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.