Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This I Know

There’s been a lot of press lately about the childhood obesity "epidemic", and it’s about to make me throw up. Kids may be getting fatter, or this may be a ‘let’s scare everyone about TV and Twinkies and get a ratings boost to boot.’

I don’t know what the press’ true motivation is, but I do know this: criticizing someone about their weight does absolutely NOTHING for their self-esteem, except break it down. If that’s your motivation, then criticize away, and you will succeed in making a fat person feel smaller (and not in a good way). When it comes to children, a primal, visceral, guttural rage starts to build in me whenever someone tells a child to watch what s/he eats. And I think “People who make comments about a person’s weight should be slapped. People who make comments about a child’s weight should be strung up by their toes.”

As long as you limit a child’s television viewing time, provide lots of opportunity for outside play, and offer a wide range of healthy food choices, let them eat up the refrigerator if they want and you can afford it! For heavens’ sake, their bodies are still GROWING.

That being said, let me confess to the hypocrisy that is my life. I am a fat woman who needs to lose at least 100 pounds. I worry about my kids' weight every day because I don’t want them to follow the same path I did. (And for the record, I was not a fat kid. My weight problem started in college, and was based primarily on other demons. But my views of food, as comfort and refuge, began in childhood.) I have recently found myself telling Clay he can’t have an extra yogurt (for example) because he just had lunch (for example). Never mind that he’s a thin, active kid. I am not a thin, active adult, and I don’t want that for him.

So why? Why? Why? Why? Why am I doing this to him? I don’t know, but I know better, and I resolve to do better by him. If anyone hears me telling him to watch what he eats, string me up by my toes. Okay?

For a reality check, read this:

We Protect Our Kids from Everything But Fear

1 comment:

Jason Askew said...

I second that Nancy,