Family Shares Success Story and Practical Advice in Conquering Childhood Obesity {WIN IT}

In Who’s the New Kid, releasing from Tyndale House Publishers this May, ordinary mom Heidi Bond details the healthy regimen that rescued her daughter from childhood obesity and benefited her entire family.

Breanna Bond talks about changing after obesity

In Who’s the New Kid?, Heidi Bond, a self-described “ordinary mom,” shares her story of how she helped her daughter overcome childhood obesity. She provides helpful insights and practical tips, equipping families to help their children establish healthy habits as well as lose weight. Bond’s hope for her new book is “to shine a light on the truth surrounding childhood obesity, to let other families know that they are not alone, and to show the world that childhood obesity is 100 percent reversible and can be reversed in less time than you might think.”

Childhood obesity is a pervasive problem in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.” In 2012, over a third of American children and adolescents were diagnosed as overweight or obese, which is concerning because according to the CDC, “childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being.” Despite the alarming rates of childhood obesity and related health risks, the CDC confirms that healthy lifestyle and habits, “including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.”

Who's the New Kid?

These statistics were all too real for Heidi Bond. At nine years old, her daughter, Breanna, weighed a whopping 186 pounds. Just walking up the stairs to her room was a challenge. Her legs chafed to the point of bleeding from rubbing against each other, and her school days were filled with hurtful taunts of “Hey, Fatty!” Watching her daughter suffer like this was devastating for Heidi, prompting her to action. Heidi helped her daughter lose weight without the aid of fad diets, medication, or surgery, and in her new book she details how other parents can do the same for their kids.

To help Breanna, Heidi instituted a daily regimen of healthy eating and family exercise. In just over a year, Heidi’s plan worked! Breanna dropped 40 percent of her body weight and was transformed from a morbidly obese child who spent her days in front of the TV eating chips and chocolate to a vibrant, healthy, energetic little girl.

Filled with helpful diagnostic tools, easy-to-make recipes, eye-opening nutritional information, fun exercise ideas, and practical tips and advice, Who’s the New Kid? will not only show parents how to help their kids lose weight naturally, but will also introduce them to simple and effective lifestyle changes that will benefit the entire family.

When asked why she wrote this book, Heidi Bond responded, “We needed to share our journey to give people hope and inspiration, and to show them that change is possible. My goal in writing this book is to let others know that they are not alone. I know firsthand the fear and hopelessness that surround this epidemic.”

Heidi Bond on mothering an obese child

Heidi Bond has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and The Biggest Loser. A sought-after speaker, she has helped thousands of parents who are struggling with overweight, underactive children. Heidi lives in Clovis, California, with her husband, Dan, and their children, Breanna and Nathan.

Jenna Glatzer is the author of 23 books, including Unthinkable by Scott Rigsby (Tyndale), Never Ever Give Up: The Jessie Rees Story (Zondervan), and Unbroken: A Memoir (Thomas Nelson). She has written hundreds of articles for magazines and online publications.

Want to win a copy of Who’s the New Kid? We have five to give away. Just enter using the Rafflecopter below.

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Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

The month of September is quickly drawing to a close, but we couldn’t let it get by without bringing your attention to the problem of childhood obesity. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – a perfect opportunity to evaluate your child’s diet, exercise, and medical conditions that may cause weight gain and health issues. Childhood is the ideal time to instill healthy, positive habits that will last a lifetime.

Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky, a renowned New York pediatrician with more than 20 years experience advising parents on child weight issues, offers some fun ways that your family can stay active on the weekends — an important victory in the battle of childhood obesity.

  • 84_hiking.jpgHiking is great. Hikes ending in a picnic are better. You can set the place, but not the time, for the picnic, this way there will be less tendency to slack off. (If you know where the food is, you will go there faster. If you know when, you may be tempted to whine away the time). Many areas have bike trails and urban hiking works just as well as the country variety.
  • Pick-up soccer games need only two participants, one ball, and something to mark off a goal on the ground. You can play in an 8-by-12-foot space and have a blast doing it. There a plenty of games to keep everyone occupied in a park.
  • Visit local museums, botanical gardens, or fairs. Tap into resources and events happening in the area.
  • Go on a GPS scavenger hunt. Walk the path alone with "reward" items (obviously something of no value to a casual passersby — like a note of congratulations, or a certificate redeemable only from you). Mark GPS waypoints wherever you drop them. Give the GPS unit to the kids and have them find the items. Remember the GPS is only accurate to about 20 feet! No GPS? Take photos at waypoints with your phone and send them to your kids’ phones, see if they can figure out the locations!
  • Go on a foxhunt. Put an old remote control into a recess so it is not easily visible. Put a rock on the buttons so it is constantly transmitting (it will put out a flashing infrared signal). Most cameras will see the infrared easily — have the kids find the remote! This one works best indoors or outdoors in dim light.

What are some fun ways that your family stays active? Share your suggestions with us?

Upward Sports — Winners for a Lifetime

Our September 2009 issue of ParentLife initially included an article featuring Upward Sports. However, due to a need to create advertising space, we had to pull the article at the last minute. In the process of trying to meet the fast-approaching deadline, we failed to remove the mention of the Upward Sports article on the cover and the Table of Contents. We apologize for the confusion this created!

We are thrilled to be publishing the article on the blog today!

If you combine the ever-growing obesity crisis among children in the United States and the win-at-all-costs mentality that most children are exposed to, it is easy to lose hope in a child’s desire to participate in sports. However, there is an option that keeps kids active through instructional practices and games that ultimately can improve a child’s overall physical health. This same opportunity provides a fun, positive atmosphere for children to grow in a sport they love while also learning about Jesus Christ. Specifically designed for K5 through 6th grade boys and girls, Upward sports leagues provide children in this country, and around the world, with this unique sports experience.

Intense Competition
Everyone agrees that sports and physical activity are good for children. However, instead of being an enjoyable, healthy activity, organized sports can become a dreaded, stress-filled experience for children. This can be the result of an overemphasis on winning, age-inappropriate expectations, excessive criticism, inappropriate use of discipline, rejection, disapproval of skill level and performance, lack of support for effort and achievement, and use of coarse language. Unfortunately, these conditions are too common in many of today’s children’s sports leagues.

20_Upward-Logo-Blue.jpgA Different Program
Upward™ Unlimited is an international nonprofit children’s sports organization designed to give children and their families a positive sports experience. To fulfill their mission, Upward partners with evangelical churches across the country. By working with and training local churches, over half a million children will participate in Upward this year.

Giving children the opportunity to learn and grow through participating in games they love is one of the most rewarding aspects of conducting a league. Unlike traditional sports programs, Upward programs are structured so children participate in practices and games without league standings. Characteristics such as sportsmanship, kindness, and character are valued as winning qualities. Coaches primarily focus on ministering to children and their families instead of game strategy. Teams are arranged in a substitution system where all players are allowed equal playing time and equal opportunity for improvement. In Upward Basketball, churches are trained to give every child a chance to play at least half of the game and an opportunity to be in the starting lineup. In Upward Cheerleading, squads do not use negative language in the cheers but cheer for both teams.

To further the “Every Child Is a Winner” philosophy, Upward coaches encourage each player with a game-day star award following each game that builds self-esteem and team spirit. Additionally, instead of focusing on a win/lose strategy, importance is shifted to the attitudes and efforts of each child on the team.

Upward also operates on a one practice, one game a week agenda in an effort to maximize the family schedule, allowing participants to spend more time tending to other family activities. When a new league is formed, Upward provides coaches and volunteers with skills, drills, and practice outlines. Coaches also are prepared with guides containing a Scripture learning verse and devotions for practices and games. In addition, the referee will lead all sports teams in prayer in the center of the field or court at the beginning of each game. 

For a pdf of the full version of this article, click here: UpwardArticle.pdf

Has your child participated in Upward Sports? Tell us and other ParentLife readers about it by leaving us a comment.