My two ‘bigs’ had their annual physicals this week. I never look forward to the conversation that comes from discussing their weight and BMI. I know that they are healthy and that it would be really beneficial for those numbers to be smaller. However, I am afraid that they’ll develop negative body images at such young ages if they hear that those numbers are perceived as important. It’s already happening though.
Early on, Jeff and I made a conscious decision to change some words in our house. We always make sure to say our kids have “strong legs” that help them cartwheel, run, and kick. And we are especially careful about saying the “F” word- fat. That is a banned word in our house. I used to say it a lot, but as soon as we heard the kids say it, we realized that the word fat needed to be exiled from our home. It’s not that I don’t want them to know the word, but rather I don’t want them to associate themselves with the word.
We’ve replaced some other words in our vocabulary; fit, healthy, active, and strong are the words we choose to use when assessing the data from the scale or our clothes. And in the year that we have been using these words, we can see that our kids are also using them. However, we have fallen a little bit off the health wagon this summer, hence my apprehension with the pediatrician’s visit.
The kids had finished up with the exam part of the appointment and the doctor was summarizing some key health info that I appreciated her sharing with them. In a discussion with the kids, she shared that in a day they should be having:
- a combination of five servings of fruits or vegetables
- three to four servings of dairy items
- drink around 64 ounces of water
- be active everyday
- limit all screen time to under 2 hours.
I could have hugged her! We left that appointment with ideas for cooking, prepping healthy snacks, how to add more fit minutes, and even more family exercise activities the kids want to try. I was ecstatic! We drove right to Trader Joe’s and bought a variety or fruits and veggies, some new dairy items for them to try (although those are super high in sugar and I am not a fan of that…but that is another post), practiced reading labels, and said no to sugary extras that don’t help us to be healthy. Then, and this is the most surprising thing of all… they helped carry in all the groceries when we got home and helped to put them all away, all because they wanted to eat an orange!!!
I can happily report that since that shopping trip, the kids have eaten their minimum of five fruits/veggies a day, almost all of their water, have exercised each day, reduced their screen time, and they have tried all of the dairy options we bought. Plus, it’s been really easy to do a quick count after dinner to see if we need to add anything before it’s too late. Five is the perfect number for little kids to keep track of for the day- even my four year old can do it! All I have to say, is “Gimme 5,” and they happily report their progress.
Oh, I forgot the best part! They independently practice kids-yoga every night by following along with videos they find through our Apple TV. I couldn’t be prouder of them!
Obviously, I did not anticipate such a lesson for my family from one 45 minute appointment, but boy am I glad that I was open to hearing what was not said, just as much as my kids heard what was said. Jeff and I agree that we need to set a better example and we are committed to doing it.
Today, I encourage you to be BOLD in your intentional thoughts. Make decisions for yourself and your family that are in line with your values. Don’t worry about what others might think, make choices for you and you only. And if you are ever feeling anxious or you’re particularly in need of a good chat then please be open to what is and isn’t said. Use your margin so that those words and thoughts have somewhere to go and bounce around before you see the happy accident that is showing itself to you. Be INSPIRED to see what is revealed and to appreciate it. Not all exposed apprehensions lead to negative outcomes, some lead to surprisingly positive ones! See your BEAUTIFUL MESS and smile.
~There are no happy accidents.