I want to start this blog by saying, I am in NO way as “fit” as I would like to be. I am a working in progress on the get healthy boat.
BUT, I am also a stay-at-home mom to two very physically active children with special needs. My son has speech issues and my daughter is autistic. I, myself, have Aspergers. I know how hard it is to stay fit while chasing children and you don’t always feel like working out and certainly, I don’t have time for a gym membership, or the money for that matter and I’m sure as a busy parent, you don’t either.
Being busy doesn’t have to mean lazy though. As always, you should consult your doctor before starting any strenuous exercise or diet program. Making sure you start healthy is the best way to determine your future health and if there is anything you should stay away from in terms of impact aerobics. That being said, there are plenty of simple ways to increase your calorie burning effectiveness without going to the gym or really making huge life changes all at once and most parents can do this stuff easily!
The first thing I started to do when I decided to use my current deployment to get my family healthy was to stop buying junk food. If I want my kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, to drink juice and water instead of kool-aid, then I need to realize I am in control of the shopping list. I am the one buying the groceries. If the junk food isn’t in the house, we can’t eat junk. My kids already love fruits and vegetables (some fruits and vegetables), but they want to eat them more often and will choose them over cookies and junk if they see ME eating them more often. I went to the commissary last Friday (today is Thursday). I spent $112, mostly on produce and dairy! I did buy one package of Halloween Oreo’s for the kids to have as desert a few nights a week. By the way, a serving size of Oreo cookies is TWO COOKIES! Get a paper towel, eat your two cookies and leave the rest of them in the kitchen. I recently read a blog about junk food and she wrote that just 3 extra cookies a day can lead to 100 extra pounds over eight years! That may seem like forever, but look at all you’ve done in the past 8 years, would you have been able to do that weighing 100lbs more? What would you be doing today if over the past 8 years you have gained 100lbs? That’s three times the average weight of a three year old! Could you imagine living life while carrying around three preschoolers?
YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR GROCERY LIST!
Stop making excuses and start making a list. To be precise, and a bit of a smart ass, I actually inventoried and emailed my husband a list (and photos) of everything I bought at the commissary last week:
2, 3lb bags of apples (one green, one red)
2lb of carrots
1 bag black grapes
1 bag green grapes
1 bag of spinach
honey ham lunch meat
2 gallons of milk
6 bottles of V8 juice
2 containers of yogurt
2 loaves of bread
Pretzels (for Sissy’s lunch)
2 large cans of tuna
great big box of goldfish colors
craisins trail mix (to put in oatmeal :D)
Trail Mix bars
– cranberry and pomegranate
– fruit and nut
– 2 blueberry
– 2 Apple cinnamon
– 2 banana nut
– strawberry cheesecake
– chocolate chip
100ct Ziploc sandwich bags
20ct dish washer tablets
A cream soda…
Last weeks trip to the Commissary!
And to be honest, the cream soda sucked! I had a coke the other day for the first time in three weeks and got sick to my stomach. It was so disgusting. Stop buying things that make you sick. Stop buying things that will make your children sick. Be the grown-up!
You might be thinking, “but my kids really like (insert random junk food here)” or “My kids wont eat vegetables when I serve them.” Mine didn’t either. In the past week, alone, my daughter has tried oatmeal AND created her own (dry) spinach leaf and shaved carrot salad! This is a child that took six months of one on one work before she would eat macaroni and cheese! If she’s eating the fruits and vegetables, you’re kids will too. Not all kids like the same things. Did you notice my list includes two types of apples AND two types of grapes? My daughter wont eat green apples, my son wont eat red ones. They are both eating apples though. My son will eat any color grape, but my daughter only eats green ones. They are, again, both eating grapes! Make it work for your family, have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and your kids will eat them. Use dipping sauces if that keeps your kids entertained. My kids don’t particularly like them, but do what works for your family. And don’t worry about Organic. It’s more expensive, but doesn’t have any proven benefits over “regular” produce. If it’s pesticides and chemicals on the food your worried about, WASH THEM! For heaven’s sake, you’re supposed to rinse and scrub your veggies before you eat them anyway!
The key to family fitness and health starts with YOU!
You are the parent!
You are the grown-up!
You are the example your kids will turn to for this kind of stuff. Be the right kind of example. Your kids will thank you later in life. When they are in their 60s and have few risk factors for high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, they may not actively say “Thanks ma, for making me eat spinach when I was three.”, but getting the chance to live a full and healthy life well into their golden years will speak volumes for future generations!
Think about that one! Making your kids healthy eaters now, will help shape the health of your future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Using your children and their never ending mess to your beef your workout.