Family Fitness Week 1

Our family is on a fitness kick. Not the kind you might think. We aren’t all working out 3 hours a day and preparing to run a marathon. We are trying to make a few changes to be healthier. Most of us have been feeling sluggish, or just not up to par. The reality is our lifestyle is not doing us any favors. If you’ve read my blog much you know we are pulled in 5 different directions at any given moment. This means we are eating on the fly, getting very little sleep and not making time for exercise. A recipe for feeling blah.

So what to do?

My nature is to develop a very detailed, elaborate plan. Spend hours laying it all out – in spreadsheet form of course- and present to the family. And that will last about a day. I knew we needed a simple solution. Something we can manage without a drastic lifestyle change. You know, slow and steady wins the race. I did some searching on the internet of course. I found Sparkpeople.com. Its a free site focused on being healthy. There is a diet track if that’s what you are interested in, but the real focus is on making healthy life choices. There are lots of trackers – nutrition, fitness, weight., goals. There are journals, and recipes and community forums. So many tools! It’s a great site.

But its too much for us right now. I need some very small steps. Something the whole family can buy into. And something that won’t be so much work to track. Then I stumbled on “An Eight-Week Family Fitness Plan: To Reduce the Obesity Threat to Your Family”. I wanted a checklist and that’s exactly what this is – Week 1, Week 2, etc. I printed it out and read the introduction at dinner last Sunday. And then we went thru Week 1.

There are six topics each week and you choose what you want to do. Its bite sized! I like that! You literally go thru the list and pick what you want to commit to ….for that week! I can do anything for a week.

We had a really long brunch and worked our way thru all six topics. Here’s what we decided.

  • Family Project – we calculated the BMI of every family member {thanks to the nifty scale I bought a couple months ago} and have recorded it.
  • Healthier Activities – we made a list of activities we would like to do as a family and decided to pick one a week to do. Last Sunday we did yard work together – raking leaves is hard work.
  • Healthier Mealtimes at Home – we had lots of ideas here.
    • The TV is off during meal times. – this is a huge thing for us!
    • We switched to smaller plates – luncheon sized.
    • And each committed to a better decision during lunches
      • Hubby – no fried foods
      • Me – no fast food breakfasts
      • Oldest Son – switch to wheat bread on his sub sandwich (Please! That’s his bad habit – not chips, not burgers, not fries…love that kid!)
      • Middle Son – no chicken tenders or nuggets for school lunch
      • Youngest Son – eat a protein, fruit or veggie and milk for lunch every day (we were appalled to find out what he is actually eating for lunch!! Pringles, goldfish and bottled water! EVERY DAY! Total parent fail.)
  • Healthier Nutrition – we came up with a couple for this one.
    • We committed to having a fruit or vegetable at every meal at home. Hubby has done a great job of making sure we have one every night for supper. {I know, this should have been a no brainer, but it wasn’t – don’t judge:)}
    • We also came up with a few ways to increase our plant proteins (dry beans, peas, nuts and seeds, soy products). We have added almonds as a snack and addition to our yogurt and we are adapting some of our Mexican dishes to incorporate black beans {something I love, but the kids – not so much}.
  • Rest – this is so important and probably the biggest deficit for our family!
    • They suggest cutting caffeine after 3 PM. Um…NO! When it comes to my caffeine, I turn crazy. Don’t mess with my soda! So here’s what we did commit to:
      • Hubby – cut down to 3/day
      • Me – no soda after 9 pm and count how many I consume a day {scarey}
      • Oldest Son – he doesn’t drink pop – whatever
      • Middle Son – 1 soda/week
      • Youngest Son – 1 soda/week
  • Media – in a nutshell, we decided to only turn the TV on to watch a specific show. We talked about what we like to watch and each picked a couple things. The TV doesn’t come on until the show starts. Instead of channel surfing to find something interesting.

So that was the plan. Totally do-able.

The discussion around this was interesting. We learned what everyone’s buttons were – the thing they didn’t want anyone messing with. {I may have more than the rest of the family:)} It resulted in some heated conversations, but it was good. And it will be a week tomorrow.

How has it gone? Really well! There have been a few missteps, but for the most part we have all stuck to our commitments. I think that’s because we chose what we were willing to do and because we did it in bite sized pieces. No one has lost weight and we aren’t running any half marathons, but that wasn’t the goal {and it’s been a whole week!}. But we are making small changes that will add up to better fitness in the long run.

I peeked ahead to some of the future weeks. It made me shudder. I’m just going to have to take this one week at a time.

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4 Comments

Filed under Family, Health, Lifestyle

4 responses to “Family Fitness Week 1

  1. I can’t wait to hear what the other weeks entail. This sounds very intriguing!

  2. Vel

    Judy, I am really impressed!!!

  3. Pingback: A Little Family Fun | Considering the Options

  4. oh my gosh, kudos to you! Keep us updated on your familys’ antics during this family fitness thing. Like Carolyn, can’t wait to read more.

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