Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reminding myself why

As I hide inside so the kids won't see my terribly delicious (but terribly unhealthy) lunch of nachos I decided to re-read an article I wrote for a parent group (reprinted below). remind myself why I try so hard to set a good example, "Do as I do" for my children. Which is terribly hard to do when there is no food in the house and I ran this morning. One thing is for sure, my hubby does not have to worry about marathon training making me too skinny, every time I do a run over 3 miles I am famished the rest of the day and eat everything in site...which probably means I really need to look at and re-evaluate my diet again so I am getting more protein and fiber...time to log back on to The Self Diet Club!

As parents, we are acutely aware that every action we take has a consequence,
seen or unseen, intended or not. Little eyes are always watching, listening,
learning. It’s what makes even mundane day-to-day tasks require so much
thought, time and effort. Let’s take bedtime for example. It had become an
hour-long (sometimes more) ordeal of wrestling, laughing, fighting, begging
and pleading. (Seriously, please just put the pajamas on!)

So I had a bright parent idea—they love races, so let’s have a race and whoever gets their PJs on first gets their story read first. For the first week, it was a miracle! Parenting genius! They raced upstairs; my oldest got his PJs on without an argument, no fooling around, just PJs and done. Then, the unintended consequence—he lost. The first time, he was OK, but the second time not so much. He starts crying now in the bath if you wash his sister first because she is getting a headstart. Sigh, it worked for a while.

A new year gives us time to reflect on things we want to change. Many of us
make big and lofty plans in January: I will change this, that and the other, I
will do this more and this less. I made resolutions, too, but I tried to make at
least a few smaller and more manageable goals, ones I could see completed
to help keep moving on. One of my resolutions is be healthier and be a better
example to my kids. I wanted to do it for selfish reasons, too (to get back
to the pre-pre-baby weight). I have a daughter, and she watches and imitates
my every move. I wonder what the consequences of that is. I don’t always eat
breakfast, I drink a lot of coffee, and while I may eat a healthy lunch, she is
asleep. I started thinking about it and realized that she rarely sees me eat
anything other than coffee and dinner. That can’t have good consequences.

My son is an awesome eater (his favorite food is Brussels sprouts). My daughter would rather starve than eat dinner if it is anything other than macaroni
and cheese or broccoli. (Though as of late, she won’t eat that either!) She has a radar to find chips and chocolate anywhere. I worry about her as she has a much harder life ahead of her than my son in regards to weight and body image. It will be harder for her to navigate and come out healthy and happy; I know I have been there. I want her to learn how to eat right and be healthy and that starts with us setting good examples. If she doesn’t see me eating healthy food, any food, will she assume that girls don’t eat? That we don’t need to?

So to kick start this healthy lifestyle change in the family, I did a one-week detox to kick my butt in gear. I decided to use the Body and Soul Challenge’s first week detox. I have done fasts and detoxes in the past. (Most recently, I did a 10-day, no coffee, alcohol or refined sugar fast.) I like the fresh start I feel after a fast or detox. Anyway, this was the first time I actually followed a diet for detox. I had looked into the Master Cleanse but I just knew there was no way I could suck down those crazy drinks. This wasn’t crazy and it seemed like it would work. No meat or diary, but lots of grain, legumes and veggies.

Here were the problems I needed to overcome:
1) I LOVE coffee! I could (and do) drink it all day. Tea, even black tea does
not give me the pick-me-up I need, and I don’t really like it.
2) I can’t eat oatmeal. I have tried and I gag.
3) I really don’t like legumes...I eat them, because they are good for you.
But I don’t like them and I was supposed to eat 2 cups a day!

Well I overcame those problems and had an amazing experience! I felt AMAZING! Seriously, I have never felt so good on a “diet.” I felt skinnier—I doubt I am, but seriously my stomach doesn’t feel so big—my skin looks brighter and I feel great. My wedding rings spin for the first time in I don’t know how long! These vegetarians may be onto something! I did make some changes: I allowed myself one small cup of a coffee a day; I swapped out oatmeal for Cheerios; and I reduced the amount of legumes.

It was just what I needed! I was refreshed and revived and ready to start a healthy new lifestyle! We started out great—we went to the store and made a
great, healthy menu. We filled our fridge with veggies and fruits and renewed our
efforts to have all-inclusive family dinners. We had more salads and tried an
Asian pork and rice dish that was way out of our comfort zone and loved it!

It seemed to have some immediate effects on our children, too. When we had
salad before dinner, my oldest asked for some and ate it! This prompted my
daughter, the non-eater, to ask for it, too. (She only chewed it but that’s a
start!) I started eating an earlier lunch with my daughter, making healthier
wrap sandwiches with lots of veggies. That has prompted my son to start asking
for “rolled up” sandwiches.

Well, of course, life does get in the way, and sometimes derails us. We have
spent the last week battling the worst stomach flu ever to hit our house. So
the fridge of fresh produce for this week, well it’s still there as we are
just getting back to eating “real” food. We also have a very busy week ahead
of us—nights out with friends, some outings, meetings, you know life. But
I have seen how our changed behavior affected my health, how I felt, as well
as how my children behaved. I know that this is important and something
that we can and will accomplish.

For information on the body and soul challenge, please visit: http://www.wholeliving.com/body-and-soulchallenge

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