Marshall: “I went to my mom and told her I had had enough. I was done with it. That’s it. Something had to change. I was tired of this icky bad feeling I always had. I was tired of kids at school. You know the ones that always tease you and make you feel worse. The ones that show off how fast they can run and then get in your face a make fun of you because you don’t run as fast. I knew there was a better way to be. I mean feel. I knew I was smarter than those kids but I still felt bad. I had to change and I needed Moms help.”
Alexandra: It took a ten year old to teach me that health, safety, love and a sense of foundation can come from the family kitchen. That ten year old was my son who came to me tired of feeling poorly, heartbroken over being teased and bullied and worried about his future. He was overweight. Obese in fact. I am so very grateful Marshall had the courage and trust to come to me with his declaration to change our worlds.
This article is not about how we got to that point but rather from that point how we moved forward because it’s important to share with you not our biographical journey but our discoveries that can, in fact, start you and your family on your own journey to health, happiness, a sense of safety, security and a positive foundation.
Restoring Health and Happiness Starts with our Six Goals:
- Eat as many real foods as possible:
from a once living source. No one can argue that this is what Mother Nature intended for us to eat and that leads to goal
- Read ingredients.
Food is packaged for many reasons and it’s important for us to understand the why and consciously accept what we put into our bodies.
- Pause before you eat.
Take a moment to ask yourself why you are putting something into your mouth. Is it boredom? Is it emotional? Or does your body need fuel to perform?
- Get moving:
Your body is your vehicle, your sailing ship, your rocket. It needs to be greased and fueled to be your transportation. That’s what your muscles, joints and ligaments do and they are trainable. Do you want to drive a Porsche or a dump truck?
- Help out in the kitchen.
This is more about getting into the kitchen and not using it as a transient pass through space. You know, the place to put all your bags, papers and what knots you’re not ready to get rid of. Encourage your kids to come in there with you….smell the food, feel the warmth of the stove, touch, taste, be creative and talk. And finally,
- Watch portion sizes.
From food marketing, restaurants, technology, over scheduling, excessive busyness we just over consume. Portion Size your life! Create a “portion” for exercise, create a “portion” for how much TV/video games your family watches, and create a “portion” of fuel your body actually needs.
These goals have not only taken my son out of the obese category but also have brought new life and energy to our family. We feel stronger and want to do more independently and together.
There are more requests to go for a walk after dinner, or go to the basketball courts and shoot hoops. We have adventures as a family now instead of failings.
There is energy in discovery now, meaning instead of being lazy each individual wants to go explore new places, new foods, new adventures and new environments.
And we all seem to get along a better and have more patience with each other.
Is this just because of diet? I don’t think so, not entirely. I think it’s because we each have been empowered to be independent with these goals.
Each of the four of us in our family have our own individual challenges we face; we have histories and we have genetics.
But these goals are independent of those barriers and allow each family member to be proactive, easily carve their own path and because each individual is working towards similar goals your family is effectively becoming a “team.”
This is not an overnight project. This is not a quick fix to get where you want to go and then left figuring out how to sustain from there. These are not “musts” or “rules.” This is a life plan. This is a life project. These are attainable goals.
Pick one or two of these goals and allow them to become habits over a period of time. Then add from there. As a leader of the family assign one goal to each family member and ask them to lead in incorporating into the family.
The book we wrote for you is meant to be a tool and an inspiration. It follows our sixty one day journey but it is not necessarily intended for you and your family to follow in that manner. On each day we have provided recipes, culinary definitions, insights into how we are feeling about ourselves and about each other and more.
All combine to inspire and enlighten you as you flip through the pages and land on any given day that you may want to share with your child. We have incorporated videos of adventures, techniques, discoveries and just plain fun things to do.
We hope that you and your child will work together with our book and will want to work independently creating from our 110 easy to follow recipes.
We have a saying in our family…”You can’t change with our making a change.” Start today by making a change in your family by restoring health and happiness to your kitchen.
Alexandra Reid and Marshall Reid are the authors of Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family. Find out more by visiting their website: www.portionsize.me.
Alexandra Reid, former advertising executive at Young & Rubicam, is the mother of Marshall and his sister Jordan. The family, along with their dad, Dan, lives in North Carolina.
Marshall Reid, now a sixth-grader, excels in his communication skills. His hobbies include cooking, Tae Kown Do, playing football, canoeing, and most importantly, playing games on his Playstation.