LDRICHEL   50,581
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Difficult Choices and Healthy Balance

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So, I finally picked up "The Triathlete's Training Bible" by Joe Friel (which has been sitting on my night stand for a few weeks now). Truth be told, I hadn't even glanced at it because I felt a) overwhelmed by the wealth of information within b) a little bit unworthy to call myself a real triathlete and read a real book about training for said sport and c) a little prideful that I already had a good workout plan and system going for me. I reasoned I could pick up that book when race season comes around again and I actually need specific tips on certain aspects of racing.

After my annoying dizziness episode and two days of headache, I decided that enough was enough. I obviously have miscalculated something and I NEED help figuring out how to balance my training with my diet. Also, I need to know the truth about where weight loss fits into all of this...and, sadly, I have heard from more than one very credible source that it doesn't.

The book starts out with a quote that is pretty darn appropriate right now for me.

"Many dedicated endurance athletes don't need to be told what to do - they need to be told what not to do." - Scott Tinley, Professional Triathlete

I only got through one chapter before my eyes refused to open again. But, I will tell you right now that this first chapter (Chapter 1 Smart Training) touched on every single issue I've been having lately. It was as if the author had been watching my past month of effort and knew exactly what to correct. Crazy! It kind of makes me think I'm not the first overzealous brand new triathlete to hit the circuit and that brings me a small level of comfort. Haha.

In general, the entire first chapter discussed the fact that multisport training is like a puzzle, with the swim, bike and run training being the individual pieces (along with diet, rest and recovery and a few other pieces)....and the athlete's ultimate racing goals/desires being the overall picture. Just as you wouldn't attempt a 5,000 piece puzzle willy nilly without a specific plan of attack, you can't expect to train for triathlon without a detailed and focused plan.

The key to this chapter was that a training philosophy of emphasizing the least amount of the most specific training brings continual improvement. There was also quite a bit of information about moderation and rest.

Even with the details all worked out, an athlete must always keep the big picture in mind and stay focused on what they are working toward. So...what am I working toward? It hit me that this is what my friend meant at lunch the other day...what do I WANT?

Clearly, I am at a point where I need to make a choice between whether I want to focus on losing weight or focus on training. But I can't do both and expect my body to be at it's peak performance. I hate to admit this (but it's certainly no surprise to anyone) but my eyes were finally opened to the fact that I've been overtraining. I hate that. It's not like tons of my friends haven't been telling me this and I haven't been ignoring them completely. I don't know why it's so embarrassing to admit, but it just is. Also, I really love what I'm doing...so it's kind of tough to think about limiting or pulling back. But, there again, it's the BIG PICTURE that needs to be in my mind if I'm going to do this right.

Choosing between training and weight loss is something I have been avoiding...because I just didn't want to face this truth. I don't want to make that choice. However, it's a choice between two healthy options - lose weight or train for tri. I mean...that's a pretty sweet dilemma to have, as far as dilemmas go. Let's keep things in perspective here! My dilemma USED to be 3 Hard Shell Taco Supremes or a Mexican Pizza? And we all know the answer to that one, right? ALL OF THEM. Haha.

Seriously, though...you expect training to be hard work. You expect weight loss to be hard work. But you don't expect the hard work to come in the form of forcing yourself to exercise less or making a choice between two healthy options to find the MOST healthy for your own body.

So, I'm taking some rest time...because my body really needs some recovery time. I have ONE workout planned for this week...a spinning class on Thursday night that my friend already paid for so I'm going. For the rest of the week, I'm laying low, babying this ankle, eating as much as my body tells me it needs and sleeping as much as I can. As for my 10k this Saturday, we'll see how my ankle feels. If I can't run it, I'll walk it. If I can't walk it, I'll quit. A 10k race is not worth losing any momentum I could use toward my half marathon in 3 weeks. Although I realize this may be stupid, I AM running my half. It's the pinnacle of everything I've done this entire season and I will not quit that. Call me a stubborn ass, but that's just the choice I've made. I don't expect a fast time at all. And I'm fine with walking most of the half if I need to as well. But I will finish that one. If it takes me 5 hours, I will do it.

We all make our own choices. Some are wise. Some are risks. With everything, there's a balance. A balance of fitness and rest. A balance of smart and stupid. A balance of safety and risk. And we're all learning every day where that balance is for our own bodies.

Even facing difficult choices, I am so happy with where I am at right now. I wouldn't trade this new life for anything. In comparison to where I was last year, this is like paradise. To actually CARE about my body and think about what is best for it is kind of a new thing for me. All beginnings are rocky. But there will be a smooth path eventually. I have to believe that right now. It's really the only thing that keeps me moving.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEMT 11/4/2012 3:21PM

    I hope those that read you regularly and have had the same dilemma read and understood what you said. You can lead a horse to water but sometimes they don't see themselves in that same situation. I am so glad I finally got to read this blog. You still rock girl! WooHoo to you!

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TRACYNOTGIVINUP 10/4/2012 6:52AM

    Leah its it something amazing that you have come to a point that youre having dreams bigger than just losing weight which a year ago was prolly your biggest dream not even realizing there were other dreams inside you? It was a strange feeling when I got to the point that I didn't care if I lost anymore and was more interested in focussing on running.

Your dreams continue to inspire me to dream bigger and reach for any goal I find that may interest me.

We are all here to cheer you on as you reach for your goals.

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WHITNEYLD 10/4/2012 4:38AM

    emoticon

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FIRECOM 10/3/2012 11:15AM

    Just the word "triathalete" makes me dizzy. Very good blog and I thank you.

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ONCEASANDBROOK 10/2/2012 11:05AM

    I'm so glad to have found this entry! I'm really at the beginning of things, but it's really because I've overtrained in the past and have felt weight loss *and* training slip through my fingers. I have to remind myself that it's going to be a journey, and that committing long term may mean taking things slow and being good to myself. I hope that next year, I'll be in your shoes now!

Good luck with your ankle, your 10k, and your newfound clarity! I'll be following along. :)

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SLENDERELLA61 10/1/2012 5:38PM

    Best wishes for finding the right balance for you! Great blog. Absolutely deserving of the Popular Blog Award. Good going. And I appreciate your attitude, too. I'll be achieving my first HM on Nov 18. I expect to run most of it, but I'll walk if I need to, just as you suggest. -Marsha

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SHAZG321 9/30/2012 2:54PM

    WELL DONE! GOOD WORK

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LYNSEYS06 9/30/2012 10:36AM

    I enjoyed this blog very much! emoticon

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HEARTSTOPPER 9/29/2012 5:30PM

   
Good luck!



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THESLIMMERME1 9/29/2012 2:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon that you have a new perspective of things - emoticon emoticon

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MOTIVACTION2 9/28/2012 10:18PM

    Good luck!

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NESARIAN 9/28/2012 9:58PM

    You've come along way, baby! It has been fun to watch your growth during your process. emoticon

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THEIS58 9/28/2012 3:27PM

    So right. Thanks for sharing this. I learned this the hard way too.

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EARTHTONED84 9/28/2012 11:41AM

    Wonderful blog! What you discussed here is what I have been wondering...if it is possible to train seriously for a tri AND lose weight. Thank you for this earnest blog and I will definitely go and get that book to take a peek too. I think I will be making this same kind of decision very soon. I hope your spinning class went well too!!

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SLFGOLF 9/28/2012 1:02AM

    Great blog! I'm sure it wasn't easy to face, but in all things - moderation, even training and exercise. The rest will do you good.

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KARRENLYNN 9/28/2012 1:00AM

    Thanks for sharing, sounds like you have the right attitude. Good Luck





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SHADOWROSE45 9/27/2012 10:54PM

    Good attitude

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NKOUAMI26 9/27/2012 10:46PM

    Rest is always good.Good luck
emoticon emoticon

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KAPELAKIN 9/27/2012 8:39PM

    As Nigel Tufnel says "It's such a fine line between clever and stupid, isn't it?" Same with training! FWIW, Slow Carb has allowed me to train and lose at the same time, so it's not impossible, at least at the HM level.

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JSTETSER 9/27/2012 4:36PM

    You are so right about balance!

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KRISTENMBATT 9/27/2012 3:16PM

    Yes, that is definitely a much better dilemma than the taco or mexican pizza dilemma! Ha ha! It's awesome to see how far you have come!

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LAURA123BB 9/27/2012 2:26PM

  emoticon

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MNWILDCIN 9/27/2012 12:47PM

    Thanks for sharing!
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AMARILYNH 9/27/2012 12:47PM

    No need to be embarrassed - over training becomes to most runners sooner or later. If you happen to be a type A it will almost certainly be sooner. Best of luck to you with the half marathon - stay safe!!

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 9/27/2012 12:15PM

    It is difficult to balance rest with activity. I have a personal struggle with this. Thank you for sharing such important insights. emoticon emoticon

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MYBABYGIRLS 9/27/2012 11:53AM

    Great attitude, great thinking! Keep moving forward! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 9/27/2012 11:50AM

  It looks like you have a very clear view of your situation and are now enabled to make the best choices for you - congratulations! I wish you the very best on you half marathon.

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COACHMOMMY 9/27/2012 11:25AM

    I was going to comment on your weight loss dilemma before, but since I'm no expert on weight loss or exercise, I decided not to. After I read this blog, I just wanted to give you some encouragement! I lost 46 lbs. in 7 months almost 2 years ago and have been maintaining (mostly!). The only exercise I did while loosing was walking about 3 miles, 2-3 times a week (and an occasional long hike). I started a C25K training class after I had lost the weight and then started running pretty regularly after that (certainly not at your level, but 3-4 miles). I didn't loose much after that, but I'm positive that running was my "key to maintenance". It's still my main form of cardio!

So keep up the good work!

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DOTTY7267 9/27/2012 11:03AM

    Thank you - I had to learn the hard way as well, when I trained for my first 1/2 marathon.

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SANDYCRANE 9/27/2012 9:51AM

    Great blog, a real eye opener. emoticon

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FARIS71 9/27/2012 9:34AM

    As usual you rock. I am training for a half in Decmeber and need to keep in mind the balance needed to do that. I sometimes wonder if I will ever be satisfied - like once the half is done, what next? Will there always need to be a what next? I know it's important to have things to work toward, but will I be able to work toward maintenance? And you're right - these are awesome questions to be pondering instead of what super sized value meal I want. emoticon

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JLEMUS1 9/27/2012 8:29AM

    The ying and yang...balance is a good thing!!

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1935MARY 9/27/2012 8:08AM

    Great job. You are right. you have to find the balance in everything, emoticon for it to work.Instead of calling it quits on running the race, sit it aside for now . Maybe later down the road it too will become a part of your balance.

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BLOOMING52 9/27/2012 7:55AM

    Thank you.

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AJB121299 9/27/2012 7:40AM

    good job

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LYNNIERN 9/27/2012 7:40AM

    emoticon

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JO28352 9/27/2012 7:37AM

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you've reached the right decisions for yourself and your body. emoticon

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MANILUS 9/27/2012 6:54AM

    You have found the wisdom that comes from a rare place, training OR losing weight are the options.I learned that one the hard way!

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TRYINGHARD54 9/27/2012 6:00AM

    emoticon

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 9/27/2012 4:47AM

    emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 9/26/2012 10:07PM

    Sounds like someone has really received some well earned wisdom. Good for you. Thanks for the inspiration

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MIDROAD 9/26/2012 11:48AM

    I just love your blogs. You write so well! Thanks for inspiring us all!

Blessings to you and yours,
Jeannie

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CZEIDMAN 9/26/2012 10:51AM

  Those are very tough choices. Hoping that your ankle holds up.

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REGILIEH 9/26/2012 10:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 9/26/2012 8:05AM

    It seems that you have weighed your options and are making the best decision you can for you, your body and your health. Kudos to you! emoticon

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CLUMBOY 9/26/2012 7:13AM

    excellent thoughts. think of how much your mind has developed on this journey. very inspiring.

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MCFERRET 9/26/2012 6:38AM

    It sounds like you have done your research and are making good choices for YOU! WTG! Keep listening to your body and stay strong.

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JMARIES51 9/26/2012 12:51AM

    I was so happy to read your blog today. When you were talking about the dizziness, I was really wondering if you were over training or under eating. There can be so many reasons for a person to feel dizzy so I hope you find the right balance, and I am sure you will end up stronger physically and losing weight, all at the same time.

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COCK-ROBIN 9/25/2012 11:36PM

    I'm glad for you! And that book sounds good. Go for it!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/25/2012 11:31PM

    I was overtraining in the summer (and not eating enough!) and I wasn't losing weight that had crept up on me so I started upping my calorie range and eating more protein (thanks to you!) and I started to lose again. I think that you have to give your body enough fuel to have the most efficient machine working for you.

In the past month, I took a necessary break from training for races and I've lost a few more pounds, have been maintaining my weight fairly easily. Running for me gives me a goal, gives me motivation to improve. It is a balance to find how to fuel your body and your workouts, and lose weight... I lost the bulk of my weight before I found running so I don't know from personal experience... But I think that you're doing the right thing, listening to your body and friends and if something isn't working, change it. Experiment. Try new things. Eat more protein, eat less protein, drink more water. See what works. Find the balance.


Comment edited on: 9/25/2012 11:35:23 PM

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Fort4Fitness THIS WEEKEND!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am SO tired today. I am SO hungry today. I don't know, guys...this training/diet mix is so difficult to figure out. I did all the math and I know what SparkPeople tells me I need to eat daily to meet my weight loss goals. But then there is this whole other world of hunger when you are burning 5,000 calories per week with endurance sports. I've had headaches and been dizzy (yesterday, walking with my sister and my niece, I almost fell over on the trail because a spell of dizziness hit me). My hunch is...I need to eat more. Quite honestly, at this point, the exhaustion and headaches are so annoying, I am almost OK with maintaining my weight for awhile if it means I can FEEL better.

So, as I was laying around lethargically trying to figure out how I'd make it a whole other 1.5 hours to my kids' bedtimes, I suddenly was jolted awake because I remembered....

IN FOUR DAYS, I GET TO GO TO FORT WAYNE AND MEET MY SPARKPEEPS!!!!!

My lovely roommates this weekend will be:

RUNFOR3POINT1 (the artist formerly known as MOM2IAN)



SNEVIL1



ABSOLUTZER0



I can't even tell you how excited I am right now. All three of these are so dear to me and we've never even met face to face. Just kept in touch via SP, text and e-mail. You'd think I'd be nervous to "meet new people", but I don't think it will feel that way at all. It will be like a bunch of old friends that haven't seen each other for awhile.

I'm also pretty excited because it's my first race longer than 5k. Right this very moment, I'm nervous because I'm currently back in the boot (merely a self-imposed cautionary measure...NOT doctor ordered). Something is wrong with my ankle again...but what the hell is new? I'm actually getting pretty damn sick of this crap. But...just a bit longer and I can work on getting into perfect shape.

So excited so excited so excited!!!!!!!!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERSYLPH 8/26/2013 11:39AM

    emoticon

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ADAPTINGANNIE 6/11/2013 9:29AM

    Thanks for sharing. Hope that "getting into perfect shape" is happening. Sounds like you are very goal-oriented. emoticon

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FRABBIT 12/7/2012 4:21PM

  great blog!

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GOSPARK45 10/17/2012 5:06PM

    You have to sometimes tell SP how much you are exercising. Go to your fitness tracker page, then click on Fitness Setup near the top of the page. Then fill in your weekly fitness minutes. Now it should adjust your calories to give you enough energy for your workouts.
Hope this helps. I had to do this twice so far.

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MISSLISA1973 10/15/2012 7:04AM

    Sorry I missed it... how did you do?

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FATHINSN 10/10/2012 6:55PM

    Awesome! I hope you had great fun there :D (by the time I post this, you probably already post another blog about the trip and meeting the SP buddies, hehe)

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FIT4MEIN2013 10/9/2012 9:38PM

    Have a great time!

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DEBLYNN323 10/8/2012 10:54AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FIREFLY_MEDIC 10/1/2012 12:42AM

    have fun

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JADE465 9/30/2012 12:48PM

    This is a pretty awesome blog.

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35ANGELS 9/29/2012 11:16PM

    I'm sure you will do emoticon

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DEFININGMYSELF 9/29/2012 5:44PM

  When you are burning that many calories exercising, you need plenty of good fuel. I had the same situation once. I felt so weak that you probably could have knocked me over with a feather. More good fuel was my answer. Hopefully it will be yours too. Have fun this weekend.

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HEATHER3477 9/29/2012 11:42AM

    emoticon

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NELLBELLA26 9/28/2012 9:20PM

    That's pretty awesome! Spark love! Have a great time! emoticon

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RUNGRL2013 9/28/2012 1:40PM

    emoticon for the race--enjoy! Please watch for dizziness, headaches, etc-- these are messages from your body that must be paid attention to. You're a winner no matter what emoticon !!!

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GODDREAMDIVA1 9/28/2012 10:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HHB4181 9/28/2012 9:45AM

    emoticon

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SPARKL3 9/28/2012 8:53AM

    Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait!!!! emoticon

See you soon!!! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 9/28/2012 5:30AM

    emoticon What an honor to have your blog featured in the Spark Mail. emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 9/27/2012 9:42PM

    Maybe you should re-evaluate your eating plan. You may not be getting the proper foods for your exercise program. I find that my diet is constantly changing according to my activities and I have been doing fairly well with this. Not eat enough is the worse thing you can do for yourself

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EOWYNRUSS 9/27/2012 8:24PM

    Boy, do I know what you mean. I practice judo. Judo is a killer workout, it's aerobic exercise and builds muscle. However, when the workout is over, I am so huungry I feel like I could eat an entire cow. Same thing happens when I am just working out doing cardio and strength training every day. The hunger is insane. I am ravenous all the time. What I do (and this may or may not work for you) is protein load to combat this. I eat my normal calories, then add some extra of pure protein. Maybe an extra helping of meat or soy, an extra egg at breakfast, even cheese or greek yogurt help. I think you are right, your body needs more calories. Give yourself an extra allowance of maybe 100 a day, then 200 a day, etc. Until you find a calorie amount that works and still allows you to lose weight. Good luck.

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LEEKA5 9/27/2012 4:02PM

    Listen to your body, it sounds like it's desperately trying to get your attention. Would it be so bad to maintain for a little bit and settle everything down before you go downward again? You have, after all, the rest of your life to do this and live life at the same time, but it won't do to derail yourself at this point.

You know your body better than anybody else - what's it telling you?

Otherwise, have a good trip and visit with your sparkpeeps. I hope your ankle holds out for you.
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NEWTINK 9/27/2012 9:24AM

    Sorry for your recurring ankle issues ... I think you will have a wonderful weekend and remember that if your diet plan is causing health issues it is time to change diet plans. It wont do you any good to be sick and tired all the time. emoticon emoticon

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SLFGOLF 9/27/2012 1:03AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun! Enjoy!!

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WINNIE-POOH 9/27/2012 1:00AM

    emoticon Enjoy!

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AJB121299 9/26/2012 10:40PM

    enjoy

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HHOLT6 9/26/2012 9:40PM

    Alright! Sounds like fun! emoticon

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CAROL494 9/26/2012 8:57PM

  Take care! Have a great time.

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MAMA_CD 9/26/2012 7:02PM

    Hope you're all better soon

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STUFFNEARTABOR 9/26/2012 6:52PM

    Congrats & have fun!

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MOUSE39 9/26/2012 6:47PM

    Have fun in the Fort! I grew up there and miss it most of the time.

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MYBABYGIRLS 9/26/2012 6:22PM

    must be exciting to be meeting your spark friends! emoticon

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ONEATATIME3 9/26/2012 6:15PM

  have fun! emoticon



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SH9719 9/26/2012 6:00PM

    I had a similar weakness spell last night after 2 hours of hard workout and probably not enough fuel since breakfast. I ate a quick turkey burger and hummus on a small pita to get some carbs in my system. I felt a lot better after that and was able to finish the day with a 1.75 mile walk with the dogs. (Their request not mine.) I was hoping I could get my son to do the duties, but no his boss was taking them out to a $100 a plate tasters dinner the night before they left for Hawaii on businesss. So I walked the dog and finished the day eating corn on the cob and blueberries in greek yogurt. There is not justice.



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EVERYBITE37 9/26/2012 5:37PM

  Cool blog!!! Hang in there.!!! Hope you have fun in 4 days!!

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OPENESS 9/26/2012 4:44PM

  I hurt my knee last Friday and missed three days of exercise. Was back up and did a lesser version this am...we all need to respect our bodies emoticon

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PMFISH 9/26/2012 4:24PM

    I have found I great horrific migraine headaches if my back is out of alignment. I see my chiropractor and receive immediate relief with an adjustment. Enjoy your visit with your peeps and hope you feel better soon.

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DIETER27 9/26/2012 3:26PM

  Hang in there and have a wonderful time with your spark friends.

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SERASARA 9/26/2012 3:12PM

  emoticon emoticon

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ORODEO73 9/26/2012 1:33PM

    sounds like lots of fun. Have a good safe time

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CICELY360 9/26/2012 1:29PM

  Good Blog

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SPEEDY143 9/26/2012 1:06PM

    emoticon have fun!!!

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TRACYNOTGIVINUP 9/26/2012 1:04PM

    I think listening to your body is a good idea and the dizziness is prolly due to needing more fuel. I am so excited for and jealous of your meeting sparklers! I hope you all have a great time and easy on your ankle!

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NKOUAMI26 9/26/2012 12:24PM

    Good for you! Have a wonderful weekend

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DOTTY7267 9/26/2012 11:18AM

    You'll do great! Enjoy your run.

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JO28352 9/26/2012 11:14AM

    With the weekend just ahead, hopefully that will help you get through the "now". Hang in there and have a wonderful time with SP friends!!! emoticon

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RUFFIT 9/26/2012 10:09AM

    Have fun!! Moni

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 9/26/2012 9:49AM

    I'm not sure how long it takes for SP to re-adjust your cals. I've seen my ranges go up as I exercise more. Maybe go to the main message boards with your questions. The answers are sure to benefit many.

Have a sparkling day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LICHAL 9/26/2012 9:39AM

  congrats! sounds like fun!

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VOLLEYGIRL77 9/26/2012 9:31AM

    That sounds exciting!

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My Weekend In Facebook Statuses

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In case you didn't know, I'm extremely Facebook active. Thought it might be fun for you to see my weekend, solely through Facebook statuses:

SATURDAY

ZOMG, you guys!!! Ran 6.05 miles this morning with no ankle issues at all! Now...tapering for Fort 4 Fitness next Saturday. WOO!

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Happy 10th birthday, Anika! You have been a diva from the moment you were born. You always loved to sparkle and you still do. But now you have also found your strength and are learning to believe in yourself. You are not only drop dead gorgeous, but you have the most empathetic heart. You are fabulous and you love others. You love to learn and you love to teach. What an amazing young lady you are!

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It is ridiculously beautiful outside today!!!! Also, I'll be honest...I have never been SO thrilled to go into a taper week. This old body is, frankly, exhausted. Been working so hard...definitely going to enjoy this little break.

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Counting down the hours till I can lay down and go to sleep (5). Also counting down the days to Deep Tissue/Sports massage in Austin (25).

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Good thing I've got like 500 calories left cause I'm about to destroy this rainbow birthday cake! ;)

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Up at 6:30am on Saturday to run 6 miles. Up at 6:30am Sunday to bike 12 miles. This is getting ridiculous...who the hell is this crazy lady that has taken up residence in my body????

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Best part of having a spa/makeover birthday slumber party? Getting to tell young girls that they are stunningly beautiful and definitely as pretty as a supermodel. ♥

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OK, I absolutely can't wait 3 weeks. I am DESPERATE for a decent sports massage and I need it soon. So that means it has to be cheap. Like $30-$40. Please tell me this is possible. Someone. Please.

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SUNDAY

Awww no bike ride today. Running buddy wasn't feeling well. It's ok with me. I declare today a REST DAY..........except for hiking. heheheheh

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Alright....so this is how it's gonna be, huh??? One great run, then a week or two of recovery, icing, non-weight bearing and supplemental workouts of swim and bike to stay conditioned?

OK, fine. It's not the most desirable training plan and not your traditional half marathon prep...but there are a mere 3 weeks left and then I can completely revamp my entire training strategy, building in as much time as necessary for complete healing and weight loss.

Not the way I envisioned this racing season going...but I'll take what I can get. One thing is for sure...when I cross that finish line on October 20th, I might possibly be in a world of hurt...but it will be my greatest physical accomplishment of all time.

Until next year. ;)

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Skyped with my Dad tonight. Just heartbreaking. The man needs a hug but there is no one to give him one. He's never been so vulnerable with me and it kind of tears up my insides. It's an awful thing to grow old and find that you are going to probably die alone. I had a sudden moment of thankfulness for Scott Drichel and it hit me...THIS is why you work hard to save a marriage. Because, no matter how hard it is now...when you're 67 and the kids are grown up...who will be by your side then? Wow.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRYSTALLA 9/24/2012 11:45PM

    Nice posts.

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KIPPER15 9/24/2012 9:14PM

    good posts emoticon

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DONNA5281 9/24/2012 3:25PM

 

I love what you wrote! Good luck on your half marathon.

So, sorry to hear about your dad.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KBRADFORD88 9/24/2012 2:37PM

    I too have become a facebook addict. Is there a recovery program? emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 9/24/2012 1:22PM

    You are a really fun and funny person, and serious too... and seeing all of that in this post is like you have opened real self to me! I love the slumber party post, and I feel deep sadness for your dad. Mostly, I feel like you are someone I'd like in real life! Have a GREAT day!

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ON2VICTORY 9/24/2012 1:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNRAYRAYRUN 9/24/2012 12:29PM

    You've had a busy weekend! Keep up the good work. Hope you do well on your half marathon!

Sorry about your dad..that's one thing I fear when I get old, being alone. I visit alot of older ladies in my church that are widows, I even have a dear friend who just turned 90 and living alone! I'm working on my relationship with my son now so later in life I won't regret it.

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GUITARWOMAN 9/24/2012 12:23PM

    Creative perspective!

You are so right about your marriage! It is a hard world out there and not one should be alone.

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MANDERS1105 9/24/2012 11:00AM

    This is awesome. It's funny how we can literally describe our life/day in small blubs like that!


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LINDAKAY228 9/24/2012 10:30AM

    Great posts! I understand what you mean about your dad. My ex husband and I divorced in 1989. In recent years we've become friends, although by no means best friends. He's older than me and will be 71 in December. he's alienated most of his family. I'm the only one he really has now to help him at times. It's so sad because he came from a large family and we have 5 kids but he is very grouchy and outspoken at times and has driven people away over the years. He is not like that with me anymore but I'm sad that I'm the only one he has left to help him. Working with elderly and disabled, I see many like that. It's so sad.

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ISABELLE31 9/24/2012 9:37AM

    Great posts. :)

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AUTUMNBRZ 9/24/2012 7:01AM

    Love my facebook :) sounds like you had a nice weekend!

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COLETTEISGREAT 9/24/2012 4:43AM

    Great Blog (and great facebook posts, that I've been following as well).

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REGILIEH 9/24/2012 2:30AM

    Where do you find the time to do all you do? Facebook can be extremely time consuming. WOW! Wife, mother, daughter, marathon runner, swimmer, biker, massager, sparker, blogger, facebooker, superwoman!

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CHARTHESTAR 9/24/2012 1:14AM

    wow is right!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/24/2012 12:52AM

    Fun--I tend to read and comment on other people's Facebook posts more than posting my status. Sounds llike a busy weekend!

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TERID816 9/23/2012 11:56PM

    I love FB too! I started out just as a way to see what my (then) young children were so involved in - now hardly a day (or hour) goes by that I'm not getting an update!

So sorry for your dad! My DH (of 25 years) and I had the honor of having his parents with us for the last 4 years of his Dad's and last 6 of his Mom's lives. They were together for 60+ years. It was hardest on her to be left behind!

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IYA_EKUNDAYO 9/23/2012 11:47PM

    Very nice blog. I am not active on face book, but I enjoyed your post.
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Regina

Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 11:50:31 PM

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

FANTASTIC FRIDAY

Friday, September 21, 2012

I've had quite an amazing morning, friends! As a lot of you know, I've been working pretty hard to get rid of this weight. I'd been at a plateau for maybe a month or so and I was getting really frustrated with the fact that the number on the scale wasn't going down. It wasn't so much the number...as it was the fact that I've been working SO hard and I felt like I had nothing to show for it.

Of course, that's ridiculous because a) I have lost inches b) my entire body is firming and toning and changing shape (thank you, swimming!) and c) I just feel wonderful physically in general as a result of the program I've been working.

Still...I was having lunch with a very close friend yesterday and she looked into my eyes and said, "Leah, why are you sad?" You know..it caught me off guard. I was tempted to give my usual go-to answer, which is...blame the hubby. Am I right? But, I realized that this was not it. Things have been going quite well in the marriage department. God knows things aren't perfect (because we are not perfect people), but I am generally happy.

So, without my go-to answer, I simply could not understand WHY I appeared sad and, ultimately, felt sad. As I verbally processed in the car, I hit on the core issue when I started suddenly sobbing...totally unexpected. The thing is...I'm so frustrated because I see all the positives above, but I still feel so limited and I feel like the lack of change on the scale is really holding me back.

Friend says to me, "Leah, what do you want from all of this?" I said, "To lose weight. To do Ironman. BUT...not just that." I couldn't pinpoint WHAT I wanted. She said, "You need to figure out what you want. Because it always starts as simple weight loss...but ends up being something else. You have to figure out what your 'something else' is."

The tears began when I said, "I want more. I want to do things for others, to inspire and to help in real ways...but I feel like I'm not allowed to do it YET...because I'm still so heavy. I don't know what this will look like...a book, speaking, getting certified as a personal trainer? Who knows? What I do know is that there is a voice inside saying, 'How dare you think you can do that? You CAN'T.'"

With that background, you must understand the thrill that went through my heart when I stepped on that scale this morning to find I had lost 2 lbs. Here's where it gets real, folks. I weigh 219. And while this would be shameful for most to admit, I am so proud. Because I am out of the 220s! I suddenly realized how very close I am to being back in the land of 100s and I almost cried. It is within reach. It is RIGHT THERE. And I WILL get there.

It's helpful for me to think in terms of overall, rather than the past month. If I do the math, I have been on this health journey earnestly since May 2012. That is only 4 months! I was 253 when I started. How dare I belittle a 35 lbs weight loss in 4 months?! Are you kidding me?

This morning, I went to the pool after a night of very little sleep. I was worried that this swim would be difficult since I'd only slept about 5 hours last night. I popped some Powerbar Cola Gels (my go-to energy source for an early morning workout when I don't feel like eating yet) and jumped in.

A history on my swimming:

I started swimming a mere 6 weeks ago. I had never swam freestyle in my life. I learned by watching 3 YouTube videos. And then I jumped in the pool and copied them. For a few weeks, I hit the lap lanes five days a week. I have had excessive trouble breathing. I have had to stop every 50 meters to catch my breath. Which means, I swim two lengths and stop...over and over and over. I have built a routine where I swim for 30 minutes and whatever distance I get in that time is my workout for that day.

Generally, I swim 750 meters, which is a nice even 30 lengths of the pool in 30 minutes. I shoot for this length because it is a tad longer than a sprint triathlon swim distance. And I am looking to perfect it by next Summer. The most I have ever done in 30 minutes is 800 meters (an extra two lengths) and that was only a couple of times.

Today, I did 34 lengths, or 850m in 30 minutes. Four lengths might not sound like a lot extra...but if you swim, you know that this is big. Especially since I've not been doing this for very long and I've had zero formal training. I worked hard in that pool today...and I only stopped to breathe 3 times for one minute each. That is a HUUUUUUGE victory for me!

When I got out of the pool (completely spent), I thought about every person that has inspired me, pushed me, or supported me. It was really a special moment because I literally couldn't wait to tell each of them how much their kindness, support and friendship has helped to bring me to this point. I honestly would have quit so long ago without my network of fellow friends, family and athletes. People who really "get" what I'm doing and why...and who have never stopped believing that I can do this. I'm so thankful. So incredibly thankful.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WELSTEACH 9/25/2012 9:49PM

    You go girl!

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PENOWOK 9/25/2012 9:26AM

    You are amazing, Leah!! You DO inspire people everywhere...you never know who is watching to see what you are doing and who else might be inspired by you, in addition to SP readers. Keep doing what you are doing!! You are clearly on your way to an amazing victory!!

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BLOOMING52 9/25/2012 7:53AM

    Awesome!

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READE2MOVE2012 9/25/2012 12:35AM

  Great. lways count your successes.

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NAATUERE 9/24/2012 9:57PM

  Your are doing great don't ever put down your victories and its wonderful to want more because you will do it and your journey will be successful. Keep it moving and smile because you inspire others. You got me thinking about joining the Y and start swimming



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BONNIEBELLE2 9/24/2012 4:51PM

    emoticon emoticon Very inspiring blog! You have come so far, not only in terms of weight loss but fitness and outlook as well! I'm just recently back at SP after a pretty lengthy absence where I gained most of the weight back that I had lost. So I'm starting over basically. The weight is not coming off as fast this time and I was feeling really discouraged that I've only lost 5 lbs. in 4 weeks. Sparkguy's message in Spark Coach today was just what I needed to hear! He said..."Pretend for a minute that gravity doesn't exist...everything is weightless. You don't know how much you weigh because gravity hasn't been invented. How would you define your state of health if weight didn't exist?" He went on to list many of the intangible non-scale victories that can be our measures instead of letting the scale define our success. I realized that even though I haven't lost much weight yet, I have still made progress and my new mantra is "progress not perfection" and for now I'm going to pretend that gravity doesn't exist and be satisfied with the non-scale victories! We can do it! Thanks for being an inspiration! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/24/2012 5:01:15 PM

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TAURUSGIRL3 9/24/2012 12:53PM

  Leah,
Just because you are not where you want to be, don't feel like you are not an inspiration. I check in with you regularly to see what is up. I take part of each of your successes and setbacks. You are doing it and that 35 lbs down is proof! Hang in there!

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MYBABYGIRLS 9/24/2012 12:11PM

    This is awesome! Just what I needed right now as I have had my first weight gain since starting with SP! Thanks & keep up the good work!

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DIETER27 9/24/2012 12:09PM

  What a great post. You have inspired me on many levels. You have made me reexamine my own weightloss journey and know like you that I too can do It!

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OBURRELL 9/24/2012 11:20AM

    I just blogged about this today-how it sucks that people don't want to hear your message just because you haven't hit your goal weight yet. Just keep pushing and being consistent-the weight has to fall off sometime and in the meantime you are becoming a better athlete! Good job!

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MCHILSTR 9/24/2012 10:12AM

  You are so wonderfully authentic....what a treat your blogs are!

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AOSELAND 9/24/2012 10:06AM

    Great post! you and I are in the same spot! and today, I also weighed in under 220 for the first time! SOOOO close to being in the 100's again! That is my next mini goal.
Know that you are amazing and have come so far. We CAN do this!

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FARIS71 9/24/2012 9:03AM

    You already are doing your 'something else' by sharing your struggles and victories, by being open and communicating so wonderfully. Thank you - it DOES start out as weight loss, but there totally is something else underneath all that.

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THEIS58 9/24/2012 6:44AM

    Just great!

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EDOHERTY107 9/24/2012 4:37AM

    whata great post!!! emoticon

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IFEOMA4 9/24/2012 2:01AM

  You did great. emoticon

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SUPER-MOM_ 9/23/2012 10:02PM

  You are amazing - you need to remember that. I totally "get" you when you say being out of 220lbs *100kg* is great. Because it is. I totally "get" you when you say that you do what you can for 30 minutes. It will all come off. YOU ARE AMAZING

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TREYONE 9/23/2012 10:00PM

  emoticon
Congrats! Keep doing what you are doing-you are an inspiration!

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NDKARIKARI 9/23/2012 8:37PM

    this is a phenomenal blog. you are inspiring on so many levels. What you have done in the last four months is nothing short of extraordinary. Please know that!
Please know that you are already in your own way doing what those negative thoughts tell you you shouldn't dare to try. You inspire me with every blog post. You help me think about my own weight loss process and how I can make it better. Because of your love of running and the passionate way you describe it, my running shoes are back on my feet and I'm slowly training for a 5k.

i'm only one person. I'm sure you have touched countless others. Don't forget that!

thank you :)

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SLIMINDOWN31 9/23/2012 7:43PM

    Wow! Your blog is just what I needed to read today. Thanks for your authenticity!

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EWATTS83 9/23/2012 6:32PM

  I am proud of your progress, keep up the good work. I know it seems hard right now but it will get easier. because working out will become addictive. Then you will want to workout all the time. You will have more energy and feel great inside and out. If you need anyone to talk too, for encouragement . I am here. emoticon

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1935MARY 9/23/2012 6:09PM

    REMEMBER CAN'T, CAN'T DO ANYTHING. YOU HAVE LOST 35LBS. IN 4 MONTHS. THAT MEANS YOU CAN. AND YOU CAN BE AND DO ANYTHING YOU WANT. I AM PRAYING AND ROOTING FOR YOU.YOU HAVE TOOK THE FIRST STEP FIGURING OUT WHAT YOU WANT AND ADMITTING IT. YOU GO GIRL YOU CAN DO IT. WE ARE ALL HERE FOR YOU. AND EVERYONE DOUBTS THIERSELVE emoticon emoticon emoticon S SOMETIMES AND THINK THEY CAN'T DO SOMETHING. REACH FOR THE STARS AND BELIEVE. YOU HAVE JUST HELPED ME TO REMEMBER WHAT I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. THANKS.

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CLAUDEM1 9/23/2012 5:58PM

    Hi,

That is an amazing victory! Good for you. Dr. Birdie on Spark Coach who said that it is so important to find other ways than "the scale" to measure progress, so you don't feel defeated if it doesn't move. She suggested a number of them:

Body measurements
Clothes fitting looser
How you feel during workouts... how well you perform and increase of energy
Energy, attitude, outlook throughout the day
Blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol level, resting heart rate, better sleep
Look better, more confidence, more compliments on your attitude and work ethic

The third one really came through loud and clear in your swim, didn't it? Your blog was very encouraging. I'm really happy for you!

Claude emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 9/23/2012 5:26PM

    Leah, if anybody can do this, you're the one!
Your enthusiasm is remarkable.
Congratulations on what you have accomplished thus far!
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HEALTHYOTTER 9/23/2012 5:22PM

    I read once that swimming is one of the most individualized sports. Not sure if that's so at the super competitive levels, works for me, though. Each time you're in the water, you're learning new skills: how to handle it when a bubble tickles the inside of your nose, how to keep focus when your ears fill and pop, how to engage your abs the entire length of the pool. 4 extra lengths is a big accomplishment. I was amazed when I did a sprint tri this summer how many people were catching their breath at the ends of the lane. One lenth, there was literally nowhere to touch, as it was body to body. You're no alone there. Nor are you alone in a plateua! Plateaus are enormously frustrating. Just like the sad, the frustration will ebb and flow, and as you keep on keeping on through all of it, you'll know yourself, your strengths, your abilities, your challenges better day by day.

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CYNFULMISTI 9/23/2012 5:22PM

    You go Girl! Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon

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JUST2SWEET 9/23/2012 4:24PM

    Congratulations!

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MARYJEANSL 9/23/2012 3:58PM

  You really are an inspiration - and I thank you for your blogs. Very helpful.

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RONALANA 9/23/2012 3:51PM

    Keep it up! 35 pounds is a great beginning!

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BRASKIN 9/23/2012 3:36PM

  you are awesome! emoticon

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LINDA! 9/23/2012 3:33PM

    You are a winner in my book! You just inspire me. emoticon

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HOLLYM48 9/23/2012 12:43PM

    35 lbs is a wonderful accomplishment! Just focus on 1 lb at a time and try not to get discouraged. I have lost 12 lbs and already feel so much better and reading everyone's blogs just goes to prove that you can lose weight in a very healthy way and keep it off but you have to be committed and you have to be dedicated! Keep the faith! You can do it. emoticon

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DSIMS8 9/23/2012 12:32PM

    Thank you so much for writing this! Your words really inspire me to keep going. I cried when I read bout finding what you really want, because it has to be more than the weightI have to figure out what that is too. emoticon

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ARUSHING2 9/23/2012 12:27PM

  Thanks for investing the time and energy to share where you were, where you are and where you are going through your shared thoughts and words!

You put the words to many of the trials and struggles and investments neccessary to make dramatic lifestyle and conditioning changes. Thanks much!

emoticon

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WARMSPRINGDAY 9/23/2012 12:15PM

    The journey you walk now is what God will use to speak to others in the future. Rest in him.

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LYNSEYS06 9/23/2012 12:08PM

    Thank you for that message today, I really needed it! emoticon

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KATHY_NATURELVR 9/23/2012 11:25AM

    Leah, You inspire each one of us readers every time you write. I ran across your blogs because one was voted most popular - then I subscribed because I want to hear what you have to say next. You inspire us, trust me.

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OJ_2_OK 9/23/2012 11:09AM

    I think that your blog and your page is proof that your self doubt is wrong. It doesn't matter what the scale says, you have touched many peoples lives. Your putting a tremendous effort in and are inspiring others along the way. Your journey is the important part, not the exact number on the scale.

I hope I can live up to what you are doing because you are inspiring.

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SKIPPIE123 9/23/2012 10:48AM

    35 pounds is AMAZING! You're doing great. Very inspiring. emoticon

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AJB121299 9/23/2012 10:40AM

    great job

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MOTIVACTION2 9/23/2012 9:52AM

    Well done!

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OFGREENGABLES 9/23/2012 9:34AM

    congratulations! way to go.

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NEWMOM20121 9/23/2012 9:19AM

    What a great blog. Loved everything you had to say about helping others, I totally get that.

When I jog/walk I think of you often. You are an inspiration to me. Great job being out of the 220's that is huge.

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NEEDBU66 9/23/2012 9:00AM

    I read this yesterday or the day before I can't remember and what your friend said about, Iit starts as a weightl loss and turns into something else" stuck with me all day.Its given me a lot to think about. A lot of people have written about how all this is now about them, how they are going to take care of themselves, and eat better and exercise more- very good things, but I wondered about at what point selfishness starts to take over. We are, after all, here for each other. Not that it was that that you were going for, it's just where my mind went. And if subconsciously that is what kind of gets us blue every once in a while. If that makes sense.

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CLUMBOY 9/23/2012 7:01AM

    you ARE helping people. you just helped me. right now--right this very minute. i am on a plateau right now and you just helped me deal with it.
i am so proud of your success. keep going. all the best to you.

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GRAMPIAN 9/23/2012 4:58AM

  You'v emoticon e done so well!

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OPTIMIST1948 9/23/2012 3:34AM

    I believe that when you hit a plateau, its because your body is "recalibrating" to reset itself to a new normal. Then you start to loose again because you are still operating at a deficit.

Still, congrats on the swim progress! It is amazing. To quote an advertisement from the 80s "You've come a long way baby."

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SLFGOLF 9/23/2012 1:01AM

    You are doing so much already! You are a great inspiration. I know those plateaus are frustrating. You are doing great, and the success will continue.

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CAROL494 9/22/2012 11:35PM

  emoticon

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SPEEDY143 9/22/2012 11:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Childhood Obesity Sucks - and I'm a Hypocrite

Thursday, September 20, 2012

So, let's take a break from the usual report on my workouts and motivating pep talks. Something has been eating away at me and I am more and more agitated, which means I probably need to do some processing of the issue to understand why I feel this way.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.



Here's the thing: this won't be your typical article on childhood obesity. I have a weird take on things because I am a Mom and I KNOW how difficult it is to consistently feed your kids healthy food and keep them active.

It seems there are two basic camps to this whole issue.

On the one hand, you have the parents that have been labeled as lazy enablers. They just "love" their child so much that they want them to be happy, in detriment to the child's own health. You hear things like this from them: "Yeah, I know it's not good for him, but I don't know how to get him to stop eating it. He will throw a fit if he doesn't have it."

On the other side of the aisle, you have the militant and judgmental holier-than-thou parents, who say things like this: "It is your JOB as a parent to do the hard work of teaching health to your child! Their LIFE is at stake and if you don't do your job, your child's obesity is on YOUR shoulders. You are to blame and you are not a fit parent."

The problem is, I don't fall into either side perfectly. I kind of fall in the middle. I am a walking hypocrite. I am inconsistent in my efforts to keep my kids on the right track, diet-wise, although we have made GREAT strides in our household in the area of physical activity!

We have a unique situation, in that my in-laws actually live in the same house with us and have their own separate kitchen. We buy our groceries, they buy theirs...but we are one family, so naturally, things travel from one fridge to another quite frequently. This make it VERY difficult to control what's happening with the kids' diets. We've had the "family meetings" and explained our desires for health for our kids, etc. Everyone knows everyone else's viewpoint on diet. It doesn't stop my kids from raiding Grandpa's junk food stash (which is sizeable) pretty much ALL THE TIME. Clearly, we have some limits to set...and, yeah...that's the hard work that needs to be done.

But let's not just blame the grandparents. That's not fair. The reality is that my kids have set eating patterns that are not healthy (and the grandparents didn't always live with us!) And, as kids are, they are picky and are not apt to try too many new things (although, they've been improving in this area as well...my 10-year old tried kale chips and LOVED them, to my shock and surprise!) My kids will FIGHT over a bag of edamame or a bowl of guacamole. They sure do love their fruit and, for the most part, my 7 year old likes the "healthier" cereals over the sugary ones, for some random reason. Still, a rather large part of their diet is frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, ice cream and Toaster Strudels. Ugh.

The other day, I went to the mall and saw a woman (rather thin herself) pushing her daughter in a stroller. This kid had to be about 5 yrs old (definitely old enough to walk) and probably weighed around 80 lbs. My brain automatically went to judgment. Frankly, I was outraged at this mom for not making her kid WALK. Unfair of me, because what if there was some medical issue and the child could not walk? Still...it's so easy to see the speck in someone else's eye and not the log in your own, isn't it?

This whole topic is irritating and frustrating for me. I feel so passionately about it and I'm so upset that this country has let this happen to our youth. At the same time, if I look down deep, my frustration is with myself as a mom...for not putting into place good habits for my own kids and for starting their lives out with a bad example (my own obesity). How can we expect to change as a nation if we aren't willing to start right in our own homes?

We are always hardest on ourselves though, aren't we? It probably wouldn't hurt to look at the positive side of things as well.

My 4 yr old (boy) is pretty insistent lately that he is going to "get big muscles" and that kind of warms my heart (seriously, his arms are twigs right now. LOL). He is rather tall and weighs 39 lbs. He is NOT obese. None of my kids are...but I wouldn't call them totally healthy either.

We put the Boy in soccer. His first time having an activity just for him and not having to sit on the sidelines and watch his sisters do stuff. You should have seen him strut his stuff on that field. Hilarious. And he hugged me afterwards and said, "Mommy, I loooooove soccer."

Signed my 10 yr-old girl up for martial arts. You would have loved the look of confidence and strength and empowerment in her eye when she had that first lesson (and every one thereafter). I didn't expect it (silly me!), but she is beginning to believe in herself...and I see the beginnings of a strong woman in her.

My silly 7-year old girl couldn't care less about the rules of soccer or the fact that her coach is standing right next to her. She will still completely ignore a game going on around her and crouch down to study an ant hill in the middle of the field...and do a few cartwheels too. But...at least she's out there. Right?

Aforementioned silly 7 yr-old asked to join me on a bike ride the other day and made it 2 miles on a little crappy bike with training wheels. Good for her!

Both girls were completely engrossed in the Ironkids website with me the other night and are super excited to enter their first triathlon next Summer!

My 10 yr old has refused to eat "pink slime" and has allowed us to pack her healthy lunches for the entire last school year. She doesn't always eat them, but the food is offered to her. (We barred Grandpa from packing lunches last year. Haha.)

On the food front, things are slower moving...but the kids do SEE their mom eating better and occasionally become curious to put something weird in their mouths. So, I'll take that as a baby step.

The long and short of it is...we can sit around all day either enabling our kids or berating ourselves for being awful parents, but what are we DOING to teach them, to be a role model and to incorporate health into their lives, either in overt or sneaky ways?

Maybe this country won't ever conquer childhood obesity. But we can address it one kid at a time...and why not start with our own?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BKNOCK 9/25/2012 10:03PM

    Sounds to me like you are doing a pretty good job with your kids!

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LAHUDSONCHEF 9/25/2012 2:53PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Remember, we are all works in progress. Are you better at instilling healthy eating habits in your kids than you were last month, last year? Then, you're moving in the right direction. The apostle Peter, in discussing the Christian walk, tells us that if the fruit of faith is evident in our lives, and is increasing, then we're doing well. (see 2 Peter 1:8 in context) And it's a principle that applies elsewhere. As long as you're moving toward the goal, you're doing well. Once you stop, you start falling backwards.

I think you're on the right track with the kids, just keep teaching them, helping them be active, and showing them a good role model. And a good role model doesn't have to be perfect...you just have to be honest & transparent (your kids will respect you for this), admit failures and then continue moving forward.

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IAMLOVEDBYYOU 9/25/2012 1:57PM

    I like your blog and I like the heart of this, but I really need to say something.

Don't judge the mom in the mall with the stroller, because her child might have a disability. I'm not trying to be all PC and crap, but the truth is, there is a decent chance that an 80lb 5 year old being pushed in the stroller has a disability. That's not "normal" parenting behavior, which makes me think that there might be more to the story.. sometimes you can't tell when children have a disability.

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HEATHER3477 9/25/2012 9:45AM

    Your taking a step in the right direction. My son is overweight, and he watches everything I do. He is 12 years old and over the past few months I have seen him start paying more attention to what he puts in his body and I have seen him being more active. He isn't always like this but it's a start. The good news is he hasn't really gained any more weight since he started.

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MAMA_CD 9/24/2012 4:36PM

    Being a good example is the best way to promote a healthy lifestyle for the kids. None of us are perfect just being perfected.

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HACKETT1171 9/24/2012 2:40PM

    when we started to change more of out eating habits, I jut told the kids that we don't eat such and such any more. Just don't buy it! Plain and simple with the foods you dont want them to eat. I can only control what my kids do with me and around me. I can not control what happens when they are with their dad, but you can still control what they do in your own house with your in laws junk food stash. Moderation, maybe only let them raid it 2x a week with a limit on what they can eat.

Good luck!

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OBURRELL 9/24/2012 11:26AM

    My 9 month old son is a big motivator for me. I don't want him to grow up with the food issues I have so I am trying to get myself in order now before he gets old enough to really notice things. He will eat pretty much anything so I am trying to take advantage of that and feed him good stuff. If only I could get him to drink water without having to mix it with apple juice. GL and keep up the good work! Your kids will be ok!

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RUNNERLADY2 9/24/2012 10:43AM

    Great blog! My kids are all grown now but I do see them make these choices for my grandkids and it makes me proud of them; I wish I could say they totally got their good habits from me, but somehow they got them in spite of me. The younger two have celiac disease, which has forced them to be extremely careful about what they eat so they do tend to stick to the healthiest of choices. Good message here that parents of youngsters need!

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DOTTY7267 9/24/2012 9:02AM

    Thank you for speaking on this touchy subject. I have daughters, and since birth, my 1 daugther has always been over weight and now obese. It was difficult because even with the monitoring of diet, activities, etc. she was rebelling against what was happening in the home. She resorted to sneaking foods, and getting them from her grandparents. I tried being stearn, and then tried being lenient, but was often in tears trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and how I was negatively influencing her in one way or another.

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NEWMOM20121 9/24/2012 8:36AM

    Sorry I missed this until today. Great blog, well said.

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CAROL494 9/23/2012 8:31PM

  Thank you for sharing your ideas! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 8:35:31 PM

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KACEYSW 9/23/2012 5:31PM

    There are so many factors with childhood obesity that one cannot pin it down to one specific thing, as you point out. Role models are key to this and, as you say, parents are the most important role model in a child's life. The effects of fast food, couch-potato/video gaming culture, and lifestyles of little outdoor activity are of no help. Another negative effect is the fact that schools have been forced to minimize PE activities due to budget cuts and some pretty interesting laws that are taking playground equipment off of school grounds due to potential liability issues.

You bring up great points. Nice job!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 9/23/2012 12:32PM

    Great blog, as a parent I so get this....

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CHESAPEAKE60 9/23/2012 11:40AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog as well. And I, too, can relate from all sides. Am now a gramma to a 6 year old and a 2 year old and I do like to "treat" the grands - as my Gramma treated me. But I also appreciate and respect my daughter and son-in-laws desire to raise happy, healthy children! So I do my best to have snacks at my house healthy ones. I make air-popped popcorn in my presto microwave popper. Then I finely mist the popped corn with oilive oil from my Misto and add just a pinch of sea salt, I make a healthy baked oatmeal with bananas and blueberries that the kids view as a treat, etc.

One thing I will add to all the mothers and mothers-to-be of very young children. Start your kids very young with all sorts of healthy flavors. I saw this approach with my grandchildren and was AMAZED. Once the pediatrician gave the OK for table foods my DD and SIL rarely bought baby food (only for travel). They had a mini processor and whatever veggies and fruit they were having for dinner simply got a few quick pulses in the processor and the babies ate what the adults ate for meals. Needless to say, that meant they cooked cleanly for themselves - no added salt or unhealthy fats. They just added their seasonings after cooking.

So fast forward to a 2 and 6 year old who drink mostly water with their meals, will eat just about and vegetable or fruit, and have never tasted a soda or artificial sweetener. They do get desserts - just not every meal or every night. DD and SIL both cook and they make breads and cookies, etc. with healthy grains and oils, applesauce, and fruits. Homemade sorbets and ice creams, etc.

It is worth the time and effort I truly believe. And the parents both work full time but still manage a healthy household.



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VALIENDRA 9/23/2012 11:00AM

    Thank you for sharing your opinion. It gets me thinking about my own responsability. I don't have kids yet bul I will, someday. And I will want them healthy and active. But if I am not healthy and active.. how can I ever have them doing stuff that are good for them ?

I'll have to set an example. Today is a good day to start doing things the right way for my future kids. A strong image will encourage them to move and eat right.

Keep pushing. You certainly are a wonderful woman and mom ! ☼

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BLOOMING52 9/23/2012 3:19AM

    Interesting.

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WELSTEACH 9/23/2012 2:06AM

    You are being an example. Don't beat yourself up. Ultimately kids make their own choices too. Food isn't as controllable as adults would like, and isn't a good battle ground. Any field where a parent has a great chance of losing by demanding is poor. So, gently suggest, be an example, and let them grow into better food choices. You have them hooked on moving their bodies. Count that as 1 for the home team!

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ROB704 9/22/2012 9:50PM

    My wife and I have this discussion many times - our daughter is 21 now - and have come think that until we (as a society) start to move more the situation will get worse. Think about it...not sure how old you are (I'm 43) but when I was a kid we went outside, I rode my bike everywhere, hours and hours...all physical, from playing army to playing football. TV had 3 channels and no remote.

You're doing a great job by even recognizing the challenges and trying...good for you!

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SENIORSWIMMER 9/22/2012 8:26PM

    Great blog. I come from a "food = love" family. It is so hard to break those early habits. Nearly all of my fondest childhood memories center around a large family gathering with a table straining under the weight of everyone's best recipes. The food and the fellowship...I equate having lots of food on hand with security - a grandchild of the Great Depression. I equate a full stomach with love. These are tough bonds to break. Learning to break those bonds in a positive way is part of this journey we call "lifestyle changes."

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KALLIE1958AR 9/22/2012 2:17PM

    Good blog .. I just want to point out .. we are bombarded with food that have hormones in them now ... they put growth hormones in everything .. lets make the cows chickens so on bigger and we eat them hmm wonder why we are getting fatter not saying that is all of it clearly we are doing our part ... they put stuff in all processed food to make you hungry .. again wonder why we are getting fatter every year .. so we do have a battle for sure .. But the good news we will make it .. yay .. We make a garden and all we can do .. so lets just pray for health .. and do our part .. Sounds like you are making good changes .. I know we are all here to do that .. God Bless hats off to you ... emoticon

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GALINAZ 9/21/2012 2:03PM

    Great take on this controversy. As a grandma, I need to practice my own good habits I'm developing with my grandkids instead of indulging them because I'm grandma. More play and less treats!

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DONNA5281 9/21/2012 10:04AM

 

Great blog. You are doing a great job with your children.

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LINDAK25 9/21/2012 9:03AM

    Your doing just fine with your kids. I understand just what you're going through.

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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/21/2012 9:00AM

    GREAT blog. Very thoughtful, and a lot of good insight there. Thanks for sharing!

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THESLIMMERME1 9/21/2012 2:14AM

    emoticon blog - I do believe it is one child at a time, and as adults/parents we need to encourage the introduction of a 'healthy lifestyle' to the next generation.

I know in one family, once the child is old enough, they are encouraged to plan the menu and meal for the family taking into account the basic food choices...it's work but with encouragement and enthusiasm something each one looks forward too being the 'family chef for the day'

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LANEYTHEGIRL 9/21/2012 12:51AM

    I've come to realize my 15-year-old son follows more of what I do than say. I have been trying since he was young to get him to eat vegetables. I always include one with dinner. Lately he's been eating them and he won't drink soda during soccer bc his coach tells them how bad they are. He loves fast food but I find he limits himself. I know he learned all this self-control by watching me do the same for myself not because of anything I have said. Leading by example is the best way and you r doing that.

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COCK-ROBIN 9/21/2012 12:21AM

    Beautiful story! And so true. Childhood obesity is no joke. But it is a wake up call for all of us.

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PEGGYO 9/20/2012 10:13PM

    ok

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DIGIRO 9/20/2012 8:55PM

    What an interesting blog! I probably fall more into the militant mom, but have an indulgent grandparent in my basement (snack & soda heaven).
This summer was a changing point for my 15 yr-old daughter. Without using a scale, and being more active, she lost approximately 25 lbs.
Yesterday, on the drive home, she remarked on the gratitude she felt towards my "no fast-food" stance. She did admit to feeling "deprived" when she was younger & we drove past those places to go home & cook, but can now share her appreciation for my strong stance. Suddenly, it makes sense to her.
Thank God for the "aha" moment- and for those with younger kids, I believe your moment will come too. It's not fun driving past the playplaces with a crying kid, but someday that child will thank you!

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LIVEDAILY 9/20/2012 8:33PM

    I would most definitely NOT call you a hypocrite! You are a realist! You're picking and choosing the food battles...and the ARE battles. You are setting a wonderful example for your kids with physical movement/exercise/sports. I think you're doing a great job!!

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KIPPER15 9/20/2012 8:33PM

    You sound like a great mom. All my kids have four legs or fins. I am in control of what they eat and how they exercise. They are all spoiled rotten little buggers.!!LOL emoticon emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 9/20/2012 8:25PM

    It's a journey and it sounds to me as if your middle of the road approach is the most realistic. This from a morbidly obese adult who spent a childhood hungry because Mother's favorite punishment was withholding food and I still have not resolved my food issues!

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KRYSTALLA 9/20/2012 8:22PM

    Great blog. I can certainly understand how you feel. I have a 13 year old son, who is an extremely picky eater. When he was younger his doctor told me not to force him to eat things, as when I would try him with things he would get sick if he didn't like it or didn't want to try it and I was making him do so. He has started to try things but it is very hard getting him to eat healthy. If he don't like it he won't eat it no matter what, I can get him to try something but if he don't like it after the first bite or two forget it. It is kinda funny cause at times when we are having something he will make sure I have the smaller portion cause he knows I want to loose weight, and he will announce it to me that is what he is doing.

He likes gym in school and he likes to do games on the Wii especially the ones were he gets to do alot of moving around. He loves to take walks up and down the street either with myself or my mom or even with both of us with him. He at times will try to be a big strong man by trying to help out around the yard with yardwork.

I just try to do my best with him, that is really only what any parent can do is their best. And I think you are doing the best you can for yourself and your kids.

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KBRADFORD88 9/20/2012 6:30PM

    My girls have so picked up bad habits . It feels like taking care of my own eating is so much work. When I add in my kids it feels so hard. I know most of my girls trouble is linked to inactivity and puberty and too big portions. But, we have started moving more. It stinks though that my girls have to think about their weight and what they look like. It's so frustrating to have to think about all this for myself and them. It also is crazy that my boys have zero weight issues. They just know how to quit eating when they are full. Go figure?

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COLETTEISGREAT 9/20/2012 5:59PM

    Excellent blog!

By far, the best thing you can do for your children is exactly what you are doing for yourself: be a healthy, active person.

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DATMAMA4 9/20/2012 5:21PM

    It's very difficult to constantly monitor our kids' food intake. I buy healthy food, for the most part, and the occasional ice cream (or we make cookies). Portion control is more the issue in our house. But our boys are out & about with their friends, going out to eat with them after an event, and I'm sure they eat a lot more junk food (certainly more fast food!) than my hubby and I do. The good thing is that we try to eat our main meal of the day at home, so I know there's some good homemade stuff going in. I consider any visits to grandparents as a total loss as far as nutrition, between the cooking methods (lots of fat) and abundance of junk food, as well as the constant encouragement to "have more!".

As far as the physical activity goes, I try to lead by example -- they're not tremendously active as far as sports go, and I'm still learning how to be active myself -- and I invite them to join me on walks or bike rides.

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JOYCECAIN 9/20/2012 3:36PM

    I loved the blog. You can only do so much for the kids. Quit beating yourself up. Things will be fine.

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JMARIES51 9/20/2012 3:04PM

    Great blog and I think you are doing your best by keeping the kids interested in being active. It is a fine line about nutrition for kids, and they always will have their likes and dislikes. Hopefully they just make it to adulthood without too many traumas and bullying and you have won! emoticon

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ROSES4ME1 9/20/2012 2:49PM

    Kudos for being so honest about how hard it is! I raised 2 kids as a single working Mom so just being able to afford food was a priority over making sure it was healthy. And I wasn't home much to supervise what they ate or when. But they are adults now and neither is overweight although one eats healthy and exercises consistently and the other has a diet of mostly fast food and coffee with very little exercise. They are both parents now and struggling to make sure there kids eat healthy and get plenty of exercise - so the circle continues. We do the best we can with what we know at the time .I think kids learn much more by example than by nagging and you are an amazing role model so I'm sure your kids will be super.! emoticon

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GOSPARK45 9/20/2012 2:07PM

    You sound like you're trying as best a you can. I know my kids never ate the best. But we also didn't have a battle like some people had. Yes there really is a bitter gene that 80% of kids have and that's why so many hate vegetables, including me. As we get older our taste buds change, so the more they see you eat, the more likely they will get there as they grow up. Keep up the good work!
I know about in-laws, even not in the house. My mother-in-law gave them tons of candy and ice cream when they were little. I didn't even have any of those things in my house. She also came up with a ketchup sandwich for my son. A what?? Anyway, once I peeled them off the wall the next day from all the sugar, we'd get back on schedule. Good luck!

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CLUTTRELL8 9/20/2012 2:05PM

    Our 10 year old just commented this past weekend how they 'eat healthy' all week at home and get to go to grandma's on Fridays for 'treats and junk food'. lol Now, I know they get to indulge more at their grandmother's but it's not all 'junk food' either. They think they're getting to eat free that day and so be it. The kids are eating healthy at home and we try to concentrate on teaching them what the healthy foods do for their bodies... what's good for skin and eyes and bones, etc. They have more interest in it that way, for us, it seems. But they are not completely banned from other foods that are higher in calories or fat sometimes. We don't want them growing up thinking they have to pig out on what they never got to have at home. They get these things sometimes, on occasion, and know there are just some foods you do not eat every day and some foods you NEED to eat everyday, like fruits and veggies. It is all about balance, so I don't see you being a hypocrite either. Just keep going with it, one thing at a time, and being the good example is the strongest thing you will ever do for them. They will remember more what they saw you do growing up than they will remember what you said. It'll stick with them when it's most important. Great blog! This is something I read on a lot. It's gotta be balanced... I want them to think 'eat healthy' and 'be strong' not 'lose weight' or 'be skinny'. I don't want them to have to deal with obesity OR eating disorders when they're older. It can be a tricky tight rope to walk.

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FITFOODIE806 9/20/2012 1:32PM

    I think you are working your butt off and doing an amazing job. You can just tell that you are such a loving mom. Your kids are bound to be well rounded individuals.
I do not use the word "diet" in our house and I don't want my daughter see me step on the scale. I emphasis exercise for feeling good and having fun. Eating healthy foods to be strong and healthy. My kids are young so it's easier not to buy crap. They haven't had as much social pressure. I think the media is a HUGE factor in childhood obesity. Look at the awful commercials that run during a kid's show. There is candy at the checkout of every store. Fastfood places give away toys. This issue is much more complex than just parents. But you are on the right track: let's all start with our own kids!

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IRONBLOSSOM 9/20/2012 1:32PM

    This is a topic I'm pretty conflicted about. For one thing, I don't have kids, and in dealing with one 8 year old that I see approximately once per week I'm very very glad I don't have kids.

ON the other hand, I was a kid once and my family was super duper incredibly healthy eaters. All organic, all natural, vegan, etc etc etc....BUT, my mom was not a very good cook in those days (to be fair, I am 100% aware that it is not easy to cook well in the massive quantities 6 people, 5 of whom are active athletes, 4 of whom do sports approximately 6 hours per day). So we always always always longed for "better" (really worse) food and would grab it whenever we could. Oooh, I saved up 50 cents! I can sneak a candy bar out of the vending machine at the tennis club and hide it in my bag for later!

My brother would go to the kitchen after dinner and have 4-6 pbjs (he really did need more protein than our vegan lifestyle was giving him, and as he got older my mom started cooking meat for him because he was just too skinny).

SO, bottom line, as soon as I turned 16 and got my driver's license? I hit McDonalds for french fries. Nothing else, just fries. I'd never had McDonalds, but I'd smelled it, I'd seen others eating it, I KNEW those french fries would be wonderful. And they were. They SO were. And that was the beginning of the end, really, because I had learned to hate healthy food and idolize junk food. Now I do find myself going back to those early lessons and cooking vegetables like my mom used to, only with spices and sometimes even healthy sauces. But it's taken 14 years for me to reset my mind from "garbage food GOOD, healthy food BAD."

I think my message to you is, showing your kids that a balance of food is healthy is good. Showing that it's okay to eat some "bad" food as long as they're also getting their veggies and other healthy stuff is good. Showing that there are ways to enjoy vegetables that don't consist of wilted broccoli in large quantities on a plate, VERY VERY GOOD.

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/20/2012 12:57PM

    I am also passionate about this issue. I want my daughter to have a healthy self image and not just eat healthy and be active for weight reasons. She has noticed that when she eats ice cream it gives her a headache or when she eats too many sweets it gives her a stomach ache. I'm hoping that this is teaching her to pay attention to how the food makes her body feel. I think that is more effective than telling her she can't have something. Everything in moderation, right? I get upset sometimes at my in-laws because they buy her cookies and juice and if she eats that she won't be hungry.

I want to instill in my daughter a love of sports. She does swimming and ballet and has done gymnastics in the past and I want to sign her up for a soccer team (she just loves playing with Mommy and Daddy). She has done one kids race and is doing another in November. She learned how to ride a two-wheeler in the summer. Who knows? Maybe a Kid's Tri is in her future. She knows Mommy exercises and sometimes joins me. I think being a good role model and showing her a healthy lifestyle is more effective than me telling her she should be active.

I think buying healthy foods and eating it and making tasty healthy foods and showing our children that healthy food is enjoyable and activity is fun is a powerful message and combats obesity. I also talk to my students at school about nutrition, drinking water, and signed up to be a Network for a Healthy California representative at my school and educate students about fruits, vegetables and nutrition.

I think being proactive and having a balanced attitude is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our children emoticon

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KATHY_NATURELVR 9/20/2012 12:07PM

    IMHO I don't think you're a hypocrite and teaching kids is not a black-or-white issue. As you know, life is about balance and there are no clear lines. It's just about teaching the best you can. emoticon

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ERICADAWN1986 9/20/2012 11:48AM

    I LOVE your blog. I'm a nutritionist at a WIC agency (for low income pregnant women, infants, and children) and I spend a lot of my day trying to encourage parents to feel more like you feel. Heck, nobody is perfect but I think noticing and trying to make small changes is the best thing you can do for your family and a HUGE step. Congrats to you!

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SIBLEYHONEYBEE 9/20/2012 11:47AM

    At my house the key is definitely healthy food being offered consistently because you never know what they are going to like. We do really good for dinners here at home with extremely healthy meals and they like fruit and whole wheat bread (toast or a sandwich) or oatmeal for breakfast, but I let the kids eat junk for lunch like mac 'n cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. I am trying to clean up their lunches, but admit to being overwhelmed most days. We do really good on the exercise front as well and that makes everyone happier. I am trying to help them learn the difference in how they feel when they eat junk as opposed to healthy foods, especially before exercising. It seems to be helping, but we are definitely a work in progress.

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OPTIMIST1948 9/20/2012 11:43AM

    Thank God for someone finally writing a balanced article about the need to feeed good foods and exercise as well as the difficulty in doing so. Child is testing our resolve rignt now. on this issue. Its so hard sometimes.

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MEH50BEWELL 9/20/2012 11:31AM

    Amen! And it's not just kids -- I have had to take the same baby steps to push my DH to eat outside the norm. He has finally moved to my side - LOL. My in-laws live next door - have several health problems but I still try to get them to put down the bologna sandwich and cheetos and go for a walk with me. 1 "person" at a time!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/20/2012 11:14AM

    It is a balancing act at times, isn't it? If we haven't been setting a good example from the start, expecting our kids to jump in wholeheartedly to eating healthy is not realistic. When our daughter came to live with us just before she turned 12 (she is adopted, obviously), she had a lot of set ways and ideas already about food; we had to pick our battles carefully and wondered if she would EVER let something green pass her lips. She is now 30, a mom, and eats salads and greens regularly. Starting with our own habits and setting the example is the best way to help our kids start eating better and becoming more active.

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