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Family Fit Plan - Getting Ready Part 1. What's Your Inspiration

Welcome to the Family Fit Plan blog guide. Over the next few weeks, I'll bring to life my newest book The Family Fit Plan published by the American Academy of Pediatrics with extra features and coaching tools to help families make healthy changes in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, sleep, screen-time, and stress management. Please grab a copy of the the Family Fit Plan from your local bookstore, Amazon, or library and join me.

It's mid-January of not only a new year, but a new decade. This is the perfect time for reflecting on the previous year(s) and planning for this one and those to come. 2020 is the year for peak family fitness! And we're not just talking about strong muscles here. Peak fitness includes (1) healthy nutrition, (2) regular physical activity, (3) quality sleep, (4) just the right amount of screen time, and (5) healthy ways for dealing with stress. The Family Fit Plan - which focuses on these 5 areas -- aims to help make that happen.

But I think the first step - even before thinking about your goals and what you hope to accomplish is considering what inspired you to even want to do this in the first place. Is it a person who you admire or watched improve themselves or their family? Is it a health scare turned into an opportunity? Is it a new relationship that energizes you to be your best?

For me, my inspiration came more than 20 years ago on a 3-day-long Grand Canyon hike with my mom. It was grueling for us. And for me as a teenager trying to figure out my way in the world and what I wanted to do with myself as I turned from a kid into an adult, it gave me many hours on the trail to think. And when I climbed out of the Canyon, completely drained and exhausted I was at the same time energized and invigorated. I had set a stretch goal for myself that I wasn't sure I could reach. But I trained. And nourished my body with the right nutrition. And took deep breaths when I got frustrated and wanted to quit, and engaged in a lot of productive self talk (and worked hard to shut off the negative thoughts). And I reached my goal. And I loved the way it felt. It was on that day that I knew I wanted to help other people feel to have an experience like this. The strength from engaging in a tough fitness event. The rush and satisfaction from achieving a challenging goal. The intense feeling and joy of being healthy, active, and so alive.

That day was so long ago now, but I can still feel the rain on my face, the feeling of taking that last exhausted step out of the Canyon and onto the rim. It's one of those experiences that just stays with you. It was my inspiration for many things - including the career path I took to becoming first a fitness instructor and personal trainer while in college, then a Masters student and registered dietitian, then a medical student and pediatric resident. And now (and for the past 8 years), a pediatrician. It also was my inspiration for writing the Family Fit Plan. My mom who, like me at that time, set a very ambitious goal, and worked alongside me - her (somewhat challenging) teenage child -- to achieve it , was a great model for me and for all of us, as we set out to help our kids be their best and healthiest.

What's your inspiration? Write it down. If you feel comfortable, share it here. Putting it on paper helps bring it to life, providing the spark that will grow to fuel your change over the coming weeks.


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