My daughter is getting her first lesson in the art of sacrifice. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Even at the age of 8.

We have changed to a new dance studio this year. I’m so in love with all the little things that are done to bond the girls together and to teach the dancers life lessons. Because, as adults, we know that regardless of where your career takes you – those are the lessons you will remember!

Last Saturday, the dance teacher spoke with the girls about making good choices – healthy choices. The girls were asked to think of 3 things that they eat on a regular basis and choose something healthier to replace it with. (I’m getting this 3rd hand from a child, so I’m sure there were a lot of details that I didn’t get.)

We eat fairly healthy. I was a little worried and will admit that we had a bit of trouble finding three things for Piper to give up, but she came up with her sacrifices after a little thought. The girls are doing this through January 1.

Although Piper is only 2 days into her “giving up” phase, I’m excited that she is very conscience of thinking through what she is putting into her body and not just eating what I pack.

We have both had a huge lesson this year in learning to fuel her body correctly for long class segments (and if I was guessing, I would say that that is the REAL lesson from their teacher). Although there are adequate breaks to recharge and to hydrate and get a snack, dancing at an extreme level 5-6 days a week requires the right food in your body.

Here’s what Piper is replacing:

Piper's Replacements

1. Pop-Tarts for Cereal; 2. Chocolate in her lunch each day (a snack size, 1 oz piece) for extra fruit or vegetable; and 3. Capri Sun in her lunch (most days) for milk or water

Some of the older girls gave up soda, fast food, etc. It’s a good lesson for them and really teaches the girls to think about what they are eating.

Now … it probably wouldn’t hurt me to take a lesson. I’ll embarrassingly admit that I have way to much soda in my life. I’m taking a deep breath as I type that I’m committing to give it up as well. Actually, I’ll give it up as soon as we run out at home. I have less than 5 cans left. Let’s just be real and admit up front that I’m gonna sneak a Coke if it’s in the house. If I can drink it all first and get rid of it, the  I’ll stick with it.

I’ll report back on the progress that Piper and I make. It’s such to be a saga … on my end, at least.