While the entire Sabra family lives a Eat Healthy, Play Hard! lifestyle, GiGi, Ponn’s second daughter, has always wanted to become a pediatrician dedicated to preventing obesity. She understands that many children aren’t fortunate to have a stay at home mom to cook 1-3 hot meals a day, do push ups and sits up together, or even be at home to tuck them in for a good night’s sleep OR wake them up each morning.
GiGi began modeling her mother, and started actively doing things for herself. For example, she started cooking and preparing healthy foods; and decide to get up to Rollerblade without having a parent to tell her to get up and play! Undoubtedly, GiGi had her mom’s support and guidance, but it was GiGi’s extremely important discovery that made the difference in her conviction:
GiGi determined that most of her overweight classmates and peers feel into two categories:
- kids who don’t have healthy options to eat at home, or even know what are healthy foods, and
- kids who don’t exercise, live sedentary lives, but don’t have the means or inspiration to get off the couch (playing hard is not fun)
Devastating Discoveries By an 8-Year In Public School
GiGi was actually sad every day she came home from her four-month public school experience because her friends would tell her just about everything. For example,
- School lunches were their biggest, “healthy” meal of the day; so GiGi wouldn’t admit that she was disgusted and repulsed by school lunches.
- There are TON of kids who don’t eat school lunches or breakfast because they don’t have money, but don’t qualify for free lunches and breakfasts.
- A classmate’s main concern after school is getting home safely and not get shot, stays inside, and goes to bed early because he’s too hungry from no dinner, and needs to wake up early so he can walk miles to go to this “good” school and not in his neighborhood.
- Her mom and dad volunteered daily, not because they’re more committed or loved their kids more, it was because her parents have the luxury of not working, having a flexible work schedule, because the other kids’ parents work two or more jobs each just to bring some money in.
- Some kids only saw their parents only few hours in the weekend, they “babysat” themselves after school, “prepared” their own dinner, “washed” themselves (yes, some don’t know how to bathe), let alone “correct” their daily homework, or “wake up” by themselves. GiGi has never had to wake up herself yet!
- GiGi strategically made a doubled-sized lunch, to purposely share her food with her classmates, but not make it obvious that it 2+ servings.
- That even the “skinny” kids could not do easy physical activities in gym class, because body size does not mean they’re “in shape”. They had asthma, bad diet and weak bones, etc.
- Most of the kids did not have what she thought was “normal” stamina during gym and recess.
- Gym was twice a week for her younger sister (Grades K-2), but Grades 3-6 only once a week!
- Kids came hungry and tired in school…how can they do well in school like this?
- Kids had to worry about shooting, no food, absent parents, divorcing parents, single parents, etc…how can they do well in school like this?
These are only some of the devastating discoveries that convinced GiGi that she was not only blessed and fortunate not to worry, let alone be exposed to these things in her life. GiGi was convinced she would dedicate her life to helping her friends and work towards preventing and treating childhood obesity.
During the last four years, GiGi has been meeting and talking to many certified nutritionists, fitness professionals, and health education specialists, always asking their opinions and experience. She continues to make a mess (but, now cleans up) in the kitchen; compiling any and all recipes anyone in the family makes. This has always been GiGi’s pet peeves, “Mom! You didn’t write the recipe down, AGAIN!?”