Every time we take the stairs instead of the elevator, choose water over soda or cook at home instead of picking up takeout, we're setting an example. Our co-workers might chide us for skipping the pizza buffet for a brown bag lunch in the office, but they notice how much weight we've lost as a result. Our partners sometimes ask us to skip the gym and stay on the couch, but they love how much more energy we have. And our kids--little sponges that they are--might groan when they see grilled chicken instead of chicken nuggets on the dinner table, but they're eating it just the same.
No man is an island, and every step we take creates a ripple effect in the universe. We might not be a CEO of a big company, a rich and powerful celebrity or even a blogger with a huge audience, but we're all influencing other people each and every day.
The big news in the health world last week was the unveiling of "Let's Move," the childhood obesity initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama that unites federal, state and local governments with the nonprofit and business worlds. While most people said they were happy to see someone taking the lead on such a widespread problem--1 in 5 children and teens in America is obese, according to government statistics--some felt that it wasn't the government's place to step in.
From what we've read, Let's Move is crossing political, socioeconomic, business and geographical boundaries. Each and every one of us, from the mom who's trying to get her son to eat his vegetables to the company president who's trying to cut his health-care costs, can make a difference--and we will!
As Chris "SparkGuy" Downie said in his blog post last week, SparkPeople is not only ready and willing to help, we've already been making strides to help end childhood obesity, one member at a time.
As the old adage goes, "even the longest journey begins with one step." Our successful members recognize that, and they know that after even a few steps, they're not alone. Before telling the stories of how two parents changed their families' lives along with their own, I first want to share some comments from some SparkFriends who answered the questions I posed yesterday: How has your family's life changed since you joined SparkPeople? Have you kids been influenced by your healthy choices?
LYNNANN43: "The food in our house has been totally revamped in the past year. We've even gone a little flexitarian when my daughter, the vegetarian, is home from college. We're all WAY more active. Especially with each other. We go on charity walk/runs together now too."
MIMI_B: "My family is my husband and I... I have influenced him positively. When I was picking up in my exercise, he started exercising too. When I started eating off of our smaller, "salad" plates, he talked about watching his portions too. And, he didn't just talk about it, he DID it! Just talking about lbs, he's lost more than 50, which was more than 20%... I lost about 13-14, which was 10%. It has been REALLY positive in our lives... and continues to be!"
SPRING4FAL: "My lifestyle change has DEFINITELY impacted my family. My daughter is now on a competitive swim team and works out more than I do! She is in fantastic shape now. Before, we were very sedentary and ate unhealthy food all the time. Now, we focus on making healthier choices and she is even aware of calories. My bf works out and relies on me to make meals that are easy on the waistline. I make the biggest impact on my coworkers though. I am the resident Q & A person re: diet and exercise."
BLAZEGRRL: "My family (parents and sister) have made beneficial changes in their diets due to my influence. They are eating more whole grains, yogurt, fish and fresh produce, and keep less of the junk food/processed items that I grew up with in the house. When I visit my mom makes sure to have my favorite healthy foods stocked as well. I am grateful for their efforts!"
How has your family's life changed since you joined SparkPeople? Have your kids been influenced by your healthy choices?
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