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It’s all about the children…and the childISH at heart.

Tue, Dec 16, 2008

Tuesday Trends

I like to think the ENTIRE Bumbling Band is as busy as I am this holiday season.

While Hanukkah Hysteria is, IMO, far more benign than Christmas CHAOS it’s a big ole time suck a lot of time & effort none the less.

I appreciate you dropping by and, as a reward, I’ll make an effort to be brief.

Today’s topic was sparked by this generous blogger & a kids workout dvd she donated our way.

(we’ll get to the freebie dvd later, People. First some unsolicited MizFit rambles)

Her email started me thinking not just about kids & exercise, but about adults & how we role model (kinda sorta ala this post).

I started pondering the concept of RESPECT.

Respect isnt often a word I often associate with exercise.

Up in herre it’s used more in reference to you need to change that tone of voice or perhaps, oh beloved Tornado, you might be making some poor word choices.

Respect is a word kids hear often and yet it often *isnt* what we model for them in the realm of fitness & health.

Sure, we model the please & thank you niceties, but how many of us respect our bodies in front of our children?

(Ill letcha sit with that for a moment to see if it resonates with you.)

We (the royal. the plural.) talk at them about the importance of respect while, simultaneously, we disrespect our bodies with poor food choices & not making time in our day to exercise.

I know for me the notion of BODY AS TEMPLE isn’t one I’ve spent much time mulling. Yet that concept melds perfectly with the idea of conveying bodily-respect to our children/spouses/partners *wordlessly* through our behaviors.

Lay it on me, Oh Bumbling Band. Has MizFit lost her mind with this post or does the notion of leading by example through respecting one’s body give you a JOLT! as well?

Children-filled or child-free I long to know. Please to hit us all up in the comments.

And now your freebie.

I decided at the age of 46 to become a trainer. As I got to the written portion of my exam, one of the Essay questions was to research and write about Childhood Obesity.

I googled Childhood Obesity thinking there could not be much out there to choose from. What I found literally broke my heart. The Washington Post ran a headline: “Obesity threatens a Generation” Stated in the Post article was a line that struck me and should strike every parent reading it. “Young bodies are much more vulnerable to the toxic effects of fat.” Wikipedia even has an entry for Childhood Obesity! Describing it as “A condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child’s health or well being.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese — a number that has TRIPLED since 1980.

In addition to the 16 percent of children and teens ages 6 to 19 who were overweight in 1999-2002, another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight. Overweight Adolescents have a 70 % Chance of being overweight or obese adults. The one aspect of Childhood Obesity that I never even considered was the social aspect. We all know children can be ridiculed by others that aren’t like them. Do you think I am trying to scare you? I am. You are their only hope.

Okay, enough of the scariness—let’s fix it! As I searched for the right way to get children up and at it, the answer was at my fingertips the entire time. One of my favorite cardio DVD’s is Hip, Hop Abs.

Shaun T. has a great Children’s DVD “Fit Kids.” Cool Music and Cool moves, like “The Snake and Dust and Wave.
Yes, I admit, my friend Rachel and I have watched and maybe one of us got up and worked out to the DVD. Also included is Healthy Snack ideas, a guide to learn to read nutritional labels and a wall poster to keep track of workouts. Fit Kids is recommended for 7 years and up. Okay, up to 48…if you include me!

You can be entered to win the Sean T. DVD for the low low price of a comment below (Ive seen it & Meribeth isnt joking about the kids of all ages. I love me some Sean T).

Oh, and in case you needed some kidLEVITY this morning with your Tuesday post, I give you the Tornado. Violating all kinds of gym rules and trying to get fit in the process.


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96 Responses to “It’s all about the children…and the childISH at heart.”

  1. Rupal says:

    HA that video is so great. She is just the cutest little thing. Takes after her mother no doubt :) . I agree that the choices we make affect our children in a very profound way! Although I have no children myself, I see it with my neices and nephews all the time. Great post!

  2. Erica says:

    hahahhahahah Look at that Tornado getting buff!

  3. tokaiangel says:

    So SO adorable. I hold you personally responsible for making today a Broody Day ;)

    I’d like to think I’m doing this alllll but in reverse with the Mother Encouragement. Over the Christmas period we will be mostly doing pilates and popping to the gym in between cooking and entertaining. It’s such an incredible bonding thing for a parent and child to do, the only difference is that the kid is the mentor in this case !

    TA x

  4. MizFit says:

    and you KNOW I love the kid as reverse mentor, TA.

    Im confident in a few years Ill be chasing the Tornado yelling WAIT UP. TELL ME WHAT YOURE DOING! I WANNA JOIN IN!! (…as she trains for Cirque Du Soleil)

  5. CactusFreek says:

    It’s a very good point about what we portray to our kids. There are so many kids out there that now have eating disorders because they’ve watched thier mums be obsessive about being fat/getting fat/what they put in thier mouths.

  6. Natalia Burleson says:

    Oh boy! I disrespect my body all the time in front of my little man. I talk to him about why we can’t eat out all the time or why we can’t eat treats all the time (when I’m doing well) then I confuse him when I fall off the wagon and bring ice cream by the truck load in the house.

  7. Linda/Hughsmom says:

    I try - at least with fitness. Still working on the food end of things.

    We got our Wii Fit yesterday. Hugh laughed at me as I wiped out on the ski jump, got hit in the head with soccer shoes, and tripped while running. Then he took his turn, and I could hear him complaining about how HARD it is. He was mad when he wiped out every time on the ski jump. So I’m older and have better body stability, and he is surprised by it all! To me, that says - “Look what mom can do!” and “You better catch up, if you can!”

    I love the hula hooping, by the way.

    And did I mention it’s -6 here this morning?

    Make it a great day!

  8. Mara says:

    AAH! The Tornado is TOO CUTE!!!
    I don’t have any children of my own yet, but I do definitely try to lead by example with my students. So many of them are thin and beautiful and in amazing shape, but still are down on themselves… I def. try to preach the “be happy with what you’ve got” thing…

  9. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) says:

    Good post - I don’t have any children yet, but I HOPE HOPE HOPE that I will love my body and give them a good example to follow. I want them to see me indulging in healthy foods and not freak out if I have a little dessert. If my jeans are a little tight, so what? I don’t want to spend an hour a day figuring up my calories - everything in moderation will hopefully reign true in our house. I want to do lat pull-downs at the gym with my two year old (hehe). I want to play outside and take the whole family hiking. I love it when I see families exercising together and making it fun.

    I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’ve observed other parents who respect their bodies in front of their children. I haven’t always respected my body in the past, but I’m trying to learn to live that way now. Hopefully, I’ll be ready if we have kids.

  10. andrea says:


    Miz yesterday with the misms (I loved that) and today the respect.
    you nailed it.
    I do tell my sons all the time they need to be respectful while I am cramming christmas cookies in my mouth disrespecting my body.
    I have never though of it that wya.
    thanks for making my brain hurt again early in the morning. LOL.

  11. Hanlie says:

    That’s definitely another reason why I am sorting out my body, diet, fitness and lifestyle before having kids. Because let’s face it, they don’t listen, but they emulate very well!

  12. Melany says:

    YES. I totally agree that leading by example is extremely important for our children. When mine were a little younger (infant and toddler) I taught a stroller fitness class. I always told the mom’s that it wasn’t a class aimed at entertaining the kids… it was a class aimed at getting moms in shape and SETTING AN EXAMPLE for our kids. And guess what? As the kids got older and out of the strollers they would be right there next to us doing pushups, crunches, planks, etc. Oh -and they LOVE lunges!

    Loving the short clip of the Tornado working out.

  13. karen says:

    Respect. Does that go along with do as I say not as I do?
    makes sense.
    and I already knew that when I gained all this weight I was disrespecting my body I just didn’t refer to it like that.

    where is the video of you dancing to this Sean??!!

  14. Missicat says:

    Great video - go, Tornado, go!
    Respecting ourselves….hmmm..I don’t have children but am close to the nieces and nephews who do watch what I do! I try to respect myself by not giving up and giving myself new challenges - did the Avon walk last year (and again this year), plus ran my first 1/2 marathon at the age of 44. I guess to me respect includes not giving up or giving in!

  15. Marianne says:

    Body as a temple? Mine is an amusement park!!! LOL. Love the form on the Tornado. Somebody out there please tell me how to get my almost 13 year old to get off his ass. We all eat well and work out and he seems purposely to to the opposite. Argh!

    Holiday Hysteria has hit full scale here. Cue receipt shaped confetti….

  16. MizFit says:

    (*brushes confetti from her hair*)
    I think for me it is also the Toddler Stage we’re in.

    The Tornado is constantly asking about everything I plop in my piehole:


    (Good lord I adore that sentence structure)

    And yep. I’ve done the ole ‘her back is turned lemmie just eat this mini-snickers quickfast&inahurry.’

  17. Just_Kelly says:

    First, I’m child free (for at least a couple more years).

    How many of us respect our bodies in front of our children?
    This is one of the reasons I want to get straight (health-wise) now. I don’t want to present to my children a distorted view of exercise, nutrition, etc.

    It’s something I struggle with concerning my husband. Since we met he’s gained 60 lbs. 60! Now I’m no skinny mini but I’ve maintained my same (robust) weight throughout our whole relationship. I find myself loathing watching him eat or being slothful. Why? Because it reminds me of the traits I hate the most in myself. This is a whole blog post I’m trying to outline currently in a way that won’t get my flamed into oblivion…

  18. Tom Rooney says:

    This is a very good post Miz.

    To me respect is a process that happens when a person of position, (parent, teacher, mentor, president, etc.) displays an attitude that others would emulate. You for instance have garnered respect for the way you run this blog. Some of those that regularly comment have gained a certain amount of respect for knowledgeable and thought out responses or even by humor.

    It has to be given by the person that is under that position, but can be taken away just as quickly. Showing respect for you is usually one of the ways to earn it. Eating properly and exercising would make a good case to have someone want to emulate. So for a mom to display this to their child is definitely one way to win this approval.

    Now, way too often, people get into a power position and demand respect, without walking the walk. When that happens, respect is not given and they usually find out that disdain is the byproduct.

    Move over Lucy, my nickel’s worth of psychology for the day.

  19. Meribeth says:

    Miz….Thank you again for doing this for me. My 2 cents from another pocket…It doesn’t matter what age our children are, they are ALWAYS watching. I have been using P90X for over a year, my son walked in one day and was so impressed with my results he decided he needed to do P90X. He was 23! He constantly nags me about what I cook and eat.

    Off to do plyometrics before we have to fight over the DVD.

    Oh, and Tornado will NEVER get in trouble. Too cute!

  20. Roni says:

    I think you are SPOT on! That is why the toddler was such an inspiration to me. I KNEW by me, disrespecting my body I’d be teaching him bad habits and (you know this MF) I’m all about that little boy. That’s why it was such a slap in the face to snap me out of yo yo dieting.

  21. Leah J. Utas says:

    No kids here so I am limited in who is unduly influenced by me. This sounds like we need to stop saying “do as I say” and spend more energy on “do as I do.”

  22. leah says:

    as you say, since I know you from another blog, chickenbus.

    I am constantly nagging my twins about not being disrespectful and thought I was modeling respect but only am in my words.

  23. Robin says:

    TT is so cute!!! (even if from the behind. ;) )

    I hope that leading by example will work with the kids. They are too young to know if it is working yet, but it is part of our routine to go to the gym, and they will spontaneously “exercise” at home. I am definitely going to have to continue to set a good example for Kara. She is already showing promise of a sweet tooth (way more than my son,) and has an incredible appetite.

    BTW, I have turned my back to pop a piece of fudge in my mouth without them seeing. Evil? maybe.

  24. MizFit says:

    ok, since we are outing ourselves, I have been known (often. not to my pride more to my dismay.) to get TT all safe in her carseat and then open the trunk.

    go out of her view.

    and GUZZZZZLE that sparking water with splenda. or coke. or diet coke.

    stuff I would NEVER let her drink now and hope she never starts.

    I’d ‘forgtten’ I do that …. until now :)

  25. Donnalouise says:

    Hey!!! Just wanted to pop by quickly and say hi. I’m seriously falling behind on my blog commenting. What a busy time of year. And now that I’m on Facebook - too much!! I feel that I am too “connected”…do you feel that way sometimes? Thanks for always commenting on my blog :)

  26. ttfn300 says:

    love the tornado :) with no kids in sight (mind you it’s a heck of a lot easier said than done i’m sure), I’d think that it is incredibly important… they absorb EVERYTHING, especially from their parents, good or bad. They pick up on the darndest (is that a word?), even subtle things!

  27. seekatyrun says:

    I’ve got the exercise down when it comes to modeling behavior for my kids. They have been strapped in the jogging stroller for miles on end since they could hold their little heads stable, know not to mess with my scheduled boot camp class at the gym Tues/Thurs a.m., and frequently ask, “Is this a good exercise, Mama?” while striking some crazy pose I could never duplicate or performing some little movement that would tangle me in knots for sure. On the eating end of things, I know I’m not so good. We, as a family, need to snack on fruits and veggies more and goldfish, and “chocolate tudding” less.

  28. MizFit says:

    or, pehaps, chocolate protein tudding??

    I love me some protein tudding.


    And now that I’m on Facebook - too much!! I feel that I am too “connected”…do you feel that way sometimes?

    I love that you said/asked this. YES. I joined Twitter and FB under pressure and have found for ME that they arent a way I keep in touch.

    I adore reading people’s blogs. full long entries and many many sentences (the readerwriter in me I guess).
    not as much the twitters or the wall writings (Im a dinosaur, I know).

    that said I am THANKFUL to the reader out there who asked to start a Facebook MizFit fan page.


    I know I need to do a few things before you can—-and Im on it.


  29. charlotte says:

    Starting my day of with a Tornado video guarantees a great day! She is such a little spitfire; I love her!

    And I do try very hard to be respectful of not only my body but all bodies in front of my children. However, they are crazy smart and so I know they pick up on little bits of my insanity. That’s why I have a good therapist!

  30. butterfly says:

    Your little one is so but so sweet! Amazing what your shadow can do, huh? Nevermind prancing around in mummy’s heels, she’s training! I love it!

    Your post really got me thinking. I think of my mom with her ” Watch your mouth for (insert expletive’s sakes)”.

    Happy Hanukkah to you and yours if I don’t get a chance to write to you earlier. I’ve been running around like a mad woman getting Chrismukkah ready =)

  31. sarah says:

    love the Hanukkah Hysteria.
    I definitely get that and it should be such a minor holiday!

    a facebook fan page?!

  32. Tami says:

    I think those two things -



    “Lead By Example”

    are paramount in all aspects of our lives, not just fitness, and not just kids.

    Especially the self-respect. So often we focus on other people and don’t stop to think about respecting ourselves. We’re taught that it’s wrong, that it’s “selfish”, but how can we expect other people to like and respect us if we don’t like and respect ourselves.

    I saw that “I <3 Myself” shirt and immediately thought “I could never wear that” and then felt silly. Why can’t I? RESPECT and LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

    I need to get bracelets that say those.

    (don’t put in me in the running for the dvd - let someone with kids to play with win it. *grins*)

  33. BeckStein says:

    Am I the tacky, insulting Aunt if I get that video for my Niece’s Christmas present? I so want her to get fit…poor thing is 8 yrs old going on 9 and a bit on the chubby side…infact she’s already fitting into adult clothing. My mom helps raise her with my brother-in-law & sister and neither have great eating habits…thus my own personal struggle with weight loss…and the cycle just continues with weight problems in our family. I was thinking of doing a fun package with a cute pink work-out outfit, some fun hair thingies and the work-out DVD…try to make it a “cool” gift from her “cool” Aunt in NYC. Do you think that will work, or do you think she’ll take it as, my Aunt thinks I’m a Fatty McFatty?

  34. MizFit says:

    and no.

    Sean T is seriously fun (I know, I sound like a goob saying that but it’s true).
    I cant see there being any My aunt thinks Im Fatty McChubberstein involved at all.

    but that’s just me.

  35. MizFit says:

    (I know I know. I ramble because I love)

    have you seen these?


    I looked at them (and ADORE how you can send back the outgrown tees and they will donate them for you) and thought:

    eh, the Tornado wouldnt much get the concept (and the tees go up to 4t only. She’s 3 yo but can wear a 4t with the way I dry the crap out of things) but *I* might like to see her in a tee.

    as a reminder.

    a facebook fan page?!

    yes. I am all fraught with cringing (and I dont think it’s published yet? I need to check).

  36. Fattygetsfit says:

    Tornado is rough, tough and buff!

    I have been getting better about NOT putting myself down in front of my teens (OK, my clients) and encouraging them with healthy eating ideas and exercise information. Mostly, I help them to see that veggies are not so expensive(FROZEN!!!!) and helpful tips to teach *their* children about healthy eating. It’s the best I can do. bee. do.

  37. Dr. J says:

    Got a story for the Toddler…


  38. MizFit says:

    wow. the ToddlerVirtues company is FAST.

    (the place I linked above in my comment) received this email:

    Thanks for the incoming link MizFit!

    I was a cancer nurse practitioner for over ten years and it was through this experience that I dug deep to really find virtuous qualities within myself like the RESPECT you mention today.

    Currently, I am a stay at home mom with two toddlers of my own and have the passion to help parents take little steps to make the future brighter for our future, our children, by teaching them virtues.

    Instead of being a society that splashes words like ‘high maintenance’ or ‘spoiled’ on their toddler’s tee shirts, I wanted to use my tees to do something good, teach virtues to children.
    I appreciate the mention.

  39. Shosh says:

    It is so funny that you’re talking about respecting our bodies in front of “our” children. Being single I have no children but I have witnessed the lack of respect we show ourselves and our childrens bodies. I was floored in Disneyland last September…overweight parents are one thing as they make their own food choices but overweight children is something else. They are learning from their parents how to eat and it just made me so sad for them.

    If you’re not going to take care of yourself that’s one thing but don’t you owe it to your children to give them the healthiest lives possible?

    OK rant over. With Chanukah coming I am hoping for some latkes LOL and a run after of course.


  40. BeckStein says:

    TY Miz…you’ve put the mind (or what’s left of it) at rest…& I love the Tee’s they’re way cool…maybe I’ll even throw in a kid’s yoga DVD in the mix with her little gift box, that is seemingly growing to a large one…and nothing says love than a big ol’ box from your NYC Auntie :)

  41. Rachel says:

    VERY COOL. Shawn T video. I need that. But, I don’t want a DVD. I want a CD with dance steps to teach my students that would love that.

  42. Deb says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I totally agree about respecting our bodies in front of our children. I am trying hard to make up for all the years I have been doing this. They do notice & take in all that we do. My kids comment now about my changes for examle when we are at the store they will say ” Mommy doesnt buy that anymore because it is not good for us”. I am not perfect but working on it everyday.

  43. Sagan says:

    Ooh yes, we definitely need to respect our bodies a little more. For the most part we treat them terribly, and that’s not a good model for anyone! You nailed it on this one.

    I also think that there’s a lot of truth to your saying that we talk AT kids about respect… and something that bothers me is how oftentmes we expect respect from children but don’t give them quite as much respect as they deserve. I remember it used to bother me to no end when I was little that I wouldn’t get respect from people I respected simply because I wasn’t old enough or didn’t have enough experience- but how can we teach respect if we don’t DEMONSTRATE it, right?

  44. TB--Milwaukee says:

    I try to put in all the right foods in front of the kids, then bedtime comes and all bets are off.

    My kids love my elliptical as a toy sometimes more than most of their toys!

  45. Sherre says:

    First — great video of the Tornado. And yes — your post resonated with me. Even though I’m childless, I wonder about what I learned/emulated at home as a child (NOT that I’m blaming anyone other than myself) and I see that happening with relatives/friends and their kids.

  46. deb says:

    The TT is truly adorable. And she can work that machine!

    I’m in on the idea of respecting our bodies and leading by example in our society. Not having kids, or being near many it’s not something I have much impact on at the moment.

    Still.. to society at large we set examples every time we make healthy food choices in public. (or in my case, twitter them.. so others read about simple healthy meals).

    A facebook fan page? Didn’t find it on a search, but doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

  47. MizFit says:

    peeking in.

    Love the insights.

    Wish those toddler tees came in mama & dada sizes.

    And the fan page? No clue.

    It’s not listed (lizted?) under MizFit?

    I’m so computer fab.

  48. kikimonster says:

    Leading by example? DEFINITELY. I credit my blog and my readers as the reason why I haven’t taken a slide back to the 200s. Even though I’m maintaining in the 170s, and I have about 45ish pounds left to go… how dumb would it be if I gained back all the weight that I lost? What would my readers think? Why I am feeling all Oprah right now?

  49. Crabby McSlacker says:

    I have to say, that’s one lucky Tornado to have such conscious, thoughtful, insightful parenting.

    I was lucky; my parents were both really active and I grew up thinking it was normal to play tennis or swim or whatever. It would have been much more difficult to develop a lifetime habit of fitness if it didn’t seem so “normal.” Yet in a lot of families, it’s not normal at all!

    (And the Tornado is such a cutie!)

  50. Denise W says:

    Shosh nailed it with her Disneyland comment. How often are we out and about and see overweight parents with overweight kids???? I was at the doctor’s office yesterday, and saw a totally hip, fit mom, who had a totally fit teenager daughter (discussing her indoor soccer game). Right across from them sat a totally overweight mom and a totally overweight son (video game in hand).
    Parents are their children’s first role models. Nuff said?

  51. supermommy says:

    Dealing with obesity almost my entire life with both myself and my mom I get so upset when I see these parents of obese children who just seem to have no clue. I mean, it’s obvious that their kids are overweight yet they still continue to buy all kinds of junk for them.

    I made a decision long before I had my girls that I was going to be the best role model for them that I could be. We only have healthy food in the house and their favorite snacks are apples, pears and low fat cheese. I try not to make food a huge issue with them because I don’t want them to have the same problems that I have with it.

    I’ve been working on becoming more fit and finally losing the weight for good so that my girls don’t have an unhealthy mom.

  52. Faith says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Last night the whole “help me to respect my body because it is a temple” was part of my prayers.

    Cute little one. :D I’m digging the pig tails.

  53. FatFighterTV says:

    OMG, she is so cute! And with your clever junk sneaking ways, all she will see is how to respect her body - she’s well on her way! I must remember to be cleverly sneaky when I have kids! :)

  54. josha says:

    Kids are the best at keeping us on our toes. There are lots of things I do because of them and learning to speak “respectfully” (I like the word you chose) about myself has been a gift they have given me. And still, I hear little negativisms come from their mouths. Worry over too fat and too skinny is all around them. If we can at least control it at home, maybe they can affect those around them instead of being affected?

  55. Felice says:

    Too cute! Feeling so overloaded today — I’m catching up on blog reading and there’s lots of good stuff I’ve missed over the past few days :-(

    Anyway, the respect issue is something I hadn’t thought of before but will. My little guy does see me getting ready to run and workout and he knows it is important to me so I’ll try to continue that and try to keep my “why won’t this ugly pooch — pouch? — vacate my midsection NOW?” comments to myself.

  56. chris says:

    Show me an overweight parent and I’ll show you an over weight child. Not always but most of the time.

  57. Mark says:

    Fantastic Miz! Thanks for this! :)

  58. MizFit says:

    and this holiday season I’m not even simply thinking food.

    We disrespect ourselves with so many things in front of our children.

    Alcohol is another example, huh?

    All fodder for thought for me as well…

  59. runjess says:

    Check out the Tornado kicking Childhood Obesity in the butt!

  60. Diana's Body Journey says:

    It’s something I worry about, if I were to have a child (not on the menu as of now). I have several issues, including food, weight and body. I worry that I’d be setting him/her up for all the issues I have. They pick up everything and want to mimic. That’s what I think most of what kids inherit from us - all of our behavioral issues (like my step dads road rage!).
    I have no answers, as usual…I’ll blame it on being in psychology! I just would hope that people would try to set good examples and change bad habits. It’s difficult though.

  61. Moran says:

    I have a 7-year old brother and I am also a per-school teacher. Your post makes me realize I have never addressed the issue of LOOKS with my brother of with my students, but I did focus on FOOD: EAT TO GROW, PROTEINS TO GROW MUSCLE (my ma always said that to me when I grew up), EAT TO BE STRONG AND ENERGIZED.

  62. Becky says:

    This is an awesome topic!
    When I started recovery for an eating disorder, part of my therapy involved taking a tough (wayyy back) look at where it stemmed from. I can say pretty confidently now that my mom’s weird eating DEFINITELY affected my eating. She would binge and then starve herself for many meals..or she would hole up in her room with Arby’s but she would “never eat dessert.” And she would make comments to me like “that will make you fat” or “you could live off the fat of the land for awhile.” I know that she didn’t know any more than I did the impact she was having, but when I look back I’m not surprised AT ALL that I ended up with an eating disorder (and so did my sister). There was no emphasis on exercise, both my parents smoke and drank and completely disrespected their bodies. I don’t even think what I did was emulation; I think it was almost subconscious. Like when I hid in my room and ate junk. I hid my eating because it was “bad” to eat certain things (but I didn’t really know why..this later led to lots of weird restricting in my diet).
    I (obviously) think leading by example is a HUGE deal! And I’m very lucky that the guy I’m with (who I will marry as soon as he gets around to ring shopping) respects food and his body as much as I do mine. I mean, parents are really the main source of this info for kids, at least initially. And teaching kids early on that its not only important but also FUN to be active and eat good things is imperative to healthy kids and lifestyles. (I desperately wish my parents had been better about this).
    So my kid wants a candy bar for a snack? Fine. She/He/Whoever can (once in awhile) have 1/2. And a piece of fruit. (And it will probably come from Trader Joe’s or something) Moderation and balance is more effective (I think) than “no, that’s bad” and “that will make you fat.”

    Anyhow, thanks for letting me have a mini therapy session in your comments section. I think this issue doesn’t get enough attention. Thanks for bringing it up!!

  63. MizFit says:

    dont thank me, Becky. Im honored that you took the time in this hectic holiday season to type it all out.

    I wont quote snippets I loved or which struck me as, well, your entire comment did (and the smoking. good gosh the smoking. Im so surprised how many momfriends I have who still do!).

    Moran? that would be an interesting blog post. what you see on a day to day as you teach. both the parents and the kids.

    I taught that age group to swim for a while and the stuff which would come out of their mouths?

    comedy gold…if it werent TRUE.

  64. Hannah says:

    Love this. I need to be better about modeling instead of just telling. I mean they see me eat my veggies and all that, but they also see me enjoying cake. The food area is my hardest one to model.

    I think I model being fit. They come to our soccer games, they ride in the jogger when we run. When I do strength stuff at home, they are right there by me with the invitation to join in. I have made them a couple fit games to play that crack us all up. We walk where ever we can- that one right there makes me down right happy.

    That video is the cutest thing.

  65. Kary says:

    Great post, as always :) I think in the fitness area I am starting to show my daughter (and later my baby boy) that she must treat her body with respect. I think showing her that this body is all we have to go through life and we should take care of it, with exercise and eating all in moderation.

    Besides, if she sees her mother (and hopefully, if I manage to convince him, her father) takes care of her body and is comfortable in her skin, she will feel the same and when teenage years come, she won’t be hit so hard by the distorted body images we see in media and some teens believe are the way a body should look.

  66. BEE says:

    Adorable video- and the post breaks my heart! These poor kids, subjected to things that they can’t control (fast food, sodas, etc) at a young age, forcing them to battle weight for the rest of their life!

    I agree- it all starts with the people around them, if we had more positive images about ourselves it would create more of a healthy environment. Thanks!

  67. s says:

    way to go, tornado!

    good point in today’s post. growing up, there was an element of “oh that makes me look fat” and the “i can’t eat this/that/the other because i will get fat” and until i became conscious of that it did affect how i treat/respect my body.

    but i had never thought of the concept of respecting one’s body during the winter holidays. at least in terms of not totally overloading it with sugar/alcohol/whathaveyou. usually i just do that (the overloading with sugar/etc) because it’s the “fun” (yes, i know) holiday thing and perhaps because it’s the norm, in a way. so, yeah, that’s something to think about.

  68. Laura N says:

    This one touches my heart. Definitely want to keep my daughter from going through what I did in my teens (overweight, but not obese), yet I am afraid her body is built just like mine & I don’t know how to avoid it. Sigh.

    Love the video. How cute.

  69. Renda says:

    I have a very active, fit 17-y-o son. When he was 7, we had a bonus baby. I, too, was fit when I got pregnant with her. It was a rough pregnancy. I put on a ton of weight and became real sedentary (as in, maybe if I don’t move I won’t throw up; maybe if I eat this, it will stay down).
    I didn’t really think about my continuing that eating pattern until one day I was eating with my mom (we are close) and I realized I was mimicking what she was eating, which was crap, yummy, fried, sugared crap, the Motherlove of all true Southerners. And there was my daughter, chowing down with great gusto with her two favorite women.
    Well, that was like one of the 93 last straws it took me to decide enough was enough. Started working out, joined WW, lost 65 pounds. That was almost three years ago.
    My daughter may not have been the only reason I took it off, but she is 99 percent of the reason I have kept it off. I need for her to see me exercise. I need for her to get on the rebounder beside me while I am doing my Leslies or my step DVDs, whatever. I need for her to see that I can eat dinner with everybody else, but I need to make certain choices that others at the table don’t necessarily make or need to make.
    Her dad is a very good/healthy eater because of personal choice and secondarily cholesterol issues. Her brother has Crohn’s disease (diagnosed at 8) so he has choices he has to make. So we all three at the table have issues that she observes, that she takes in, that she questions.
    She knows what is “right” and what is “wrong.” She knows them as she knows we love her and care for her and value her because it is what we have shown her.
    While I consider fried and crunchy and coated in sugar Motherlove, I hope that she does not. I hope that her comfort food is daddy’s grilled chicken with corn on the cob and watermelon/cantaloupe. Of course, I know that she considers anything green or orange (broccoli, carrots, etc.) as Motherburden, but she will get over that, won’t she? Even if she doesn’t, maybe she will eat them anyway.

  70. MizFit says:

    not much time so this shall be short (read: Renda? so many thoughts. Ill be back) but I know this thought isnt one only you have, Laura.

    am afraid her body is built just like mine & I don’t know how to avoid it. Sigh.

    Im gonna tough love you, Sister.

    *you* need to find your self love. your body love. your I SO COMFY IN MY SKINSUIT I WANNA SHOUT THIS SH*T FROM THE RAFTERS feeling.

    that’s your answer.

    she will look to you and emulate you.
    (I know the peers come into play here—but that’s a different post).

    she will watch and see how you respect you body and, in turn, view hers as such.

    I think one of the most powerful things I have read is how daughters who do not love themselves so often *do* have parents who praise them and who lavish them with love!

    when asked why they still couldnt see their inherent value 99% of the time they responded that the saw their mom not love herself.

    I hope this makes any sense as Im thumbsFLYING on the sidekick but this is a topic near and dear to my heart.

  71. Laura N says:

    Holy cow. Straight to my heart. Tears down my cheeks. You nailed it with every single word. Thank you so much. Self love. What a gift I could give my daughter. And myself.

  72. tfh says:

    Yes, yes, yes to comment #71. Can’t add on to it, but can nod head and smile ruefully. Poor parents, to be cursed with not only feeling bad about selves but also transferring that onto kids no matter how much they fight it.

    Me, I’m not a parent yet, but every time I treat my physical self with respect (in how I talk to myself and how I nourish and move my body) it all adds up to making it habitual behavior. I’m modeling self-respect for my future self. And it does make me sad when I see my own amazing role models disrespecting their bodies. Unspeakably sad, esp. when it comes to addictive behaviors, but also in the non-chemical habits: putting themselves down, name-calling…I’m not a child anymore, but I’m not sure that subconscious “Then what do you think of ME?” ever goes away. Does it? Ah, well. At least I know what I think of me.

  73. workout mommy says:

    I really try hard to respect myself in front of my kids because they are such little sponges. We have treats every now and then but for the most part they eat (and ask for) very healthy food.
    Exercise is the mainstay in this house, my 3 year old loves his lunges! :)

  74. Hannah says:

    “I think one of the most powerful things I have read is how daughters who do not love themselves so often *do* have parents who praise them and who lavish them with love!”

    Had to comment again after I saw that. I think we need to teach them to listen to their own voice. If they are waiting around for someone else (parents or peers or *gasp* boyfriends) to always be telling them they are beautiful then they will always be looking for that outside voice instead of trusting their internal one. I hope to teach my girls the responsibility of self love. The way I see it, if you don’t love yourself, it isn’t fair to expect anyone else (who doesn’t know you as well) to love you more than you do yourself. Hope that makes sense!

  75. Vanessa says:


    I wish my parents had taught me a little bit about respecting my body. School might not have been such hell for me…looking back, my insecurity played a big (BIG) role in my misery/awkwardness with others.

    Never again.

  76. Valerie says:

    Ooh, good point. I talk (preach?) to (at?) my kids all the time about respect, about treating others with dignity…haven’t said as much as I should about respecting ourSELVES, or our bodies. Or about how eating badly and being too sedentary are truly disrespectful to our bodies.

    I do my very best to model it - now; didn’t always in the past! - and mostly I hear a lot of disgust about how we never have any “good” (read: Hostess or Frito-Lay produced) food in the house, or how I’m “always” exercising…but I’m hoping the message is soaking in somehow, that it’s important. I’ve been at it long enough now that instead of rolling their eyes and writing it off as just my latest flight of fancy, they’ve accepted it as a permanent thing. Hopefully that will pay dividends at some point in the future…


  77. Eileen says:

    I am a firm believer in leading by example. I believe that children do pick up on everything and will follow your actions in all aspects of life - eating habits, exercise habits, how you treat others, etc. Excellent post!

    Oh, and you are AWESOME too! :)

  78. Andrew is Getting Fit says:

    So true. We must set examples for our kids. :)

  79. POD says:

    It’s WAY more positive to encourage fitness than it is to encourage chronic dieting.

  80. Fitness Surfer says:

    It’s easy to get so caught up in survival mode and only focus on making money to pay the bills then crash at the end of the day. We completely disrespect our bodies needs. If we first make time for our needs we can get twice as much done in the same amount of time and enjoy it without crashing at the end of the day.

    Ok, now it’s time for me to listen to myself and get my 60min cardio done =)

  81. Timothy Sternberg says:

    SO adorable.

  82. Fitness Surfer says:

    Forgot the kids…My kids run and play so fast I can’t keep fat on them. Grandma’s always saying how skinny they are. The Dr. says they’re healthy and actually in the 65% for weight. I keep feeding them all the healthy things that I’m eating. The three year old is now always asking for eggs, tomatoes, and broccoli trees =)

    With winter weather I make sure we play active games inside when we can’t go out…running up and down the hall like a horse or dancing. They sleep better if they’ve had exercise in their day.

  83. Leslie says:

    First of all, adorable video!

    And second, I think parents have a huge impact on their children when it comes to leading by example. I grew up with a mother who would constantly criticize her body and go on random crash diets, and it’s a cycle I found myself in for a very long time as well. I’m not sure she realized the effect she had on her three daughters, which is kind of sad.

  84. samantha says:

    I disagree.
    I do agree that we need to lead by example with exercise but arent there things we as adults can do (you gave the example of drinking. I am over 21. it is ok for me to drink.) that children can not and, in a way, it is a gift for them to learn this!

    my daughter is 6 and I always encounter other mothers letting her peers do things she is not allowed to do.

    It is a lesson she needs to learn.

    sometimes doing things we will not let our children do is not disrespect.

  85. MizFit says:

    yep. got your emails. not sure WHAT is up with bluehost but that’s the problem up in herre.

    (as much as Id like to pretend it’s because we are just ALL kinds of traffic slammed…methinks it’s just them screwing things up)

    samantha? so interesting an insight and I really appreciate that you took the time to share it.

    not a perspective Id thought of (that something which would be disrespecting the body for your daughter might NOT be for you as a grown woman) before.

    anyone else?

  86. The Bag Lady says:

    WAA-AAH……. Why can’t I hear your videos? There is no sound on the one from yesterday, and I don’t know if there’s supposed to be any sound on this one, but I can’t hear anything.


  87. surfmom says:

    humbled, that’s what I am. Thank you. Great comments.

    I teach PE wold love the DVD- esp. on rainy days!

    I agree with both sides. Lead by example, everything in moderation. Our kids have so much to learn and they need to learn it, I get to provide a home that it’s safe to learn.

  88. RooBabs says:

    Although I’ve thought about this concept before (being a good example to kids), I hadn’t really thought about the ‘respect’ aspect of it. It really makes so much sense, and I think it’s at the heart of a lot of issues with kids these days. For instance, if my teenage brother had learned respect for his body, he wouldn’t drink a gallon of Dr. Pepper a day. At this point, if anyone tells him he shouldn’t drink so much, he gets defensive, and feels like a scolded child.

    If only we could all get the “food as fuel” concept down pat, so that we can model it for our children (and children around us, in my case). Learning at a young age is so much easier than “teaching an old dog new tricks” as is so often the case.

    I of course still struggle with respecting my own body, but it’s something I’m working on, and having the motivation of being a good example to my future children certainly helps. When I catch myself saying anything negative about my body, I try to reverse it and to appreciate the health that I have, and how strong and capable my body is (because who knows how long it will last).

    It makes me sad to see so many overweight kids, when it used to be an anomaly. It’s too bad that in our efforts to achieve a more efficient and convenient world, we’ve become so “lazy” (in a way). I wish kids would get outside and play more often, and actually use their imagainations like we had to in the goold old days. Some day when I’m a parent, hopefully I can encourage healthy habits in my kids.

  89. Girl on Top says:

    The video is too cute.

    On the note of body respect, I respect mine most of the time. I’m always not as grateful as I should be though. Thank you legs for carrying me on my runs!

  90. HangryPants says:

    As a teacher and Auntie of three I am very aware of how what we say and do is very important around children. I always try to be respectful of myself (no negative body or diet talk around the kiddies) and live by example. If little girls (or boys for that matter) always see the adult women in their lives only eating salads, living off diet coke and calling themselves fat they learn that that’s what adult women do and that’s no good. They are learning their value is in in their skinny bodies and that’s no good either. I always try to compliment children on their talents and skills and not just their cute dress (I mean of course I tell the kid they look cute from time to time), but I just think it’s so important to shift the focus away from the physical.

    I also try to explain the the kiddies in my life why I like to exercise. How it is good for me and helps me feel good. My nieces and nephews are pretty active so I am proud of them for that, too!

  91. Brooke says:

    too cute! the workout video would “rock” or should I say it woul ‘hip hop’. Bad, i know.

  92. giz says:

    I completely agree with leading by example rather than words… I read a study fairly recently where young kids were asked to choose groceries … basically the study showed that whatever the kid was used to seeing in the cart, went in the cart, regardless of what the parents believed they had taught them.

    I think subconsciously it still takes over adults too, to an extent - lots of self-help books talk about surrounding yourself with people who have succeeded at what you’re trying to succeed at.

    Tornado is just TOO CUTE!

  93. MCM Mama says:

    I’m good with the treating your body right with working out and running, but I set a horrible example with food. I’m a total junk food addict! THankfully, I don’t think my kids have ever heard me say I think I’m fat or seen my morning scale habit.

    Cute video!


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