Family update!

So I always like to post about my family. Four kids. Three are teen girls, one four year old boy, and a husband! I’m always looking for ways to support their healthy habits.

This week the girls had their yearly check-ups. It was pretty concerning. Their BMI has gone way up. I’m sure part of it is the pandemic and the fact that they’re doing remote learning still. The weight gain was significant enough that the doctor ordered blood tests for diabetes and thyroid issues. I just feel so helpless. I can’t control what they do and it backfires if I try. So this year I’ve really been learning to sit back and let them make their own choices, no matter how hard it is.

I spoke with the doctor about how I’m trying to be a good role model, but it becomes a source on conflict over getting them off the couch. So she suggested that I offer them rewards based on steps. If they don’t earn the reward, let it go. The reward is optional and not something I’m forcing.

Two of the girls were receptive to this. The third said no way! So I’m not bugging her about that. For the other two, I bought FitBits. I helped them make goals and come up with rewards. My 12 year old chose 21,000 steps a week = one fast food lunch. She was previously getting like 10,000 steps a week so that was an improvement. She smashed that goal! I don’t like rewarding her with food, but she specifically said she would not do it for anything else.

My 14 year old made a goal of increasing her active minutes. Each minute she earns = more screen time on weekends after bed. She’s so excited. She told me “so all I have to do it go on a walk each day and then I’ll have 2.5 hours to stay up late on my iPad on Saturday!” I pretended to be shocked, but actually I was super happy that she’s happy.

Thursday night was the happiest day of my week. I went downstairs to watch TV with my 4 year old. I skipped my after-work workout so I decided to do it behind the couch while watching TV at the same time. My 12 year old and 14 year old came down at the same time to use the treadmill and elliptical. I’m so glad I bought those from garage sales years ago. So we all three worked out at the same time while watching TV.

My 17 year old remains a serious concern. The doctor is very worried about her obesity. But she’s almost 18 and there’s not much else I can do at this point. I just put out a variety of healthy foods to chose from, and invite her with me when I go on walks and stuff. None of it works. She’s getting top notch treatment for depression so there’s nothing else I can do about that. The good news is she loves gardening and has been applying to garden centers for a job. I’m hoping she gets an active job and that would make me feel so much better!