Fitness Friday by Ben Murphy - Image by DVIDSHUB, Flickr.comHave you been watching the NBC series Biggest Loser this season? I have. And what I’ve been struck by most this season is how many of the contestants are fathers. Young fathers. Guys in their late 20’s and early 30’s who have gone from being active to 300+ and 400+ pounds and are now driven to lose the weight because they want to be around for their kids.

What has struck me even more is the statistic that nearly 2 out of every 3 Americans are overweight or obese. That’s staggering. And the implication, if you read between the lines, is that the majority of American kids today will lose their fathers early to a preventable, weight-related death.

Let me say that again. The majority of American kids today will lose their fathers early to a preventable, weight-related death.

That’s not ok. I’m not a touchy-feely guy, but that one brings tears to my eyes. Running the risk of an early death because you were too lazy to workout is just pathetic. Try explaining that one to your kids.

What does all this sentiment have to do with Here’s the deal. I’m convinced that wellness is one of the biggest challenges facing today’s busy fathers. So we’re throwing the weight of (no pun intended) behind this issue. I want to make sure that we’re encouraging you guys to be the best you can be for yourselves and for your families. And that we’re offering the resources you guys need to make that happen.

Starting now, every Friday is going to be “Fitness Friday” here at We’re making a commitment to run an article every week giving you the information and encouragement you need to get out there and take care of yourself.

We’ll be kicking it all off by interviewing Ironman Triathlete Dan Benintendi, who was, up until 2 years ago, a 400+ pound father of 3. If his story doesn’t inspire you than I don’t know what will.

I personally know that juggling a family and a career while finding time to take care of yourself is pretty tough; damn near impossible at times. But it can be done. I’ve been there myself. I was a lean guy until I had kids… Hitting 200 pounds was the wake-up call for me. Last month I completed my first triathlon, so don’t tell me it can’t be done.

So, our commitment? We’ll keep the great info and encouragement coming. Your commitment? Get out there and make it happen for you and for your family!

Ready? Ready!


  1. Ben, this is an important column about a crisis in our country. I’d like to second what you’re saying to young fathers. I’m a 58-year-old soon-to-be first time father, and all I can tell you guys is that if you take anything to heart (literally and figuratively), take Ben’s advice. Your own fitness may be the finest gift you can give your child, children, wife, partner… and yourself. I walk an average of 45 minutes a day. There’s just no way around it — what Ben says is true, and vital to our ability to be there for our kids. While I’m not in his kind of shape (my version of a triathlon is walking, strength training, and a glass of red wine), I’m making progress. I intend to throw the football, pitch a baseball, or just give my son a horsie-back ride – whatever he wants to do.

  2. Congrats Ben on your first triatholon! And thank you for publishing Fitness Friday. Friday is where it should start for those of us who are in weekend warrior mode, and hopefully it will carry on through the week!

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