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  • Writer's pictureTammy Polenz

When getting fit with the family comes back to bite you!

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

I started this KidFit Challenge Group, because of an idea I had for a book.  The idea stemmed from having too much junk food in the house. I was tired of opening the cabinet and seeing tempting treats all the time, especially after a long day’s work when I was at my weakest and more apt to eat them. My son, a typical 13 year old, would eat cheats all day long if I let him. It was all he ever wanted to eat and would choose junk over eating a real meal any day. Then one day it dawned on me to inspire him to eat healthier by telling him that we were going to write a book together. My strategy was that he would need to eat healthier to make the book successful, which would equate to more money to buy him all the things his heart desired…evil huh? I told him that he was going to have to start eating healthier, because we were going to do before and after pictures. I also mentioned that as a co-author of the book, once it was released, he’d be interviewed someday and would have to tell his personal story of the transformation he went through. He begrudgingly committed, but only halfheartedly in the beginning. Every day we discussed what positive changes we needed to make to our diet and exercise regimes in order for this to work and started with little changes, like eating more meals together that were healthier.

At first it was a lot of work on my part, but guess what happened? He caught the fitness bug. He started lifting weights, doing crunches and push-ups every day. Instead of sitting around watching TV, playing video games, or screwing around on the computer, he started finding other kids to go play sports outside with. Oh, and turning off the cable may have helped to encourage that a little too. He would spend hours juggling his soccer ball and practicing related skills. Interestingly what happened was that his body started transforming and he started performing better in soccer and softball, to the point where he became one of the best kids on his teams. His coaches even noticed his improvements and mentioned it to both him and me. Coaches on teams that played older kids started asking him to sub in softball. I’m sure you could imagine what this did for his self esteem, it was boosted exponentially. Not only was he excited about what was happening with sports, but the changes to his body were gaining recognition too. His shoulders were coming out, his abs started coming in, he had bicep/shoulder separation and everything. Now Anthony was never overweight by any means, but you most certainly couldn’t see his muscles either. He had a smooth looking physique that had a lot of what I like to call “candy fat” on it. He carried some extra fat on his body that was the direct result from eating too much junk food or too many empty calories. He wasn’t fat or overweight looking, he just didn’t look lean and fit like a chiseled athlete.

Eating better has never been easier in my house. It’s funny but when we get caught up in the frenzy of hectic life and I miss hanging out with him, I go buy some junk food as a way of saying I love and miss him. Of all people, I should know better right. Recently I brought home a container of cupcakes two times in one week; I guess I was missing him a lot. Imagine my surprise when he said to me, “Mom don’t buy those cupcakes anymore, I’m trying to get lean.” My jaw dropped. We had just crossed a threshold of no return on the fitness thing in our house. Needless to say I find other ways to show my love now, like by watching a movie together or going somewhere fun. In the end it’s better for the both of us and a much better way of showing someone you love them.

It’s been about 6 months since we started this idea and it’s now taken on a mind of its own. We both make sure we get our exercise in everyday. Before I was always the one trying to encourage him to be more active and now if I skip a day he’s the one encouraging me. One day he even told me that I have to commit to getting in my exercise even on days I don’t want to if I want to look good for the cover of my upcoming book “Think Fit 2 bBe Fit”. My kid is now telling me to get my butt up and move, imagine that! Do you know how I responded; I got my tired tush off the couch and went out for a run, because I knew he was right. How great is it when your efforts to help someone else come back to help you later on down the road. Karma can be a great thing, send out what you need most and it comes back to you tenfold. Not only have I helped him, but unexpectedly I helped myself. And best of all we bonded more as a family and our relationship has never been better!

I’ll keep you posted on the book:-)

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