Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The incentive to be active...

We have lived in our little village suburb for over four years now.

Our home is at the base of a huge hill called "Black Hill" which is a part of the Mount Lofty Ranges. As we travel to school and around; as we admire the views from our front windows, we are surrounded by the gracious presence of this majestic and ancient hill.

In the years that we have lived here, I have moved from being morbidly obese to a lot lighter and a lot fitter.

My children have grown from three under three, all in nappies, to independent little people.

My lovely husband has hiked up this hill, and solo camped up there, a number of times.

Since losing a bit of weight, I have walked up this hill, and run sections of it, a number of times.

Over Easter, with its glorious long break, we asked the children if they wanted to go for a bush walk to the very top of Black Hill.

The idea was met with much excitement and enthusiasm. To be honest, it surprised me.

When I asked them why they were so keen, so happy at the idea of walking all the way to the top, they all responded in a similar fashion -

Olivia - "That's where you walk isn't it Mummy? I want to walk the long walks, like you do...."

Charlie - "Is that the humongous hill that Daddy goes up, when he goes off with his humongous backpack? Where he does his adventure camping? Can I go too? Can I? If I know the way, I can go with Dad next time? I will be as good a walker as Dad..."

Lexie - " I love doing a big walking thing. 'Specially with my whole flamily. Can we take crunchy apples for a picnic? Mumma, is that where you do your running Mumma? Mumma, can I do running up there with you? Can we all run together? Mumma, I am good runner when I have my pink sneakers on. I like that hill Mumma...."

It made me realise, in a flash, the strength of influence we wield over our children in terms of lifestyle.

They see this active lifestyle as normal and positive and fun. They associate both their father and mother as active people who love nothing better than walking up a great big hill.

They aspire to have habits like ours.

They do as we do. They watch our behaviours and copy it. They cannot wait to replicate the habits of their parents. They instinctively look to us to show them the right way to be.

Thank goodness we do walk, thank goodness we do run, thank goodness we love to hike. Thank goodness they reflect our healthy habits.

Thank goodness I changed my habits from unhealthy to healthy when I did. If children are not the greatest incentive to adopt an active lifestyle, I don't know what is...



  1. traceyb65May 03, 2011

    "<span>They see this active lifestyle as normal and positive and fun."</span>

    when i first joined my gym, they had special classes free to the kids of full members … my athletically-challenged daughter resisted at first, but soon came to look forward to trying out new things and being healthy. sadly, the classes were ditched, but the shift in attitude has stayed with my daughter, and she is far more confident to join in new activities.  xt

  2. Veggie MamaMay 03, 2011

    I am always impressed when anyone voluntarily runs, and especially when it is someone who would find it difficult. Its nice to have an incentive :)

  3. deux chiens et un garconMay 03, 2011

    You are such an inspiration to others.
    xo jill

  4. deux chiens et un garconMay 03, 2011

    you are such an insoiration to others
    xo jill

  5. You are setting such a fine example for your kids to follow Lucy - well done and keep up the good work!!

  6. ClaireyhewittMay 03, 2011

    We really enjoyed some bush walking time over Easter, so much we are considering buying a bush block of land closer to the national park to do it more often.

  7. Great incentive indeed!  Sounds like great family time too!

  8. Seana SmithMay 03, 2011

    I love this! Your messages are really important Lucy, so many of us need the inspiration, need to hear that change is possible, it is good, be brave. Like your post on how dieting affects the family, this post of important!

  9. Megan BlandfordMay 03, 2011

    Awesome post, Lucy! Your kids' answers are gorgeous. 

    My little one has just started saying she wants to do things 'like Mummy' or 'like Daddy' - while we were aware she watched everything, it's even more of a reminder to be a good example to her.

  10. Love this post Lucy! Thanks for inspiring us all on this journey!

  11. Chasing a MiracleMay 03, 2011

    This post nearly brought tears to my eyes... I can only hope and pray that my child takes influence from her mother & just as your babies do - enjoying the fresh air and healthy treats... You are an inspiration :)

  12. Oh god you're so right. All she sees me doing is computer and tv! After this cold I'm changing things. Like the calorie counting thing I'm going to cOunt our activities as well.

  13. Catherine FleayMay 03, 2011

    Such a good reminder of how what we do influences those around us - our actions and our words too!  Thanks Lucy!

  14. Donna @ NappyDazeMay 03, 2011

    Oh my such a timely reminder that we are indeed bigger influences than we realise in our children's life.  Again, thank you clever Miss Lucy x

  15. Yesterday, my daughter (5) asked if she could go for a run with me, she also likes to copy me exercising, fantastic!  My son (3) however prefers to watch TV, play sports on the Wii or educational games on the computer, hopefully that will change soon.

  16. So so true Lucy. You have done a fabulous thing for your children. It is frightening sometimes the impact we have on our children and quite often it's the little things they take on board the most! 

  17. Amy KeepMay 03, 2011

    It is absolutely true.  We are their role models and they learn from what we do.  If we're unhealthy, so are they.  Do as I say, not as I do, just doesn't cut it.

  18. Brilliant post! So true! This is real food for thought for me (as your posts so often are).

    I love Charlie's 'humongous' fixation. Max is currently overusing the word 'actually'. x

  19. This is so true Lucy. I have been thinking about it with regard to my coke zero addiction. It is time to change my tune! Thanks for this lovely addition to the Weekend Rewind x

  20. Great post Lucy! I must have missed this last time as it was on my birthday - clearly I was drinking champagne! Or not.

    Visiting via the Rewind.


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