You want your child to grow up healthy. You want to be healthier. Luckily, they go together like two peas in a pod, peanut butter & bananas ... or peanut butter & fingers!
For me, I had gotten a little lazy. I seem to have an unnaturally high metabolism. Add to that, pregnancy & breastfeeding - I was pretty much eating whatever I wanted. But in the past 6 months, I had to start making an effort.
Not because I started to gain weight back after breastfeeding was over. But because I didn't want to feed my daughter the crap I'd somehow ended up eating. Oh, I'm sure it still wasn't terrible relative to the SAD (standard American diet), but I wasn't proud of it, and I didn't want to model it for her.
So, slowly but surely, I made changes. It's like how kids start behaving better when Christmas approaches - someone's watching, and there will be consequences.
I'll admit I do still hit the frozen yogurt after she goes to bed (or - ahem - the clearance candy ... you can't see me while I'm writing this, right?) But even when she's not watching, I've started to actually crave fruits for snacks.
We also go for walks at least a few times a week, play catch in the back yard, run around the house playing hide&go-seek --- what we're modeling there? --- activity can be fun play, not a chore to dread. I've also started to internalize that. I look forward to my little work-outs & have fun planning them.
I think many parents get stuck trying for the own healthy habits because they think in terms of "kids' food" and "adult food." Kids ages 1-2 should drink whole milk instead of low-fat or non-fat --- that is the only thing different about healthy eating for them than for us. It's important to remember that their palettes are more sensitive so they may not like super spicy foods, but they don't have to eat chicken nuggets or mac'n'cheese all the time. You and they can eat the same healthy foods. Enjoy!
So, the short & sweet of it is just this --- if you want a healthy child, model it - you'll get a healthy you. If you want a healthy you, strive for a healthy child.