The Quintanas, Week 27: The 'Eyes' Have It!

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

quintana family picture

Risin' up: My kids (left to right), Elizabeth, Chloe, Christian and Aaron. Credit: David Quintana

You know that song "The Eye of the Tiger," from the movie Rocky III? I think I finally know what it means!

It's knowing that the prize is not in the Gold or the Silver, or even in a minor victory, but in the fact that you have become a new person.

When we began the Healthy Families Challenge, we started in a way that we thought was strong. We were all gung ho about cleaning out the fridge and ridding it of our unhealthy habits. We knew this would be tough, but we had no idea of the road that would unfold before us to make it even more difficult.

As if trying to pursue a healthier lifestyle is not hard enough in this fast-food-for-a-fast-world planet, add to the mix bumps and bruises, family scares and losses that cannot be recovered and it makes for one of the hardest things we have accomplished together as a family.

The reason I think I can say accomplished, although HFC is not over, is because we have really come a long way from that fatty, sugary, big-cereal-bowl family that we once were.

Many criticize, while many support us. It's just a huge roller coaster of emotions. Some days I don't know if I am coming or going. What I do know is that I have seen growth and dedication in my hubby, David, and my four beautiful children, Aaron, Beth, Christian and Chloe.

I have seen David remind himself of what the future could hold, or lack, should he not create healthy habits now, such as eating right and exercising. Coming from a family history of diabetes and heart disease, he knows the importance of not waiting until it's too late. This program encouraged him to get on the stick, and now he is equipped with the tools he needed to get healthy.

I have seen Aaron, my oldest child and the healthiest one from the beginning, dedicate himself to pushing his family to new levels. Aaron has always been motivated to be a fit person. He trains for his school's cross country team every year, and has always cut out all of the unhealthy stuff when the season is in swing. The rest of us were never so disciplined before HFC, but Aaron has been there to motivate us, just when we think we can't go anymore.

I have watched Elizabeth, my older daughter, sacrifice the prize to get her daddy through one of the toughest competitions he has ever participated in. Elizabeth, having won in her age division in our city's 5k run a while back, learned this year what "the last will be first" means.

I have observed my younger son, Christian, show an interest in something that motivates him even more than skateboarding. I actually thought that this skating-obsessed kid would be our toughest challenge. But, finding himself at American Top Team Doral, being trained by some of the greatest mixed martial arts pros he has ever admired, has inspired him to pursue a possible future as a fighter himself.

I have witnessed Chloe, my youngest, run a mile -- and even smile through most of it. Chloe, who started out like her mommy, seeing exercise as a torturous punishment, now looks forward to at least walking the 5k with the rest of us as a family next year.

As for me, I now like to sweat. I love the feeling I get as I am walking out of my Monday-night Boot Camp exercise class with Michelle Christie at The Doral Vineyard. I feel like I'm on top of the world. I realize I am capable of so much more than I have ever given myself credit for.

For us, that is "The Eye of the Tiger." It's putting away the old foolish things of yesterday and looking towards a bright and healthy future. It's letting yourself become -- pushing yourself to become -- that new-and-improved person. And, man, it's pretty great.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.

Check out how the other families are doing!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.