2014 Spotlight Families: Meet the Crams


Fit Family Challenge Spotlight Families
Photos by MacPhotography

Last month we introduced you to our first Spotlight Family, the Zappleys. This month we introduce you to the Cram family. Charles “Chuck” and Kathleen Cram are the busy parents of four busy children — daughters Kelleen, 10; Breanna, 8; and Neave, 3, and their brother Regan, 5.

Meet the Crams
Who: Charles (Chuck), 38; Kathleen, 38; Kelleen, 10; Breanna, 8; Regan, 5; Neave, 3
Lives in: Matthews
Occupations: Chuck is a project manager for pharmaceutical company and Kathleen is an occupational therapist in a local school system.


• Increase overall activity levels and lose weight
• Workout as a family twice per week
• Build consistent healthy eating habits despite busy schedules

cramfam3.pngA typical weekday consists of the six family members getting out the door before 7 a.m. then back for dinner together at 6 p.m. before the bedtime routine begins around 7 p.m. Besides school, the children are involved in a combination of church, Girl Scouts, Girls on the Run, soccer and lacrosse activities. Chuck attends a volunteer firefighter training class one evening per week and plays hockey another evening. Kathleen participates with a running group on Saturday mornings.

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In the midst of their busy schedules, the Crams find it hard to be consistent in making healthy eating choices, especially on the weekends when sports schedules leave little time for meal preparation. “We tend to do OK for a short duration with exercise or healthy eating. Sometimes we are able to do both at the same time,” says Kathleen. “But the efforts seem to be short lived as our busy lives seem to get in the way … If we don’t plan ahead for meals, exercise, etc., it is hard to incorporate it into our schedule.”

Although neither Chuck nor Kathleen grew up in families focused on fitness, they have seen time and time again the benefit it has had in their lives. Both played sports in high school and college, and learned better time management skills and had lower stress levels as a result. They also have two aging parents.

“It has become very apparent how much an active lifestyle versus a sedentary lifestyle can impact your functioning as you age,” says Kathleen. “We are committed to creating an active lifestyle now so that we can hopefully stay active in our retirement years.”

Chuck and Kathleen would each like to lose a little weight and tone up, while the kids just need to increase their activity levels. They also worry about their children later spending free time in unhealthy ways, so they believe staying busy and active will help deter that. Despite the busy, the Crams are committed to be an active family.

Lisa Hassell is a freelance writer and former elementary school teacher. She lives just outside Charlotte with her 4-year-old son.

Follow along with the Cram family in the Fit Family Challenge blog »