My Mother used to say to me “do as I say not as I do” I loved my mother dearly but that was a pretty stupid statement that she used to make on a regular basis. I guess it was her attempt at some personal freedom from having to behave in an “adult” fashion 24/7. As a parent myself I can agree that it becomes exhausting trying to be that perfect parent but our kids do exactly what we do…not what we tell them to do. Case in point; one day I was driving with my little daughter in the back seat. We got cut off by another motorist and she yelled out “jackass”. Now, while totally inappropriate it was also pretty funny. My kids just love to imitate me at my worst, LOL!
You might be thinking where does this little story fit in a fitness blog? I’m winding my way around to the point that our children are watching everything that we do and imitating the vast majority of it.
So, what do you want your children to take away from your child rearing?
For me, I want my children to learn how to be healthy. Without a feeling of well being in our physical bodies nothing else really matters. I can teach them to study. I can teach them to be kind. I can teach them to be ambitious and follow their dreams. These are all awesome lessons BUT if I haven’t taught them how to lead a healthy life then I have done them a massive disservice.
I couldn’t tell my kids to eat healthy and cook processed junk. I couldn’t tell them to go exercise while I sat on the couch. I had to do the work myself. So, I stopped being a jackass and I got off the couch and threw the junk food in the garbage.
What I discovered in pushing myself to be a healthy example is that it was a great gift to me too.
A fitness journey doesn’t have to be a jarring all or nothing experience that causes your family misery. Begin sneakily. Don’t let those kiddies know what hit them. Swap out the cookies for fruit. Throw out the soda and drink water. Soda might be the single worst food item we consume on a regular basis. Once the family gets used to these items being gone move forward by serving a salad regularly. Add a veggie and remove a starch from the dinner plate. Make a sandwich wrap with a lettuce leaf instead of bread. There are many, many things you can do to positively affect your families health. I plan to blog about many of them over the coming months so stay tuned.
Next great thing? Exercise of course. I’m partial to CrossFit since it’s the only exercise that’s ever held my interest. So much so that my family now owns one with some great partners who share our desire to promote a healthy lifestyle for their children.
I love this photo because so many of our kids are in it. Exercising and making awesome life choices with us. No one is yelling “do as I say not as I do” because we WANT them to do what we are doing. We are all happily making room for our kids to sweat right there beside us and loving every minute of it.
So, I guess the main point of this post is…don’t be a jackass and get moving 😉