i'm still worrying about the WAR against CHILDHOOD OBESITY. I capitalize these words because they seem to have taken on a life of their own. i don't like the name -- who wants to be signaled and out and called "obese", particularly when you're a child?!!! and who wants to know there's a WAR against your body?
i've made comments on other people's blogs, but it keeps sticking in my head -- Why aren't we hearing more about the feelings behind the obesity? what's going on that a kid is eating enough to be medically obese? arent there studies that show that if children are left on their own and given a lot of choices, they pick pretty healthy foods and don't overeat? why are heavier children (did i mention i hate the word "obese". i crinkle my whole face while typing it) choosing to eat so much and so often junky food? most kids i know would rather be outside running around. why do some kids prefer to stay inside and watch tv? there are some real issues here that fruits and vegetables can't solve on their own!
i'm also not hearing much about teaching acceptance to more "normal" weight kids. i was picked on mercilessly when i was an "obese" child. it's painful to remember how lonely and confused I was. why was everyone making fun of me? how come no one wanted to be my friend? of course, i'd run to food, literally my only "friend" when i was 11 and 12 and stuff myself until scared -- i thought i was going to die because i'd eaten so much i couldn't breath.
Mean kids --yet another problem fruits and vegetable can't solve.
it makes me think that there is something fattest somewhere in all of this campaign againST CHILDHOOD OBESITY. everyone keeps talking about the weight and those darn fruits and vegetables and portion control. i've opened my mouth and told a lot of people in my own circle that this whole campaign against CHILDHOOD OBESITY bothers me in its approach. i fear it will stigmatize children, make them feel they're not good enough the way they are. yes, of course, we need to help our children eat healthfully and get moderate exercise. but we should work toward Childhood Wellness or Healthy Childhoods (guess it doesn't sound as a grand as a major WAR AGAINST CHILDHOOD OBESITY.) No one really likes what i say. they usually get defensive. i talk about therapy and people get bored. I sense that we're not seeing the whole child; we're just seeing an overweight kid. and no one likes the fat kid, right.
i gather that people think this is a "safe" issue. everyone's patting himself on the back for joining the WAR. after his last heart procedure, the very first thing i heard about president clinton was a statement he issued saying he was feeling better and was ready to go back to his work against CHILDHOOD OBESITY. i'd rather they focussed on poverty and education, not skim milk.
I haven't heard anything about telling kids that WHO THEY ARE is great regardless of what size they wear. if everyone's were waging a war against my body, i'd need to know that my essence is fine and i'm unconditionally loved no matter what i weigh.
why doesn't mrs. obama add therapists to her cadre of nutritionists and medical doctors. (there may well be, but i'm just hearing about the medical doctors and nutritionists). my mother took me to lots of those, in addition to weight watchers, et. al.
when i was 11, i was miserable,lonely and so confused about why everyone made fun of me. i craved unconditional love, not a mother who seemed to love me more when i weighed less. during my early teens, i rarely weighed less. instead, i ate. and ate. and ate.
but why was i eating compulsively? it wasn't that i didn't like salad. i've famously always loved vegetables. no, i ate because my parents hated each other and fought constantly yet neither would move out for FIVE miserable years. i ate because my brother and sister left for college when i was seven and never came home because the atmosphere was so toxic. i ate because my mother got involved with a horrible creepy crazily addicted prescription drug user twenty years her junior and then had him move in with us. i could go on, but i think you have a small part of the picture.
during this horrid period in my life (by the way, the creep never touched me, but other than that, everything SUCKED), i hit nearly 200 pounds. IT FREAKED MY FAMILY OUT.
then i started starving.
and oh the compliments poured in. my mother gloried each time i skipped a meal. she tried to copy my efforts but never did as "well" as I. i think that made her feel badly about herself.
i got all kinds of gifts and new wardrobes EVERYTIME my clothes got a little lose. and we didn't even have much money to spare. but, hallelujah, melissa was getting thin.
you all know my story. when you worship at the church of skinniness, sometimes things go wrong. i was tooooo hungry.
it's been 34 years since i was 11. i binged, starved, and puked for 31 of them. what if someone had told me back then that they loved me unconditionally instead of getting me diet pills.
my mother waged one hell of war against my childhood obesity. i hate war.