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Resolutions and challenges


Here is a suggestion for parents, guardians, mentors, big sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles.


January is a time of resolutions.  These usually revolve around us: 1. This year I will have more fun; 2. I will lose weight; 3. I will learn a new language; and the list goes on. Enthusiasm builds up at the beginning of the month, reaches its peak by the third week, and sadly dwindles down from then and on. 


Most of our resolutions require effort on our part. They also require some type of method, or if you prefer a strategy, but generally speaking, a method of marking milestones of progress and accomplishments. According to advice found in popular magazines, it is better to set goals along with a friend so that both get constant support and motivation.


I would like to challenge this because it is usually assumed that your “gym buddy” is your contemporary (best friend, husband, girlfriend). I propose this instead: Choose one of your children, advisees, students, niece and nephews, anyone between the ages of 12 and 18, especially those who would benefit from physical exercise.


Agree to support each other and make a pact.  Articulate and define your resolutions. But each one’s resolution must be different. For example, you cannot both want to have more fun, or want to learn a new language. Since you will be motivating them to work out more, you should perhaps tackle another task, such as keeping organized tax records or fix the garage, anything other than losing weight.


Why is this important? Children are very observant and tend to be critical, particularly with those for whom they care. They will really be on your case if you promise to be organized. According to your agreement, they should be open to receiving direction and guidance from you on how to be more physically active and how to make healthier food choices. You need to come up with creative ways to motivate them and communicate with them the fun aspects of exercise. You are also their role model so perhaps you should mind your food choices as well.


I predict the following: You will both lose weight plus you (the parent/guardian/mentor) will get an additional project done. I truly challenge you to try this. I would also love to receive your thoughts and comments or your suggestions on how to make this idea even more feasible. I would love to hear from those who are parents or those who are close to children. Give it some thought. The irony is that even though you may resist, the young ones are always up for a challenge!


(Post by Thomai Serdari. Email us at:


Reality TV

While I was troubled to see yet another reality series on MTV (but then again, MTV is reality tv), I was also surprised to realize that this time the role models are positive.

The premise? Each week a full episode will document the efforts of young people (teenagers) who have decided that their attitude towards food and exercise is not healthy. Their daily transformation is exposed on the screen.

During that first episode, the emotions were powerful and the power struggle with the family at home intense. Gabriella, the series star, proved that commitment and determination are tools in everyone's disposal and that when used they can help one achieve anything. Gabriella also had the daily support and guidance of a professional trainer.

The series title, "I used to be fat," is strong but implies that the rest of the series will have a positive outcome.  We are very interested in the methods employed and we will be watching. We would also love to get your feedback or reaction to the show if you have watched it. 

A Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone!

(Post by Thomai Serdari. We welcome guest posts and we would love to hear from you. Emails us at: