By Laurel House
Is your child overweight? Are you? It's time to take an honest look at yourself and your family and realize that you aren't all overweight thanks only to genetics, but lifestyle habits and food choices. In fact, you very well could be to blame for your child's weight problem. Harsh? Maybe. But the reality is that, except on some occasions, children are overweight because:
-They watch and copy what their parents eat. Do you encourage to eat healthy food, and take joy in eating (or at least fake it) healthy food yourself? Or do you talk about how much you hate vegetables as you deep fry your chicken, snack on chips, wash it down with a soda, then say that you need to go on a diet?
-They watch and copy their parents' interest and participation in physical activities. Do you go to the gym, get outside and play sports, and talk about how much you enjoy exercise, being healthy, and getting your blood flowing? Or do you sit on the sofa watching TV and complain about how much you hate to work out?
-They watch and copy their parents' relationship with food. Do you have a healthy relationship with food (or at least pretend to)? Do you avoid talking about "diets" in front of your child? Does your child watch you eat out of sadness, anger, or loneliness? Does your child watch you sneak into the kitchen late at night, open the fridge with the lights still off, and gorge?
Children are like sponges. They watch, learn, and replicate. What are you unknowingly teaching your children?
Rates of obesity in both children and adults continue to increase, as do the number of obesity-related conditions like high cholesterol and Type II diabetes- both in adults and children. It's time to take your health, and your life back, while giving your child the opportunity to live healthy too. Now the question is… how? Since both you and your child need to lose weight and get healthy, does it make sense to do it together? YES! Here are 5 ways that you and your child can lose weight together:
1. Talk about the importance of eating healthy foods- not to make you thin, but to make you healthy, give you energy, help you do better in school/at work.
2. Make healthy eating interactive! Go grocery shopping together, look at the nutrition labels together, then talk about healthy foods that you can prepare together (ex: allow your child to participate- selecting the tomatoes at the store, then stirring the tomato sauce, and finally adding a spoonful to your grilled chicken).
3. If you can, walk or ride a bike to school each morning. If you can't, carve out time- the same time- every weekend to do a physical activity. Ex: go on a 3 mile hike together, play tennis, learn how to roller skate or ice skate together, play a sport together, go to the park and play Frisbee. Do something consistently that both you and your child can look forward to, while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to bond and talk about what's going on in school, in their head, in life.
4. Be each other's exercise buddy and encourage each other! Decide to challenge each other to do at least two Daily 100s each day (100 seconds or 100 reps of any exercise- ex: jumping jacks, march in place, standing crunches, lunges- anything). Each night report to each other about what your two 100s were! If you miss one, you owe each other something, maybe .25 cents or a 5 minute shoulder rub (but not food rewards).
5. Play fitness videogames on xbox like Your Shape, or download workouts on ExerciseTV, then do them together in your living room. Get the whole family involved and do a group fitness class at your home!
Remember, it's not just your health in your hands, it's your child's too. The reason I'm fit today? My mom. She took me on 3 hour Sunday hikes- EVERY Sunday, plus only stocked the kitchen with healthy food. Her healthy mindset stuck, and soon I adopted it too. I'm 33 now, and we still walk every weekend.
GET FIT WITH EXERCISE TV
-Like ExerciseTV on Facebook!
-Start walking with your kids to get healthy.
-Check out 7 deceptive foods NOT to put in your child's lunchbox.