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As stated earlier, there are few things I feel strongly enough about that I can not see someone else’s point of view.  We’ll see if this still stands true with this one….

I was a chubby kid.  I wasn’t “fat” but I was big & I held my ground.  I “blossomed” earlier then all of my friends, prompting me to wear the baggiest shirts I could find in 5th grade.  I never thought I was fat until one day when my cousin told me so.  We rode the bus to school & we both had our knees up on the seat in front of us & she laughed b/c my thighs were jiggling quite a bit more then her’s were.   Then one of my parent’s friend’s told me so.  We were at their lake house tubing.  One tube was a 2 seater & the heaviest kid sits in back.  I wanted to sit in the front for a change but she told me that I wasn’t allowed b/c I was the chunkiest kid.  Yes she said that.  It was probably that same day that I put myself on a diet. I was a tween.  I swore off all sweets (which I loved, even ice cream) and no junk food.  I didn’t know how to exercise so I danced to music in my room for an hour each day.  I did lots of jumping jacks & sit ups.  It was all I knew how to do.  I thinned out quite a bit but no one noticed until I begged for new clothes.  It wasn’t a lot of weight but enough that my old clothes were falling off!  My parents never said a word.  They of course never changed their own diet.  I did it.  I, a 12 year old girl, knew that something needed to change.  This was WAY before anyone said anything about kids being fat.

Fast forward to today.  I have some kids of my own.  They are young (under 5) and know all too well what bad food choices do to people.  I don’t label the fat kids.  I don’t point them out & say “eat your spinach or you’ll look like that fat kid over there”.  But I do make sure they know the food groups & what is important.  We ALL have a sweet tooth in our family.  We love cookies & ice cream & chocolate.  Who doesn’t.  BUT that doesn’t mean we it every day.  Those are treats and they don’t stay treats if you get them all of the time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is….  don’t label the fat kids; it’s not their fault.  Label the fat kid’s most likely fat parents.  I’m not usually one to toot my own horn; but there are few kids out there like me who understands that they are fat & actually take action themselves.  I look back at pictures of myself & I can’t believe no one did anything about it sooner.  When I told my Mom one day that I was the fat kid she about gasped in horror that I could even say such a thing.  She assumed that I just suddenly grew out of my fat skin.  WHAT????  Are you serious?  Being fat isn’t a stage… it’s not something you grow out of!!!  No Mom, I did something about it.  I did it myself.  I love my Mom & have no clue what I would do without her most days but this is exactly the problem.  Parents don’t think their kids are fat b/c they are, themselves, fat.

Want to slim down the kids; start with the parents.  Most kids want to do what their parents do because the parents seem to have so much fun doing it.  Teach parents to better themselves & they will naturally better their kids.  It’s a simple concept.  You aren’t going to make yourself a spinach & strawberry salad (which my kids love b/c the spinach is coated in strawberries!) and deep fry a corn dog for your kid are you?  That’s more work and more dirty dishes!

I saw the story about the hospital putting up billboards with fat kids on them & some sort of saying on the bottom about it’s hard to be a little kid when you aren’t little.  It’s a horrible feeling for a kid & I doubt that’s going to change anything.  I think you put up the picture of the parent right next to it…… I bet the parent isn’t a healthy fitness addict.  I’m pretty sure they are right there with their kid in the burger & fries line w/ a side of cookies and a topped off soda fountain drink.

And another thing…. stop sugar coating the fat.  It’s fat.  Obesity, metabolic disorder, blah blah blah….. it’s fat, people.  I have it too and I’m not afraid to say it because I actively try & do something about it.  And so can you.

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