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I spent the majority of my adolescence and early adulthood morbidly obese, inactive, and very very out of shape. I'm 31 now, with two small kids, sit on my butt 50 hours a week editing for a worldwide publishing company and am in the best shape of my life. Of course, I love what I do for fitness (CrossFit) and it has changed my life, but the reality is that there's no "magic pill" for weight loss, health, and fitness. It's about trying new things, failing, trying again, failing better, trying again.

Part of what made me decide to finally be the victor in the battle was my kids. How can I expect my daughter to grow up with a strong sense of self-worth and understanding of what a healthy woman is if I don't SHOW her? How can I expect my son to learn to cook healthy food for himself if I don't TEACH him what healthy food is?

I know we all have excuses: we're tired, we're too out of shape, we're broke, etc. But there's a whole lot you could do to show your kids that health and wellness is important without much time or money. We only have one life - one body - and if we don't fuel it well and work it properly, it will fail. That's the lesson I want my children to learn. Not to be skinny. Not to be buff. But to be healthy and fit and with that, happy.

So I take my daughter with me to my Crossfit gym in the afternoons. She watches me deadlift 265 pounds, swing a 55-pound kettlebell over my head, do pullups, pushups, push-press heavy weights over my head. Kids see and understand way more than we give them credit for. She sees me being a strong woman and, in turn, wants to be one too.

I'm not saying you need to do the things I choose to do - everyone's fitness passion and goals are their own - but doing something, anything, shows your children that you care about your body. And that's a gift that will have lifelong benefits.

Maybe you could do a workout DVD or an on-demand video with your toddler using soup cans. Or when you see a big hill on your walk, offer to race them to the top. What if you climbed the monkey bars with them?

For all of us who has a kid who's repeated a naughty word at just the right time, we all know that our kids watch us. They are the ultimate mimics. The best way to teach them that being healthy and fit is important is to work for it yourself and get them involved. The same goes for any negative self-talk. In our house "fat" and "skinny" are bad words. We don't use them to describe people, especially ourselves. I want my children's sense of self-worth to come from who they are as people and their accomplishments,  so we try very hard not to use those kinds of labels.

What are some ways - no matter your budget or life situation - that you focus on health and fitness and get your kids involved? What more would you like to do? Are you cognizant about how you speak about yourself and your body around your children, especially your daughters?

by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
MamaMandee
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

The Just Dance games (for Wii & Xbox) are such a fun work out to do with your kids ....and best part is because it is so much fun no one realizes (including yourself) what a great work out until you are done & feel it! 

Wish2Be
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM

 

Quoting dusky_rose:

What a great article! I like to do my Wii Fit exercises, but right now I have been slacking. I need to get back on track. I also like to go on walks with my youngest son. I am planning on getting a Wii Fit Balance board for my youngest dd (she lives with her dad), because she wants to exercise more and I want to encourage her to do so. Her birthday is in April, so that is what she is getting for her birthday this year.

 I sooo want to get a balance board for my neices, but they are sooooooo expensive.

CafeMom Tickers
copperswifey
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

My daughter told me my stomach is getting big like dada's. I think that is the sign I need to start working out again. lol Kids don't lie lol We usually dance around. When I used to do my workout dvd's my 4 and 2 year old would do it with me or try to lol  I'm always calling myself fat. I guess I should try and watch that as my girls get older. I never though about how stuff like that can impact their image about themselves. :)

Wish2Be
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:04 PM

 

Quoting MamaMandee:

The Just Dance games (for Wii & Xbox) are such a fun work out to do with your kids ....and best part is because it is so much fun no one realizes (including yourself) what a great work out until you are done & feel it! 

 My neice is 9 and over weight , so my sister got a bunch of dance xbox games...and in a month my neice lost 10 lbs. I am sooo happy !

CafeMom Tickers
MamaMandee
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM


Quoting Wish2Be:

 

Quoting MamaMandee:

The Just Dance games (for Wii & Xbox) are such a fun work out to do with your kids ....and best part is because it is so much fun no one realizes (including yourself) what a great work out until you are done & feel it! 

 My neice is 9 and over weight , so my sister got a bunch of dance xbox games...and in a month my neice lost 10 lbs. I am sooo happy !

That's awesome!! I tell everyone how great it is all the time!! 

Wish2Be
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

 It helps especially since Florida is soo hot....its not inticing for out door play when its 100 degrees outside, so they still get active in the air conditioning.

Quoting MamaMandee:


Quoting Wish2Be:

 

Quoting MamaMandee:

The Just Dance games (for Wii & Xbox) are such a fun work out to do with your kids ....and best part is because it is so much fun no one realizes (including yourself) what a great work out until you are done & feel it! 

 My neice is 9 and over weight , so my sister got a bunch of dance xbox games...and in a month my neice lost 10 lbs. I am sooo happy !

That's awesome!! I tell everyone how great it is all the time!! 

 

CafeMom Tickers
MamaMandee
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Oh yeah!! 

Quoting Wish2Be:

 It helps especially since Florida is soo hot....its not inticing for out door play when its 100 degrees outside, so they still get active in the air conditioning.

Quoting MamaMandee:


Quoting Wish2Be:

 

Quoting MamaMandee:

The Just Dance games (for Wii & Xbox) are such a fun work out to do with your kids ....and best part is because it is so much fun no one realizes (including yourself) what a great work out until you are done & feel it! 

 My neice is 9 and over weight , so my sister got a bunch of dance xbox games...and in a month my neice lost 10 lbs. I am sooo happy !

That's awesome!! I tell everyone how great it is all the time!! 

 


dusky_rose
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I know what you mean! So I'm getting a used one at Game Stop (I hope). They are only $40 preowned.

Quoting Wish2Be:

 

Quoting dusky_rose:

What a great article! I like to do my Wii Fit exercises, but right now I have been slacking. I need to get back on track. I also like to go on walks with my youngest son. I am planning on getting a Wii Fit Balance board for my youngest dd (she lives with her dad), because she wants to exercise more and I want to encourage her to do so. Her birthday is in April, so that is what she is getting for her birthday this year.

 I sooo want to get a balance board for my neices, but they are sooooooo expensive.



I'm thankful for a hubby that loves me, 4 healthy children, a warm
place to sleep and enough food for our meals... God bless America!

Madelaine
by Member on Mar. 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

we love walking!

Kmakksmom
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 7:25 PM

We have a Wii and an Xbox 360 with quite a few fitness "games".  We also love to take walks.  I would love to be able to go to a gym but the costs for memberships around here are crazy.  I am aware of how I talk about myself when I'm around my kids.

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