Introducing the Healthy Lifestyles Clinic at Stepping Stone Pediatrics…. Where Small Changes Lead to Huge Impacts (Part 2)
Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur and motivational speaker, said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” This has been a philosophy of the Healthy Lifestyles Clinic since its beginning. Tanya Wilcox, CPNP, the Director of the Healthy Lifestyles Clinic at Stepping Stone Pediatrics, works with families to help them identify and make simple changes in their lifestyle that will lead to huge impacts later in life and the improved health of their family.
Change is a scary idea for kids and adults. On the other hand, it is important to be sensitive to each family’s personal circumstances. It is generally more effective for families not to make huge changes all at once, but to help them identify small changes that can be easily addressed by setting mutually-agreed upon goals. In the Healthy Lifestyles Clinic, Tanya strives to help families understand that these goals – which lead to change – should be small and easily attainable. This is important because once a child begins to achieve those goals, he/she feels successful. This is the fuel that builds momentum to keep going and propels continued change. Nothing succeeds like success!
A perfect example of this is the “drink discussion.” There is a great deal of research out there today that supports the slogan “Rethink Your Drink”. Let’s say that a 10-year old child drinks 2-3 cups of skim milk, 2-4 cups of water, and one sweet tea or sprite daily. Sounds pretty harmless and actually like a healthy balance, right? Take into account that the one sugary drink that is being consumed daily has, (on average) 130 calories. Still doesn’t sound like too many calories? Maybe not, on a daily basis, but I would recommend cutting out 3 of those sugary drinks per week to see what that does to the calorie count. This would cut total calorie consumption at the end of the week by 390 calories. Still doesn’t sound like a lot? Well, if that family continued to cut out 3 sugary drinks per week, at the end of the month they’ve decreased the monthly calorie count by 1560 calories. At the end of the year, continuing this small change, this family has shaved off 18,720 calories. Now consider that it requires a 3500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of body weight. By cutting out a single sugary drink 3 days out of the week for one year, this family has prevented a 5 pound weight gain at the end of the year. That’s 20 pounds off the course of a 4 year high school career! Small changes can lead to huge impacts over time!!!