Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm alive! And being the example!

Geesh! I didn't realize I didn't check in last week and now it's Wednesday already and I hadn't checked in this week. What a slacker. I guess if I had more exciting news to share I'd be sure to be here more often. Although the news wasn't too bad on the scale. I didn't lose anything last week but I didn't gain either and now this week I lost 0.3 kilo so I'm "down" to 121 even. In my head, for some reason, I want to be at 119 when we depart for Illinois. I don't know why that number is in my head but it is so it's a super duper mini goal considering I leave for the US in just a mere 3 weeks! YAY!

Last time we were home was over Christmas and that was the 1st time almost everybody had met my daughter Sadie, and this time she's such a different kid! I can't wait for everybody to see her again and even more, I can't wait to see everybody.

A friend of mine just got back from a month long hiatus in the US and gained 8 pounds while there. I just know how easy that is to do while on vacation, especially when coming from Holland and going to the US, (aka land of over sized everything, including portions of food!). I haven't decided how I am going to treat this vacation. I mean, of course my goal is not to pack on the pounds but do I want to really be super careful while I'm there? Is there a balance that I can find in the middle somewhere?

I guess it's all in how you look at food. Am I going to treat it as part of my vacation or am I going to look at it as "it's just something my body needs in order to live" while on vacation? I wish for the latter but the former has always won out in the past. I don't see this time being a huge difference to be totally honest. I can't help but be more conscious about my choices though. I would just be totally irresponsible of me not to PLUS now Sadie is also eating what we're eating so that automatically makes me think twice before ordering.

Speaking of which... I talked about a public service announcement contest that I had entered at work. Well I didn't win so now I can tell you what my idea was because to this day it still helps me when making food choices.

The task was to create a Public Service Announcement that would be 8-10 second while being read and it had to deal with a health issue. There was a list of issues to choose from and naturally I gravitated to obesity. So I wrote my campaign with "Be the example"as my mantra. This is what I came up with:

They parrot
They mime
They mirror
They follow your lead
(Over 9 million American children are overweight or obese)
It’s up to you

Now maybe it isn't strong when read, but when shown as a PSA on TV you would see things like (or at least in my head this was what I was imaging):

a toddler with his Mom. You here the baby softly say"mama" - "They parrot"
a child stirring a bowl along side a parent mixing in another bowl, - "They mime"
a child sitting next to Daddy learning to tie his shoe like Daddy does - "They mirror"
a group of children playing follow the leader, the leader being an adult. -"They follow your lead"

"Over 9 million American children are overweight or obese" this wouldn't be spoken, it would just appear on the screen to be read.

a child giving a DVD to their parent, who is sitting on the couch watching TV - "It's up to you"
that same little family outside on bikes, or playing a sport, or swimming - "BE THE EXAMPLE"

For me, this "Be the Example" has stuck in my head. With every food choice I make in front of Sadie and even when she's not around I think "Be the Example". When I grab a snack from the table at work and I choose a banana rather than a fun size candy bar (and whose idea of fun is so damned tiny?) I walk past my colleague's office, showing off my banana and we both say "Be the Example!".

It may not have won any contests but it's done so much for me already and it can leak into all aspects of my/your life. Don't want your child to smoke? Be the example. You want your child lead a Christian life? Be the example. You want your child to treat others with respect? Be the example. You want your "team" to work together to finish the huge project? Be the example. You want the other drivers to let you in during a traffic jam? Quit flipping them the bird and BE THE EXAMPLE! (plus I totally believe in car karma, if I let one car in I will be rewarded in the same manner down the road somewhere)

It just works for me. I want Sadie to be a well adjusted, healthy little human who has positive relationships with people AND food, so what better way to show her how to do that than to be the example for her? I'm not perfect and I have a lot of work to do and a way to go but I will and am trying to be the best example I can be for her.

I hope you all are having healthy, successful weeks!


The Atkinsons in Amsterdam said...

We took a trip to the zoo in Nashville and literally every other person there was obsese. It was ridiculous. And the healthy choices are there. At the zoon restaurant they had fruit and salads. Most chain restaurants have guilt free menus. A doctor there said that Americans are more educated than ever on obesity but we're still getting fatter and fatter. At the zoo, we were chatting with a mom, dad, and little girl. My mother in law said, "How old is your daugther? About four?" She wasn't four, she was two but already the size of a four year old. And chugging a bottle of coke. It was weird looking at it as sort of an outsider.

I'm guessing I'm in the 8 pound friend? Half of it is already gone after four days back on my Amsterdam bike and eating regular sized portions--not the obnoxious American portions.

My advice is go ahead and enjoy the foods that you want but when you got a restaurant, bring a tupperware container and toss half of the food in the container before you even begin eating. You don't need a full American restaurant serving.

Good luck and have a great time!

Shannon said...

and just to put in a different opinion - I gained 3 pounds when visiting Amsterdam two years ago. ;) There's lots of tasty over there, and I found myself eating less "healthy" and trying more of the tasty. :)

Congrats on the weight loss!