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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 (31-40):
millerbunch
by on Mar. 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM

i would love a membership also, but i too hate the prices.

Quoting Kmakksmom:

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.


MamaMandee
by on Mar. 31, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I even love it! 

Quoting millerbunch:

my kids love that game..

i have seen them play it at friends houses.. i would love to get it for the Wii.

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! 



splatz
by Sarah on Mar. 31, 2012 at 7:47 PM

I need to do way more. Now that the weather is nice we will go back on our daily walks. Before we used to walk at least an hour once a day, sometimes twice.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

We do a lot of walking.  Around the neighborhood,  through parking lots,  playing catch outside.

KristinRox
by Member on Mar. 31, 2012 at 9:20 PM

I have also used soup cans. It works well. 

Quoting amy7243:

We like to go on walks together. I have used soup cans during dvd workout


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KristinRox
by Member on Mar. 31, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Walking is something we do a lot of as well. Especially when the weather gets nice. 

Quoting Bmat:

We do a lot of walking.  Around the neighborhood,  through parking lots,  playing catch outside.


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KristinRox
by Member on Mar. 31, 2012 at 9:24 PM

This is very true. Kids mimic what people around them do. 

Quoting suziejax:

they see me drink more water and eat more veggies to and I have them do it,,, it worksbetter when I live it in front of them ,,, keeping it real lol


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KristinRox
by Member on Mar. 31, 2012 at 9:26 PM

I love just dance.. the kids and I laugh so hard when we play that game. 

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! 


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Wish2Be
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM

 I was thinking about getting an attachment for my bike that DS could ride in, but I think he is too big for that now...I also think those attachments are way too expensive. If I could rent one I would soo give that a try !

Leelee1008
by Member on Apr. 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I plan on cutting back on the soda intake and junk food, not completely because going cold turkey I will fail alot faster. Add in more walks. we are also planning on joining the Y very soon, So I will be going there.

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