Monday, August 29, 2011

Changing our ways

About a month and a half ago, Chuck and I held what we call a "mini" family conference.  Mini because it was just the two of us at the particular conference.  We decided it was time for a family make-over.  No, I'm not talking about plastic surgery or new hairstyles here.  I'm talking about changing the way we eat, exercise and live in general.

I'll try to explain our changes.  First off, food.  We ate good food, but I didn't always prepare it in the best of ways.  When we sit down for a meal there is always fruit, veggies and some sort of protein.  The differences for food include more whole grains.  We've always eaten 100% whole wheat bread.  We've expanded that to include whole grain pastas and brown rice.  While the changes are subtle, the taste is still the same.  The kids have no idea we've changed it.

Another big change at our house is going organic.  I've always purchased organic if we could afford the price difference, but if you look in the stores these days the cost is very comparable.  Usually organic fruits and veggies are only a few cents more than the non-organic.  We are also buying in season fruits and veggies from our local farmer's markets.  I think we are truly lucky to live in an area with so many farmer's markets.  I don't mind paying more for local produce!

As far as exercise is concerned, we're actually doing it.  I know that sounds terrible doesn't it?  We've started lots of new workouts here and there, but usually drop them within a few weeks.  This time, it's a commitment to our kids.  We are lucky to have very active little ones and they just won't settle for Mom or Dad lagging behind.  When we realized we were asking them to slow down every other sentence it dawned on me that maybe we should be keeping up with then, not making them slow down to meet us.

What are we doing to add exercise?  We started a family bike ride almost every evening.  The bigger two kids each ride their bikes and CS is lucky enough to ride in the bike trailer.  I am getting a much better workout in the process because I volunteered to pull the bike trailer!  Oh, our backsides were so sore the first week.  It was terrible, I couldn't sit on my bike seat without cringing.  The kids wouldn't let us forget about our ride though, so I just dealt with a sore behind.  Now, if we miss a night it feels like we're doing something wrong.  We're now searching for something to do in the evenings with the kids once it gets really cold and snowy outside, but hopefully that's a few months away!

The second smaller change we made was in joining the local Y.  Chuck and I belonged to the Y when we were in college and up until we moved into our house.  Once we bought the house, we just didn't budget in the new Y membership.  That changed recently when we added the cost back into our budget.  The Y is something we really enjoy!  The kids love taking swim classes and I love that our Y has child watch!  That way it's a simple task of dropping CS off at child watch for an hour and heading into the gym or pool.  Now, I know some of you may giggle with this, but the most fun I've had so far is hanging out with Grammy and the other older ladies at their swim fitness class.  I know some of you may be thinking "oh yeah, geriatric swim fitness that sounds sooooo hard Kandi".  Trust me, you don't realize how hard you're working out because you're in the water.  My muscles hurt for the first couple of days.  Now it's just fun!

Those are a couple of the changes Chuck and I decided to make at our mini conference.  We have a whole list of other ideas to try too, but we felt these were the most important.  Little changes can make BIG differences too!  I'm already down around 10 pounds and Chuck is wearing clothes to work that he hasn't been able to fit into for several years!  Our changes aren't just about losing weight (that's a perk!).  Our changes are about being healthy overall for our kids.  Since kids learn directly from you, we want ours to have a healthy lifestyle!  We are their first influences and want to be good ones!

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