Setting a Good Example

This post is more personal, and not so much about parenting.  But since this is supposed to be a parenting blog, the topic fits into the category of setting a good example for your kids to follow.

I have established a short term goal of losing 7 pounds of body fat.

Let me give you some background here.  I’m not overweight, and most people who hear this goal tell me I don’t “need” to lose any weight.  I am 5 foot 10 inches tall, and when I step on the scale it says 167 lbs.  I fit into pants with a 32″ waist (but they are more snug now).  I’m much more active and fit than the average 35 year old male.

But I definitely don’t have the physique that I used to even 5 years ago.  This is because I’ve relaxed my own healthy habits.  It has nothing to do with my actual ability to regain that physical condition.

A few words about “need”

When people say “Chris, you don’t need to lose weight”, I reframe their comment so they understand where I’m coming from.  I focus on the word “need”.  I often say to them that I don’t “need” to get regular haircuts, and I don’t “need” to exercise.  I don’t “need” to eat healthy.  I don’t “need” to be productive each day.  Instead, I could just let my hair grow to the floor, never shave or bathe, eat garbage food, sit on the coach and expand my waist.

Start thinking about what you want rather than what you need.

My motto is to constantly be improving.  I like to push myself in a healthy and fun way.  The result of this, from a physical perspective, is that I feel proud when I look in the mirror.  My wife tells me I look great.  I feel better.  I feel energetic after running up the stairs.  It’s a nice feeling.  I still have that feeling today, but it’s not as strong as it was a few years ago.

Setting an example for the kids

It’s also important to set a great example of health for your kids.  So with that in mind, I felt like writing this post to describe how I plan to accomplish my goal of getting back to 160 lbs (and regaining the full six-pack), while involving my kids.

I’ll be eating more fruit and vegetables. My kids will see this and I’ll make sure to point out to them why I’m eating these things as snacks between meals, etc.  My plan is to consume 6 cups of fruit and vegetables (combined).

When I say “cup”, I mean approximately a serving.  So if I eat an apple, that’s a cup.  Same with a banana, a pear, a couple of kiwis, a couple slices of cantaloupe, or a handful of strawberries.  Fruit is a fantastic source of nutrients, fiber, and water.  I always feel refreshed after eating fruit.
I’ll be stretching and breathing every evening. This will happen after dinner, and before we put the kids to sleep.  I used to do this with my oldest daughter, before we had the second.  I’d like to re-introduce this habit into our lives.  The kids like to copy me, so I’ll simply have them copy me doing stretches and some deep breathing.  It’s very relaxing before bedtime.

I’ll start acting more like a kid. Isn’t it funny how kids are so thin, yet adults build up all that excess body fat?  Did you ever notice that kids actually move around more?  Gee, you think this might be connected?  I’ve fallen into the trap of sitting on my behind more often.  I sit on the couch and drink coffee on a Saturday morning.  I tell myself “I’m still tired”.  I use it as an excuse to stay seated.  No more.  I’m going to go back to being a kid.  That means playing with the kids, just like I’m one of them.  It’s way more fun and it’s much healthier.

Target:  4 weeks

These changes, and a slightly more rigorous workout routine, will probably result in my goal being achieved within about 4 weeks.  That’s October 20th or so.  When I hit my goal you can expect me to make another blog post about it, or to at least come back and comment under this post.

Stay healthy and enjoy your children,
Chris Thompson

SEE ALSO: This audio lesson will forever change the way you interact with your kids

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3 Responses to Setting a Good Example

  1. Joann October 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Good read. Love your explanation of NEED. Are you on Twitter? I think that is how I originally found you is someone else posting your website. Day ONE of audio course, successful at no yelling at kids! I came up with a mantra to replace my yelling, mostly so I was conscious of when I was feeling like I would yell, “I’m being very patient with you, please cooperate with mom.”

    • Chris Thompson October 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

      Joann – thanks for the comment! Yes, I’m on Twitter as “terribletwos”. I like that your statement to your child is phrased in the positive. Remember that young kids won’t go for logical explanations (works well around 5+, but not at 2). So if your child is young, avoid logic. Drive a change of direction in their thoughts instead, using the language techniques that you’ll learn in the course.

  2. Joann December 21, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    Good read. Love your explanation of NEED. Are you on Twitter? I think that is how I originally found you is someone else posting your website. Day ONE of audio course, successful at no yelling at kids! I came up with a mantra to replace my yelling, mostly so I was conscious of when I was feeling like I would yell, “I'm being very patient with you, please cooperate with mom.”

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