Saturday, March 27, 2010
I haven't blogged for days nor have I been getting my morning workouts in. I've needed the extra sleep, and haven't been able to pull myself out of bed until I had to get ready for work. But I still made it to the gym a couple times, and although I worked out about half of what I have been doing I still lost about 2 pounds -- so I'll take it. Anything in the right direction. I was also good about staying in my calorie range.
I've been thinking about Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity. Every First Lady seems to have their pet cause, and childhood obesity -- and obesity in general definitely needs attention. Yes, we need to encourage our kids to exercise and eat healthy, but there's more to being obese than diet and exercise. As many of us have discovered at Sparkpeople getting over obesity -- or even minor weight issues has a lot to do with restructuring your relationship with food and exercise. Kids should not "diet" but parents and other important adults in a child's life can help develop the right relationship. Here are some suggestions I have for Mrs. Obama.
1. Make sure your child knows they are beautiful to you no matter what their weight. It's no secret that modern society often equates a small size with beauty, but it doesn't mean you have to. Focus on the health issue of maintaining a healthy weight as a way for them to get the most out of their lives.
2. Set a good example yourself. Eat healthy meals in proper portions. Combat stress with exercise or creative activities. Leave the "Chunky Monkey" in the grocer's freezer.
3. Be mindful of the implied rewards and punishments that food can bring. Remember the old "let's go out for ice cream" after getting a good grade or trying to zap away those brussel sprouts with your laser vision to avoid eating them? Yes, kids like ice cream, but the real reward is time and attention from you. Go for a walk together. Head to a bookstore. Sit down with a coloring book.
4. Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage kids to talk about their day. Ask open ended questions. Tell them about your day - even some of the not so good parts. Of course you don't want to burden your child with heavy duty issues, but expressing frustration because the printer was broken -- again is fair game. I would love to see Mrs. Obama do a "town hall" with kids to help raise awareness that this issue is about more than the scale.