I like what I see.
“Looking back at me is a loving dad.”
‘Now that I’m a parent I don’t care as much’
KAAN, 29, lives with wife Ayla, 28, a midwife, in Goffs Oak, Herts, with their 14-month-old daughter Aaliya.
The finance and account manager, who went up to 16st, says: “When I got married in 2016 I was 14st. I had a personal trainer, swam and even did a triathlon. I played golf at weekends and football once a week.
“When Ayla got pregnant a month after we’d got married, life started changing. She developed cravings for junk food, but she’d get nauseous with it, so I’d eat whatever was left.
“I thought I’d keep going to the gym but that hasn’t been possible. I’ve got a two-hour round commute and I’ve found it hard getting up in the night.
“I can’t go to the gym after work because I want to get home to my family. I know I can sort it out when Aaliya is older.
“It would have bothered me more before but now I’m a dad I don’t care as much.”
‘Amy prefers me with a bit of extra weight on’
SALES worker Jac, 31, lives with his waitress wife Amy, 25, and their 18-month-old son Teddy in Harlow, Essex.
He has gone from 11st 12lb to 15st 9lb since his son came along.
He says: “Before I met Amy two years ago I always ate healthily. My mum cooked meat and vegetable meals, which were always fresh and well balanced. When Amy and I got together, quite quickly we found out she was expecting and we got a place together.
“We both worked full-time but loved cooking nice meals together – that stopped mid-way through her pregnancy.
“Amy started feeling ill so I’d get fast food to save her cooking, and I’d finish her portion.
“When Teddy arrived I had no time to cook, so I’d pick up something on the way home. I always had a 32in waist, so when my clothes started to feel snug I thought they’d shrunk.
“But when I went shopping and tried on the medium, Amy was in fits of giggles. Nowadays it’s an XL and I wear a 36in waist. Amy prefers how I look with a bit of weight on and I’ve embraced it.
“I’m a confident person and not ashamed of how I look.”
‘Baby means much more to me than looking good’
JOHN, 31, has gained 3st since his nine-month-old son Harley came along.
The air-conditioning engineer, who lives with beauty therapist partner Hollie Dodd, 27, in Bournemouth, says: “My lifestyle was totally different before Harley came along.
“I went to the gym four times a week. I was really strict with my diet and spent hours prepping my meals for the week ahead.
“I’d have high-protein dinners of meat and veg and weighed 14st.
“Before I met Hollie I’d lost 7st over three years and was determined to keep it off.
“I never imagined I’d be the one gaining weight, but when Hollie’s appetite increased I used it as an excuse to eat more with her.
“I stopped exercising halfway through the pregnancy because I’d taken on more work to save money.
“Long hours at work meant it was easier to grab food on the way to and from home. My family joked about the weight gain and, at first, when I noticed my shirts were a bit tighter it wasn’t a great feeling.
“But I laugh it off because the happiness I get from having Harley means so much more to me than looking good.”