Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Don't Stop... Start!!

Two weeks ago I had finally had it.  I have now been "retired" from football for over a decade yet my eating habits had never changed.  Over the years I was able to stay fairly active and thus keep that weight down to some what 'in control.'  However, these past few years have really gotten the best of me... Kids, Work, Blah, Blah, Blah and I when I finally got on the scale it was appalling (and for the sake of accountability, I'll just tell you: 263lbs!!).  

For years I have known it was a problem and even knew it was dangerous for future living.  Though at times I have dropped weight it was never a change in my lifestyle just a diet.  But before you stop reading thinking this is about weight loss give me a few more sentences.  I read an article this week that made me angry!  I didn't get angry because it was "spinning the facts" or because it was about some poor kids in a far off country... I was angry because it was calling me out!!

"They observed 55 caregivers eating with at least one child in fast-food restaurants. Forty of those caregivers used a mobile device during the meal... primary focus of the caregiver’s attention and engagement was with the device rather than the child...Caregivers absorbed in devices frequently ignored the child’s behavior for a while and then reacted with a scolding tone of voice" Read more from the article here

Ouch!!  I don't know if I'm alone on this (according to the article I am not) but this one hit close to home.  BUT... I only check a couple e-mails at dinner or return that important text, I really wanted to show my wife something funny I saw or finish my highest score ever on Doodle Jump (that was for Phil & Sankie), I'll just turn the ringer off, what if it's an emergency... Bottom line:  I've known it was an issue for some time!!  Like my eating habits combined with my lack of exercise and time, it was taking it's toll.  After taking some time to think about it I came across this article: Be an Involved Father (by Carey Casey).  What I loved about it was not only the ideas but that it wasn't about "stopping the phone use."  In the same way diets hardly work, just dropping my phone for the next 30-days wasn't going to fix the bigger issue.  It has to be a lifestyle change or you will simply revert back to life after the "diet" is over!!

Here are the great suggestions from the article (and there are a bunch more from the comments):    

  1. Reading. This can be a time of closeness, sharing new ideas and making your child feel special. It’s an especially great way to end the day.
  2. Mealtime. Don’t stop at traditional dinners; picnics, carryout pizza or Sunday brunch can add to the togetherness. Maybe it’s time to get out that old fondue pot you got as a wedding gift twenty years ago.
  3. Physical affection. When you walk in the door after work, make sure you get hugs from everyone—and that means everyone. (Even if you have to hunt them down in the basement or back yard.)
  4. Playing games. What better way to encourage your kids’ imagination, physical and mental prowess, and a healthy spirit of competition? That includes peek-a-boo with an infant, whiffle ball in the back yard or a family chess tournament.
  5. Chores and errands. Everyday chores help a child define his place in the family, give him an opportunity to contribute, and provide another opportunity to spend time together. And those day-to-day trips to the store can become priceless times with Dad.
  6. Cooking. Get the whole family working on a meal, and then enjoy the results.
  7. Taking pictures. Family photographs are a great way to mark and then remember events for years to come. Some kids dread it when the camera comes out, but strive to make it fun; see who can do the most hilarious things in front of a camera.
  8. Storytelling. Looking through old photos and videos can lead to some great stories about your youth, your parents and grandparents. Or tell your kids a made-up story where they’re one of the characters. (Or read a story together.)
  9. Family outings. This can be a drive into the country to see the cows or a full-blown vacation to Yellowstone. Don’t get so caught up in the destination that you forget to enjoy the trip. And remember, a low-budget camping weekend can mean more to your kids than a trip to Hawaii.
  10. Spiritual activities. Praying together, attending church, and family devotions can become unique and priceless rituals. Also, find ways to put it into action—like organizing the family to volunteer somewhere or gather clothes for a homeless shelter.
Big picture moment
The point isn't "STOP using the phone" but "START being a dad"!!

Update on the "family" side: My family and I had a wonderful mini-vacation this week in Oklahoma City... I don't always get it right but I did turn the phone off for two days and fished, played in a pool, went to a museum, cuddled, saw grandparents, ran around a playground... It was amazing!!  I hope you can find some time to do the same this spring!!

Update on the "diet" side: Court & I are entered to run a Spartan Beast, November 1st in the Dallas area.  If you are brave enough, we would love to see you there... Sign up here!!  Our team name is "With This or Upon This!"  For you history buffs, this is what spartan women and parents told their soldiers before heading off to battle (Come back victorious or die trying).  We're not crazy... It just has to be more than a diet!! 

May we see the opportunities in front of us to love our kids well... May we see the importance in today and not wait until tomorrow... May we love like You first loved us, unconditionally... May we watch our anger and give grace & mercy as much as You have with us... May we be quick to listen and slow to speak... May we be saved by your gospel each day... May we be your hands and feet on Earth!!

The Bergs
**Follow Jeff (Family Pastor of High School), also known as "surgeberg" on: FacebookTwitter Instagram

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