Weigh-In with your Healthy Voice

We are not our weight. We are not how much we’ve gained. We are not how much we’ve lost. We are not how much we want to lose. We aren’t going to be better when we lose it. We aren’t going to finally fit in when we lose it. We are enough right now.

If our loved ones monitor our weight-loss and we fear failure – remember the only reason they do that is because they only know what we know. All of us are groomed to think that weight-loss is the answer when it goes so much deeper.

Getting on the scale isn’t a death march. We don’t have to listen to our unhealthy voice that tells us we are defined by our weight. We are defined by who we believe we are DESPITE our weight. If we want to believe that we are our weight, it is the best time for us to choose NOT to listen.

In the show tonight, a number of campers chose not to listen to it. One said, “I don’t want to let a number decide my whole view of myself.” So happy to hear it! We all have a Healthy Voice that wants us to see we are SO much more than our weight…we just have to hear it.

Inspired by tonight’s episode of “Huge” on ABC family.

Raising the white flag on weight: what it really means

What I saw in last night’s third episode of “Huge” was the impact of weight discrimination. When a “normal” sized kid (whatever, it’s all relative) makes fun of an overweight one (like the tennis camp kids did), they feel rejected. They also feel anger and they show it by doing the character game they do to get revenge on the tennis campers. Just like any other kind of discrimination, weight discrimination breeds an unhealthy cycle.

The kids who are making fun spew venom and the kids who feel rejected want to spew it back. Often times the kids who are made fun of will keep themselves frozen in worthlessness (been there), or worse – become defiant about their weight because of how angry others make them, like the main character on the show. The insecure kid even shared at the fireside. He said, “It doesn’t bother me that kids make fun of me, cause stuff they’re saying is true. I’m excited to lose weight. I just can’t imagine what it will be like. What if will actually change anything.”

That broke my heart because it showed how much overweight kids and people in general have resigned to the label that others put on them. So the people who suffer focus on their weight label as their identity, rather than the amazing person inside. This kid has accepted that he isn’t accepted and he’s afraid of what it would be like if he was, so he stays stuck. No kid, no person deserves to be stuck in that place because of someone else’s beliefs about them.

At the end of the show, during the campfire – the Camp Director has everyone raise their white flags. She says, “What if we stopped fighting? Is it possible to stop attacking other people and ourselves and just surrender?”

Yes, a million times over. Yes. You may think that means that we have to give in to what everyone else says about us, that they’re right, that we do suck, that we might as well just keep eating. Nope. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t.

Surrender is much more powerful than that. Surrendering means giving yourself the power to change by focusing on your great qualities. Accept that you may not be able to control what THEY say about you or what society tells you that you can, can’t, should, shouldn’t do. That means they can keep saying all the crap they want, and you just shake it off because YOU have power over your thoughts and actions. They don’t.

So, redefine surrender as empowerment rather than defeat because I’ll tell you right now – as much as society is trying to put you in a box of needing to lose weight – you are SO much more than that.

Now my question for you is – knowing that, what could you do?

Check out Jess Weiner’s blog on the show too for more discussion…

“Huge” Premiere Healthy Voice Thoughts

Overall I think the show was great. They touched on some good issues and brought in good humor to make it light. I was actually thinking at the beginning of my own teen experience. I remember feeling so alone, literally the only overweight kid in my class. I like that this environment helped these teens feel more accepted, being around people that can relate to them.

I LOVE that they are given a journal to express their feelings, and the one camper had her sign that says – “Beauty comes from within.” Those are really both positive Healthy Voice tools. I didn’t love that there was one girl posting model photos for “thin-spiration” -but I think it depicted how teens today do think that models/movie stars should be their inspiration.

I’ll be interested to see how they develop the whole cafeteria portion of the show. It’s reality that some girls have the diet mentality when they eat. It’s also reality that you go to a weight-loss camp and they are going to feed you healthy food. That is the perfect place for these kids to find out about why they choose the processed foods over the healthy ones. But, I realize that’s advanced thinking…

“Are you holding?” and the whole storyline with the girls sneaking foods that weren’t allowed…I think it focused a little too much on the “punishment” idea. How can you tell these girls not to have that food, if they don’t know why they don’t want it? It’s how I talked about my addictive foods in the past. Thankfully, I don’t need them as a fix anymore. I think if anything it shows you – Food Addiction is REAL people. The way they talked about it, is the way any chemical addict talks about their substance – I need it. I can’t live without it. Yes, you can – this is how…

I love how they are getting support in groups. Sad that they say they can’t share at home like they do here…Parents – I said it in my blog yesterday — let them share their feelings about the food! You may hear something you didn’t know!!

The girl who couldn’t believe that a boy asked her to sit on her lap – could TOTALLY relate. When I was a teen – never got asked out, never kissed a boy. When you are overweight – you just never think you are worthy of a boy liking you. SO NOT TRUE!

Last thing – the girl that got kicked off for purging…that showed me how REAL bulimia is. This is not an eating disorder you can see on the outside and FYI – a lot of overweight people suffer from it, contrary to pop culture belief. I think they did a little of the “punishing” with this too….by sending her off campus. They could have educated the kids more about it…how their eating may just need be behavioral, but they may have an eating disorder, addiction etc….

Lots of thoughts – but I know it’s the first of it’s kind and a GOOD start. I look forward to future episodes.

Among 4-year-olds, 1 in 5 obese, study finds

www.breitbart.com

Obesity in 4 year olds is shocking. It used to be the one kid in the class who was heavy (that was me) and now it’s the average-sized or skinny kid that is less common. Obviously if that is happening, it’s spreading and it’s not just to more kids, it’s worse with kids who are Hispanic, black and worst with American Indian children. Then, now it’s not just in high-schoolers, then middle-schoolers but now 4-year olds…

“Flores cited higher rates of diabetes in American Indians, and also Hispanics, which scientists believe may be due to genetic differences.

Also, other factors that can increase obesity risks tend to be more common among minorities, including poverty, less educated parents, and diets high in fat and calories”, Flores said.

Obviously these kids are at a disadvantage and their communities are doing the best they can to get them moving. That is good. But those heavier kids are often very self-conscious when it comes to exercise and they may be doing it at camp or in school but without the healthier food complementing that activity at home, its hard to get healthy.

A lot of these kids may have things in their lives that are making them eat, but some of them probably watch their parents numb themselves with food so they do the same. There are a few organizations that do work in disadvantaged communities that are helping this problem and we need more of them.

For the home, an organization called Share Our Strength has a program called Operation Frontline. They have partnered with ConAgra Foods and Kashi to educate families on nutrition on how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget.

www.strength.org

For schools, there is another non-profit called Food Studies Institute. Led by Dr. Antonia Demas, they have a program called, “Food is Elementary” (FIE). It’s a very cool curriculum introducing schools and communities to teach children about food, nutrition, culture, and healthy living.

www.foodstudies.org