For most of us it’s a normal sight. Mama got a little “meat on her bones,” grandma got a big ole booty, grandpa got that big beer-belly, and auntie so-and-so is just … big. We never really think much of it, it’s just our life. I had a family member nicknamed “Aunt Lottie with the big bump pon’ she batty,” but the reality is Aunt Lottie had that “bump” because she was a big woman. As much as we love these family members all the meat on the bones and beer bellies can be a sign that they are killing themselves slowly. With all the information we have now on how extra weight affects everything from our bones to our brains and hearts, simply accepting that our families are overweight is no longer okay.
But how do you break a cycle of obesity that goes back generations? The older members of the family are set in their ways and the younger members simply don’t know any better, getting everyone on the same healthy page can extremely difficult. As the saying goes “A family that prays together, stays together” and I believe the same concept applies in trying to get your entire family to lose weight … a family that eats in and works out together, stays healthy together.
Individually, getting healthy can be tough, especially if the way you are is all you know, but if you make getting healthy a family effort, it makes the task less daunting.
In order to truly break the cycle the healthy movement needs to start from the top. Getting the elders interested in cooking healthier versions of their favorites and maybe convincing them to take walks together each day will set the example and tone for the rest of the family. If your family has annual gatherings, try incorporating fun fitness games into the festivities and encourage everyone to participate, show everyone that fitness can be fun.
No one is saying the road to family health will be easier, but if everyone works together the cycle of obesity can be broken for good.
Is your family overweight? Are you working out together?