Sunday, June 20, 2010

Changing Others

Good morning! Happy Father's Day everyone.

I am up early at my sis's and the house is all quiet. Love it. I started thinking about what to write for a post for Father's Day. I kept coming back to thinking about unhealthy and/or overweight family members.  I have several of those, do you? It's always tough I think when we start making the changes needed to live a happier, healthier, longer life and our family doesn't.

I always want to just fix them. But we can't fix other people. We can't change other people. We just can't. It takes them wanting to change, choosing to change, then doing the work. We can be helpful and encouraging all along the way, but we can't (no matter how much we'd like to) do it for them or make them want to do it for themselves.

Several people in my family are overweight and I know from experience that preaching at them does nothing. I do still share with them what I'm doing. Talk about my running, talk about new books I've read on eating healthy, etc. But that's where I stop. I never bring the conversation around to them. It's always just talking about my life. No judgement, no, don't you think you should be doing something like this too? Until they are ready to make a change those things only feel like judgement and hurt to them.

I think that the most effective thing that we can do for other people is to take care of us. Not only will this make us a happier healthier wife, daughter, mother, sister, whatever, but it will show them what these better choices look like. What these better choices can do, can change. Yes, they'll see all the hard work it takes, but hopefully they will also see the awesomely wonderful rewards from all our hard work.

Living healthy and making good choices out loud will affect our loved ones far more than any lecture ever could. We can't change other people. We can't make other people want to change. We can only change ourselves. But I don't find this discouraging anymore. I find it encouraging now. By changing myself and making healthier choices I can be an example. I can be an inspiration. I can give hope by showing others that it is possible. And, hopefully, when they are ready to take those first few tentative steps towards healthy choices I can be a cheerleader!

Have an awesome Father's Day everyone!