I started this post last week and never got it completed...life just got in the way but tonight I feel it is necessary to finish it. I hope you read it and hear what I am trying to say deep down.
Last Sunday afternoon That Other Kid learned to ride his bike! It was a glorious day for both of us! I have been working with him for about 2 years, and until Friday afternoon he really had no desire to learn. Friday afternoon we went to the skate park where he saw skateboarders skating all over the place. He has wanted to skate board since he was 3!! BUT my rule has been that if he wants to skateboard he has to learn to ride a 2 wheel bike PROFICIENTLY! So we came home from the skate park and he instantly wanted to ride his bike! BUT he got easily frustrated and mad and kept falling! Rinse, repeat for 45 minutes! Finally I called it a day and made him come in. Then Sunday he went out and after 10 minutes he was riding! It was pretty awesome! After 1 hr of riding he was doing great!
I'm really proud of him and now it's time for me to buy a bike so we can go biking together! I love biking and can hardly wait to ride with him! Great memories are to be had!
So I started looking for a bike on Craigslist and asking around to see if anyone has a bike. That other kid has been listening as I talk to people about my search for a bike. On Wednesday he said something to me that really made me think. (before I continue know that the hubby and I have always taught our kids to speak honestly and openly to us, to tell us what they think!) He said, "maybe you need to get skinnier before you can ride a bike."
I didn't really think too much of his comment till later that evening. I started reflecting on what I am teaching my 8 year old about being healthy and fit. I started thinking about the impressions I am giving him when I say "I can/can't do this because I am overweight". When I am "skinnier" I will be able to do "xxxx" with you. I started thinking about how he doesn't know what it is like to have a mom who is at a healthy weight. Yes, overall I am in pretty good condition. I can (and did) walk 60 miles. I can lift and carry 80 lbs of water into our apartment from our car. I can (and have been) exercise daily for at least 30 minutes a day. I can run VERY short distances (although I don't really do it often). BUT...am I really healthy? No, I'm not. I'm still at the "obese" category on the BMI charts. I still need to lose at least 40 pounds. I still need to learn how to feed my body properly ON A DAILY BASIS, not just when it is convenient or I feel like it. I still need to learn how to prepare healthy, nutritionally balanced meals for our family. I have a long way to go...but as I keep telling myself it is all a process. One day at a time, right?
But...the clincher came tonight right before he went to bed. My 8 year old, 4'2", 62 pound, karate blue belt came into the living room and said, "mom, will you put me on a diet? I'm getting too big!!" That nearly killed me inside! I thought I was going to start crying right then and there. My child who doesn't have an ounce of fat on his body wanted me to put him on a diet! I told him that, "he was supposed to get bigger! He's a growing boy! He's not fat! He's healthy and fit!"
The saddest part of this is that he learned about diets from me! I am constantly "dieting". I am constantly telling him I can't have this or that because it isn't something that is "good" for me. I am teaching him by example that there are 'good' foods and 'bad' foods. Yes, I realize that there are "good and bad for us" foods but my point is nothing should be seen as something that is totally off limits! That is how I got in this place in the first place. (Well that and not taking care of myself for 20 years!)
Now I need to do damage control. From this point forward I will eat foods that are nutritionally sound. I will choose wisely. I will start setting a good example for my son. I want our family to be healthy. I want us to be fit. I want to raise a child who doesn't look at food as a "good or bad" thing. I want him to look at food from the view of "fuel" for his body. Eat when hungry, and only till not hungry. I don't want him to go through life thinking he is fat or unhealthy just because he isn't built like most of his friends who are lean and tall. I want him to live life to his fullest potential, exactly as God created him.
Raising children can be a very daunting task. Raising them to have a healthy self-image is even more daunting. Raising children to grow up healthy and fit, knowing what that means for each individual is apparently even more daunting!
I want what's best for my son and I want what's best for me! It's time to start proving that to both of us!