Terri’s View: We all know what we should be doing; eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and managing stress. We know we should be pursuing a healthy lifestyle and setting a good example for our children. But are we really?
Are you too tired to play with your kids because you are overweight or over-stressed? Do you not take the time to prepare healthy meals because is it just easier to hit the local fast food place? Kids learn by example, and if you are sitting in front of the TV eating chips then they will too. Do you really want them to grow up with the same issues you had, and maybe are still struggling with today?
I know that I will always have food as a monkey on my back. I still struggle with my own food issues, even after almost 4 years of doing the right thing. But I do my best not to let my past habits creep up on my kids who just turned 6 and 4. They have been coming to the gym with me since they were little. When they ask why mommy and daddy are going to the gym again, I never say that we go to lose weight. I always say that exercise is good for your body and keeps you healthy, just like it’s good to run and play not just watch TV.
They do stretches with me at home and I have a work out DVD if I can’t make the gym and they attempt to do the workouts with me. I feel that I am setting the right example as they see me and Ed go to the gym all the time. At a young age they realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
I am not saying you will never see me in a McDonalds with my kids or going out for pizza. I am not a “helicopter mom” that watches every single thing they put in their mouth. But I do my best on a daily basis to instill good habits. I do not keep sugary cereals or cookies in the house or chips besides crackers and goldfish. Both of my kids love fruit and cheese and will grab that on their own, as it is within their reach. The “goodie box,” (which really isn’t that “goodie,” but they don’t know that) is up on the fridge. It has 100 calorie pretzels and cookie bags and rice cakes. They will also snack on almonds and yogurt. They do this because this is how I’ve been feeding them since day 1.
I know that soon enough they will be able to get things on their own, and I can only hope the good habits I am trying to instill on them will last a lifetime. I do not want my kids to grow up feeling uncomfortable in their own skin the way I did, and have to wait until they are 40 to finally get a grasp on a life-long struggle. Besides losing weight for yourself, it is the best thing you can do for your kids.
Ed’s View: Becoming a parent really does change you. It took us a long time to have our family and fortunately, we have finally become part of the club. You look at things in a different perspective and realize this little life depends you for everything. Feeding them, clothing them, keeping them warm – every need is on your shoulders.
Even when they become a little older and more independent, you are still their parent. You never want to see them hurting, and will do anything to take their pain away. You only want the best for them no matter age they are. You would never let your child eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting or a pint of rocky road in 1 shot – so why should you do it yourself?
I am sure if you have kids, no matter how young they are, you will one day want grandkids. The only way to be around to raise our kids and then to enjoy our golden years of grandkids is to take charge of your life now! You need to commit to a healthy lifestyle today and make those changes that will bring you towards better health and wellness; if only in baby steps. Baby steps that can lead to bigger steps and bigger steps will lead to a healthier you. A healthier you will be around for many years to come to set a good example for the most important people on our lives: our kids