I get asked a lot, how I got my whole family on board when it came to being more active and eating clean. First let me share with you how I failed at this. I decided to get rid of everything that wasn't healthy and begged my husband to workout with me. EPIC FAILURE! No one wants to be forced into anything, no matter how good it is for you! My children started buying very unhealthy things at school and I would find wrappers in their pockets when I would do laundry. My husband worked out with me for three days and then gave up because it wasn't when and what he wanted to be doing. So I had to come up with a new plan.
My new plan was going to make them eat healthier and get more active without them really knowing. How did I do that? First I started by letting each of my kids pick out a snack for the week that wasn't clean, but wasn't terribly unhealthy either. Secondly they could have that option in their lunch with a fruit and another healthy option. Thirdly I decided to tell them that when they had a sleepover we could get a snack or an ice cream that we wouldn't normally have in our home. Fourth option was when we were at a celebration they could eat whatever they chose, as long as they didn't stuff their face silly. Fifth thing I did was start to educate them. I read things out loud and say I can not believe how bad this really is when it came to a food we use to it. We have watched some great documentaries like " Fed Up" and that one really hit home with them. Opening their eyes to things that I wanted them to know and learn. Slowly they started just making better food choices and giving things up on their own.
When it came to being active, anyone that knows my children knows they willingly play sports all year round. Like most kids when they do have down time they were watching TV, playing video games or on their devices. There isn't too much down time for them, but I realized how inactive I was and I was showing them as an adult it wasn't important. So I started doing more things with them outside and inside that made us be more active. In nicer weather we started bike riding along the canal, we went to the school's tennis courts and had matches, we did kickball games in the backyard, I even started taking turns with running with each of them. These were things that in the past I truly didn't have the energy to do, nor felt like doing. I was eating clean, drinking Shakeology and working out everyday. I had a lot more energy and more willpower to try these activities. I signed up for my first 5K and my family came to cheer me on last May. I loved how proud they were of me and it made me feel like a million bucks! I also realized how much happier my kids were when I was able to play with them and keep up. This past year we have had so many good times playing and I don't want that to stop. So what happens when you live up north and it's so cold you can't be active outside? I started having my kids join me in my workouts and we have had a blast every time we do this together. I encourage them and they are encouraging each other. Everyday they are home from school, they see me working out in the basement when they play in the room next to me. Sometimes they join me without me even asking them and I love that! They are watching me and they are watching how hard I am working to be healthier. They have even asked me why I made these changes and why I am working so hard? I tell them because it's important I take care of myself. It makes me feel good, I feel stronger, I have more energy and I am happier-besides it makes me feel like I have a better chance at being on this earth longer with them!
On to my husband who did not want anything to do with eating clean and did not want to join me while working out. I begged him for a long time and then I decided to not say a word. Months later on his own he started to workout and ask me what he should be eating. I realized it had to be on his own terms. He even ended up saying to me about a month ago, that because of everything I was working so hard to accomplish, it made him want to get back into shape. So even though a year ago, I thought he would never join me-he did! Now he is up every morning at 4:30 am and hitting the gym. He use to skip breakfast all the time, now he has a blender in his office and drinks Shakeology in the morning. He even told me yesterday that he is eating every 2-3 hours now and bought healthy snacks to keep at work. This excites me because I wanted him to do this so badly with me and even though it was months later, it was his own decision and that is what is making his progress successful.
We can not force anyone into this healthy lifestyle, but what we can do is live this way, incorporate small healthy changes and hope that others will follow. The benefits are to great, not to want to live this way. The things my kids are learning now will help them so much as adults. They won't turn to food for comfort like I did and as of right now the way they live their lives with exercise and food will hopefully forever be their lifestyle.