Raising kids: beating body issues and focusing on health

Sponsored postBy Leanne, editor and founder

Obesity is an epidemic these days. One look around the local park or school yard and it’s clear that it is affecting kids younger and younger these days. Every parent wants their kids to beat the odds and to not deal with weight issues at a young age, but there is a fine line you must walk so your child doesn’t develop body image issues.

So, what’s a parent to do? I first need to be as healthy as possible and maintain a healthy weight to set a good example. I need to model an active lifestyle that will encourage my children to get out and stay moving. And, finally, I need to not let them see me obsess about my weight… and especially not theirs.

There are some things on this list I feel like I’m doing a good job with, like discouraging laziness by limiting TV, tablets, and games that the kids zone out in front of. Instead we do lots of walking, biking, and we play lots of sports together. But, I also know there are some things on this list I do need to work on, and that is taking care of myself. Jenny Craig Before Picture 2Today my baby is already 7 months old {sniff, sniff}, and it’s time for both hubby and I to get back into the shape we were in before baby. We were talking the other day about making healthier food choices and staying active. We came to the decision that we need to do it now while the kids are young, and while we still feel young. But, we were careful not to say things like “diet” or “lose weight” around the kids. The focus is always health, not weight.

Even with our best efforts, our daughter still made the leap from “healthy” to “diet”. “But you’re both thin!” she said. Not only is this very generous in my post-baby state, but it’s also not the point. Being thin doesn’t mean you can’t stand to be healthier, it just means you might have less work to get there than someone heavier.

And, frankly, I’m ready to get healthier…. Again. It’s always a miracle when you add a new baby to your family, but I will tell you from my experience it does get harder to “bounce back” after each pregnancy. Whereas I had lost most of my baby weight within weeks of my oldest daughter’s birth, for my son it took almost a year and a half. Using those figures from my past experience, I’m looking at 3 years of working this baby weight off, which is definitely daunting.

That’s where Jenny Craig comes in. I need a kick to get me back to my pre-baby weight and then the goal would be that I can then maintain that weight on my own, so when Jenny Craig contacted me and asked if I would try it out for a few weeks it seemed like a sign. Jenny Craig Before pictureAfter reading up on the program, I came to the conclusion that the Jenny Craig program is different in the way that they provide structure and support to members every step of the way. They make it so easy to follow their eating plan because they do everything for you – from coming up with caloric intake just for you to helping you customize your foods. You get a weekly meal plan and menu right from them that requires no calorie counting or measuring on your part, and no stressing about if you’re doing things right.

With nutritionally-balanced menus developed by dietitians and nutritionists {with over 100 different entrees, desserts and snacks to choose from}, all you need to add is your fresh fruits, dairy, and vegetables and you have everything you need to succeed. That, paired with their one-on-one personal support from a consultant both in person and online takes all the guesswork out of meal planning and portion control.

After much discussion, my husband and I decided that we would do this as we do just about everything – as a team. We're both ready to make big changes, and doing this together will keep us accountable to each other, to the program, and it just might had a healthy dose of competitiveness that will work in both of our favor. A-day-on-jennyWhile I’m thrilled to have a program that is all-encompassing and makes it easy for a busy mama like myself, I’m mostly looking forward to the hands-on help for both hubby and I. I’m excited to do this as a team and meet with someone each week together. I know it will help if we are learning, getting encouragement, and having someone to ask for help when we need it. Going it alone has kind of been my thing up until now, but I’m ready to have help this time around because I want staying healthy to not be trial and error. In my experience I end up with more “error”, and the one thing I am most scared of is yo-yo dieting.

When we explained it to the kids why we were going to attending meetings and eating different foods from them, we were clear that this wasn't a "diet". This is a nutrition plan to help us get healthier – together. The goal isn't being skinny, the goal is just being as healthy as we can be and instilling our newfound food knowledge to help us all make healthy choices forever. And, that's a really good thing.

Because with Jenny Craig, the goal is to lose weight and learn how to keep it off. As much as I am looking forward to hopefully shedding a bit of this baby weight, my favorite part of that statement is the “learn how to keep it off” part. By starting fully on their meal plan with pre-made foods direct from Jenny Craig and then transitioning to preparing foods at home that will help me even after the program is up, I will have all the tools I need to help stay healthy.

The way I see it, I’m fairly active, I make {mostly} smart food choices, and I’m dedicated to just being healthier and setting a good example for my kids. All of these points are going to be really helpful even after my weeks are up and I’m maintaining any weight loss. And, knowing that I have my local Jenny Craig office I can contact with questions while I transition from hands-on help with Jenny Craig branded foods to maintaining on my own while cooking my own food makes me really happy. Jenny Craig turkey burgerNot that we're suffering foodwise or anything. These are just two of the delicious meals we've eaten these past few days on the Jenny Craig plan. No cardboard-tasting food here, folks, this is real food and it really is delicious. I love that they even let you put hot sauce on whatever you like, because we like our spicy foods here. Jenny Craig quesadillaGreat tasting food, personalized plans, and step-by-step help are just some of the reasons I'm happy we made this huge change. You see, I'm ready to take care of ME for a change. Not just in the next few weeks, but for as long as my kiddos are watching and learning from me. How healthy they are as adolescents and as adults depends on it, and that is reason enough for me to try everything I can to give them a good example.

With 600 company-owned and franchised centers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico, there just might be an office near you. But, what if you don’t live close to a Jenny Craig center or you travel frequently? You can get one-on-one support via video chat or over the phone from a dedicated consultant as part of the Jenny Craig Anywhere program and have meals shipped right to your door. There are two plans to choose from: All Access or As You Go. Food costs vary but typically range between $15 – $23 per day, plus the cost of shipping if applicable.

Already a member? If you spread the word about your Jenny Craig experience with your friends, you could get $25 off of food for each referral using their Pay It Forward program.* This referral program will run from August 22nd through October 30th.

Jenny Craig's Simple Inspirations Recipe Contest invites you to share your volumizing skills for a chance to win $2,000! You can enter your favorite recipe using the Jenny Craig foods at the Jenny Craig Facebook page. Enter before September 8th.** Jenny Craig Simple Inspirations
Leanne SignatureDisclaimer: I was provided a free trial Jenny Craig program and meals. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own. *$25 off food offer requires minimum food purchase of $90 US/$95 CAN. Referring member discount available on visit after referral enrolls on Jenny Craig program. Not valid with any other offer or discount. One offer per person. Not transferable. Guest Code: NGE. Referring Client Code: GRD. Restrictions apply. **Simple Inspirations contest open to residents of the 48 contig. US & DC, 21+ who are Jenny Craig members or employees as of 8/25/15. Entries must be rec’d by 11:59 p.m. PT on 9/8/15. Void in AZ, CO, IL, MD & where prohibited. See Official Rules for complete details.

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