Get Your Friends and Family Involved

How often do you see an overweight family? It’s quite common these days, and a common excuse for this is “bad genes”. I’m not going to say that genetics can play a role in the general health of an individual or an entire family, but could it be environmental and behavioural factors that cause the excess weight?

Imagine your typical Australian family: mum, dad, 2.5 children and the pet dog. Here’s two scenarios to consider:

Scenario 1
Each morning, the parents eat a healthy breakfast consisting of low GI carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. The parents prepare the children’s lunches which consist of salad sandwiches on brown bread, with an Apple and yoghurt for a snack.

Dinner is a home cooked meal 90% of the time, consisting of a good mix of healthy meals, with good quality proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Scenario 2
Breakfast is skipped in the morning due to time or laziness. The parents give their children money buy “breakfast” on the way to school. The children, knowing no better, buy a chocolate milk and Mars Bar. For lunch they once again, buy something unhealthy and lacking in nutrition.

For dinner, due to time, ignorance of laziness is fish & chips or home delivered pizza (which is most likely eaten on the couch in front of the TV).

It’s quite obvious to us, which of those scenarios is the healthier option (it’s scenario 1 for those of you who didn’t work it out). However, there’s a substantial amount of the population who eats poorly like this all the time. What’s worse, these people will have a list of excuses as long as their arm, for why they’re overweight. Bad genetics, lack of time, healthy eating is too expensive. That’s all they are: excuses!

The parents might know and accept the unhealthy eating, being comfortable with their weight, appearance and weight associated health issues. The problem with this scenario is that without proper education, the children might not know the difference. At such a young age, they’re impressionable and the habits being developed now, may last them a life time!

I’m not going to say that parents with overweight children are bad parents — that’s simply not true! There may be legitimate health reasons why someone is overweight, and no one should judge them for that. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions, but I want to make sure people are making educated decisions.

So if you’ve decided it’s time to do something about your fitness or weight, then that’s awesome news! I’m here to help you out in every way I can, but you need to develop a good support network, and there’s no better way to do that than with your friends and family.  But, rather than keeping all the good, confidence inspiring, muscle toning, good feelings to yourself, why don’t you get them involved as well? If someone in your family needs to lose weight just like you do, then do the journey together! We all have times of weakness and it’s during those times that your support network will keep you on track.

I’ve seen it plenty of times, husbands and wives, or siblings training together. You help each other get to where you need to be, and training with friends or family can make the whole experience a lot more fun!

I like to think that Bailey’s Bodies is our extended family, with everyone sharing the same long term goal: to look and feel great! But, if you can bring down your close friends or family members, you’ll enjoy it so much more.

There’s more benefits to it than just “having fun” though. Sometimes it can be time consuming to prepare healthy meals, especially if you’re preparing a healthy meal for yourself, while the rest of your family is eating a separate unhealthy meal. Share the workload! Rather than preparing two meals, just prepare the one, single healthy meal for everyone.

For those parents out there, you may not realise it, but your children will be watching everything you do and if you’re eating healthy meals, they’re sure to learn healthy eating from you. They may not even know the difference it’s had on their lives until they’ve grown up and have children of their own.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard or boring, so get your entire family involved in the process! Bring them down to outdoor training and see if they want to join in with the exercise side of things. If they’re not interested in it, then that’s fine — don’t pressure them. You just need to keep on track with your goals and once they start to notice the weight loss and muscle toning, then I’m sure they’ll probably ask to join you anyway.

Train hard, eat healthy, inspire each other. We’re all here to help each other and I can’t wait to see you all in the new year for training!