When I was single it was so easy to make changes in my diet and in my life style, but having family it is a bit more complicated.
I cannot make changes without an impact on the lives of the rest of my family. Or to be exact I cannot make long term changes without changing their life too. And if I work on being healthy, active and slim - that means that my family involve in my activities, we will share most of the food - even if there are exceptions.
Doing a 2-6 month weight loss program is one thing but life style change is another one.
Family can tolerate a shorter weight loss plan because
- it does not require to much change in their world, it does not concern their everyday habits
- they are willing to do their sacrifices -even if they do not do this happily - because they know this is just temporary
- they love you they want make you happy -they know that the goal is to lose weight by a deadline and they are understanding
And on a short term it is possible to cope with the difficulties too - cooking two different meals for dinner, turning head into another direction when they are eating chocolate cake, or organise baby sitter while I am in the gym.
But if I want to maintain my weight the changes are not just "temporary pain" and this can face resistance from the family's side.
It is really hard to eat different meals all the time and cook (at least) two different food for the family: one healthy food for myself and another for the family. It is not impossible - I have seen families working like this - but I am not convinced that this is the best solution. They must follow me and have the healthier options - for instance why would I cook white rice for them and brown for myself, when we all could eat brown rice. It takes some time to get them accept these, I admit.
Specially challenging if family is definitely against the healthier life style. It is really hard to work against all the temptations, against all our laziness, against all the elements - and top of these - against the close family.
I am in a lucky position as my daughters are both under age 3. So this is the perfect time to switch to healthier life style. It is absolutely natural for them that apple wedges with cinnamon is a real treat, just like ice cream or chocolate for others. Older kids already developed their eating habits and obviously they stick to these. In this situation I would not force anything - but we can rely on their natural curiosity and openness. They like experimenting with foods, so I would approach from this direction.
And there is the fun side too - active mum can ride with the kids, dance with them, playing football ... or cook healthy meals.
Kids are watching what we do and they copy us. This is good if our habits are right.
My cousins husband is living literally on chocolate, he does not like cooked meals at all. It was imminent that their little boy (he is 3 now) follows his dad. Of course the parents do not intended this way, they wanted their son to eat only vegetables and fruits and cooked meals at least twice a day. But he saw a different model from that person who is the most important role model in his life.
Even if we do not see the immediate effect of our behaviour on our kids they build in our behaviour into their concept of being mum/dad. So we really need to be careful what values we convey them through our everyday habits.
Every mums wants the best for their kids - me too. I strongly believe teaching them good eating habits is one of the most important gift. This will give them not just health but confidence and a tool to cope with stress and difficulties in their future life. So making changes in my lifestyle - it worth the hassle, it is good for not just me but for my whole family.