You know what I feel when I see an overweight kid? Two things: 1. sad for the kid and 2. irritated at the parent.
Yes, I get judgy-judger when I see it. I can’t help it. You know why?
The kids are NOT to blame. I blame the parents.
I try to use this blog as a positive place for support and ideas, but if there is one thing that really gets me going, it is seeing a poor kid who gets made fun of, teased and who can’t keep up with the other kids because he/she is overweight. It is already tough enough being a kid. Why do we insist on making things harder for them?
We have many jobs as parents: guardians, teachers, referees, playmates and- ROLE MODELS. Children live what they learn. We have such a unique opportunity in life to hand down values and habits that can make a child a healthy adult. Why do some people throw that opportunity away?
What our unhealthy choices are leading to are a generation of kids who won’t live to be as old as our generation will be. We are growing kids who will have Type 2 diabetes in high school and heart problems in their 20′s because of poor health and nutrition. We are raising unhealthy kids who will soon be unhealthy adults raising their own kids. We are killing off ourselves because of convenience and laziness.
I won’t just put out a problem and no suggestions on how to fix it. If you are struggling with your own weight and health- consider the following:
- Invest in a nutrition course through your local parks and recreation or hospital. Learn what foods are good and what foods are bad for your body. Aim for balance and education- there is no need to turn vegan overnight.
- Find a friend who enjoys exercise and ask them to help you find some fun ways to get more activity. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts- you don’t need to be a gym rat to get exercise. You can walk, swim, dance or even do tai chi if it makes you happy. The idea is that you just need to be moving more and sitting less.
-Encourage your kids healthy habits. Sign them up for sports lessons or if they enjoy dogs, help them walk dogs in the neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be hard core sports for a kid to be engaged and active. Do a family bike ride after dinner once per week. Have a family dance party every night before bath. Be silly and engage your kids. They have more energy than they know what to do with- they will be grateful to get moving!
-COMMIT to yourself that you will get healthy. Your kids following suit will be a natural byproduct of your commitment.
Remember- you can always start over. You can recommit to your health or keep repeating your health mistakes to leave a lasting legacy for your kids to remember you by. The choice is yours.