I don't even really know how to start this because in a room full of people, I am probably the only one that seems to be able to understand her side of the story. Dara-Lynn Weiss, author of The Heavy, is the woman responsible for starting such a controversy.
First off, let me say, I don't believe in putting children on a diet. Sometimes kids just have what I like to call baby fat. They will grow out of it.
However, childhood obesity is a big problem. It isn't something we can really deny. What is the source of childhood obesity?
- Is it the lack of parenting in the first place that might cause the child to develop poor eating habits to begin with?
- Is it the food that is offered due to financial restraints or possibly a lack of time?
- Is it the lack of recesses at school to get in more education?
- Is there too many video games and not enough time outdoors?
I really don't have a straight answer to that. But I do know that Childhood Obesity is a problem and it is something that needs to be addressed. However, I am not talking about putting your child on a diet that has 10 vanity pounds to lose. I am talking about the children whose doctors are classifying them as obese and are having health issues because of their weight.
Yesterday when I was watching the show, I was insanely frustrated. Why? Because the body image consultant blamed Weiss for passing on her obsession for weight since she had admitted to having body image problems when she was a teenager. And therefore, she was vicariously living through her daughter by putting her on a diet. And the other woman, who was blaming her for her future daughter having an eating disorder. And then questioning whether she actually loved her child because she put her on a diet. I was about to lose it. Some of these people sounded ignorant!
Why? Because they don't know what is going on behind the scenes. They are looking at the outside picture and they are listening to everyone else saying how wrong this is. And it all revolves around the word "DIET!"
|I made my kids a smoothie with spinach in it so they|
would enjoy their vegetables. Does that make me a bad
parent for pushing a "Diet" on my kids!
So yesterday I sat down at dinner and we had a family talk about diet. After all, I was that child that struggled with being heavy. I was that child that might have needed to be put on a diet. But on top of that, I was also that child who grew up into a woman constantly obsessed with diet pills, constantly obsessed with exercising, and constantly obsessed with the number on the scale. I would hate to pass on my fat genes to my kid! So after listening to this show, I wanted to make sure my kids understood the word diet.
The definition of diet is:
Food or drink regularly consumed. Habitual nourishment.Ok - so it can also be used as a verb, meaning to cut calories. But for the most part, being on a diet is eating. If you have a diet of chocolate and french fries, you are still on a diet. Who am I to judge. The question is what you choose to be a part of your diet!
And if you have to count your calories so you can understand what a proper serving size is and the proper amount of food you should eat in a day, what does it matter? Does it really affect you? But the reality is, we have been teaching our kids that eating large servings of food is acceptable. It is not. It will and has made us fat! Obesity is a disease and it is something that we can change if we want to!
Now, according to the body image consultant, my obsessive exercising, my need to count calories to stay within my weight range is showcasing a bad example to my kids. In fact, they will probably have an eating disorder later in their life because of it. Why? Cause I am obviously passing on to them my fat genes.
|I work out like it is a career. My kids see that. But does that|
mean they will find their weight something to obsess over
or that they will find joy in a good sweat!
Guess what? I may have had an obsession with dieting when I was younger and maybe even still a little even though I am adult. But my kids don't. They are healthy and to me, that is what is important. I have talked to them over and over again on the importance of loving themselves and loving what they look like, regardless of what size they are.
So what is missing from the diet aspect? It is the open communication that I have with my children. You need to talk to them about body issues, and healthy eating and healthy choices. And you also need to lead by example. And if your kid is obese and it isn't due to a medical issue, than that means you, as a parent, aren't doing your job. It shouldn't even have gotten to that.
But that is ultimately what is going to happen when your kid spends too much time in front of the TV, computer or even their Ipad. That is what is going to happen when they eat adult sized meals. That is what is going to happen when it is normal to have ice cream every night. That is what happens when you introduce them to large portion sizes and a sedentary lifestyle.
And if a doctor classified my child as being obese, you can damn well be assured that I too will be putting my kid on a diet. However, I wouldn't call it a diet. I would call it what it is... A Lifestyle Change!