This is the 3rd installment of ‘Me, My Family & Food‘. Thank you SO much from Sean@Learn Fitness for this amazing piece on how he as a father and husband is impacting his family.
If you haven’t read Hollie’s or Carly’s stories make sure to check those out after reading through Sean’s story. I find that food, weight loss/gain, diet changes are so important and have what Sean discusses as the Ripple Effect on those around you.
‘The Positive Ripple Effect On My Family’ ~Sean @ Learn Fitness
Have you ever stood at the edge of a body of water and tossed in a hand full of stones? All of those random sized stones splashing down into thewater, each leaving their own wake, colliding with the other wakes, and displacing the water enough to make that fun little plunky noise. It’s fun isn’t it? Watching the water change and react can be quite soothing.
I now want you to imagine that your handful of stones is your healthy lifestyle and your journey to being fit. Imagine the water as your friends, family, colleagues, strangers, and neighbors. Now what happens when you toss that handful into the water? People react right? Sometimes in small ways and sometimes more significantly. Throw enough rocks in and throw them in often enough and not only do you create waves but you change the lives of the people around you and they in turn change the people around them.
Our Boulders, aka Direct Impact
My children won’t ever remember their father being severely obese. They won’t remember the father that was nervous taking his shirt off at the local pool or who constantly tugged at his clothes to not show his fat rolls. They will however see many pictures from when they were little showing a strange man that looks an awfully lot like their father, except much much larger.
They’ll know how I put the weight on and how I worked so hard to lose it.
They’ll know how to eat healthy, stay active, and exercise so they hopefully won’t have to experience the overweight life that I did.
They’ll know all of this because I’ll take the time to tell them, to guide them.
My children are certainly the people that I have the most direct impact on. Everything I say and do is absorbed and repeated by them. For me, this is liking tossing a giant boulder into the water and then watching and hearing the massive impact that changes the flow of everything and everyone around it.
There are also other people close to me who I impact greatly, like my wife. She gained quite a bit of weight after meeting me even though at the time I was trying to lose weight (2000). As you may have seen from my weight-loss timeline, I’ve had quite a few ups and downs over the past 10 years in my attempts to get healthy and fit. As you might imagine, those ebbs and flows have had a direct impact on my wife’s weight as well. She was caught in the wake of my bad eating habits. No, I didn’t force the food into her mouth but I certainly didn’t lead by example either.
Over the past 16 months I’ve lost almost 100 pounds and during that time my wife has delivered our second child. Because of our good eating habits and improving lifestyle she not only gained significantly less weight this pregnancy but she’s already below her pre-pregnancy weight after only 6 weeks (some thanks to breastfeeding here as well). Had we been eating poorly or had I not been extremely active through workouts and playing with our 2 year old I can only imagine where we’d be. She’s told me on a number of occasions that she’s been very proud that I’ve stayed motivated so long and during this past year I seem different, more focused and directed. It’s helped her through rough food cravings and she’s excited to start working out with me again. Without our mutual support I’m certain our journey would be nearly impossible. She’s like another large rock (not the ball and chain kind 😉 cast into my pond of life who’s ripple will change the lives of many others.
Pebbles, aka Our Indirect Impact
A lot of the time we don’t see the impact of our actions on those around us. It’s kinda like tossing stones haphazardly over our back. We don’t know where they’ll land and we certainly don’t know who they’ll impact.
Maybe your neighbor is seeing all of your hard work and decides to change their lifestyle.
Maybe bringing that healthy dish to your book club and sharing the recipe helped someone realize that good food can be healthy to.
Maybe your fellow train or workmates decided to improve their lifestyle because you inspired them.
Maybe your sister-in-law will be inspired by your changes and decide to change her own life.
It happened to me and we’re even running in a race together in the fall. Our impact on the people around us is often more significant than we realize. From our supporting words and smiling faces to our hard workouts and dedication, everyone around us is exposed to our physical and emotional changes along our journey. Your lifestyle and attitude along this journey are the stones that you cast into the water of your life. Every action or inaction is a pebble or a rock. That negative comment about someone, that person you inspired by your weight loss or blog posts, or the supporting word you gave to a friend … they all have impacts and ripples.
Don’t you want to make the most of your ripples? Don’t you want to make them plentiful and with huge positive wakes?
Live and change your life with zeal and purpose.