What, Lisa? You want me to take the focus off of losing weight? I didn't say that at all, dear friends. What I'm talking about is this continuing stupid cycle of placing so much focus on 'being thin.' We still talk all the time of needing to lose weight; we obsess about how we used to look and how we really need to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds or more. What's worse is that people--usually moms--make these dreaded comments in front of their children. Wake up, folks! If you're guilty of doing this then you're part of the cultural impact bombarding our children with the desire and need to fit into a particular (ie: skinny) mold in order to be of worth and value. Time to man (or woman) up to the part we've played in this horrible situation and do something positive to change it.
I suffered from an eating disorder in high school. It's a lurking, secretive, horrible burden to bear. Let it be said that I didn't fall into mine because my mom obsessed about weight (she never did...she was always awsome about helping us discover our beauty within and for praising us for who we were and not what we looked like). I fell into my problem for other reasons--I tend to be a perfectionist and, I believe, a bit obsessive compulsive. Who knows why? Genetics? Life situations? It's anybody's guess. Go to this website for some good, basic info on eating disorders: http://www.eatingdisordersonline.com/eating-disorders-statistics
Our children are not oblivious flies on the wall. Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend about how intuitive and adept at observation children are. In other words, they don't miss a beat, people. They catch your miserable glances at yourself in the mirror. They quietly listen to you complaining to your friend about how 'fat and bloated you feel,' about how you wish you were as skinny as you used to be and about how you're just going to starve yourself and work out like crazy to lose that weight. Then, they file that info away into the recesses of their brains and they store them in their hearts and these tidbits become the foundation that will haunt them forever. Raising an American Girl (a great book, by the way) talks about how these types of comments make girls feel that the natural changes their bodies will be going through are unwelcomed and something to fight. Boys are not immune to eating disorders either. Many, many suffer.
Many folks DO need to change their incredibly bad habits related to their eating and lack of exercise and, the truth of it is, so many folks (Americans in particular...we ARE so flippin' fat!) need to lose weight! The key is in placing the focus not on looking a certain way but on being healthy...being healthy so that you:
~have energy to do the things you want to do and play with your children!
~decrease risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and all sorts of ailments
~live, God-willing, a wonderfully fullfilling and healthy long life
~be strong enough to function in life--lift things, climb flights of stairs, carry packages, etc
~ maintain Joie de Vivre!
If you ARE overweight then you do need to formulate an action plan to get healthy. There are lots of 'skinny' folks who are terribly unhealthy, though. People all over this country could stand to look into eating clean and getting active. Place your emphasis on goals such as those above as opposed to 'being skinny/think,' looking a certain way and on losing weight. You can make your journey toward good health a family affair. Tell your children that you're tired of being too tired to run and play with them and that you're making some changes so that you can enjoy the great outdoors together! Make a point of saying positive things about yourself and about your children...and PLEASE! Do not continually compliment them on 'how pretty they are,' or 'how thin they are.' Tell they you're proud of how well they read, how well spoken, well-mannered or respectful they are of others. Let them know you think it's awsome that they did 5 pull-ups at school when they tell you about it (and if they don't, ASK them what they've been up to in P.E).
Drop me a line if you need encouragement and direction. You can leave me a message here, find me on facebook (Lisa Fitzgerald Amos) or email me at Lpebbles2@aol.com. My BeachBody website www.beachbodycoach.com/LisaErin is loaded with tools to help you get and stay on track (such as a BMI calculator to give you the proper info on how much weight you actually need to lose and a calorie calculator to assist you in setting up a successful eating plan). Our children absolutely love getting active with us...be it a run outdoors (we're all doing a 5K road race together next weekend) or one of our BeachBody workouts to name a few.
Do your children one of the biggest justices you possibly can by checking your 'diet' and 'weight loss' talk at the door and focusing on being healthy, happy and fully enriched by togetherness, relationships, art, music and all that jazz~~~♫♪~~ Until next time...~~slainte!~~