Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fit Mom: Be the Person You Want Your Children to Be.

I am in a current Healthy Habits Challenge with 3 friends. We were sitting around a table of nacho chips, cheese platters, beers and other various treats one night complaining how we could not fit into our jeans for the upcoming cooler weather. One of us suggested a reboot of our Healthy Habits Challenge that we had initially done at the beginning of the year to combat poor winter eating habits and the holiday weight gain.

We had all lost focus and inevitably life took over and waistlines expanded with summer trips to the ice cream stand and BBQ's filled with deliciously unhealthy food choices.

For me, my health takes on more meaning than not fitting into my jeans. I need to be healthy as the mother to three little girls. Not only do I need to be healthy to be here for them, I need to be a mentor so that they learn to be healthy as a way of life.

We are in an epidemic. Children are obese. Children are unhealthy. And they are learning from their parents.

I had a sad revelation when I asked one of my friends from the challenge to go for a walk. "I really can't, my house is a disaster."

That is just the tip of the iceberg. Mothers are overwhelmed with mom guilt all the time... and taking time be healthy and to stay fit is no exception. As a mother, you do whatever your children need first: feed them, laundry to clothe them, help them with homework... whatever million things your child needs each day. Next on our priority list is care of the significant other or household: take your dog to the vet, return library books, clean the house... and the million other things it takes to maintain your family.

This leaves time for mommy last, and most often neglected.

And that is ass backwards. My daughters need to know that taking care of yourself, mind, body and spirit IS important. It is VERY important. And a mommy staying active, fit and healthy does not need to exclude taking care of your children. I can include my children in my activities. They can talk a walk, go for a hike, hula hoop in the yard, visit a trampoline park... Staying active IS taking care of your children's needs.

My middle daughter pointed to the woods at my younger daughters soccer game, "Mom, there are trails back there, you can go in there and walk."

"That is great sweetie, but I am going to watch your sister play."

That was a proud moment for me. My little girl watched me getting outside and moving so often, that she tries to help me find adventures.

My daughters see me eating healthy and staying active every day. I can only hope that this stays with them and that they appreciate every hike we took, every time I chased them through a playground, every cartwheel I taught them to perfect.

I saw a great motivational quote recently, "Having children should not mean you don't have time to exercise. It means you should make time to exercise. Be a healthy role model."

I want to be a healthy role model.

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