Challenge Yourself: Get Your Family Healthy, Too


healthy family challenge

Follow the Lehmans’ and Avaglianos’ leads and get your family healthy by following these do’s and don’ts.

Do create a diet democracy. Discuss—don’t declare—your intentions with your family. “Share your wellness goals, but ask them for ways to get there,” says Stephanie, the dietitian who worked with the Lehmans.

Don’t go overboard. “Slow modifications over time usually last longer than radical ones,” explains Elizabeth, the dietitian who worked with the Avaglianos.

Do find a fitness goal. “Explore local events where your family can participate as a team,” suggests Larry Soler, president and CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America. Try a bikeathon, 5K, adventure race or hike.

Peggy, Week #21: Diet Dangers on the Road

The Avagliano Family

This has been a long week emotional week that resulted in some diet slip-ups, but overall I think Peter and I did pretty well. We took a 2,700-mile road trip to drop off our oldest three children at college. The week of scheduled drop-offs coincided with Amanda’s band camp week, so Amanda would have to stay at home.

First stop, Michael at UNCSA in Winston-Salem, NC where he will be studying Design and Production (technical theater). Michael is a 17-year-old freshman. Michael’s move-in time was 8 a.m. on Tuesday. This meant that we had to leave NJ on Monday, and spend the night in Winston-Salem. We stayed at an Embassy Suites hotel, which had a nice breakfast buffet; the eggs were cooked to order. The school ran the move-in better than any other college we went to. We pulled up and unloaded our car, and the RAs moved the stuff to the hallway outside of the rooms! The dorms are definitely old-school, with residents in each hallway sharing only two showers and toilets!

We had the opportunity to meet Michael’s roommate and his parents while moving in. 
A parent orientation filled the day, and ended with a BBQ. We spent another night in North Carolina and checked in on Michael to insure that he had everything he needed.

Next stop, FSU in Tallahassee, where Katie is trying out for the Marching Chiefs. (In High School, she marched with the Marching Braves, so making the marching band in college would be a promotion.) Katie is a sophomore, but has spent the first year abroad, so it was her first year on campus, too. We did not have a lot of room in the car, so we had to buy most of the stuff for her room in Tallahassee.

Katie could not move in until Friday night, so we had all day on Thursday to shop for her dorm. Katie had to go to practice at 7:30 a.m., but her move-in time was scheduled for 8 p.m. Why would a college think this is a good move-in time? Christina, Peter and I spent the time exploring Tallahassee. We picked up Katie at 5:50 p.m., and discovered that we could move in a little early, at 7 p.m. So we ate dinner, and moved her in. We spent the night in Tallahassee, and left shortly after we dropped Katie at practice.

Our last stop was Ringling College in Sarasota, where my daughter, Christina is studying Motion Design. She left most of her stuff in storage, so we simply helped her to move in. It was her first apartment-style dorm, so we stopped at Walmart and picked up a few essentials–plates, glasses, etc.

Our 2,700-mile road trip from New Jersey should have been a good opportunity to stick to my diet. I loaded the car with fruit and celery on the first day, but I soon found myself purchasing a candy bars at the rest stop and eating a whole bagel for breakfast.

After a day of indulgence, I realized that I still want to feed my feelings, rather than simply feel them. Peter and I made an effort to try harder. We did manage to make some healthy choices: yogurt sundaes instead of ice-cream blizzards. Going to the gym at the hotels and even swimming one day in the pool. Not bad, right?

How do you stay away from tempting foods when you’re on the road? Post a comment and tell me here.

Tiffany, Week 4: What Is A Healthy Weight?

tiffany lehman

I know how hard it is to want to be a certain weight on the scale. While that is important, it isn’t the be all, end all.

I’m finding that as women we put so much weight on that number that flashes up to us from the scale. What I’m learning is that the percentage of fat and the circumference of my waist line, hips, thighs, etc is what is more important.

I have fallen into the trap of: “If I eat less, then I’ll lose more.” Well that will work for a short amount of time–however, rather than losing fat, I’m going to lose my muscle mass. I want to keep my muscle and lose the fat. I’m seeing how important it is to strength train. Forever I thought if you want to lose weight you need cardio, cardio and more cardio…WRONG. While cardio is important for heart and lung health, it isn’t going to sculpt muscle and get rid of fat.

If cardio was all it took to lose desired weight and be lean, I would be 125 pounds. I love all things cardio…I ran a half marathon last year, love to work on the elliptical, kick box, do boot camp type workouts, etc.  I LOVE to sweat and if I don’t leave a big mess on the gym floor then I don’t think I’ve done my job. But I’m learning that it isn’t always necessary to sweat like a pig to get a good work out in.

I guess what I’m really trying to get across is: Don’t let the scale determine your worth.  How do you feel?  Do you feel healthy?  What is your body fat percentage? What is the circumference of your waist? Don’t let society tell you what you need to do. Be the best you, be the healthiest you, love who you are and love who you will become. Greatness is yours for the taking…all you have to do is grab it!

Post a comment and tell me how you determine how healthy you are.