Four years ago the doctors were wondering how I was even able to walk into their office.  They had never seen someone with numbers as high as mine.  They wondered how I was even able to function.  I asked myself the same question.  I was also asking myself, how I wasn’t being a healthy dad.

A diet of gas station and fast food just wasn’t cutting it.  It was all I had access too.  Not because my family wasn’t eating healthy at home, but because it was the lifestyle that I was living at the time.  It was my career.

I was a news photojournalist.  I was running from story to story grabbing a bite to eat when I could.  Taquitos and flaming hot Cheetos from gas station and I had a very intimate relationship.  One that I am sure Mrs. Rookie Dad was jealous about at the time but didn’t tell me.

It was at that moment four years ago that things began to change.  I started realizing the effect that the constant diet of chips and soft drinks were having on my life.  It showed too.  I was the heaviest I had ever been.  I could feel my belly spilling over my seat belt every time I got in the news van to drive off to the next news story.  There was no way that I would win a back alley news fight with the Channel 9 news team.  There would be no throwing tridents or setting people on fire. I would be out of breath within 2 minutes and you would see me curled up gasping for breath being set on fire and stabbed with a trident.

That wasn’t who I wanted to be.  That wasn’t the same person who played 3 sports cross-country, basketball, and baseball in high school.  I didn’t want to be that person.  I was making my career and excuse for healthy habits.  I tried to work out on my crazy news schedule but it just, for the lack of a better term, wasn’t working out.

Suddenly, out of the blue, my career changed.  I became a 9-5 working guy who sat around in an office all day.  That may not sound like it changed much but it did.  It gave me the time to work out.  My new job had a gym and was encouraging our city to get healthy.  Did I utilize all of this?  No, I didn’t.

The next time that I went into the doctor’s office, my numbers were cut in half.  I was still feeling fatigued and the doctor said that if I would become more active, my numbers would drop and I would have more energy.

I decided to put the doctor’s advice to the test.

Six months after that check-up, I picked up running.  After a while it became a habit.  I was consistently running 3-4 miles every time out the door.  It was becoming such a habit that if I didn’t get out and at least pick up 3 miles my body was thrown off.

Healthy Dad - The Rookie Dad

The next check-up the doctor walked in and without hesitation, looked at me and said, “You look a TON better than last time, what is the difference?”  I told that I had started to really take care of my health and making it priority in my life.  One of the ways he could tell, I had dropped 25 pounds. When he called to tell my numbers he said everything was in check and to keep doing what I was doing.

The strange thing is, in that year, I noticed that he was right.  I had more energy than I ever had.  I was able to get down on the ground and wrestle with the Rookie.  I was able to crawl and give him piggy back rides more often.  And, I just over all felt better.

What I figured out though, is that it wasn’t just because of the doctor’s advice that I was out to improve my health.  It was because of the Rookie and Mrs. Rookie Dad.  I wanted to be there for them for the long haul.  I didn’t want to leave Mrs. Rookie Dad without someone to help take of the Rookie.  It is because of them that I choose to be a healthy dad.  It is because of them that I choose to stay a healthy dad.  It is because of them that I will from here on out be a healthy dad.

It is because of companies like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri that help make my dream of being a healthy dad a reality.  They realize that sometimes unexpected medical emergencies come up and have made it easy with their mobile app to find the closest urgent care or emergency room.  Also with their app you are able to estimate just how much that will cost you.

To learn more about LiveHealth Online, visit You can register by downloading the app from iTunes or Google Play Store and signing-up in one quick step.

Want to win some money? 

You could win a $100 Amazon Gift Card for creating an original video that explains how you choose to be healthy.  Just post the video on Vine, Instagram, or YouTube and don’t forget to use the #healthydad hashtag.  Then head over to the Healthy Dad Facebook page, like the page, and post your video! It is as simple as that. For more details or rules just go here.

This contest is over.  Be sure to check back for more opportunities.

This post is sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and XY Media Group and the views and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the sponsoring company.

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  1. Christin October 7, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    I really enjoyed your story Brandon. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 I am passionate about health and wellness too and in the past 18 months our family have made big changes to our lives (and weight, lol!).

    1. The Rookie Dad October 7, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Thank you Christin. This has been something that I become more passionate about with each passing day and I find myself making better choices. For the first time in my life, steamed veggies are actually good!

  2. daddybriefs October 8, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Hey Brandon,
    Once again you wrote a good article. I just wrote a post about a similar topic due to a recent health concern of mine. Anyway, It pays to be healthy not only for ourselves but our children as well. You have a cute little guy and I am sure he has tons of energy. I am sure all that running helps you keep up with him. Well, keep up the good work.

    1. The Rookie Dad October 8, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      His energy level is far beyond what I remember mine being at his age. I need every little bit of help that I can get. Thanks!

  3. Justin Knight November 16, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    I am on a similar journey and you’ve inspired me. Thanks for sharing this and keeping me going!

    1. therookiedad November 16, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      It is all about keeping it up. That is the hardest part of it all. There are times where I still have problems getting out and getting a work out in.


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