Don't force ANY person to make a healthy change.
Whether it's weight loss, wanting them to exercise more and eat less, or wanting them to make more heart-healthy decisions with their food and quality of life.
It's almost certain that the change will never happen when it's forced. That person has to want it COMPLETELY on their own. On their terms and they must get to that place in their life...most of time it's the bottom where there's nowhere to go but UP! Unfortunately.
Yes, it's always nice to show that we care but that's by being there, being consistent and never forcing a healthy change. EVER.
However to help that person, be consistent and showing/modeling that health behavior, allowing them to SEE the changes that you're making. Be that person that shows them, THEY CAN TOO. INSPIRE THEM.
Sometimes that person can't relate to your story, they were never heavy or they haven't watched a loved one suffer from heart disease or diabetes as a result of inactivity or poor diet. Maybe they didn't work with today's children and haven't seen first-hand the obesity/overweight crisis and epidemic our youth are facing. But whatever you've faced in your journey to your healthiest life, use those experiences to guide them and show them there's a better way. That you wouldn't trade your healthy life for anything in this world!
It's far better to stand up and FIGHT than to become yet another health-related statistic, right? RIGHT!
So get out there and INSPIRE! Inspire your friends, family, co-workers, children...anybody!!
For me, I am consistent with my boys! I want to be that positive role model showing them that Mommy and Daddy take care of their heart through the foods that they eat and by exercising their heart!
And let me tell you, IT WORKS!
For our oldest, who is 6, he has adapted our behaviors from the beginning. He loves his veggies, fruit and anything healthy-he's all for it! He's always up for trying new, healthy things and LOVES to exercise, especially run! We NEVER push anything on these boys, they watch. They were pushed from birth, in a jogging stroller while Mommy did her workout or run. They ran 5K's with us, riding in the luxury of a BOB stroller, but still...they were present. They saw many healthy people gathering to have fun while exercising!
Show your loved ones that it's a way of life. It's like showering and brushing your teeth...something we all do each day to function! Same with healthy eating and exercise. It's part of our day.
Show them don't just tell them.
With our youngest, the battle has been a little tough. This boy has a texture issue, so veggie are a work in progress, but especially fruit. He's VERY picky. But I am consistent with the foods I serve. Even if he has spit it out a thousand times, if it's part of dinner, it's put on his place. If he chooses not to eat it, that's dinner. No special orders in my kitchen :) Now, at the same time there's plenty of crazy, junk foods that pass through our home (especially by the grandparents!) but my children were taught from the beginning, it's a TREAT. special occasions in most cases.
I honestly get so frustrated with hearing, "oh Marissa's kids are never allowed junk food. She's going to make them run off and eat in a dark room when they are older"...oh the times I've heard this but for all of the "haters", let's take a look back on my struggles with food-
For me, as a child I would eat until I couldn't stuff anything else in my belly. I had no stopping point. I'd grab one Little Debbie, demolish it and then crave more. I'd go back for a second, feel guilty, eat it anyway and then starve the next day telling myself I should be ashamed of the amount I ate the day before. There's that cycle. Mostly carbs/junk food for me and because it was just my mom and I, I think she often felt that the food was comforting since my Dad wasn't around and it was just the two of us. She was busy with work and was a fabulous mother, but I was never told no when it came to helpings, portions, or the food choices...and if I wanted it from the store, she bought it. I shouldn't have been consuming 3-4 super pretzels, french fries and chips in the 7th grade as after school SNACKS. And let's keep in mind I was eating these foods while sitting on the couch watching hours of TV. Wow!
In college, it was WORSE, only now I was at my heaviest or close to it. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd eat a bowl of cereal for a snack, go to the grab and go lunch area on campus, grab the unhealthiest, most fried thing I could find and take it back to my dorm. I'd eat so fast, I'd be choking because I didn't want my roommate to see me eating that much food in one sitting. And if that fried chicken sandwich and pile of fries didn't do it for me, it was back to the snack area in my dorm for chips, crackers, another bowl of cereal. It's almost like I'd coat my guilt from that first fattening meals with other junk. Ugh! It was never ending but would usually end with me crying myself to sleep, feeling like a failure, knowing I could barely button my jeans and it felt AWFUL.
So back to my littlest man, boy has he come a LONG way lately. He wants to run like Daddy and big brother. He things my older son's before school running club is THE coolest thing ever. He loves running the laps and having them mark his hand too and yesterday, he earned his first bead on his necklace for miles run! This little man used to complain if he had to walk to the end of the driveway!!! HA!
his first bead and necklace for miles! I run with them each morning at running club on the track. They think it's so funny to keep a pace with me and then take off and sprint, leaving me in their dust! Of course they end up right back with Momma, laughing that they beat me in the "race"...we make exercise FUN!
and if you still don't believe that consistency pays off, check out what this boy wanted for breakfast this morning??
"Mom, I want that raisin bread (Ezekiel bread) like you and Daddy eat with some cream cheese
(neufchael cheese) on top!"
HE ATE IT UP!!!!
Dinner last night was burritos topped with 1/4 sliced avocado and fruit salad! YUM!
I used my prepped turkey/bean mixture from Meal Prep Monday-it's great to be prepared :)
High fiber/low carb tortillas and roll up meat mixture and added black beans and lentils, some FF cheese on top and a drizzle of hot sauce on top for some kick. I roll them up, bake in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes until slightly crispy and served with some avocado slices and spoon of plain, Greek yogurt! So good!
The boys had the same, but I use regular whole wheat tortillas, same mixture and leave off the hot sauce!
and more prepping success, a few nights ago I made the boys favorite homemade pizza crust and topped with TJ low salt/sugar pizza sauce and crumbled some of the turkey meatballs I had already prepared. Topped with a little cheese, popped in the oven for 12 minutes and they ate it up with a side of broccoli and cauliflower...the two veggies that my youngest son enjoys most so we eat them often :)
The key is to feed your kids healthy from the start. It doesn't matter if they play 8 sports and you feel like they need the added calories/foods, they don't have to be overweight or struggling with exercise in gym class to NEED healthy foods. Healthy foods are what fuel our bodies...they are ALWAYS needed no matter the age, activity level, family history, etc!
Do you meal prep?
Are you consistent with your family and friends when it comes to wanting them to be healthy?