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Posts Tagged ‘obese’

Dear Cheryl,

I’m supposed to be hitting the books right now.  I’m in the review stage of my studying, making sure I know what I need to know for the upcoming CSCS exam.  I cannot wait to get certified.  It’s been the big reason why I have taken a break from this blog…from writing, really.

But then I saw this today:

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Now, as many of my readers are well aware, I am a health nut – I encourage regular exercise and a diet that is well balanced, high on the fruits & veggies, low on the refined sugar and chemicals, but this I found to be completely offensive on so many levels.  Let’s forget about the fact that you should have proofread your note before printing off copies, there are so many things wrong with what you are doing:

1. You have no idea whether or not there are any underlying issues with a child who is overweight.  There could be medical issues, medication issues among others.  The child could be going through puberty, which, though a completely natural process, can wreak havoc on the body while it is happening.

2. The fact that you are giving some kids candy, but denying treats to the “fat one” is, well, mind boggling.

3. Even if a child is obese simply due to eating Doritos and Twinkies every day, singling out a child from his or her group of friends is completely inappropriate.  Which brings me to…

4.  You are, no matter how good your intentions are, a bully, plain and simple.  Through your actions you are essentially pointing your finger at every overweight child and saying, “Hey YOU!  Fat kid!  Yeah, that’s right, I called you fat, you Fatty McFatster!”  You try to dress it up with “my hope is that you will step up as a parent and…blah, blah, blah,” but scratch under the surface and you are doing nothing other than making a child feel bad about who he or she is.

For you to selectively decide which kids meet your concept of fit (and therefore deserving of candy) as opposed to those that are fat (therefore undeserving of candy) is both sanctimonious and mean.

But let’s talk about the Village concept, shall we Cheryl?  My town has recently lost two troubled souls to suicide.  What do you think is going to happen to the kids that get singled out?  Who thereafter get teased by their friends incessantly?  I’m gonna tell you something – kids who are overweight, KNOW that they are overweight.  They don’t need you to draw public scrutiny of their shape to be made aware of that.  Your actions could potentially result in a precious child taking his or her own life because you decided to bully and tease – that’s one of the possible results of bullying you self-righteous bitch.

You want to help make your village better and healthier?  How about you just turn off your porch light on Halloween and not hand out ANY candy?  How about you hand out healthful snacks that every kid will throw away to everyone?  How about you help start an after school program that encourages movement and healthful eating?  How about you volunteer at a teen crisis center?  or a homeless shelter?  or a town beautification program?

Better yet, how about you just get the fuck out of our collective Village?

We don’t need bullies.  We don’t need mean people.  We don’t need you.

Don’t be surprised to wake up on November 1st  with a lifetime supply of toilet paper in your yard…that, and maybe a year’s worth of eggs.

Good luck with your notes.

Sincerely,

Luau

 

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Has she found her H-Spot?

It’s a fact – two thirds of this country is considered overweight; nearly one third of this country is clinically obese.

Although having two thirds of our country overweight is, in and of itself, not a good thing, the fact is, there are many people considered to technically be overweight who are genuinely happy with who and where they are…

…and that is a beautiful thing.

In the big picture, our inner happiness is so much more important than our outer appearance. Don’t get me wrong, physical fitness is important to overall health and should be considered a key factor in your general happiness.

However…

You could be a size 0, but if you’re miserable it doesn’t matter – it’s going to show. If you’re a size 16 and you are truly happy, you’re going to radiate; you’re going to glow. It also works in reverse – if you’re a size 0 and genuinely happy, then that is where you should be. If you are a size 14 and miserable about it, then maybe it’s time to take control.

I am a huge fan of the fitness look, the fitness glow. It lends a certain confidence that is extremely appealing to me. But I am even a bigger fan of true, genuine happiness, the kind that produces a mega-watt smile and an air of confidence; the kind that unintentionally demands attention from everyone in the room.

When it comes to the question of a fitness program, most of us know it’s not a matter of one size fits all. It’s not even an issue of individualizing programs to get people to one common goal. People need to find there happy spot; the place where you are going to be happiest – THEN you come up with a plan; and of course, if you find that you are not happy when you arrive at that spot, tweak your program; change your destination.

Obviously there are certain health issues that come into play if one is too far to either extreme. I would suggest that if one is striving for either extreme at any cost, then there are other issues at play (that or your name is Christian Bale, Jared Leto or Renee Zellweger and it’s part of your job).

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The bottom line is that the human condition is a spectrum, one with a wide, WIDE range. It’s our job to figure out where we as individuals belong to maximize our own joy and understand that if someone else finds that true joy elsewhere, that is okay.

If that true joy is at a size 0, well then you design a program to get you to that size zero – but if you’re going to be a lot happier at size 14 well that is probably where you should be – with no apologies at either end or any size in between.

Sex appeal comes in all different shapes and sizes – the most common denominator, at least from this guy’s point of view?

Happiness.

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Shortly after Thanksgiving, my friend Pete posted a challenge via the dailymile. Could each of us run 120 miles in the month of December? If 10 of us could, he would donate a decent chunk of change to charity. Truth is, whether 10 of us make it or not, he’ll probably give to his charity anyway, but I loved the idea of a group challenge.

Several day later, my friend Michelle sent out a cry for help via Twitter. She had set a goal back in December of last year to try to run 1000 miles in 2009. She was 105 miles short and was looking at trying to cover that distance in 25 days. She asked if we could help by running with her.

She is in New York. The rest of us are scattered all over the country, so she knows that we will not be able to literally run with her. However, the idea that each day, many of us will be running to accomplish 105 miles in 25 days is giving her the incentive and strength to accomplish her goal.

“We” are a group of runners loosely tied together through our associations with the daily mile, runkeeper street teams, Twitter and other social networks. Do I know these people? Not really. I have met Pete once (at the Manchester Marathon) and have never met Michelle. We’ve found each other through these networks looking for advice, information and motivation. We have found a bond in running and all (and I mean ALL) are welcome. I love that these social networks are using the emerging technology of today to bring together people who love the most ancient of all sports.

I hear over and over again that our dependence on technology has made us a nation of couch potatoes – a nation of obese, lazy people. We no longer have to get up to change the channel on the TV. With smartphone technology we don’t even have to go to our home offices to check email. We can do it right from the couch with the TV remote in the other hand. Dinner? A phone call away. Video games have taken our young and not so young off the playgrounds and streets and sucked them right back to the couch.

Well I’m here to tell you it’s time to re-frame it. Technology is what you make of it and the emergence of social networks can make us a fit nation again. Both Pete and Michelle are using technology to get people to run; to do some serious running. 120 miles in a month or 105 in 25 days is nothing to sneeze at. Before you non-runners tune out and say, “you speedsters don’t get it!” I would like to point out that “we” are runners of all speeds, shapes and sizes, ranging from the beginner who runs a 20-25 minute mile (most of you can walk at that pace) to the racer who is in the mid-5’s. We all cheer each other on. Your challenge doesn’t have to be 120 miles. How about 7 miles this week. Go walk a mile a day. Start where you can and then build on it. But don’t do it alone. Join a network and get motivated!

The point is that all of these people are here and they are together, using technology to improve their health.

In addition to the social networks, there are other technologies that are helping me and others run and stay fit. Runkeeper Pro is an app for the iPhone that I have been using since July 1st. It uses the GPS in your iPhone and helps track your route, pace, elevation and calories burned. You can program it to give you audio cues as you run so you can zone out and just enjoy your adventure. After your run it automatically sends your data to your web profile so you can review it later. One of the things I like most about Runkeeper is that the designer of the program is always looking to improve the app, which he has done time and time again. And, he has incorporated the social network concept into the web side of it. He gets it. The convergence of these technologies can make us strong again. But you don’t have to have an iPhone or a Garmin “watch” to map and keep track of your run/walks. Google has a perfectly good mapping program that allows you to input your routes yourself.

In this day and age, when most of us are trying to negotiate our way through tough economic times and the Congress debates the pro’s and con’s of health reform, running could be considered a patriotic thing to do. Raise the health index of our nation – lower the cost of care. And depending on your running style (barefoot anyone?), it doesn’t cost a lot.

Come join the party!

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