Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It starts with You

As a mother, I realize that I'm Jasmyn's greatest role model. I am her most influential example. I'm supposed to care for her, love her, guide her. The decisions I make for my life, ultimately influence her life.

At my heaviest weight of 388 pounds, I'll admit, I was not a good role model for her. I was not setting very good examples about health, food, and exercise. At 388 pounds, I could barely walk, barely breathe, and I knew that if I didn't do something about it. Jasmyn might lose me to a preventable disease. I started losing weight to simply save my life. But in the process I not only saved my life, I also became a better example for Jasmyn.

As the case with all children, Jasmyn was a product of her environment. She ate boxed processed food because that's what I brought into our home for her to eat. She drank soda pop because I made it available. She didn't exercise because I didn't expose her to exercise.

In March 2010, at the age of 17, Jasmyn was tipping the scale at 197 pounds. She was headed on a similar path as me. Once I started my bid to a healthier lifestyle. Jasmyn's lifestyle also changed. Today, by following my lead Jasmyn weighs 150 pounds.

I know, first hand about growing up overweight and the long-term effects of obesity. I am proud that I was able to break the cycle with Jasmyn. Jasmyn deserves credit too for embracing the changes. She learned to say no to soda pop, no to second helpings, and became more active. Now like her mother, Jasmyn munches on raw vegetables for snacks, rarely eats out, and exercises regularly.

I realize there are lots of external forces: Conflicting labeling and messaging, on boxed and packaged food, the aggressive food marketing and advertising geared towards children and young adults. I get it,  I do, but as parents, our role is to protect our children from these messages and to make better options available.

Your child's health starts at home with you. Mountain Dew doesn't magically appear in the fridge, cookies don't bake themselves, and children will play outside and exercise if we provide the means.

You can’t expect your kids to eat one way while you eat another. You can’t expect them to exercise and you don’t. You have to show and tell. You have to lead by example.

I talk the talk. I walk the walk. Jasmyn 's 47 pound weight loss is proof.

Read previous related blog post:
Today, 20% of children 6-11 are obese. It's time we come together collectively to help combat this problem. I'm proud to be the presenter for Camas and Washougal on a Diet's free screening of HBO's The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis documentary. Please join in on this important conversation.

Tonight, Wednesday, April 3rd and April 10
7 p.m.
2050 NW 38th Ave

I'll see YOU there!

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The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News