This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mommy See, Baby Do

My original inclination was to post about how much I hate Mondays and how grumpy I feel every week when I roll out of bed, but then I decided to write about more positive and interesting things I noticed over my weekend.

First, I did pretty well as far as food goes, although I did some extra snacking yesterday, including a dipped cone at Dairy Queen I had following my son's band performance. I knew better than to agree to going there. But, I did count the calories and even with that I only went over my calories yesterday by 41 calories. For the week, I ended up under by 4,000 and I expect a loss at my weigh in on Wednesday. Although, you never can tell what Mr. Scale will have to say about that. He's such an a-hole!

One of the big reasons I started this road to fitness is for my kids. When I think back on my childhood, I remember a lot of dieting. I think I was on weight watchers the first time at age 10. I've seen diets. A lot of them. I've seen weight loss surgery-my mom, her brothers, and others in my mostly obese family. I have not seen real success with weight loss.

The thing I cannot remember, and I've tried to, is ever seeing anyone exercising regularly or working out for the sake of fitness. It's just not something we did. In the 80s, I had the Jane Fonda tapes and did them periodically in my teen years. But, exercise was never a regular part of my day or anyone else I knew.

I really believe that I can set a healthy example for my kids by watching my food, teaching them to read labels and that exercise is and should be a part of your daily routine. Like brushing or flossing or bathing, I want them to think it is just something you have to do to stay healthy. It is not something I realized until just recently.

On Saturday, I decided to run outside, only for the 2nd time since I started C25K. I feel safer on the treadmill. I feel less self-conscious. I still haven't had the guts to run at the gym. I worry about people watching all that jiggling and fat flapping I guess. But, I've also realized it's easier to stop. If you're outside, you can't just sit down because you have to get back. So, I decided to go to the park. The track around the lake is 1.2 miles. Easy Peesy, right?

For the first time, I confessed to my 12 year old son that I want to run a 5K. I told him I'm training for it and asked if he wanted to join me. He does. So, Saturday am, he and I went to the park. I did 3 laps which is 3.6 miles. My longest distance yet. I am super slow, but I also finished week 4! Despite the heat. Despite the pollen. And, despite the jiggling fat.

The best part is that my son did it and felt so proud. Someone came up to him and told him he's going to be a great athlete when he gets bigger since he's started training so early. He was also jazzed about the next time we can go. Running laps at the park is not something I would have EVER done with my mom. It made me feel so good to share that with him.

Then, yesterday, I got in the pool with the kids. I've been swimming laps every time we swim, which is almost daily. This time, the kids got all excited about swimming laps with Mommy. Even my youngest, who is 4, decided to swim like me. Man is she fast! She beat me nearly every lap, which is 10 meters in our pool one way. I was telling her how amazing she is at swimming and marveling at how much faster she is than me. She said, "Mommy, don't worry. It's just because you are so much older and sweatier than me. You can get faster if you try!" I nearly drowned I was laughing so hard!

After that, I got out and did push ups and sit ups. You should have seen my girls, ages 4 and 5, doing them with me. HIL-alrious! Then, my 5 year old started teaching me some things she's learned in PE. I did them with her, although not as deftly for sure. Yet I was so proud and happy to be exercising with my kids and even learning a few things from them as well.

How about you? How do you approach teaching your kids about diet and exercise? Do you worry about them being obese like I do? The one thing I know for sure is that the changes I am making will change their lives for the better. Even if I don't reach my goal weight, I am leading by example and teaching lessons every time they see me making healthy choices.


  1. I do worry about my kids being obese...all the time. I am trying to teach my 5 year old how important exercise and eating is right now. We also make sure that she is involved with activities away from home. She is playing soccer and gymnastics right now and during the winter she takes tap and ballet.

    I was active as a kid and once I got older and less involved, I packed on my weight.

    I think it is awesome the way your kids got involved...as entertaining as it was, you gave them something to grow on too.

  2. Al- I was never active and I really believe that was my problem. I have this fear that my now thin and active girls will gain weight like I did once I started school. My son was under weight until about age 6, now he's a little overweight, but is making efforts to lose and get healthy. I think the best thing we can do as parents is be healthy ourselves.

  3. What a great post. Congrats on your C25K in the park. I just finished my 9 weeks about 3 weeks ago. It's a workout, and it the temps hadn't gone off the charts for most of my workouts. I love that you're getting your kids involved in exercise. It's a great example, and they'll remember this when they grow up.

    I've been 50 pounds or so overweight for most of my adult life, with maybe 5 of those 37 years being times when I was seriously striving to lose weight and get in shape. My DH as always exercised every day. Our kids did organized soccer and tennis as kids and did sports in HS. As adults my 2 boys are fit and still exercise daily, my daughter, 35, maintains a size 12, but she could benefit from regular exercise.

  4. That is really awesome, all the fun exercise with your kids. You are setting a wonderful example for them, which is something I wish I had done.

    Last December, when my sons were home from college, I badgered my 20-year-old to go running with me. I had just barely run my first mile, and was having a hard time getting out there. So we went...and I lasted 12 minutes. Then the next day, 15...and by the time he went back to school, I was up to 22 minutes and although I missed having a running buddy, I had the confidence to go outside and run by myself. What a wonderful thing for you to do with your son, with the 5K goal. How great will it be to run your first 5K race with him?!?


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