When I became pregnant with my first child, I finally realized the true definition of health. I was immediately motivated to take the best of care of myself. I exercised to energize; not too much and not too little. I ate food that would fuel my growing baby. I stressed less and laughed more. It occurred to me that this is how we should all live our lives all the time.
After the birth of my son, I found that I continued to live a healthier life. Now realize, that I had been a fitness professional for a decade at this time so you would assume that I was already pretty healthy. Something was different for me upon becoming a mom. I realized that I needed to live my life as I hope that my children will live theirs. This applies to all aspects of my life. Of course, I’m not perfect and that’s something to share with my kids as well. Teaching them to be resilient after failures and to overcome challenges is all part of the model.
I guess what I’m saying is that if you won’t do it for yourself, please do it for your kids. You are their “model mom”. Here are 4 tips that you might want to pass on:
1) Your words are catchy. Don’t let your kids hear you talk about diets, muffin tops or anything negative about your body. Let them hear you take a compliment.
2) Food is fuel. Eat as a family. Don’t short order cook for your kids or make yourself special diet meals. Your whole family should eat together and eat real food. Share with them how food fuels your body. And be careful not to use food as a reward, punishment or entertainment.
3) Be Quiet. One of the hardest things for any adult is to quiet his/her mind. This will be even harder for our children as they grow older with the constant input of technology. Take 10 minutes every day (in front of your children) and meditate or at least just be still. They may not be ready to join you but they will learn from you.
4) Move Daily. If you think of exercise as torture, so will they. Show your kids your commitment to get in some sort of exercise on most days of the week. Even better, show them that you like it and that you feel better when you exercise. Exercise with them from the youngest of age and they will model you.
Lisa Druxman, Founder of Strollerstrides, and PAM Advisor