Obesity and Diabetes as a Family {guest post}

Hi everyone. I have another wonderful guest post for you. Carolyn from Full-On Fit has stopped by to talk about obesity and diabetes  I hope you all take the time to read through this article and understand just how important eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is.

Overcoming Obesity and Diabetes as a Family

Sadly, it is not uncommon for most people to know of an older relative or family friend who has Type 2 Diabetes. I actually know of a few older adults myself who have this condition and are using medication to feel better each day. What I didn't expect , however, was for my young teenage cousin to be diagnosed with it. She’s 13, and in my mind, that is waaaay too young for someone to have Type 2. She had gone to the doctor months ago and was put through a series of tests only to find out that she does indeed have it.

After talking to her doctors and conducting some of my own research I realized that it is an epidemic that is unfortunately increasingly common among children. As if having the disease isn't bad enough, information from St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center explains how if left untreated, Diabetes can cause problems later in life such as blindness, heart disease, and even amputation. After learning this, I knew I needed to work together with my family to make sure all of my cousins were on the right track to healthy living.

Becoming More Active
Most of my cousins are quite sedentary in their day-to-day lives. They go to school in the morning, come home and literally park themselves in front of the television or computer screen for a good part of the night. This is the first change I wanted to make with my extended family. I wanted to incorporate fun exercises we could
all do without making it seem like work.

Get the neighborhood involved
One way to do this was to get the whole neighborhood involved. You cannot even imagine how fun it is for us all to play soccer and kickball with the neighbors, or to get together during the summer for swimming laps in the community pool.

Increase family bonding time
Instead of just seeing each other quickly in the mornings before school and work, and at night at dinner and bedtime, use exercise as a way to spend more time and bond together as a family. Help each other prepare dinner and clean up after, go for a walk each night after dinner is over, pack a picnic and take a nature hike at the local park or nearby woods.

Videos and video games for health
Break out (or look online) some fitness videos and spend time together trying different ones. My cousins love to practice Yoga and Pilates with me, and we try to do this together at least once a week. Zumba is great for kids because it uses music and dance moves. In addition, using the kids’ video games can be helpful if you have games like Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution – having funny dance competitions is  a great way to get everyone involved! 

Eating Healthier
Since obesity is directly related to a bad diet, it was also obvious that changes to our diets needed to be made. The easy start was to begin swapping unhealthy foods for healthier ones. This included using sweet potatoes instead of white ones, wheat pasta as opposed to the normal kind and sugary cereals swapped out for the healthier and whole grain varieties. Most of my cousins could not even tell that they were eating healthier and more wholesome foods.

Here are some recipes we found online and have been using frequently in meal planning:
- muesli for breakfast
- fruit salad with vanilla yogurt for a snack or dessert!
- black beans and rice for lunch
- gumbo style chicken creole for dinner

There are so many great recipes online to help, which is especially nice in the beginning of changing your eating habits. After a while you will be able to see which ingredients are repeatedly used in diabetic-type recipes, and you will be able to make up your own recipes as you go as well!

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/

1 comment

  1. This is such a great post. The adverse health affects of obesity such as causing diabetes, a disease that you'll have to deal with for life is worth addressing and getting to the bottom of, every family should do their best to keep each other healthy and happy.