I want to introduce you all to a very inspiring little boy. His name is Drew, he’s 9 years old and…well, he’s kind of a big deal.
Drew is the son of a friend of our family. My husband and his mom, Karen, go way back to college days.
Three years ago Karen took him for his 6-year old “well visit” and found out that—on paper—Drew had gained too much weight and he was headed in a bad direction as it related to his health, according to growth charts. She very pointedly asked the doctor if her son needed to see a nutritionist.
As a first course of action, the doctor told her that he believed that by being deliberate about portion control, watching WHAT he eats (not just how much of it), encouraging regular physical activity and being mindful of his weight through regular weigh-ins (every three months over the course of the next year)—that he hoped to be able to get Drew on the right track.
Their family had to draw a line in the sand that day and decide what they would do. They knew it wouldn’t be an easy road many days. Let’s face it, “moderation” isn’t a concept many kids (or adults) embrace. And no matter how much a parent loves their child they cannot make this decision for them. Because when it’s time to do the hard work of eating healthy and being physically active, no one can do it for you.
By listening to the advice of the doctor and making a commitment to healthier living, himself, slowly Drew began to see a change.
He had to truly buy into the mindset that occasionally a slice of pizza or a piece of cake is OK. (And it is.) But it couldn’t be a way of life; he couldn’t consume these things every day. And life isn’t always fair. Not everyone’s metabolism is the same, and that stinks. When other kids could shovel in multiple cookies or donuts, Drew had to make the decision to limit his intake to one cookie or ½ a donut even while his friends over-indulged.
Drew has a love of sports that runs deep, so he decided that instead of sitting in front of the television with a bag of chips in his lap after school, he would become active with participation in flag football, basketball, baseball and wrestling. He and his mom tracked his progress and they began to read the labels on their food and talk about smart choices.
This kid is 9!! What wisdom!!
He recently went back to the same doctor for his annual wellness visit—now three years later. And get this, he has grown 6 inches…and only gained two pounds!!
I’m not even his mother and still my heart bursts with pride for Drew.
He is proof positive that little changes—over time—make big differences. I am so proud of him, on so many levels. We should all take note of the example he sets and remember these things:
- Be deliberate about portion control
- It’s not just about how much you eat, but WHAT you eat
- Look at labels and make smart choices about what you put in your body
- Choose to be active instead of a couch potato—and find activities that are fun for you
- Not everyone’s metabolism is the same, so learn to work with yours
- Stick with it and don’t give up and you can see amazing results
Here is Drew at the beginning of his journey just three years ago—mid-journey—and now today. What a special young man he is.
What is so remarkable to me is that because Drew “gets it” at his early age, he won’t have the same struggles many people when they get older in the areas of their health and weight. I think his success is amazing and he is such an encouragement. We could all learn a thing or two from Drew.