Having children totally transformed my life my body and my mind.
The way I looked at the world suddenly transformed. I put so much care and energy into nurturing my family that I felt like I lost myself.
Who am I now? What do I like? What’s important to me? How do I get back to feeling like me again? My weight fluctuated I wanted to do my best to lose it in a healthy way, knowing that I could lose it gradually and sustainably, but I felt a little like I was pushing it...Stressing about it.
But, you know what I find AMAZING?
When I was able to accept myself no matter what size I was, the habits I was pushing so hard to do suddenly became much easier. Once it was OK to be in my own skin, I could pay attention to things like my body's hunger cues, fullness, which foods gave me great energy, and why I was having cravings.
The new relaxation and peace that came from releasing the dread of having to get my body back made it EASIER to "make healthy choices"
While not necessarily easy, intentionally forming healthy habits—and having your family get onboard with you—is possible. You just need to be armed with the following strategies:
Create a plan. Focus on one area at a time. If you get too ambitious, you run the real risk of overwhelming your clan! Maybe you want to get active, eat more healthy food, and simplify your life, but you’ll need to pick only one and hone in on that to start. For example, begin by upping your activity level and scheduling regular family bike rides three days a week.
Within your plan, think baby steps. Instead of “I want us to eat better,” try thinking about one thing that you can improve and implement that. Maybe it’s drinking more water, eating more vegetables, cutting out sugar, exercising etc. . Once you succeed in making that change you can add another healthy habit to the mix.
Be prepared for obstacles. There will be setbacks along the way, and that’s OK. There’s no room for perfection when it comes to making the change to a healthy lifestyle! It is about being empowered with the knowledge, being easy on ourselves and doing the best that we can do from day to day. One of the essential elements of choice is being willing to accept yourself where you are. This is where you will start to go a lot deeper, to things like self-compassion, self-worth, and self-love. Encourage your family to put past choices behind them and look at each new moment as an opportunity to make a better choice.
Set a good example. You play an important role as guide and coach for your children as they make choices about eating. Make it fun! After all, it’s healthy to laugh! Be creative as you introduce these ideas to your family. Incorporate games or adventurous outings into your bag of tricks to create a positive correlation with their newfound habits.
Eat dinner together as a family. Research has shown that just eating together as a family can improve children’s nutritional health. Eat in a device free environment and shoot for sitting down at least three days a week (ideally more).
Studies show that it takes a median time of 66 days to form a new habit. In the end, you’ll see that adopting healthy habits is more akin to running a marathon, not a sprint, and motivation is key. In this case, the reward of you and your family living more vibrant lives, at an ideal weight, with reduced risk of disease definitely justifies the effort!
Angela is the wonder wiz behind Wildcrafted Way and loves helping people eat well and live vibrantly. She cultivates health for herself and others blending her love of science, horticulture, cooking and gardening with a slice of magic. She shares her piece of the planet with her 2 kids, husband, a giant garden and little weiner dog called Henry.