12/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Kick in the Tush Club: The Family "Fat" (Not Like The Family Jewels)

We know that obesity is a growing epidemic among adults and children, leading to increases in serious illness including diabetes. For the first time, our children's life span may be shorter than ours. How frightening is that?

And yet, we continue to overfeed our children (and ourselves).

Now, I know that you are a smart group of people. And I know that you know what to do. But it seems like some of you forget to do the 'right' thing; forget to buy the healthy snacks; forget the obvious.

I say this not in judgment. I am guilty of amnesia, myself. I actually had to make a sign that says "GYM IN BASEMENT... Go and HAVE FUN," so I would remember to go and have fun! I had a bout of unconscious behavior while making corn soup. I was stirring while talking on the phone (an absolute no brainer... do not stir and talk) and I ate 1/2 the pot of soup before it got to the table.

So, in the spirit of giving you a kick in the tush, telling you what you already know but might appreciate hearing again... or perhaps in the spirit of your enjoying hearing it in my kooky voice... here follows some good tips and reminders that you may find extra useful during the holiday season.

How To Help Yourself and Your Family!

1. Set a Good Example
We teach by example. You can tell your kids till you are blue in the face that they should not eat junk but if you are imparting this wisdom with a bag of Cheetos in one hand and a stack of Oreos in the other ... good luck!

2. Set a Healthy Table
Cook up some healthy meals, stock up on healthy snacks for you and them. Do not stock just for them; or just for you. You and your family are connected. There is a flow from one person to the next.

3. Overweight Teen in the House
Take it from one who lived it... Do not make it more than it is. One sure way to create a fat adult, is to harp on your children's size or shape. You are essentially negatively hypnotizing them by embedding 'bad' messages.

Bad Messages are:
... it's such a shame; you have such a pretty face. (embedding shame)
... those tight pants make your behind look even bigger than it already is (embedding belief that there is something 'abnormal' with ones behind)

Good Messages are:
... you are fabulous! ... I love you! ... you are smart! ... I am lucky to be your mother. (unconditionally wonderful messages)

4. Calorie Analysis:
You might want to understand where your calories and your family's calories are coming from. Be curious ...

How many snacks did you (or he or she) eat today?
What do they serve at school? Are the kids swapping brown bag lunches?
How many bowls of diet ice cream did you (or he or she) have?
On average, how many calories per meal?

In other words, even if I am (or you are; or your child is) successful at staying within our daily calorie range (1200 to 1400 calories to lose weight for adults), it could be that 1/3 of the calories are 'spent' on desserts! Is that wise? Am I creating a healthy lifestyle? For myself? For my family?

5. Be Active
Set a good example and create activities that move you and shake you.

Shake Your Booty every morning together!
Stairs in your home? Keep track of how many times you go up and down them every day, and break your own record; or have a contest with family members. Give a prize at the end of the week. (A non-food prize!)
Hike together. Bike together. Always a good idea to get out! Of the house! And move it!

6. Have Fun!
Laugh together. Kids laugh four hundred times a day, on average, while adults get in just fifteen chuckles.

Spread the word ... not the icing!

-- Janice
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, Cert. Hypnotist, author, columnist, seminar leader and 50-pound big time loser. If you want to be a loser, too, write Janice.

Want more info about The Christmas Diet? For goodness sake, you really don't have to wake up fat and bloated on New Year's Day!

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