Lately in class we have been discussing Student Creed #1, which reads:
I intend to develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health.
This is a very broad concept encompassing all aspects of a healthy “Black Belt,” lifestyle, and taking care of one’s body and mind. My main goals in discussing this student creed with the students are to help them to develop healthy eating and exercise habits, and for our teen students to avoid drugs and alcohol. How can we accomplish this? Well, it is easier said than done, but one thing I try to do is break this stigma that living a healthy lifestyle is dull, painful, or unpleasant.
I used to think that eating and living in a healthful manner generally meant doing something that I didn’t feel like doing (eating an apple), as opposed to what I actually wanted to do (eating a candy bar). Fortunately, I have been able to improve my habits by finding healthy foods that I actually do enjoy. In the beginning, it might have been a little bit more challenging, but as I have learned the taste for healthy foods can be nurtured and acquired. It can feel quite natural, rather than forced.
So how does this help our kids? One strategy could be to expose them to as many different healthy foods as possible, so they can learn which ones they like. You see, I have this theory that the reason why eating healthy foods is so unappealing to many youngsters is that it often feels like they are being forced to do so. By exposing them to a wide variety of healthy foods they can feel like they still have many choices; we just try to ensure that all of those choices are healthy.
Finally, I would like to leave you with a little tale that I thought was relevant. I first read this story in the 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden, and I have attempted to summarize it here:
A boy had a very sweet tooth. His parents were concerned by his overindulgence in junk food so they took him to see a wise man who lived on the outskirts of the village. The man told them to bring their son back in two weeks. When they brought him back he said, “I am now ready to help your son.” When they asked him why they had to wait two weeks he replied, “I was also suffering from an addiction to junk food, and now that I have overcome the habit I can help your son to do the same.”
Thanks for reading, OSSS!