Daily Chatter

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Continuing the topic...

Tonia at Racing with babes had a great post today about fitness and health being a choice.  You should read it.  She often inspires me to change the way I look at things.
But it got me thinking and as I left a comment I really got to wondering.  This is what I said,...

It is a choice. You said it well but I wonder what we can do as examples (well we try, don't we?) to create that moment we those around us feel compelled to change the way they are living? Because that is what we are talking about here. Changing the way people choose to live. Taking away reaching for the potato chips and replacing that habit with going for a walk. Taking your kids on a packed picnic lunch instead of through the drive through.

We all know these are the 'right' choses but how can we create the catalyst to help others make what is a difficult change?
Do you ever feel responsible to help those in your life make changes to improve their health or fitness?  I know we feel that responsiblity to our children to provide them with the tools and example that will put them on a path to a healthier lifestyle, but the burden I am talking about is the people you see along you way each day.  Do you ever wonder if you should or could be doing something that would radically help that co-worker who you see slipping out for a smoke break as you lace up your shoes at lunch time.  Or the woman 3 rows in front of you at church who keeps tugging at her skirt because it has gotten a bit too snug.  Have you ever wished you could simply say the right thing and help them see that with a little effort each day they could live their lives more fully? 
I do.
What are some ways you try and influence, educate, motivate, inspire, bribe, coerce those around you to make positive changes in their lives?

Two reasons I want to influence "others"...because "others" influence them!


  1. You raise an excellent point. I find it's difficult to find the line between motivating/helping/inspiring someone and coming across as nagging or self-righteous. I am constantly trying to encourage my family to be more healthy - stop smoking, drink less, eat better, move more. I just worry that they'll get tired of hearing it, you know? Sometimes I feel like all I can do is hope they are inspired by what I'M doing (and they say that they are.)

  2. I actually am having this debate with my hubbs right now. He's done it before (lost the weight) and needs to do it again. But right now, he feels like he is being nagged by me. But I don't care, I want him around a long time!

    Also, when I'm on the treadmill at the gym and there is a "larger" woman next to me walking who always seems to watch me as I run, when I get off or they do, I usually tell them, "great job, keep it up! That is how I started and I lost 90 pounds!" It usually gets a conversation going and I hope they know it is doable. Usually you can tell who will want to talk about it, and who will think you're just bragging or being rude. But really, I try to be the poster child for weight loss when I can :)
    And you have 2 wonderful reasons to stay healthy!

  3. I love your reasons to stay healthy! Great post:)

  4. I believe the best way is through example. It is the most inspiring for me. I forget peoples words or get distracted but when I see someone doing something inspiring it sticks with me.

    Lasting change is made through a personal choice. Each person has to make it on their own. The hard part is sitting back and watching people live there lives in a way that sometimes I think I could do it better for them. Maybe I could but its their life to live happily or otherwise.
    As far as my children go, I want them to know that exercise and healthy eating is the norm for us so maybe when they grow up they will stick with what they know. I want them to feel empowered when making their food choices. I want them to be like mommy and daddy and be athletic.

    That all being said, I can tell sometimes that people are watching me and I try and let them know that I am working hard and its not easy and even from an outsiders point of view looking at me after loosing the baby weight, I try and let them know that it was hard and I am supporting them in their own struggle. You can tell the people who want to talk. I want them to know I truly care.

  5. Like Marlene, I find being helpful and being self-righteous all in the interpretation. I can control what I serve foodwise and encourage activities to my family but beyond that I really don't do it unless asked.
    Wow Katie 90lbs? WTG!

  6. Yes, the self-righteous thing is hard to overcome. Also--I am a big believer that no one can make those changes until they decide to do it. No nagging from me, or setting an example from me, can get someone to make a change until they are ready. My kids? That's a different story--while they are still young, I am teaching and hopefully ingraining a healthy lifestyle in them.

  7. definitely living by example!! i am super healthy in EVERYTHING i do!! whether is be eating all natural food, exercising, getting 8 hours of sleep a night, wearing sunscreen, a seat belt, a helmet etc. there is NOTHING better than feeling 100% AMAZING and HEALTHY everyday!!!! for me, i started running at the age of 12 and being healthy grew from there. it was a habit i grew up with so its integrated in ALL aspects of my life. i think a healthy lifestyle is contagious and a lot of people approach me about it or email me and ask me questions.
    I try to make myself available to anyone who is interested in getting fit. i will run a race with anyone, regardless of how slow it may be. if someone mentions they a want to lose weight i will let them know that they have my support and if there is anything i can help them with, whether it be meet to go walking etc that i would love to do that. i would never just approach a friend and try to push my lifestyle on them.
    i do occasionally make my fb status say something like "looking for a newbie runner to train and run the Tufts 10k for women with me on oct..." and i'll get 5-10 responses. so i try to make myself available to anyone and really put it out there that anyone can approach me, and lots of people do. i'm not comfortable pushing my lifestyle on anyone, even tho i know it's the way to go.
    good post. :-)

  8. My husband, Jerry, is often my "victim" in this endeavor since he struggles with his weight and the health issues that follow along with weight gain. He has lost the weight before, but since Norah was born, he has slipped off the wagon. It's hard as a spouse because I have to walk a fine line between expressing care and support while not being a "nag." I love him for who he is, but like Katie A said, I want him around for a long time!

  9. I'm also a believer that you can't "make" anyone do something...but, since I started running, many people close to me have followed suite. Example seems to be a strong motivator. Very interesting post :)

  10. I believe it is a choice - each and every day that we make. Although we may be able to influence others - they have to want to change - and that is often very difficult and it is hard work.

  11. I try to encourage choices by setting the right example - at home and at work. Man (and woman) is an independent thinker and, unless they want to do something and believe they should, it probably won't happen.

    My husband is a good example of this. His activity level dropped over the past few years and his weight went up. All it took was a bit of motivation to get him running again - but he made the decision to keep it up. He's already dropped 10 pounds in 6 weeks.

  12. My hubs...i think if he hears me tell him one more time he should eat a fruit he might freak out, except that he is sooo laid back he probably won't. can't help it, I want everyone to be healthy and feel good!