Why YOU Need to be a Healthy Dad

anthem blue cross blue shield logoThis post is just for you, guys. You know who you are, you’re like me. You give your all to your kids and to everyone — and everything else — in your life. I know that I do just that, staying up late to find a few minutes free from kids, with whom I am constantly interacting when they’re awake, then I wake up early to get them to school, the gym, sporting events or friends.

If we’re heading to a doctor it’s because one of them needs it, not because I do. Dentist? Therapist? Clothes shopping? Target?? Yeah, I’m probably modeling things wrong, but at some core level in every parent’s life, it really is all about the kids.

Last night I was up until almost 11pm with my oldest, helping her with schoolwork and talking about the happenings in her life. I was so tired, I went to bed around 11pm myself, eschewing my usual 30min or so of quiet time I like at the end of a day. This morning I woke up at 5:55am so I could wake up my 14yo son at 6:00am and we could get him to the gym at 6:30 for his basketball team’s morning workout session. Back home, get my 10yo ready and take her to school, then a few hours respite at my local Starbucks, trying to work and really just decompressing as I answer emails.

The Catch-22 of this dedication to fatherhood that I know I share with a lot of you other guys is that I don’t have the space in my life to not be healthy. In fact, as a single dad, I really have zero space for being sick. So I’m just not sick. Sometimes I think that’s just force of will over anything else, but I can’t even remember the last day I collapsed on the couch all day or crashed out in bed.

That’s why I was interested in working with Anthem on the #HealthyDad campaign: Not only do I know I need to pay more attention to my own health — and sadly, hitting up the gym every day does not a full, healthy lifestyle make — but it also turns out that I have Anthem Blue Cross health insurance too, an insurance that I’m most definitely not utilizing to maximize my own health and well-being.

I made a video about why I know I need to be healthy that I hope you’ll watch:

What’s your take, fellow Dad? Are you a master at managing your own life, your own health, while still being fully present for your children, your spouse (hopefully) and everyone else in your life? Or are you kinda like me where the easiest person to shortchange is yourself?

Enter Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield: as a single parent who is self-employed, it’d be really easy for me to just bail on insurance, and given that I don’t really visit the doctor much, I can share with you that the price I pay for insurance is far more than the benefit I receive from my insurance coverage to date. But insurance is always about that one really, really rainy day, and so far – Thank goodness – I haven’t had to worry about it, but if something terrible were to happen and I ended up in hospital, the money I’ve paid in to the system would quickly be dwarfed by the bills generated from even a one week stay. Or, heck, a visit to ER.

What’s worth highlighting is that Anthem isn’t about insurance, it’s about helping us Dads, us parents get healthy and stay healthy, and however you get to that point, it’s a really worthy goal. Personally, ever hour I spend with my children reminds me of the critical importance of me being a healthy dad too. And there’s a selfish component too: children are works in progress, and I’m so excited to see what kind of adults they turn out to be and, eventually, what kind of parents they end up being!

amazon $100 gift cardAnthem even has a service called LiveHealth Online where I can immediately connect to board certified physicians via two-way video conference to talk about problems, describe symptoms and get quick, expert advice on how to take care of myself when getting into the doctor’s office is just not an option. For life-threatening issues, of course, a video conference isn’t a substitute for experts in the room, but a surprising number of issues aren’t critical. Better yet, LiveHealth is available 24×7 so if I wake up at 2am anxious about that twinge in my elbow or pain in my gut, there’s someone I can talk with who can help me properly assess the situation. You can check it out at livehealthonline.com if you’re a member of Anthem Blue Cross / Blue Shield.

And a reward since you stuck with me this long! XY Media is sponsoring a video competition where they ask you to talk about or show what you’re doing to be a healthy dad like me. Winners get one of five $100 Amazon gift cards — and I would love to be a winner, I sure spend enough money at Amazon — and you get to share your story with the rest of us guys.

Make your video, post it to Instagram, Vine or YouTube, then share it on their Facebook page to win!

So that’s my bit. Tell me, what’s your story, buddy? Are you good at keeping yourself healthy, and if so, what’s your secret? If not, what’s stopping you from becoming a #HealthyDad?

Disclaimer: I received compensation from Anthem for participating in the HealthyDad campaign.

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