It started quite simply. I loved fitness. I loved training for races. I loved sharing my knowledge. I loved learning about anatomy, how the body moved and worked, how different nutrients affected different areas of the boy, nutrition, etc. I loved cooking good food and finding ways to make the foods I loved healthier. I loved marrying what I was learning in pharmaceuticals with helping real people live healthier lives, often without the help of drugs. I knew I had found a way to help people and that felt good.
Then I became a mom and things began to change. My perspective began to change. Here I was caring for this beautiful, little being and she was depending on me to provide her with the best foundation for as great a life as possible.
We’ve all heard the stories. The moms who give up coffee, alcohol, drugs and smoking, cold turkey, once they find out their pregnant. Sure they had probably tried to do the same many times before. Why now do they suddenly have the willpower of giants to cut these addictions out of their lives?
The act of creating, caring for and protecting another life inspires many to do incredible things. There’s no debating. No thinking about it. No planning for it. You just act.
The same was true for me. Once I became a mom, everything I did was to give my daughter, and subsequent daughters, their best life. I want them to grow up healthy in body, mind and spirit. And that means being the best example I can be.
We’re not talking perfection. We’re talking about doing your best to be the example of a woman, girl, human being that you want to put out into the great big world.
Studies have shown that our children’s first behaviors and habits are shaped by those who are around them the most at an early age. By age 3, taste buds are developed and eating habits are established. By age 6 months, our children are learning our tone of voice and what our emotions mean. By age 5, our children are either more inclined to exercise or not based on what they’ve been exposed to. That’s not to say that those behaviors can’t be changed, but that FIRST behaviors are easier to create, then to change an already established behavior. Just think of your own experience. How many times have you started and stopped at diet, exercise plan, way of thinking or doing things? Got it? Yup thought so! Much easier to start off with positive behaviors than to change ones that are already established!
And that got me to thinking. As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, I even saw plus size toddler clothing the other day!, what can I do to help?
I can work at the place where behaviors begin. With people who have the biggest motivation to get healthy….from the little faces staring up at them.
As women and moms, we’re not just getting healthy for ourselves, its for our children and families as well. No matter how you slice it, women do much of the cooking, buying and setting of exercise and food behaviors for their family. Our children see those behaviors and follow your lead.
Studies show that children are more likely to eat healthy and exercise if their mothers do. Once again, its not about being perfect, its just about being healthy.
And its a win for us all. Think of the excitement you’ll feel as your child cheers for you as you cross the finish line to your first 5K. They don’t care what place you come in. They’re just excited to cheer for you and seeing them cheering you on, will give you added motivation to go for a bigger goal.
Seeing your child trying new healthy foods, liking veggies and choosing fruit over fruit chews, puts a smile on the face of us moms. We know we’re doing something right. Raising children doesn’t provide us with a lot of feedback of whether or not we’re doing a good job like a traditional job or boss does, but THAT is positive feedback that you’re on the right track.
It doesn’t take a lot to set a positive example either. And that’s the joy I’ve had in working with hundreds of women and moms over the last few years. The idea that we have to eat nothing but salads and exercise for 2 plus hours a day, is just wrong. Just making one small change in your eating habits, finding exercise you enjoy and committing to doing it regularly and doing things that make you feel good about yourself, will lead to bigger changes. That’s the example of healthy living we can make for our children.
And for me, that’s how we start eliminating obesity. It starts at home. It starts with helping women and moms make healthy changes in their own lives. In eating healthier, finding time and ways to exercise regularly and creating lives that make us feel GREAT about the incredible women we are. We then take what we learn, and pass it on to our families, our children. Multiple lives are changed and impacted. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping women and moms create healthier lives through eating healthy food, exercise and feeling GREAT about themselves.
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