A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Serving as a healthy role model

on October 8, 2013

Last week, my two year old son grabbed my Sweaty Band headband from the dining table, put it on his head like I do to run and told me he was going “running outside”.

imageA) It is always funny to watch a two year old run (especially one in a bright orange headband with hearts on it, that he was wearing Rambo style on his forehead).

B) I was stunned to realize he pays that much attention to what I’m doing.

A big part of my motivation for starting this weight loss journey to help O avoid the health problems I’ve had due to my weight. He clearly naturally loves healthy foods and regularly turns down cake for fruit. His favorite foods are fruits of all kinds, shrimp, beans and yogurt. That is not to say that he doesn’t also like French fries and Reese’s PB cups – he absolutely does – but without a car or a job, he isn’t going to get those things unless I provide them and he is more than thrilled with the healthy things we do provide. It is really important that we take advantage of this window in his little life when he is naturally drawn to healthy foods and I have near complete control of the kinds of foods he eats. That also means I have near complete responsibility for the kinds of foods he eats. Thus, our overhaul of household menus and the kinds of places we eat out as a family. It doesn’t just make it easier for me to make healthy choices and maintain my weight loss – it makes it easier to show him how to make those healthy choices. We keep fruit in sight (and some of the less healthy splurges, like those PB cups, out of his sight) and have a garden for fresh veggies that he adores. He generally eats 1-2 of our tomatoes off the vine like apples before we can even get them inside!

We’ve also tried to incorporate more physical activity in our family time together. We got to the park or the zoo or play ball in the yard more than hanging out watching TV on the weekend so that A) he gets to burn some energy – crucial in avoiding toddler meltdowns and B) he learns that being active is a normal part of life. I love that he’s also noticing the dedicated exercise I do beyond our family activity. I love that my little guy sees me as a runner. I also loves when he comes to do downward dog with me when I’m stretching. 🙂

I know that food choices are going to get more difficult as he gets older, but I’m so glad that we have the chance to give him this good foundation. Knowing that we’re teaching him a healthy lifestyle by letting him see us make these choices helps keep me on track, just as much as the benefits of those choices offer me individually.

How do you incorporate your children in your running and healthy lifestyle choices?

I'm more likely to work on keeping him from grabbing and eating produce in the grocery store, than fighting over candy bars in the check out line, which is just a fantastic problem to have!

I’m more likely to work on keeping him from grabbing and eating produce in the grocery store, than fighting over candy bars in the check out line, which is just a fantastic problem to have!

5 responses to “Serving as a healthy role model

  1. leannenalani says:

    If I end up having kids, I want to be an excellent role model like you. Seriously, I wish I grew up like your son. Life would have been a lot easier and healthier!

    • I know! I love my parents and they raised me well, but my husband and I were both definitely raised on good Southern fried food. That still means comfort to us on a visceral level – we’re trying to program O’s palate a little differently, before he gets big enough and verbal enough to argue with us about it!

  2. […] the spirit of modeling active family life for our little guy, we went out Saturday afternoon to Fontanelle Forest, a local […]

  3. […] Reflecting on the importance of my healthy lifestyle in influencing my son […]

  4. […] thing, which you would think I would be excited by and normally I am. I love being a positive role model for him in that way. Instead, I felt a twinge of guilt at the time I spend away from him running. He […]

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