May 25, 2010

My Huge Soapbox

This blog post began with a misunderstanding. I'm watching The Biggest Loser which is one of those reality TV indulgences I take advantage of when the hubby is gone. And I saw an ad for a new ABC Family show called "Huge." It appeared to be about a group of overweight teenagers learning to love themselves, despite their weight.

I got all worked up. Then, ready to blog about it, I googled it and discovered it is about a group of overweight teenagers going to weight-loss camp. I'm significantly more behind that.

All those things said, my huge soapbox is still getting written because it's my blog and now I'm all worked up about it.

I think kids, teens, adults, whomever should feel good about themselves. I think life is too short to eat only broccoli. I think people should be judged on their character and abilities, not their appearance. However (you knew one was coming) I also think we should encourage ourselves and those around us to be healthy.

I often hear about programs encouraging kids to love themselves no matter what. I think the intent here is good. I also think that sometimes it goes too far, that kids are encouraged, or think they are encouraged, to accept negativity. A child should never be encouraged to embrace their failing grades or their dangerously obese weight. A child should know they are more than a grade or a weight but should always always always be encouraged to excel to the best of their abilities and to live a healthy life.

When it comes to weight, we often focus on too fat or too skinny. I read a recent article in Redbook that put it best: aim to be pretty healthy. No reason to stress yourself out over having a glass of white wine when red is healthier. It's ok to have that glass of chardonnay. But it's also a good idea to take the stairs, not the elevator.

To overuse a cliche, it's all about moderation and balance. Walking two miles to the ice cream shop. Limiting Starbucks to only once a week instead of every day.

I've kinda gone off on a tangent but what I was trying to say is this: I value living a healthy, active life. I hope we teach our kids that value and give them the tools they need to eat right, exercise and maintain that lifestyle no matter what.

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