Sugar or Salad?

I often get asked how come I don’t compete in fitness competitions. And for me, I have a few set reasons, but one resonates a little stronger than the rest. There is nothing wrong with fitness competitions, at all, but for me, and my life, its just not something that fits in. Let me tell you one of the main reasons which directly relates to my children and to the purpose of this article.

I am raising two daughters. I want them to have a healthy view point on fitness. I worry that because I am so into fitness that I will do one of two things…either push them towards donuts and pizza or give them a false sense that they need to be perfect. Let me start by talking about the first option….they resent health and fitness.

I try to maintain balance. Yes, we eat healthy. But every Friday we do donut Friday. This is a tradition where I take them to the donut shoppe before school. Why? I don’t eat donuts, and they are so unhealthy. But I want my girls to know moderation. That yes, nine times out of ten we are eating whole foods that fuel our body, but that it is okay to enjoy a treat. I want them to know moderation and to be able to make good choices as they grow up. In turn, my youngest daughter orders salad every time we eat out and my oldest daughter drinks nothing but water. I don’t want to deprive them of fun foods because there is the risk that when left to their own choices they will eat unhealthy on purpose.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum. I work out because I love it. Truly. Its my hobby in addition to my career. I don’t scrapbook, or bake, or garden…I train. I don’t do it because I feel I need to look a certain way or weigh a certain weight. My body is merely a by product of my love for working out. But, I worry. I don’t want my girls to feel like they have to be perfect. I don’t want them checking calories or flipping out if they see a little baby fat on their bodies. I want them to love themselves, and love the way physical activity makes their body feel. In a day and age where the media does such a good job of showcasing the “perfect” female body there are so many body issues amongst young girls that I don’t need to paint that picture at home for them as well.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Your children are watching you. No matter what you say, they do what they see, and so its crucial that you provide balance and guidance in paving the path of a healthy lifestyle for them. Train because you enjoy it. Eat foods that fuel your body and enjoy treats within moderation. Image

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2 Comments to “Sugar or Salad?”

  1. Well said, Love it! We do the same thing, every Friday is our day!

  2. Danielle, I have never been happier reading your words. You are RIGHT ON! As a mom AND former teacher, I have seen the damage done by girls’ body woes. Even in second grade, girls already can have an issue with feeling fat.

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