Monday, January 9, 2017

#SOL17 They Are Watching

Almost every morning, I have a little sidekick who follows me into the bathroom as I attempt to do my hair and makeup. My (closer now to four ) three year old, Megan, climbs onto the toilet and watches me as I apply lotion, foundation, mascara and more. She asks for the makeup brush and mimics me, making sweeping motions on her perfect, unblemished baby skin. She wants to know what the mascara is for and how old she has to be before she can use it, too. 
When I flip over my hair to blow dry my very curly dark hair, she makes the scrunching motions on her straight golden hair. 

Other times of the day, Megan informs me she has "important work to do" and insists I let her type on the computer. Other times of day, she assembles her "students" (every stuffed animal she can grab) and lines them up to teach them a lesson. 

Though she looks almost nothing like me, Megan is, in lots of ways, a mini-me, who is watching what I do and say. 

Alex, my six year old, isn't really interested in my beauty routine, but he watches me too, notices my moods, my actions, and all that I say. 

Our children and our students are always watching. (Just found this poem by John Wooden on Vicki Davis' blog which speaks to the power of our example.)


This is a picture of me and Sharyn (and our husbands too- Sharyn's husband Evan and my husband Mike). Our husbands were best buddies in college and Sharyn and I met through them. We've been bridesmaids in each other's weddings and our children are almost exactly the same age! We've seen each other through many different life stages. 


One of my best friends, Sharyn, shared this idea in a new private Facebook group she created called "Our Healthy Home." This is the idea behind the group, in Sharyn's words: 
The group will begin on Monday, January 9, 2017. This group will be specifically geared towards helping families incorporate more healthy habits into their daily lifestyle. My sincere hope for this group is that members of the group who have children will log into the group daily with their children. There will be daily challenges that will be appropriate for all ages. This group IS NOT about weight or weight loss. There will be no "plan", there will be nothing for you to buy or do to join. Just bring yourself, your family, your open mind, and open heart. The focus in the group is purely to implement more healthy habits into your home, and stimulate conversation between parents and their children about trying some new healthy habits. You never know, you just might implement one or two regularly!
As many of you know, I grew up as a very overweight child, and grew into an overweight adult. Approximately a year and a half after the birth of my second daughter, I hit rock bottom. As hitting rock bottom often is, it was a blessing in disguise. I realized that unless I wanted my children to have an obese mom, and likely adopt the unhealthy habits I had at that time, I needed to change. I knew I could set a better example. I knew I needed to. I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn't. I knew my children deserved it. I knew I deserved it. With the love and support of my husband, my family and friends, I embarked on a wellness journey that has helped me transform myself in so many ways. I have incorporated numerous healthy habits into my lifestyle. I have lost 99 pounds over the past 18 months, but more than the weight loss, I have the peace of mind knowing that I am teaching my children how to incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyle. I am teaching them that health is important; that you show your love for your self by taking good care of yourself. I am showing them that their mother believes that she is important, and that she takes care of herself. I am showing them that it is never too soon or too late to make healthy choices, and that the opportunities to make healthy choices are ALWAYS present. I know that they're watching me. I know that they're learning from me, and I hope they set the same example for my grandchildren one day.
Sharyn is one of the best people I know. Funny, smart, beautiful, and a devoted mom. In the last 18 months, she has transformed her life and her health. I love that she is taking this passion for health and using it to create a space for families to learn about a healthy lifestyle together, without the focus on weight. I, too, grew up as an overweight child and have struggled with my weight forever. With little ones watching me so closely, and many times trying to emulate me, I can do better in many areas of being a healthy individual. 
On Sunday morning, my Jazzercise class was cancelled due to the weather. I put on a fitness program and worked out in the living room, with Megan kicking and punching right next to me, swirling all around. My sidekick is always watching, which means I need to step up my game. 
Sharyn's group is free and it's not about weight loss. It is a private Facebook group and you would need to be added. In Sharyn's words:
Whether you consider yourself a "health nut" or someone who would like to dip their toe into the wellness pool, I invite you and your family to join "Our Healthy Home". I would love to support you and your family in incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle.
(If you are interested in joining, please write your Facebook name in the comments and I will be sure you are added to the group.)