Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Launch

About three weeks ago Jim and I decided to get accountable. The girls were asleep and we were laying in the dark, talking about how to get on top of our family fitness goals. We care a lot about our family's health, our eating and exercise habits, and how our girls are going to relate to their own bodies. Jim and I have had our own struggles, and they continue to this day. The universe blessed us with very healthy appetites, large frames, and sluggish metabolisms, and then dropped us into a time and place in which we are judged, and we judge others, for failing at thinness. Our goal has been to prep the girls for success in such a world without imposing its cruel standards. No wonder we can't sleep.

This particular conversation in the dark a few weeks ago was one of many, many such conversations, in which we have discussed different approaches to helping our daughters (and ourselves!) develop and maintain healthy eating habits, and an active lifestyle, without imposing shame and dissatisfaction about who we are. I have talked with pediatricians, psychotherapists, a life coach, three nannies, a homeopath, a naturopath and many, many other smart and concerned parents about these challenges. Jim likes to go to the science, and reads constantly about the latest studies on eating, exercise and health outcomes. The number of theories and approaches out there almost matches the zeal with which we seek an answer. What is the best thing to do?

Three weeks ago we came to our senses realized that -- shocking truth -- although everyone has a theory, no one actually knows. And that liberated us to try it our own way.

We are currently experimenting with our own family fitness/wellness program and you are invited to join us. It is called Thinkfit Family Fitness. Thinkfit is the name of a small fitness company of which Jim is currently CEO (see www.thinkfit.com). The Family Fitness part was inspired by our friends the Fearons, who have their own version.

Thinkfit Family Fitness includes three main components:

(1) guidelines for nutrition and eating habits, with a fun tracking system that even young kids can use to monitor their own choices
(2) a series of fun family exercise activities that kids can follow, enjoy, and even help develop and lead
(3) a set of underlying principles that empower families with challenges around food and fitness, rather than shaming them, by putting psychological well-being and self acceptance on par with cultural and medical standards of health and beauty

In doing this, and making our efforts public, we have four main goals:

(1) Improve our own family’s health and fitness by making ourselves accountable to a virtual audience of supporters and voyeurs
(2) Provide inspiration, community and social support for other families looking for help with their own fitness challenges and goals
(3) Promote ThinkFit, a small fitness company of which Jim is currently CEO, to families, schools and other institutions as a source of products and services that can support fun family fitness activities, and
(4) thinking really big now . . . make one small step toward understanding and intervening in the childhood obesity epidemic.
You can watch, comment, or try it yourselves, and please tell us what you think.


  1. Love this concept; we are trying it, the kids love it, I am losing (no clue on how i was eating and how challenging doing 4 Reds are each week). it is unifying and engaging. (I have also lost a pound. Positive externalities).

  2. I know that there are many concepts out in the world of fitness today being a specialized and experienced MBA in Health Care I have seen many concepts come and go. Your blog talks alot about ideas but what is the KEY element behind motivating them and bringing about this evolution of change? Is there a web site that explains more?

  3. Hi Kellie, I don't know of one, but if you find it please let us know! Our thought is that taking the shame out of it might make a difference, which is why we have gone public. We also believe that giving the kids any easy system for understanding healthy choices, and an easy, fun way of tracking their progress, might also be motivating.

  4. Hi cousins (and cousins in law) Frances and I took the kids on a cruise in the Caribbean and Bermuda for their school break a couple of weeks ago. On the ship, we took a seminar that focused on the "triangle": exercise, nutrition, and detox. Very interesting stuff, but the main point is that people keep eating things that: a) your body doesn't know how to process b) sit around for weeks inside of you c) make it difficult for you to lose weight/fat and d) damage your organs and vital systems. When we came back, we started a 6 month detox program. I took a look at our pantry and was pleasantly suprised at how many of the foods we eat are natural. We hadn't really thought to include the kids in this, but, you have me thinking: "why not?"

  5. Stephen we need more information about this! What are the main offenders? ANd what does a 6-month family detox program look like?

    More importantly, are we going to see you this summer?