My daughter, Gardenia was referred to Active Families by our family GP earlier this year. This was a huge wake up call for me as I was oblivious to her weight issues and I thought she would just grow out of it. Boy was I wrong! It wasn’t until I started to make a conscious effort on both the way we eat and participated in physical activity, that I realised that we needed to make a lifestyle change.
When we started we rarely did anything physical to now making an extra effort to do something together as a family that involves physical activity. It’s been small steps since then but I’m immensely proud to say that we are shifting towards the right direction and enjoying things that I used to take for granted.
Our choices in what we eat is still evolving, we no longer eat takeaways as often as we used to. Gardenia has grown fond of certain vegetables and fruits that she never used to enjoy before and that’s because our attitude towards healthy eating has changed. With the help of Hoani (the Sport Wellington Healthy Lifestyle Co-ordinator), I’ve found ways of incorporating vegetables and fruits into our lunches and dinner and I know how to choose better options for breakfast.
I know both my kids are enjoying the variety of foods we eat now and recognise that we still have room for improvement.
The physical activity has been the biggest change for me and my two children (Roman, 4 and Gardenia, 7). I purchased scooters for them soon after we were referred to Active Families and we spend a lot of our time finding different locations/spots around our neighbourhood for them to ride around.
It brings me so much joy to see the smiles on their faces when we go for long walks and what they call “adventures” while on their scooters.
Gardenia has also picked up Netball this term like a pro and is excelling in this sport, and she loves practicing almost every night. You can visibly see her sense of accomplishment all over her face every Saturday morning while she’s playing and I couldn’t be more proud to see her in her element. Prior to this, Gardenia would usually be unsure and always doubt her abilities. She has shown great confidence within herself and is always willing to give things a go now.
Earlier this year, we also took part in the Magic Mile race and the Mother’s Day 5k fun run/walk which we loved doing and gearing up to do again next year. We’ve recently joined the weekly Active Families programme in Johnsonville every Monday and that is something that we all look forward to.
The highlight of our journey so far is seeing my kids healthier and happier than ever before. I’ve loved that everything we do whether it’s going for a scooter ride, Netball practices at home or taking part in the Magic Mile race has been super fun and we hardly ever notice or take it as “exercise” because we’re too busy enjoying ourselves.
The most challenging part for me has been trying to implement the changes amongst extended family when the kids are under their care. I know this will take time and perseverance will eventually pay off.
Thank you Hoani and team for guiding us through a very rewarding year, Gardenia, Roman and I am super excited to see what 2018 has in store.