We are coming up on a year since we became a family of three. It honestly blows my mind. So much has changed in these short 10 months and watching him learn has been one of my favorite things.
There is power in knowledge, and when I look at his big curious eyes I’m excited to be a part of his learning about the world. All around us there are misconceptions about what health is and what is necessary to be healthy. And while teaching these 5 things to my son won’t cover all my bases, it will cover enough for now.
- We eat for nourishment…most of the time. Food is what our bodies need to function. And certain foods are necessary for certain functions. For example, protein provides building blocks for our bodies. Many fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals our cells need to function. Carbohydrates give our bodies quick energy. So we eat those necessary foods every day. The other foods, the ones that we eat just because they taste good (ice cream, cookies, fruit snacks, etc.), still can find their way into our diet sometimes and that is okay.
- We move every day to feel good. It doesn’t have to be designated “exercise”, but we move every day. Whether it be running around at the park, going swimming, playing on a sports team, going on a walk or setting time aside to do a workout, we do something every day. That is because movement helps us feel good. It keeps our bones and muscles and organs going and allows them to develop as they should.
- Gatherings and family meals are about people. We get together with friends and family because we love them…not because they make a good Snickers Trifle (though that is a bonus…). Sometimes we get so focused on the food we get to eat that we don’t take the time to really visit and savor the time we have with those people we love. Should we enjoy a good meal? Of course. But we should enjoy the people we eat it with even more.
- There isn’t a perfect body. Everyone looks different, and they always will. 150 pounds on one person will look completely different than 150 pounds on another person. So numbers don’t matter so much. Pant size doesn’t matter so much. Muscle definition doesn’t matter so much. What matters is health. If you are at a size and weight that you are able to function your highest and feel good, that is what is perfect for you.
- We are not entitled to health. In high school I started doing triathlons and running more. I loved it and found racing to be one of my “happy places”. In order to train at the level I was I had to eat pretty healthy and put in time each day for workouts. Then just a few years after I started racing I got really sick. Sick enough that I had to quit racing and my life drastically changed. And you know what questions I got asked countless times? “How come you got sick when you were eating so well and exercising? Doesn’t that make you mad and make you think it isn’t worth it?” In short, no, it doesn’t make me mad. Because no one is entitled to good health. We should all take care of our bodies, because the healthier we are the less likely we are to get diseases and sickness. But it isn’t a sure way to avoid it, because life happens. I want to teach my son that just because we can’t control everything that happens to us doesn’t mean we should let ourselves go. We do everything we can to keep ourselves healthy, because it is good for us and our body deserves to be treated with respect.