Here’s this week’s instalment of Blogger Behind the Blog where I interview a blogger all about their reasons for blogging and what it means to them. This week I’m joined by Tony from Getting Dad Fit.
Here’s Tony with more about his blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
For someone who is supposed to be fit for work, I am incredibly inconsistent with my exercise. I went through a rare period of regular workouts and my son said that I was getting dead fit. I was looking to rebrand from being a parent blogger to a more fitness orientated one, but without losing the parenting angle completely, so my son saying this made me think of getting dad fit. Not the best play on words, but the site name and social media handles were all free so I went with it.
When did you start your blog and why?
I started Getting Dad Fit at some point in 2016 or 17, I genuinely can’t remember which; all the years seem to be blending into each other these days. I had become extremely disillusioned with blogging, but not writing, and I was growing increasingly shocked at the lengths some people would go to within the parent blogging community to make themselves stand out. Judgement, criticism, double crossing people, all seemed to be prevalent within it, and I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore. I enjoy writing about diet and fitness, so it seemed a logical progression, and while I have retained ties with many parent bloggers, the fitness community has been lovely and supportive.
What did you do before you blogged?
Blogged. This is my fourth blogging venture. Starting off as Disillusioned Dad, moving to Papa Tont, then Life of Tont, and now Getting Dad Fit. Before that though, I was just a working dad. I had no friends to turn to, or outlet for my daily frustrations, and following a near breakdown and referral to a clinical psychological nurse, I found blogging.
What was your first post?
My first post on Getting Dad Fit was How To Stop Emotional Eating. There were other posts before that, but they were originally written on Life of Tont, that was the first on Getting Dad Fit. Recognising that the majority of my negative eating habits came through emotional drivers and seeking the comfort of food, I thought I would share some tips on how to overcome those emotional urges to binge.
What inspires you to blog?
I don’t really consider myself a blogger in the truest sense of the word. I only write when I feel I have a strong desire to. When a particular subject is topical, or affecting me personally, I will write about it to try and work through the thoughts in my head and resolve internal conflict.
What post has had the best response, which post are you most proud of and which post did you enjoy writing the most?
Ironically, the best response to a blog post I have written on Getting Dad Fit isn’t actually a fitness or nutrition post at all. It was me explaining why I apparently loved my boss more than my ex-wife. A tongue in cheek examination of why my marriage potentially broke down and why I tend to give the best of me to a job I hate, and just the rest of me to the other people in my life. I think the blog post I’m most proud of is one about the crisis in masculinity. It was written at a time of metoo and when it appeared to be frowned upon to criticise feminism. Of course that wasn’t what I was doing, but it appeared as though any man who came close to it, no matter how tenuously, were savaged in the public domain. Writing it made me feel like I was able to get my point of view out there, despite it making no difference whatsoever.
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
No, I expect very little from my blog posts and they continue to deliver that lol.
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
Exactly as it is now. I don’t have a niche, I have no intent to grow by any particular margin, and given that I’m not a ripped 8 pack sporting fitness god, I can’t see me appearing on Love Island 2019 either.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The products I get to review. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some excellent brands that have kept me supplied in supplements, cookies, and even beer. Balance! My favourite collaboration though, has been having my DNA examined to work out my diet and fitness predetermination.
…and your least favourite?
Social media. Too many people are fake on there in order to sustain their brand identity, too many people are offended for offended’s sake, and conversely too many people are starting to be deliberately controversial in order to cause offence in order to grow in popularity. It’s all a big game that I really can’t be bothered to play.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
Blimey, that’s a tough question. I’ve read so many amazing blog posts, but staying true to the original reasons why I started blogging in the first place, it’s the raw honest posts that expose a person’s vulnerability that I like. Claudia used to write some amazingly candid posts at her Messier Mum Messy Life site, but has since taken them down; Renee from Mummy Tries always writes from the heart and I’ve read some amazing blog posts by her; but my favourite post has to be one by Nat who writes at Plutonium Sox called The Loneliness of the Mainland. There is no precis, you just have to read it.
What blog do you love to read and why?
Sorry, I jumped the gun in my last answer, but I will add Julian Boffin who writes at Northern Dad. He is an incredibly talented writer and never fails to make me laugh out loud. You’ll never feed the fish the same way again!
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
Nope, nothing has changed that I know of. I write, I publish, I move on.
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
Not really. I’ve met some amazing people whilst blogging, but I genuinely thought it would be a much friendlier place.
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
Dammit, I really should have read these questions first before answering them. Working with Evergreen Life on their DNA testing kit was my favourite collaboration.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I’d love to work with Five Guys because…burgers! What’s not to love about that!
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
So many. My problem is that I rush into projects or ventures without thinking them through or planning them. Take this current name for instance. At the time it sounded great and was perfect at the time, but in hindsight it’s too parent focused rather than fitness and it isolates women or mums from joining in. I wish I had the patience to just sit down and plan before rushing in.
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
I’d really love to use my blog as a platform for others to get into fitness. If someone who has always believed that they can’t be fit, transform their body, or are suffering from body confidence issues, could turn themselves around thanks to what is written on my blog would be an absolute coup. I’m nowhere near that yet, first I need to turn my own physique around and improve my own perception of body image before I think I can influence others.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
Eat burgers. I use a hashtag on Twitter called #burgersofbritain to document all of the burgers I eat in an attempt to find Britain’s best burger. I also travel the UK to try foods native to that region, granted I’ve only done two locations so far: parmo in the North East, and scouse in Liverpool, but I’m hoping to do more.
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
Whilst working at Burger King in Stansted Airport, somewhere between 1997 and 1999 (I told you, my memory is rubbish) I served Daniella Westbrook a meal and when she ordered her drink, with a straight face and as quick as a flash, I said “wouldn’t you prefer Coke with that” I must have used all my funny up in that incident because I haven’t been funny since.