Mom and Daughter do a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover
Nine-year-old Jenks West Elementary student Jessi Rhinehart was into the second month of her healthy lifestyle makeover when she discovered Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign (www.letsmove.gov) to fight the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States. Inspired by Mrs. Obama’s message, Jessi wrote to her about how she was changing her own unhealthy habits and how Let’s Move had inspired her to be a role model to other kids. Jessi received a reply of encouragement from Mrs. Obama on official White House stationery.
Jessi and her mom Lisa Rhinehart began their healthy routine in Dec. 2009. “Jessi is in the middle of two brothers who play football,” Lisa said. “They eat a lot and get a lot of exercise, and she wasn’t doing much physical activity.”
Lisa said that she and Jessi were getting “fluffy” (her word for overweight) and they began to look for something to do together. “We chose Adventure Boot Camp For Women because it was the best for us to do together.”
Lisa said that she likes Adventure Boot Camp because Clint Howard, the trainer and CEO, uses a variety of exercises that build strength and burn calories. Clint’s website, www.TulsaBootCampForWomen.com, is also a good resource for exercise and nutritional information.
Jessi and her mom meet with a group of women at a local park three times a week to do the 60-minute Adventure Book Camp workout. Jessi said the exercise is fun and, if she weren’t doing it, she would be home in front of the TV eating a box of Cheez-its. In fact, Jessi said she would eat almost constantly once she got home from school. Now, she knows how to choose healthy snacks such as broccoli or raspberries.
“I’ve learned to eat right,” Jessi said. “I bring my lunch every day, and I’ve even gotten a friend to eat spinach and she likes it.”
Lisa said that she is cooking with more fresh foods rather than processed foods, and they are including more fruits, lean proteins and vegetables in their daily diet. She said it costs a little more, but it’s worth it. And both Jessi and Lisa have learned about portion control.
“I thought I was healthy until I took the [Adventure Boot Camp] class,” she said. “If Clint sees us at the grocery store, he’ll look in our carts to make sure we have healthy foods.”
According to the Tulsa Health Department, currently, only 18.8 percent of Tulsa County adults consume the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
Jessi and Lisa said the payoff of their new healthy routine has been tremendous. “I have a lot more energy, and I’ve lost 4 percent body fat, two inches off my waist and seven inches overall,” Jessi said.
“My advice to other kids is to start getting healthy.”
Lisa said that she enjoys being a role model to her children by participating in exercise, and she wants to be healthier for them. “Mothers and daughters can do anything together. This is a very powerful lifestyle change.”
Without hesitation, Jessi said, “The best part of Adventure Bootcamp is doing something with my mom.”