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Don’t sweat the small stuff

and other ways to sustain your fatherly physique

Q: What are your Top 10 ways to maintain your dad bod?

You want a Top Ten List? Alright, this one is fresh from our home office in Wahoo, Nebraska. Top Ten Ways to Maintain A Dad Bod. Drumroll, please.

10. Move furniture. A lot. Wouldn’t the curio look better over by the fireplace? No? How about we replace the couch with a sectional I bought from a stranger on BisManOnline? Just kind of rearrange everything you own on the third Sunday of every month for the rest of your life and try to remember where everything is. That’ll keep you physically and mentally sharp for a long, long time.

9. Order pizza online. Remember to get a cheese pizza for the kids, because they’re picky eaters. Did you know there are apps that have reduced the tedious process of ordering your family’s supper meal to pressing a single button on your intelligent telephone screen? It’s called a Pizza Button, and just be very careful because that’s a slippery slope once you’ve found out how to order pizza while barely moving.

8. Drive the kids everywhere. Including to the corner store (which closed anyway back when they opened up that third Walmart in town). Including to the neighbor’s house for dinner. Including to the pantry to look for cereal. Walking just ruins everything.

7. Lots and lots of Netflix. Have you watched “Ozark” yet? I haven’t. It’s probably good, though. Most things on Netflix are.

6. Have you tried sleeping? I’ve heard it’s pretty awesome, but I can’t remember stuff.

5. Turn down the thermostat a lot. Why are all these lights on? Do we really need all these Alexa devices running at all hours of the night?

4. Tell a lot of dad jokes. But don’t use any words. Tell them through the art of dance and pantomime.

3. Your watch is going to start telling you that you have to stand up every hour or walk so many steps per day. That’s just what watches do, nowadays. DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR WRISTWATCH. You paid for it, not the other way around. Or possibly you received it from work in recognition of 25 years with the company. Either way, don’t forget who’s boss. You are, not the watch.

2. Love your kids. Love your partner. Love your life. The minute you start feeling comfortable with how your existence has turned out, your body is going to respond by ballooning into the shape of a pear. It’s not the worst thing in the world, though. Be fat! Be happy! That’s what the comedian Sinbad told me once. When I was growing up, I was thin as a reed. I’ve always had a large cranium, though, so I was kind of the proportion of a Tootsie Pop. Everyone was very concerned, I assure you. I had difficulties navigating windy days. Then I got married, had a kid and another kid, took on a mortgage payment, and suddenly I can gain four pounds just by looking really hard at a Snickers ice cream bar. But I’m happy, because I know all the people in my house love me the way that I am, as long as I’m happy. And I am! So, yeah, I wear these extra pounds with some pride, because they mean I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. And wind hardly bothers me ever lately. Score!

1.Finish every day by running a Lego obstacle course.

If you have a question you’d like to Ask A Dad, send an e-mail to, or leave a comment at the Prairie Parent Facebook page,

Written by Kelly Hagen


Kelly is the Director of Communications at North Dakota United. He has been with NDU since merger in 2013, and worked previously with the North Dakota Public Employees Association since 2011. Kelly is in charge of coordinating and distributing print and electronic communications between members and with the public, is the editor for United Voices magazine, administrates the website and social media properties, and works directly with local leaders to build their own communications infrastructure. Kelly is originally from Wilton, ND. He received an Associate of Arts degree in journalism from Bismarck State College and a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Prior to his employment with NDU, he worked for the N.D. Department of Health, the Fargo Forum and the Bismarck Tribune. He lives in Bismarck with his wife, Annette, and their two children.

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