Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Get your family involved!

I remember when I first trying to lose weight after giving birth to my youngest. I felt like I was committed to my own weight loss goals but despite my best efforts, I just couldn't lose. One of the main reasons that I was failing was because even though *I* was buying healthy food for me, our cupboards were still packed with all the typical junk found in an average American's home: cookies, chips, ice cream, etc. In addition to that, I was spending the evenings laying around watching tv or movies. The combination was a recipe for disaster - When that midday hunger was striking, there was a wide array of foods for me to eat stuff into my face. And, I wasn't moving enough to compensate for my food choices.

After a couple of months of failing to lose more than a pound or two, I realized what was going on and asked my family to become more focused on the health and well being of our household. It became less about losing weight and more about eating right and being active in order to be healthy. When everyone in my family was on board, I started to have more success. And instead of the kids seeing Mommy "dieting" by eating different foods than the rest of the family, we started to find recipes that were healthy, delicious, and kid friendly. We demonstrated to the kids that eating healthy foods is not just a diet for losing weight, but rather it's a diet for being strong, fit and healthy. The entire family was benefiting from our new lifestyle as we spent much more time moving than sitting in front of the tv. Our nightly walks at the park became a great opportunity to talk about our day.

Slowly but surely, the weight started to fall off of me. The more I saw progress, the more I wanted to keep it going. I knew that I couldn't have done it without my family's support so I kept them moving too. They kept me going as well by becoming my cheerleaders at local 5K races and by insisting on our after dinner walk even on the days I just wanted to relax. I learned that an active family is a happy family.
If you are struggling, try getting your entire family committed to making lifelong behavior changes. It highlights the positive while moving toward something good: a happier, healthier family.

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