Monday, September 24, 2012

Leading by I contagious?

I have been on this journey to being healthier for a year now.  I have been shopping better, cooking better, eating better, and being more active than I ever have been before.  As the matriarch for my family I have been striving to lead by example.  I have not been forcing them to do all the things I have been doing (well except for the shopping and eating part).  My hope instead is that they would see my progress and be inspired to join in.

They have been troopers and have eaten what I cook.  They haven't whined (too much) about the foods we don't eat or have in the house anymore.  They have indulged my trial of new recipes (mostly successful) and increased time working out (which means less time for other things and sometimes with them).

I have recently started to see more interest in activity from them.  My husband has done Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout video with me a few times now (no easy feat, let me tell you!).  We had a "family fit night" a couple of weeks ago where we ALL did some physical activity (yes, I did have to bribe them with frozen yogurt, but hey whatever works!).

But I have to say my proudest moment was last weekend.  We did our 1st 5k race as a family!!!!  
(back row) Austin Andrews, Ken Andrews, my hubby
(front row) oldest daughter, middle daughter, me, youngest daughter

My youngest walked/ran almost the entire first mile of the race (you gotta love independent 3 year olds!).  She also fell near the end of mile 2 and bonked her head resulting in me carrying her for the last mile of the race (a reminder of what 35 pounds ago was like!!)  My 2 older daughters placed 2nd and 3rd in their age division of the race and got medals....what a GREAT way to start their 5k career!  And I was soooooo proud of my hubby for joining in and completing his first 5k!

It happened quite by accident, really!  We heard  last minute that 2 former Biggest Loser contestants, Ken and Austin Andrews (season 11), were in town for speaking engagements.  We decided on a whim to attend one of the speaking events they had planned while in town.  After we heard them speak for the first time, we knew we wanted to attend as much as we could with them. One of the events we were invited to was a 5k race.  We didn't have plans the morning of so I quickly talked the family into doing it together.  They were excited (until they realized it meant getting up early on a Sat and leaving the house by 6:30!).

Fortunately for us, the attendance at all of the events was fairly small (people, you sooooo missed out!!!  But our gain!!!) so we got the opportunity to visit with them and get to know them a bit.  It was what I call a "God moment"....someone or something put in your path for a bigger reason.  I know they were put in our path for a reason.  

I have been feeling strong in my dedication to this journey to a healthier me.  I feel that I have a fantastic support system (my family, my friends, my blog followers, my fb groups).  But I haven't been able to get to get my hubby bit by the same enthusiasm bug that got me yet.  He is supportive and encouraging of me but he just isn't there mentally to take his journey to the next level yet.  I understand that.  I remember what it's like to WANT to lose weight but not have your head and your heart ready to really start the hard work.  And I have struggled to figure out what I could do to help get him to the bug.  Should I go all "Jillian" on him and wake him up at 5am with a bullhorn and push him through workouts?  Somehow I can't bring myself to take that approach with the quiet teddy bear like guy I love.  So my approach has been lead by example and begin inviting them to participate.  And while it has taken a while, I am thrilled to start to see the fruits of my labor!

The hubs has wanted to be on that show since long before I knew him.  I was thrilled to see he and the BL guys hit it off so well.  This was the "God moment".  I know they were brought together for a reason.  You know how sometimes you have to hear the same information over and over, sometimes in different ways (often from someone other than the person trying to teach you) before it finally sinks in?  That sometimes you have to find a person that you can relate to their situation or journey to walk the mile with?  I am hopeful that is what will come of this situation.  The hubs seemed to really identify with lots of what Austin and Ken had to say that weekend.  They took genuine interest in him and his struggles and have reached out to him.  I am hoping that their perspective and insight (and maybe just being able to bond on a guy level) will help him find his way.  

But what I have taken away from this is that I am proud of my family no matter what.  I am proud of each bit of effort they put forth, no matter how large or small (and that I need to tell them that more often!).  I have realized that the most powerful way to lead is by example, so I will carry on solo for as long as I need to.  I will try not to get too frustrated along the way if it doesn't happen for them as quickly as I want it to.  I will have faith that one day it will happen for them too, that they have their "ah ha" moment where the switch flips and they will be ready.  I will remind myself that I must do this for me, just as they must chose to do it for themselves.  I will continue to build myself and become stronger each day so that I may be able to help others when the time is right.  I will take strength from the comments that are starting to come in from others that tell me I have inspired them in some way.  I will continue to hope that perhaps this bug is contagious and others will catch it from being around me.

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  1. You are so right! You can't force anyone, I need more patience like you! Go girl! Good job :)

    1. Awwww thank you! But the funniest thing (ask about anyone that knows me well) is that I have NO patience!! LOL