The government has proposed stricter guidelines on food advertising to children (Click link for article from NY Times) . That's all fine and dandy, and I can appreciate all the efforts by our government to raise awareness, but really it starts with parents, at home. I'm proud to say I lead by example at my household. Check out this blog post I wrote a while ago.
I talk the talk. I walk the walk. I lead by example. Throughout my journey to a healthier, active lifestyle there’s been one person with me every step of the way – my daughter, Jasmyn. In less than one year Jasmyn has lost 35 lbs. She went from a size 15 to a size 8. Naturally, when my diet changed, her diet changed too.
I’ve always been a lover of food and have preferred to cook at home rather than pick up fast food or eat at a restaurant. Therefore, we didn’t have to overcome eating out issues. No coincident, my mother cooked at home as well. I’ve always believed in a balanced meal: Protein, grains, and a vegetable. Early on I exposed Jasmyn to all sorts of foods so she’s never been a picky eater. She always has eaten veggies and definitely can enjoy an apple like her mom. Consequently, when it came time to make some changes around our house, the transition was smooth.
My priority was to cut down the number of high caloric meals I prepared - dishes loaded with cheese or smothered in gravy. I nixed white rice and white bread altogether. I eliminated the few packaged items I used such as, Rice-A-Roni and Stouffer’s meals. Juice and soda weren’t huge issues, but there were times I bought them and I stopped.
I involve Jasmyn in the kitchen all the time and I talk to her about our food choices. Throughout the last several months our diets have been dialed in and are a lot cleaner than they were even six months ago. But, it's important to note, Jasmyn’s weight loss came in the first few months without exercise, simply by eliminating some foods from our diet. Now, since I’m more active, we exercise together. She has joined me at the gym in water aerobics, Zumba, and Boot Camp. Recently, she even witnessed one of my personal training sessions. We also play outdoors together: tennis, jogging, and shooting hoop.
It all starts with me. I'm her mother for goodness sake. I'm supposed to love her, care for her, and teach her. I realize, I’m her most influential role model and leader. That means I really can’t expect her to eat one way while I eat another. I can’t expect her to exercise and I don’t. I show and tell. I lead by example. She’s proof.