Thursday, April 25, 2013

Challenge Yourself to Change!

I have been working on a new project called the Fit Family Challenge for several months now.  It is a program to encourage families to get more active and eat healthfully.  The 2013 Challenge is new to Middle Tennessee and has now become a competition between Nashville and Charlotte, NC.  I am coaching the two lead families – the Saad and Uphoff families are two feature families that are being followed to help inspire and encourage other families to register for the Challenge. 
My first meeting with the Saad’s was one of the most pleasurable experiences I have had in a while.  They all welcomed me into their home to meet Jonathan (dad), Amanda (mom), Sonny (age 13), Anna (daughter age 4), and Joseph (son age 2).  I learned a little about this family’s dynamic and their current lifestyle.  Jonathan is currently a stay-at-home dad while Amanda works full time.  Amanda loves to cook and actually attends a fitness class a couple days a week.  However, Jonathan has fallen into the habit of drinking about 32 ounces of sugary soda and hitting the drive-thru on a daily basis.  His habits have been passed on to Sonny who follows in his dad’s footsteps.  Both parents and Sonny also have high blood pressure.  Also, Jonathan fights occasional joint pain and stiffness and Sonny experiences symptoms of ADD. 

I enjoy coaching the Uphoff family!
(courtesy of Parent Magazine)
I was also very excited to meet the Uphoff’s!  They are Brad (dad), Lindsay (mom), Nick (son age 8), Madisyn (daughter age 6), and Gage (son age 1).  The kids were high-energy and excited to get started.  I could tell Brad and Lindsay were a little nervous, but also very eager to begin.  As we talked about the Uphoff’s current lifestyle, I found they are like many typical families.  With work and school schedules, they fell into the habit of skipping breakfast, grabbing fast food and convenience meals and snacks, and taking little time to exercise. 
The Saad and Uphoff families have made huge steps towards a healthier lifestyle and I have seen some real changes.  But I have also started to see excuses crop up.  So many times when we don’t reach a specific goal or fall short of an intention, we are all too quick to make an excuse.  It’s easier to reason away setbacks and give wordy explanations about not getting enough exercise or not eating as healthily as we should be. 
Change is never easy and when we don’t meet expectations we have set for ourselves, it is much easier to make an excuse.  A few excuses I have heard recently – I was too busy with work, the baby was up all night, I have allergies, the baby threw up in the car.  Or we will come up with a reason to put off making a change.  A few of the put-off excuses I have heard – his work schedule should get better soon, it will be easier when the babies are out of diapers, it’s that time of the month.  No matter what excuse we try to make to ourselves or others, life will always be there to keep us on our toes.  When the kids are out of diapers, they will be into soccer and cheerleading.  When allergy season is over, it will be cold season.  When you get the car cleaned up, the dog will have chewed up the couch.  Life never stops. 
I continue to meet with the Saad’s and Uphoff’s and check in regularly.  They are doing a great job and making changes they can keep for life.  I look forward to continued work and progress.  I am happy to share the steps we take toward getting this family healthy and allowing them to inspire you and other families to take this Fit Family Challenge!   Go to to read all of our blogs and to sign up for the Challenge. 
There is no more time for excuses.  There is no time left to say “I’ll start tomorrow”.  We have to start making changes today.  And now is your time.  Whether you need to lose ten pounds or 100 pounds, together we will transform your life.  Go to  to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable and it starts by challenging yourself today! 

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