What Kind of Example Are You?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  22 comments   :  10,875 Views

What kind of examples did you have while growing up? Who were some people in your life that helped shape your habits and behaviors?

My grandfather was probably one of the largest influences in my life.  Maybe that’s because I was named after him? I will always admire my grandpa. He was a man of character.  He lived his life by working extremely hard, loving God and taking care of his family.  Grandpa set so many examples for me, just by the way he lived.  He knew that there were others watching, and he knew how to live his life by example.  I hope to live my life the same way.

As we move about in our daily lives, there are people watching. Some of those people may be none other than your children, your co-workers, and your family. Do you realize that everything we do, is helping to shape an ‘image’ of us based on what others see through our actions?  Here's a metaphor for you: Say you're in the car driving and there are very simple arrows painted on the road that tell you which lane can turn, go straight forward, etc.  You realize that you are about to miss your turn and so you decide to completely ignore those lines and turn right from the center lane, cutting off the driver next to you, which causes them to slam on their brakes, along with the multiple cars behind them. Instead of going around the block, it is easier for you to do what is convenient and not what is necessarily right. Or maybe you’re working on a project at work and you find a shortcut that doesn’t correct a problem permanently, but will work for the short term. That way it can be someone else’s problem later. What sort of example have you just set? What are you telling the world about how you live your life? 

These scenarios are very real situations and in my experience, those who take those short cuts or those who can’t follow a very simple arrow, will take a shortcut on many aspects of life. What kind of example are you setting?

I’ve been on this healthy living journey for over two years now and I’ve learned that there are people watching, from every angle it seems. Some of those people may be watching, hoping that I screw up. There are some who are watching just for the fun of watching the transformation. I know there are some watching to learn from my example.  ALL of these different groups help hold me accountable and I appreciate that very much. 

I often think to myself, what sort of an example was I setting for my children before my journey? I have many times wanted to get inside their heads and see what they thought of Dad, the man who slept all the time. We’ve all heard the phrase, “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree”, right? That is a very true statement when it comes to our health, just as it is with many other aspects of life. A friend told me a story just the other day about his buddy who was a football player in college. He stopped working out after graduation and very quickly gained a great deal of weight.This man was bragging to my friend that his three year old son could eat an entire three-piece chicken meal at KFC. His three-year-old son ate how much?  What sort of example is that man setting for his son?

I am working very hard to set the best possible example for my children as I possibly can.  I know they watch everything I do, every meal I eat with them, every workout I complete. They are paying attention.Thankfully, my oldest daughter isn’t afraid to call me out once in a while on my nutrition. Got to love her for that, right? 

Yes, there are people watching you. There are people watching and quite possibly judging everything you do. Friends, I encourage you to pay attention. Pay specific attention when your family is around.Your health matters! The health of your family matters

What kind of example are you setting for your family’s health?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See More: family, healthy living,
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
NEXT ENTRY >   Better than Storebought: Easy Homemade Salad Dressings


    That was great! Confirmed one of the very reasons I am on a quest not just to lose weight but for overall health overhaul. It's important to me that my 5 year old son picks up incredible habits from me that he can't get anywhere else. That will stay with him in his private moments when he is faced with a decision and it's not based on what his friends will think...Thank you! - 3/14/2012   12:30:33 AM
    I know that I am encouraged by others weight loss. Sparkpeople keeps me struggling along and know that I can come here and be inspired. - 3/9/2012   3:32:44 AM
    We forget that our daily actions influence so many people. Besides being a good example to others, it's important for our own selves to be aware of our values and follow them. It's when we are in synch with our values that we are our best. Thanks for such a great blog! - 3/7/2012   10:39:44 AM
  • 19
    Great article! It's something I am still working on every day. Loved how your grandfather set the example for you of loving the Lord! :) I am so blessed to be able to set that example for my children now, since I didn't have that growing up and it's been such an awesome change in our family!!!! - 3/6/2012   6:10:58 PM
  • 18
    A better example now than in the past, for sure. Some of the positive examples I did provide my kids were eating when hungry and not needing to clear a plate, walking to get places rather than depending on rides, and looking at labels and how food choices impact budget and health.

    Some of the negative examples were eating way more than a single portion, going back for seconds and thirds, and sitting in front of a computer for hours.

    Balance? =P - 3/6/2012   1:39:15 PM
  • BZ1005
    This reminder is a great motivator to do better...thank you! - 3/6/2012   1:11:59 PM
  • 16
    There's a saying that goes something like, "If you can't be a good example, at least be a good example of a bad example." I don't know if that makes sense, but it was funny when I heard it!

    I suspect with the activity level of your children, they were setting the example for you initially! - 3/6/2012   12:26:53 PM
    I think comments parents make "like "he/she is such a good eater" when they eat a lot ends up doing harm for a lot of children (and some adults.) It definitely implies that if you eat a lot, it's good. Not!! - 3/6/2012   11:14:24 AM
    When I am loose with my nutrition my daughter has this disapproving look and then will say to me, "I am not going to say anything, but she is saying something". I tell her I am going to do better. Sometimes it is a nice reminder, but other times I do not want to hear it!! - 3/6/2012   9:30:09 AM
  • 13
    I'm hopeful the changes we're making as a family stick with my kiddo - We are all overweight, but we're starting to log our food and we've joined the YMCA. We feel closer than ever and are glad we're making better choices. It's day-by-day that we get through! :) - 3/6/2012   9:07:12 AM
  • 12
    Every morning when I get up and work out, my son will sit on the couch and sometimes he will even critique my workouts lol. I have to say he is quite the expert when it comes to push ups! He is always saying, "Mom come on now, you can do it on your toes!" I have a hard time with that particular exercise. At least I know I am setting good examples. - 3/6/2012   8:15:17 AM
  • 11
    Thanks my friend. So very true. - 3/6/2012   7:54:52 AM
  • 10
    So very true the example we set for our children, not just in our health but also in our actions. I see examples of this everyday in the school setting. Parent's behaviors are imitated by their children. - 3/6/2012   6:34:35 AM
  • 9
    Scary to think that I'm being judged on everything I put in my mouth. I'm not always the best example, but my 'kids' are really adults now, and they make their own decisions.

    Becca315 - 3/6/2012   6:16:50 AM
  • 8
    My biggest regret is not doing this until my kids were grown. Hopefully I am now setting the example that it is never too late to get healthy. - 3/6/2012   5:28:09 AM
  • 7
    As I am just starting my journey, I am a work in progress and still struggle daily with what foods I eat.

    I hope to become the best example that my kids could ever have and thank the Lord everyday that they have their Dad's body type and not mine.

    As for my smart-mouth-ness, that is a whole other subject that I need to work on and hope my kids don't call me out on!

    As for the person that influenced me when I was growing up, that would most definitely be my mother. She was the most positive person I ever knew, even when things for her were tough, she would still be smiling. I will never forget her smile. And I am using her example to help me get through my own transformation. - 3/6/2012   1:37:25 AM
    I had to kind of laugh about the part if you are working on a project and you have a choice of taking longer and doing it right, or doing something that will work in the short term, but could cause problems later. It seems like in business today no one want to pay for the "right" way of doing things. We are constantly being told to work on "tactical" (i.e. short term) solutions, because there isn't enough money to do things "strategically" (i.e. the correct, long term solution). Management has to get their bonuses!! - 3/6/2012   12:34:53 AM
  • 5
    This article reminded me of David Hasselhoff's daughter videotaping him when he was drunk and eating a hamburger. We do want to be good examples to our children. Also I like the saying that "Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking." - 3/6/2012   12:29:02 AM
  • 4
    Probably not a good example but I am trying - I am trying to get my boy to quit smoking as I know its not good for him. I know he can do it if he wants to. - 3/5/2012   11:52:31 PM
  • 3
    /i am an excellent example for my family to follow
    - 3/5/2012   11:35:38 PM
  • 2
    Now, It's a good example, but as my children were growing up - not so good. Thankfully, even though they are not at home with me, they ARE still seeing,learning and following. I was afraid I made my lifestyle change too late to set the example for them. But maybe they actually are able to see and compare - what mom looked like and was able to do pre healthy lifestyle and now. A huge difference in a positive way! - 3/5/2012   10:53:49 PM
  • 1
    I really enjoyed this article. Thank you. - 3/5/2012   10:49:13 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›