Last week, an email welcoming us to the Fit Family Challenge, an eight-week program that helps families become more active and healthier, landed in my inbox. The email introduced us to our personal trainer and dietician.
I read it as I was eating a stale Krispy Kreme donut.
This, I said, couldn’t have come at a better time.
We’re Peg and Joe and Timothy and Charlie. I’m forty-something and traveling toward 50 at a high rate of speed. Joe is forty-something, too, but is aging more gracefully than his wife. (Not once has he looked in the mirror and yelled: My God! This must stop!) Timothy is the best nine-year-old on the planet and Charlie is the best five-year-old on the planet.
Our children did not take the Fit Family Challenge news well. Actually, it was more like we cut off their arms and fed them to the dog. Horror. Pure horror.
What does that mean, asked Timothy.
It means that we’re cutting out 90 percent of the unhealthy foods in our lives, I said. It means that we’ll sit less and move more. We’ll spend more time outside and at the YMCA. A personal trainer and a dietician will help us make better choices.
This means NO MORE CHIPS, cried Charlie. Not every day, I said. Every once in a while — like on a picnic.
Or when we’re too lazy to cook, my husband replied.
Hush, I said.
So, you’re telling me that we’ll only be allowed to eat fruits and vegetables and stuff, Timothy asked.
We will have a balanced diet, I replied. With lots of fruits and veggies and protein and healthy snacks. We will still have our treats, but in moderation.
The DOG will get more treats than us, Charlie cried.
Yes, I said. But she’s a dog. And her treats involve small milk bones. Plus, she runs around all day. You two spend too much time sitting while playing on your tablets.
But it’s MINECRAFT mom, Timothy said. It helps our brains.
So does exercise, I said.
It was at that point that they decided to exercise — by running away and hiding in their rooms. I gotta say, these kids can move quickly when motivated.
It’s going to be an interesting eight weeks.
Wish us luck.