Childhood obesity is something that is very close to my heart.
So I was extremely delighted when I was asked to be a guest speaker recently on the topic of childhood obesity at the "How Health Smart is our Community" Breakfast held in Bundaberg by Queensland Health with a strong focus on preventing childhood obesity as a community.
The ever growing figures on childhood obesity are simply frightening.
I know as a mother myself the sheer amount of sugary and fatty foods our young children are exposed to through all kinds of marketing and often as a result of tough financial times and us the parents leading busier and busier lives to provide for our families and meal times becoming quick and easy solutions.
I also know how deceptive it can seem at the supermarkets that unhealthy options are far cheaper and quicker to make than their healthier alternatives.
With families finding themselves on tighter and tighter budgets it can be all too easy to think you can't afford the money and time to provide healthy options.
BUT I can tell you that it really does not need to be this way!
In fact becoming more health conscious on a budget can even make your money go further in the long run and there are so many easy, fast recipes that you can whip together or make in advance so you can leave those unhealthy packet foods where they belong for the most part-left on the shelf!!
I am not by any means saying you should never eat packet or takeaway foods as a family but these foods should always be 'sometimes foods' as said by the great Elmo!
I chose to make my talk at the breakfast on inspiring ways to raise healthier kids and make healthy choices fun.
In particular my passion for involving children right from the youngest age in growing fresh fruits and vegetables. I have seen over and over again the excitement experienced by children growing food and especially at eating food they themselves watched and helped grow.
We can do this in our own backyards, patio's, verrandah's and even indoors as hydropinics. We can grow them through our school's, kindergarten's, day care centre's, community groups and churches.
Bringing the world of fresh fruits and vegetables alive to children is one of the best and easiest ways we as adults can make a huge difference in children's lives and in turn help reduce childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is serious and is something we can all help to reduce. As someone who has dealt with weight issues for so much of her life I know first had the damage that being overweight can cause to your self esteem as a child.
Damage that carries through your teenage years and follows you into adulthood.
What can start out as a small problem-being just ‘a little’ overweight as a child can begin a lifetime of low self esteem and unhealthy habits that become so ingrained you aren’t even aware of them until it all seems too hard to ever change.
For me All the women in my family have dealt with weight issues.
My grandmother was overweight.
My mother is overweight.
I have been overweight or had other weight related issues most of my life.
When I became a mother myself and had my daughter I wanted this pattern had to stop with me.
I wanted my daughter to grow up without constant worrying about her weight. I wanted her to have the energy and drive to play sports and be energetic.
To eat healthy foods as a normal way of life and to see daily exercise as normal and even fun. I wanted her to grow up confident to join in at sports at school.
I wanted her to not be ashamed of her body and the reflection she saw in the mirror.
I adopted a healthy lifestyle with my daughter as inspiration and it became the single most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.
It changed me forever.
I lost over 30 kilo’s and found an energetic , confident version of myself that I did not know I could be.
I love to share my story most of all to let others know that you don’t have to keep waiting around for the new quickest way, a magic weight loss pill or to have enough money to buy exercise equipment or join a program.
I share my story to let others know that you can make positive changes at any age and stage in your life. You can do it on a budget and most of you can and should do it when you are blessed to have children in your life.
All you really need to start down that path to a healthier, more vibrant you....IS YOU.
You just need to begin