Friday, June 17, 2016

In Honor of the Men in my life...

Not only is this weekend Father's Day, but did you know that June is Men's Health Month?

Although I talk a lot about my own health and fitness journey, there is more to it than that. I'm surrounded by some amazing men in my life.

My Dad, the man who raised me, has been on his own health journey a few times throughout his life.  After seeing my progress, he decided to make some changes once again.  He got rid of his sugary vices and introduced healthy eating habits along with increased exercise.  His extra weight fell right off! Apparently I get some of my determination from him because with many things he decides "this is just not an option. It's not part of the plan" and he sticks with it.   While I was losing weight, I had to do the exact same thing.  Moderation for many things is good, but for our vices (ice cream is mine) we just have to say no.  For me, and for my Dad, it's about finding healthier alternatives. A salad with dinner instead of french fries, a handful of nuts instead of that candy.
Check out this site for a bunch of healthy snack ideas!

My husband, my biggest supporter in this, has always led a fairly active lifestyle. He grew up in the country playing outside and  riding his bike to see his friends.  As an adult he has an active job while still enjoying snowboarding, kayaking, and a general inclination for manual work.
As I increased my fitness level and he began to participate in my new lifestyle even more, he did start to see where he could make some changes.  He was still drinking quite a bit of soda, eating pretty much anything he wanted, and snacking (not always the best choices) at night. During the mud runs we did last year, he could dominate the obstacles, but saw that his endurance for the running portions was lacking.

He also hadn't had a physical in quite a while. Did you know that women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventative services than men?!  This is according to the CDC.   Considering many health conditions can be detected early with regular screenings... I wanted him to make this appointment.  Luckily, he's pretty healthy and I should be able to keep him around for quite a while (I'd like the next 40-50 years together).

This spring he has started to make intentional fitness more of a priority. Twice a week, he goes for a morning walk or jog before starting his day. He also comes with me to my favorite hiking spot whenever we can make it work.   He is trying to make healthier food choices as well, but I would still love to make him eat more fruits and veggies!

Another huge part of my changes and the fact that my husband is committed to being more active is that we are encouraging active family time and an active life for our littlest guy.   He will say to me, "Mamma, why are you going to exercise?"  I always tell him I'm doing it because it's good for me.  He loves hearing about my races and always asks me if I won.   We built a 4 foot wall in our backyard to train for the obstacle course races and guess who LOVES getting over it?  The almost 4 year old!  So much that we have signed him up for a little 1/2 mile obstacle course run.

I want my son to know how important it is to make healthy choices and to love our bodies.  Moving, staying active, finding sports we love, and eating good food is all part of it.  I never want him to experience the painful reality of being very heavy.  

Hiking near a waterfall at one of our local parks

Spending time outside is our favorite! 

Don't get me wrong... sometimes getting an almost 4 year old (one who is strong-willed) to eat is a struggle. He loves candy and sweets.  But we are lucky, he also LOVES fruit! Peaches, watermelon, and grapes are some of his favorites.  He also enjoys cucumber and corn on the cob!
Sometimes we make smoothies with his favorite fruits and they feel like a treat!
Need more snack ideas for your toddler? Click here!

My fitness and health journey goes beyond me... it's about the people I love and I happen to love a lot of men - young and old!  The middle kiddo just turned 17 and he's gearing up for boot camp in another year.  I promise he'll be doing more workouts with me to make sure his body is prepared!  If you are a fitness nut, make sure you're encouraging the guys in your life to be active, eat good food, and go for their annual physicals!

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