Why Being Real with Yourself Makes You an Effective ParentFeb 04, 2010
I often write about how getting fit will enhance your life and the life of your child. Only you know if you are motivated to consistently exercise because you want to lead your child into a fit lifestyle where they can avoid the many health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle: things like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even things like earning less income and social rejection. Let's face it, appearance matters to people. In fact, the Bible says "men look at outward appearance but God looks at the heart". We're all grateful that God considers and knows our motivations and intentions when someone just looking from the outside might dismiss or condemn us for something they observe. But there is also much o be learned by considering that men DO look at outward appearance.
While not promoting obsession with your looks or vanity I would say that if in your heart of hearts you know that you are more motivated to get on and stick with an exercise program because you want to look good and that you know that health or even more energy don't motivate you then I'd say use what works. There is nothing to be gained by lying to yourself and nothing to be ashamed of that you care how you look. It's human nature to care and certainly the experience of most people that it is a factor in their interactions with others.
We want to be the kind of people who do not judge people on their looks and we want to teach our children the same. Nonetheless when it comes to getting started with an exercise program, and we all know getting started can be the hardest part, that finding and focusing on what motivates you is important. I will continue to tell you how much your children stand to benefit when you adopt a fit lifestyle that includes them. But I'm here to tell you that if that has failed to move you or to get you to move but the last pair of pants you put on were disturbingly too tight then it is okay for that to be your reason to get started getting fit.
I promise you that as you build both exercise and character into your own life and into your children's lives that you'll expand your own reasons for sticking with this lifestyle. But in the beginning if you have a secret wish to look more like you did in high school then use that desire to help you take action. The direction you want to go is healthy and will give you lots of expected and unexpected benefits. Time and experience will convince you of that but if all you know right now is that you'd like to be happier when you look in the mirror than let that desire propel you into giving a regular fitness routine a try. Just do the right thing. Get started. Use the real reasons that motivate you and let your actions spill over to benefit your family.
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