Today as my special guest blogger I'm welcoming Jennifer from Real Clear Cool, who is sharing her inspirational story about becoming active, for her own health and for her children.
Sedentary Mom to Active Mom: Modelling Good Health Behaviours for my Kids
Here’s my truth: for most of my life I have been a very sedentary person. I was not born with any athletic ability. In my childhood, I preferred the company of my dolls and a good book over any type of sporting activity. In elementary and secondary school, I avoided team sports like the plague. My tendency has always been to be a rather bookish person, and I was quite happy being that person.
As I grew older, I noticed my weight start to increase. It was very gradual at first, but as I inched towards the age of forty, the pounds started to accumulate rather quickly. After losing my mother to an aggressive form of breast cancer, I had an epiphany. If I wanted to be around to see my kids grow up, I needed to pay attention to my health, and fast. The excess pounds are a major risk factor for breast cancer, and this was one of the main risk factors that I could control.
So at the age of forty, I decided to change my bad health ways. I hired a personal trainer to help guide me in the ways of fitness, in the safest way possible. I joined Weight Watchers and started to forgo my penchant for both fast food, and processed treats. Soon, I started to see my weight decline, and my waist line shrink. As of June 2013, I have lost 45 pounds, and many inches of body fat.
My kids have seen me start to monitor my food intake more carefully. I have had to be much more deliberate about what foods I eat, and in what quantities. I explain to them why I am limiting my intake of say, potato chips, and what it does to Mommy’s body when I eat all that junk food. Even though we still have all that food in the house, I deliberately avoid it, and my kids are starting to understand why. They know that junk food is only a “treat” for me, and I am trying to get them to see why those foods don’t need to be part of the picture as often. I keep sweet fruit in the house at all times, and as they see me eat it more frequently, I notice that they ask for it more frequently. Score!
If I want my kids to be healthy and active, then I too need to be healthy and active. As much as like to read books and watch television, I need to engage my body in some type of physical activity in order to maintain my new body shape. So, I have decided to change my identity from “sedentary mom” to “active mom”. I still don’t like participating in sports or any type of organized exercise activity, but I do my own type of exercise that suits my lifestyle. That includes walking my dog (briskly!), riding my bike and doing yoga in my bedroom.
My kids don’t need a lazy, unhealthy and obese mom. They need an active, engaged and healthy mom; my hope is that by seeing me engaging in healthy lifestyle choices, they will also adopt similar healthy behaviours. Even though physical exercise still doesn’t come to me all that naturally, by repetition I will gradually incorporate activity into my normal day-to-day routine. In so doing, I am hoping that my kids will do the same.
Thanks, Jennifer! Visit Real Clear Cool for more of Jennifer's health, fitness and weight loss stories, as well as product reviews/giveaways and more!