Every time you step on the scale, you experience a wave of emotions and your brain goes into overdrive. You quickly scan all that you’ve eaten that week. Will I have lost my obligatory .5 – 2 lbs? How many times did I cheat with an after-work cocktail? Didn’t eat the strawberry shortcake from my colleague’s birthday celebration. Two Spin Classes this week. I should be okay, right? The negotiation begins.

Do you remember how early in your life you began this type of negotiation? In a study conducted by Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about two-thirds of Americans are overweight. For many, the struggle with food started in childhood. Most adults who suffer from obesity know exactly when food became more than just nutrition. Think back in time to your most memorable meals. More importantly, think back to the first time you overate. Was it connected to a good memory? Your fifth birthday when your mom told you “enjoy as many slices of cake as you want — after all it’s your birthday”? Or were you 15 and the guy you had developed a crush on decided to ask someone else to the prom?

No matter the situation, recognizing it is the start to healthy living for you and your child. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, so what better time to talk to your child and to gain a better understanding of your child’s emotional relationship to food as well as rethink your own.

Your Way In:

Taking to the pen will not only help you review progress, but can also serve as a starting point for writing a best seller. The best stories often reflect and give insight for better lifestyle choices. You and your child should begin to journal your weight-loss experiences.

Here’s how to get started:

Be Insightful: Prepare a list of questions such as, What’s your favorite dish and why? When’s your favorite time to eat and why? Share and compare your thoughts.

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Be Playful: Engage in a few favorite exercises. Think of words that come to mind as you move. Alternate with your inner-child in saying them out loud. When you’re done, let your mind/body recreate the experience and log how you feel.

Be Inspired: Create a list of role models and/or celebrities you’d love to work out with. Document why. Share it. And as a bonus… find their Twitter accounts and invite them to work out with you — you never know.

Many celebrities are committed to helping kids get moving and others have chronicled their own weight loss journeys and experiences in books.

You may draw inspiration from:

I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down by Jennifer Hudson

True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself by Janet Jackson

Never Going Back: Winning the Weight Loss Battle for Good by Al Roker