Archive for the ‘support’ Category
Last week an article went around about a nine year old girl who was being bullied about her weight at school. Her peers would yell “how do you fit into pants?” and other charming things. The solution? She would post her before photos on a website and start dieting and working out to become worthy of their praise.
Another article reports an overweight high school student becoming the school’s “healthy project.” How? Everyone in the school is “encouraging” him to eat better and to exercise. Some think that the original bullying he suffered was a good thing because it has motivated him.
Stop right there.
Every single fat person you talk to who was fat as a child was bullied. We all suffered similar taunts as we walked the halls of our schools, played on the playground, and lived with our families. For me, it was walking through my high school every single day with the boys yelling, “Sue-ey” every damn time. I learned at an early age that complaining accomplished nothing because…well, I dared to be fat. No one should have to live like that.
Listen, Mom, the problem isn’t with your fat child. The problem isn’t with your parenting.
As a mother, I know how guilt-wracking parenting is. We stress 24-hours a day about doing it right, doing it as good as the lady down the street, and creating children who will amount to something. Every single thing our children do reflects on us. Unfortunately, in our modern times, being fat is the worst thing you can be. And some of you are feeling the guilt of having a fat child.
Stop right there.
I’m not going to repeat the research here. Go research Health At Every Size, and see the statistics on dieting, weight loss, and regaining. See how overweight people can still be healthy when they eat healthy and get exercise. Learn about eating disorders and how girls and boys are being treated for them at earlier ages than ever before. Learn about the $65 billion diet industry in our country.
But please understand that the problem is not you. The mean kids are the real problem here, the bullies themselves. They are the ones who need to change.
Who in the hell gave these little monsters the right to terrorize your kids at school or on the streets? Who made them better than your kid? Who made them decide to make your child’s life miserable because of they way they look?
I say their own bad parenting did it…and that’s what you have to remember.
Honestly, no one knows why your child is fat. There are so many reasons up for grabs. You can only control some of them. You can–up to a certain point–provide healthy food and encourage exercise. The rest is genetics, environment, economics…lots of things many of us don’t have as much control over as we would like.
What can be changed are the children who are bullying your child. They can learn to control their behavior and learn that bullying is not allowed. Ever. For anything. Their parents can feel the guilt of having raised children who are mean and ill-spirited.
Schools need to intervene for weight bullying as much as they do for other forms. However, from my experience, the bullying interventions at my sons’ schools has been hit and miss. I don’t have a lot of faith that there are consistent policies in place for any of our kids. That’s why parents need to be involved and in the school’s face. Also, the schools need to face their own stigmas against the overweight.
I know it’s difficult because of the stigma on being fat in America. If you take away nothing from the weight discussion, at least consider the research on yo-yo dieting that shows that while people might initially lose weight on a diet, the majority (around 95%!) inevitably gain it all back, plus some more! This happens every time you diet. Don’t let your child start dieting and stop the cycle in the beginning.
Ask yourself: Would you let your child be bullied for a lisp? For wearing glasses? For being handicapped? Of course not!
So be your child’s hero and step in. Fight the fight for them. Understand that letting kids be bullied–and putting the responsibility for this wrong on their shoulders–is misplaced. Your child has one body. Don’t make her hate it. Make her love it as much as you love her.
Give the bullies hell.
Something is happening that should be scaring the hell out of those of us who can read, write, calculate, and pass basic science classes. We are being outnumbered by those who can’t. No, I’m not being overly dramatic, because it’s truly happening.
Through my internet meanderings, I’ve come across the evidence repeatedly. Last week, I was following the comments on a well-known newspaper’s on-line site for an article regarding women’s issues. A few men chose to weigh in, and I was glad to see their opinions. Until I saw their grammar and spelling. Sorry, sir, but there is a big difference between a “fetus” and a “fetish” which might explain why you are having, um, problems.
I see protest signs from Tea Party members that are misspelled. For instance, the word is “morons” not “morans.” Which is alarming since I think they feel they are intellectually superior to many people of color in our country which is why they want them gone or suppressed or…
Frankly, I blame the Republican Party and John McCain for this. Once they opened the door to the Sarah Palins of the world, giving them equal footing with actual educated people who would have been qualified to be vice president, they opened the flood gates for this spewing of ignorance that surrounds us daily.
Anything to get a vote. How did that work out for you? How’s it going now?
Now we are stuck with people like Ted Nugent campaigning with actual gubernatorial candidates. After he calls the President Obama a subhuman mongrel. Someone thought that was a good idea.
Male only panels making decisions about women’s healthcare. Men sitting on women’s healthcare panels who have no idea about basic reproduction. Male politicians who have no problem comparing human childbirth with cattle breeding.
When we have people on the science committees who have no actual knowledge of science, we are in major trouble. When a man on the oversight and reform committee leaks materials regularly there’s a problem.
While this would be amusing to watch from afar, it’s actually horrifying because it affects our entire future. Because these people are in charge of our nation’s children. They plan policies. They plan education. They maintain the environment. They are running our world. They are ruining our world.
Now how do we stop this? We stop listening to everything we read on the internet without checking it out. Right before I came to write this, I saw something so outrageous on Facebook it stunned me. I no longer correct people on their own threads because they don’t like that. (But if you want to believe that President Obama is letting the United Nations come to your house to take away your guns, you are completely wrong. If you think our country doesn’t need some sort of gun control, you are completely wrong. Ask any of the parents of all the dead kids…)
You start voting for people who are educated and can demonstrate some knowledge of politics. You make sure they aren’t being courted by lobbyists and corporations at all times. When politicians are being courted for committees and you have some input, make some!
Question everything. If it seems to good to be true. If it seems outrageous. Check out many different sources before you believe something. And remember, Bob’s right wing news isn’t really news. It’s some guy in his mom’s basement making stuff up. Rush Limbaugh also isn’t a news source. He is entertainment. Fox News is also entertainment. Hell, most of the news channels are entertainment these days. Check internet news sources. There are some reliable ones. Start hunting and bookmark!
We can’t sit by any longer and let stupidity rule the day! We deserve better than this.
I’ve noticed lately that there really is power in the internet. When people power together and let their feelings known via petitions or Facebook groups or social media campaigns, people take notice. That seems to be happening in Kansas. (Actually, it’s happened a couple of times in Kansas, but that’s because they keep doing such dumbass crap.)
Last week, the Kansas House of Representatives drafted and passed a bill that ensured discrimination of gay people to provide religious freedom to everyone else. The bill would allow anyone in the state–private or public employee–to refuse service to any gay person if it infringed on their religious beliefs.
Seems to me that someone in Kansas has confused what religion is supposed to be about, but that’s a discussion for another day.
While the bill passed the heavily Republican House, and was expected to easily pass the equally heavily Republican Senate, the idea was quashed when Sen. Susan Wagle, Senate’s president, announced that wouldn’t happen. Many reasons why the bill wouldn’t work have been mentioned.
But a telling quote is this:
As the bill began to pick up steam, it fueled a chorus of growing opposition. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the newly formed Kansas Employers for Liberty Coalition released statements saying that the bill posed legal problems for the business community, and that it would strain employer-employee relationships. And a Facebook page titled “Stop Kansas House Bill 2453” has netted more than 50,000 “likes” as of Friday evening.
“Political pages here, if they get 1,000 ‘likes,’ they’re pretty successful,” Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, told msnbc. “This has exploded in this state. And it blew up in their faces.”
- Sign those petitions.
- Like those pages.
- Tweet those tweets.
- Don’t discriminate against anyone. Ever.
PS Kansas also got busted by the internet for allowing cable lobbyists to write legislation that would limit the expansion of broadband by competitors and in smaller towns. Monopoly, anyone? After the petition garnered many signatures, the piece was dropped with the promise that it would be tweaked. Also, this was a bill that a politician actually said was written by a lobbyist–which seems like a giant no no.
Last week I didn’t feel well and must have watched more television than usual because I tweeted about a lot of commercials. Mostly that I hated them. I even managed to get one changed. Well, I’m sure it was me and the other million people that also tweeted the company about the bad bad commercial. Still, I got a response tweet and I like that. Means they’re listening to their customers.
However, there’s a trend in commercials that alarms me. I didn’t tweet about any of these because the commercials themselves aren’t bad…
Why the hell are commercials encouraging children to be outrageously messy, while their parents and grandparents stand idly by beaming, waiting to clean up the mess?!
What world do these people live in?
Maybe I am the worst mom in the world, but I encourage my kids to be clean kids. I don’t want extra mess.
- You wipe your feet at the door. Take off your shoes.
- Put your plates and cups in the sink when you’re done eating.
- No eating anywhere but the kitchen.
My son never used his potty chair and then ran through the house sloshing his pee all over the floor…
My son never wore his beloved blanky outside, dragging it through the mud while Gramma shook her head lovingly. Gramma would have told him to leave the damn blanket in the house where it belonged because it was getting dirty.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t always follow the rules. And there was a Facebook discussion over the weekend about things my boys have destroyed in the house. (Beds don’t last long in KlineLand!) But they were certainly not encouraged to destroy things!
My advice: turn off the television and don’t let your kids watch those commercials before they get any bad ideas! They don’t need someone planting the seeds of messiness in their young, impressionable minds! Stop the madness!
PS I really want to complain about the paper towel commercial with the female hockey player spilling on the counter tops, leaving her mom to wipe it up. But the twins destroyed my house–floor thresholds–with their discus and shotput practice indoors. Incredibly, spinning on said thresholds breaks them…maybe the laminate people want to do a commercial here…because the floors are lovely…
For me, some the hardest parts of Body Positive Parenting have been dealing with outside influences. At home, I can control lots of things. I can control the messages. I can control the food. I can set the mood. But once my kids walk out the door, everything is out of my control.
Unfortunately, not every person our children will encounter will foster the same Body Positive image/atmosphere we are. They will use diet terms, suggest diets, reward with food, and do their unintentional best to derail all the hard work we have done at home.
Don’t give up, though, because we can get through this! As long as we are consistent with our message at home, it will begin to sink in and will be there in the back of our sons’ and daughters’ minds when they hear something different. If nothing else, it will make them ask questions, which is always a good thing.
This is a time to pick your battles. When I hear that they are learning the calories in/calories out formula for weight loss in Health class, I spend time explaining how that doesn’t work because bodies aren’t combustion engines and everyone is different. It was a good conversation to have at home, but I didn’t feel the need to contact the teacher.
However, when a teacher said something about it being good that my son was trying to lose weight, I took the time to explain Health At Every Size. I don’t know if it changed her behavior but I hope it gave her another perspective.
Like anything else we teach our children at home, our kids will carry with them the messages they hear regularly and see practiced at home. If we continue using the Body Positive message for ourselves, our friends, our family, and our children, it will sink in eventually. This is something we want them to carry throughout life. It’s not a fad or a flash…it’s a lifestyle.
Ladies, it makes me sad to hear every conversation about insurance coverage of birth control being qualified with it being used as medication. Because we have every right to use birth control for its intended use as pregnancy prevention.
It’s 2014 and it’s time to stop being embarrassed or ashamed about our sexuality. There’s no need to apologize if you are simply choosing to use your insurance money to pay for birth control because you do not wish to become pregnant. Whether you are married or single, it is your right as a human being to have sex, to enjoy sex, and to protect yourself from pregnancy while having sex.
But every time we qualify the use of birth control as a medication, it puts us on the defensive and makes us seem guilty. Which we aren’t, no matter how hard some people might try to make us feel.
Using birth control of any type is responsible adult behavior. Using it doesn’t make you a slut (thank you, Mr. Limbaugh) or a sinner. It puts you in control of your life to some degree. (Because few birth control methods are 100% effective.) It allows you to plan your education and your career. It lets you choose when to start your family.
Despite it being 2014, the United States treats sex with a two-faced complexity worthy of middle-schoolers. We love to flaunt sex everywhere, but hate to admit to being sexual. On the flip side, we are a nation with no problem with ogling the scantily-clad breasts of Victoria Secret models, but freak out when someone breast feeds. Yes, we have a problem with sex.
It is time that we put a stop to this. Insurance covers Viagara. Yes, as some have pointed out, women get benefits from the use of Viagara. But men get benefits from the use of birth control since they are crucial to the creation of new life. Unless they are ready to be fathers and support their offspring, then birth control should be in demand by all parties in the sexual relationship. Birth control is not a woman-only benefit.
If you use birth control for medical reasons, great. But if you don’t, and you use birth control for–well, birth control–don’t hide from it. You are doing nothing wrong and are doing everything right. Stop letting other people, their hang ups, and their mixed messages about sex confuse you. You are the healthy one.
It’s one thing to tell yourself you’re going to be body positive, quite another not to fall back into your old patterns of policing your own and other peoples’ bodies. It’s not easy changing a life-time of behavior!
Especially as women, we’ve been programmed practically from birth to be hyper aware of how the women around us look and dress. Don’t believe me? What dominated the “news” Monday morning following the Grammy awards? Yup, all the discussion about best and worst dressed. Fashion flubs. Hair disasters. Watch and hear enough of these discussions and it’s easy to make the transition to your own life and to the people you see around you.
Parenting adds another layer of difficulty because we say the right things most of the time, but don’t always do them. Have you ever told your children not to swear, then let loose in traffic? I know I’m not the only one. Or lecture your kids about the importance of eating a healthy diet as they watch you drink a diet soda for breakfast every morning?
Children want to emulate their parents. We’re their models for how to be all grown up. So they “catch” our good actions and our bad actions.
Do you want your kids moaning every time they see themselves in the mirror? I’m so fat! I’m so ugly! I’m so old! When did this happen??
Do you want them tearing through the clothes in their closets, swearing nothing fits and they have nothing to wear?
Do you want them looking at a classmate and whispering, “No one over a size 2 should ever wear leggings?”
That’s where our self-policing comes into play. We need to be aware of the messages about body image that we are sending to our children through our own words and actions. Not only will it help their mental and physical health, but it will do us a world of good also.
Keep practicing being body positive. It isn’t something you do for three or four days and have mastered. There will be days you slip up. Forgive yourself and start back up. Find things to compliment in other people. Whether you do it to them personally or not, you’ll still instill a change away from the critic that’s been living within.
Compliment your children on their actions and behaviors, not on their appearance. It’s all to easy to fawn over pretty little girls, but should that be the only thing we notice? Aren’t pretty little girls also artistic, smart, athletic little girls? I use girls as reference because I don’t thing boys get the same reactions.
All of our children deserve to know that they are so much more than their looks. They are all incredible beings who have a lot to offer to society. Just like the people who are raising them. Let’s give everyone a break and appreciate what we have and what we are today…perfect just as we are.
What exactly is the SlimStar? Well, it’s all science-y and stuff–not. Based on the calories in/calories out equation that we all know works so well (note: it doesn’t as the human body isn’t a combustion engine) the infra-wrap heats the tissue beneath the skin to enhance toxin and fat flushing. In Paula’s case, it resulted in second and third degree burns on her body. She claims the wrap was applied negligently. I think the whole thing is just voodoo science and Paula took a big gamble letting a tanning salon clerk play “doctor” with her body.
I want to know if Abdul really thought the fat was going to melt right out of her body with this wrap? Supposedly, she could burn up to 1200 calories in one session. They even show a nice chart on their site how this is better than running a marathon. It is suggested that you get 3-4 wraps per week at $129 each. You need to heat the fat on your body from the outside in, because cold fat becomes cellulite. (See, there’s that voodoo science again.)
I guess as diet myths goes, this one is only a little further out there than all the rest. We’re told to take a pill so an oily residue oozes out of our rectum, drink chalky sugary shakes, keep score by counting points, eat reconstituted meals, amputate part of our stomachs, and other things to lose weight. Like Paula, millions of people fall prey each year, feeding billions into the greedy mouths of the diet industry.
Luckily more and more articles like this one are coming out about dieting. Maybe diets are not the answer to everything. Maybe starving yourself isn’t the right thing to do. Pills, chalk, fake food, and cooking the fat off your body are a lot less appealing than just eating food.
Thinking about being body positive can be daunting after living your life being body negative. After all, hating our bodies is the way women bond with one another. It’s an unwritten rule from the sandbox on that girls don’t declare themselves fabulous without getting called names and developing a reputation for being bitchy or stuck up or…whatever. When the few girls do break from the pack and dare to be fabulous, the rest of us sit back and watch in awe. But we’re not inspired to follow along and be fabulous ourselves. No, we’re busy comparing ourselves to their fabulousness, finding ourselves different, and therefore nowhere near fabulous.
The first step toward being body positive is to grab a notebook and a pen. We’re going to be making some notes. Start by writing down all the things your body does each and every day. (For example, my body, laughs, loves, breathes, digests, talks, types, etc.) There’s no magic number; start writing until you can’t think of any more.
Already you have quite a list of wonderful things your body does. It’s an incredible efficient machine that takes food in to create energy to fuel your life. It feels emotions and shares them too.
But your problems with body image aren’t coming from bodily functions, but bodily appearance. The number one thing standing in the way of you loving your body is the media. There are endless articles and videos showing us how models are manipulated to fit the advertising world’s ideal image of Woman. It’s so drastic that many models are not recognizable on the street. If you’re so inspired, throw away the magazines and stop watching commercials.
Commercials are also notorious for promising the impossible. Yes, lipstick and makeup make us feel pretty. But they aren’t going to change our lives. And we aren’t obligated to wear it. The right shampoo or whiter teeth won’t automatically whisk Mr. or Miss Right into your life. That diet aid probably isn’t going to work.
Recently I saw an interview with Jeanette DePatie (aka The Fat Chick) who said everyone should spend part of the day naked. Yes! Whenever you feel comfortable–before or after your next shower or bath maybe–spend some time in your room sans clothes. Lay on your bed. Read a book. Stand in front of your mirror and look at yourself. Really look at yourself.
Personally, I can go days and days without actually seeing myself in the mirror. And this is after doing my hair and makeup! We become invisible to ourselves after time and we need to re-open our eyes. We need to see our wonderfulness!
Chances are you will be uncomfortable at first. That’s normal. But the more you do it, the easier it will become. So get naked every day! Look at yourself in the mirror. Check yourself out. Find a body part or two or three or more you really like. Give yourself a catcall. You deserve it.