Since I have started the 12WBT I have seen many people post on the forums and on Facebook how they want to be seen as good role models for their kids and making this change will hopefully help achieve this by demonstrating to them a fit and healthy lifestyle and the flow on benefits from this. Being a parent myself I think there is no greater legacy I can pass onto my 4 lovely children than knowing that they are fit and healthy and have been given the correct tools that they can carry through life in order to maintain their own fit and healthy outlook.
If I rewind 12 months, I would have thought I was doing that already along with my wife, as we ate fairly healthy and ensured the kids new about the right foods to eat and also about eating those not so good foods in moderation. What we did not take into account was the fact that being morbidly obese also sent the wrong messages to our kids. We forget that kids absorb everything and even if it is not something we think they take on, it is sadly absorbed into their way of thinking and can become accepted as normal. With the state of obesity levels in our country rising, why would my children not just accept that being fat was how they were going to be especially if mum and dad were. Don’t kids grown up wanting to be like their parents?
Since starting the 12WBT both myself and Julie have learnt a considerable amount about our previous lifestyle, what we were doing wrong, how we needed to change and have gone about doing exactly that. As I sit here typing this I have lost over 37kgs and Julie has lost over 25kgs (may be close to 30kgs now), but this is not the biggest factor for me. We have not only changed our mindset into including exercise into our daily routine, but we have children that are aware of this and accommodating as well. NO easy feat when my little ones range from 11-4 years in age. The kids are also aware now that mum and dad can have chocolate and chips if they want to, we just choose not to eat them. They understand that this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change. I feel that this is an important thing for kids to understand as we have all seen the repercussions of people yo-yo dieting (many of us have been there for a number of years), so of the kids to know that this is not a temporary thing but something we are doing for ever for the benefit of us and them is a huge thing.
We have also been fortunate that we have a group of people that come every Saturday morning to our house to smash out a garage session for an hour of cardio and boxing. Whilst this group varies in size from 4 to 15 people on any given weekend, we are surrounding the kids with like-minded people and showing them that being active and fit is a fun and exciting way of life.
So, where am I heading with this you might ask? A couple of weeks ago I did my first fun run, which I blogged about. One of my happiest moments was seeing the boys and my wife there to support me. On Wednesday night we attended another fun run (final run in the Brooks Sunset series) at Princes Park. I was doing the 8km event and Julie decided she was going to enter the 4km walk pushing my little 2 in the pram and my eldest (11 ½ year old Callum) was going to walk with her. Sadly I did not get to see any of their event as I was running, but I did pass them once. When I finally finished a little behind them, having Callum come and join me to run the last couple of hundred metres (which was brilliant) Julie told me that Callum had jogged off to run the last km by himself after she had jogged a kilometre with him, which in itself is a huge achievement considering we thought Julie would never run again after her car accident. Not only had Julie and Callum run part of their walk, but my two little munchkins decided they wanted to as well and jumped out of the pram and sprinted the last hundred metres or so the cheers and applause of the crowd around the finish chute.
|Not feeling good but looking OK|
When I heard this I was so proud of them for wanting to be involved and being part of the moment, but it wasn’t until later that I was also proud of my wife for involving them. I was more concerned about running my 8km’s and how I was going to make it to the end and didn’t really think that they might have enjoyed taking part. What she did was not only share her experience with them, but open a new world up to my children that shows them that not everything you do physically is about winning or competition but sometimes you just have to get out, get active and have FUN!!!!
|Callum seems to be having FUN!!!|
What we have been doing the last 10 months is changing not only our mindset, but also that of our children and this will continue to happen with more events coming up that Julie and I will take part in. The flow on from the other night (see below picture) is having Julie send me photos of my 4 year old doing push ups and crunches. Last night when I got home both the 5 year old and the 4 year old were doing push ups, crunches and mishy makers, with the 5 year old also showing dad his version of Mountain Climbers.
|Aidan doing his push ups.|
I must admit that I was aware of the fact that kids look to their parents and grandparents as examples and follow suit but to see the positive impact our weight loss and lifestyle change has had on them makes me proud of the changes we have made and will continue to make for our benefit and the little ones.