Thursday, January 27, 2011

HealthQuest 2011

Leave it to a monetary incentive to get my husband motivated about being healthier!  Tim's a guy's guy...happy with a big ole' plate of country cooking.  He considers macaroni and cheese a vegetable and turns his nose up at most anything green.  Even though he frequently consumes red meat, fried foods and soft drinks, he's never really battled with his weight.  Part of this, I know, is because he rarely sits still.  He's very active at work, and combined with being a volunteer firefighter, lives a fairly active lifestyle. 

The other reason must be that the metabolism fairy paid him an extra visit (and skipped me) at birth.  I've always been a little jealous at how easy it is for him to lose weight, anytime the urge strikes him.  Once, he quit drinking soft drinks for a few weeks and lost 20 pounds.  Two weeks ago his company started an incentive program for weight loss, with the winner receiving the pot at the end, and Tim was all in.  Even with being off work last week and lying around the house, he's down about five pounds.  He seems to have a new burst of energy and I'm proud of him living a little healthier.

One of the parts I enjoy about his "health quest" is that he's more flexible and open to trying new foods.  I'm an adventurous eater and cook and love all types of vegetables.  It's difficult planning a healthy meal though when you have a stubborn meat-and-potatoes man at the table.  Usually I'm stuck with the Green Giant to help me meet my vegetable quota because cooking enough for all of us is often a waste.  That, or I'd have to eat corn and beans every meal!  I'm pretty creative about hiding and sneaking veggies in for him, and for Noah, but lately he's even somewhat enthusiastic about trying new and healthy dishes. 

It's also been helpful that after dinner he isn't raiding the fridge for dessert, all the while downing one or two snack cakes.  (Kind of makes it hard to swallow my skinny cow popsicle watching a sugar smorgasbord in front of me!)  In fact, I've all but removed all unhealthy snacks in the house and replaced them with fruits and low cal treats.  This takes away the temptation for all us and I feel better knowing we are all eating healthier at every point of the day.

We've enjoyed being a little more active together as a family too, during a season when it is so easy to mold yourself into the couch.  The Wii has been dusted off again and we're having fun with Just Dance and Wii Fit.   Tim's discovered a new love for the elliptical machine at the fire department.  And Noah just got an indoor ladderball game for his birthday that we've played every night this week.  While I love snuggling on the couch, getting some activity into our days together as a family has been a fun way to getting healthier.

My biggest hope is that this isn't just a fad or a short-lived season for us.  No matter what stage you are, everyone can use a few more doses of goodness and health into their lives.  By being realistic, not obsessing, and supporting each other, we'll teach Noah health skills that will hopefully stay with him for life.  If we lose a little weight in the process, that's a plus.  And who knows, Tim's wallet may become fatter in the end, about the only time I'd be happy about gaining!


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