As we sat around the pool during a short Fourth of July getaway, my wife offhandedly remarked, "You have dad bod."
"Whaaat?" I asked, as my daughters chuckled and my mind searched for the fashion or social or whatever blunder I'd just waded into.
"Dad bod," she said, trying to restrain her own laughter. "Really, it's a thing. Look it up. It's all over the Internet."
"I'm not Googling 'dad bod,' " I said, now casually looking for my T-shirt. "And I don't have it."
But by this point, my teenage daughters were already verbally poking at my soft underbelly with a rousing chant of "Dad bod, dad bod."
Since my wife always has her phone at the ready for just such emergencies, she'd already found an article. "The New York Times, GQ, Men's Health, they've all written about it. A bunch of celebrities have them: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Segel, Simon Cowell," she said, trying to soothe the obvious punch to my flabby midsection. "Beer guts over biceps. Soft and doughy is in. Apparently, women find it attractive."
Oh, this is bad, I thought. Sure, I'd put on a couple extra pounds over the winter, despite the weight-loss challenge at work, but I'm 45 years old. And yes, I had a beer sitting next to me, but we were on vacation. And, of course, if you put it that way, I don't exercise as much as I'd like, but I was currently wearing a fitness tracker to count my steps and monitor my sleep cycles. So there.
Shit, shit, shit! I do have dad bod.
An article in The Washington Post confirms as much. I am a man, between the ages of 20 and 54, who is about 6-foot-1 and weighs 188 (OK, maybe 190) pounds, which gives me a body mass index somewhere around 25 or 26. That's dad bod territory.
The Post estimates that 41 percent of men ages 45 to 54 have dad bod. For those 35 to 44, it's about 40 percent. That's 27.8 million American men sporting a dad bod — or a lot of overweight dudes.
This month's Top Doctors issue, which we produced in conjunction with Castle Connolly, offers tons of advice on how to improve your eating, sleeping and exercise habits. For those of us just waking up to our dad bods, it comes at a good time. But at least, for a brief moment, I'm trendy.