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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Maggie goes on a diet??

This morning while running on the treadmill *still* trying to shed the endless pounds that have stuck around since the birth of my third child I happen to watch a snippet on the news about the new book "Maggie Goes on a Diet" and wanted to throw up. Not because of the amount of time I had been running but because of the title of the book/picture. At first I thought it was a joke and then came to realize it wasn't and then I began to read and research and most important soul search.

As a little girl I was always underweight. I was a skinny little thing. I remember my grandmother and parents always talking about the fact I wouldn't eat,wasn't gaining weight,was something wrong with me,etc... Well in 3rd grade I began a new school and with that my self esteem went down the toilet and unfortunately so did my eating habits. Looking back at pictures I became a lot heavier than I had originally been but in no means obese. I have since struggled with my weight. I have managed to loose weight many times including my all time weight loss 10 years ago.
However, seeing as how I've struggled with weight(food being my biggest enemy) it's never been about making bad choices so much as control issues,emotional issues,etc... I mean isn't that why most people gain weight? Normal people who have a delicious meal don't continue gorging on food because they know it's an unhealthy choice. People overeat due to underlying issues. If you go on vacation and eat your weight in food,chances are you will come back and try to make healthier alternatives to jump you back into that "healthy" lifestyle one should follow. People who allow themselves(including myself) to get to the point where we have to sit back and say whoa, i need some control,it's something a lot deeper and further than making "healthy choices".
The more I read about Maggie going on a diet, I think the author truly had good intentions due to the fact that the obesity rate in children has dramatically risen in the past few years. I know that our diets high in sugar,fat,fast food, to blame...however,why are these children being allowed by their parents/caretakers to eat this way? I believe there are many factors that contribute to weight gain and obesity within our youth and yes there is the small percentage that could use this information and benefit by the message the author was trying to convey, however I think the author completely missed the mark. Using the title Maggie goes on a Diet sends the wrong message to children that are battling with deeper issues than just correct food choices.
That being said,society is cruel. I went through endless torcher growing up with my heavier than normal weight. Where there times I felt ugly, YES! My husband has referred to that time as my "Hamster girl phase" I literally looked like a hamster. I was blessed enough to have enough love from my parents and grandparents to help me through this and be able to take control of myself. Because of this time I am who I am today and hold no grudges and am actually friends with some of those girls that taunted me as a child. But that is just my story. I know many kids aren't so lucky and as a parent you want to protect your children from any harm emotional/physical that may come their way. As for my kids I am working very hard to establish better eating habits for my children by preferring fruit over sweets as for me Now my weigh loss is a little different. I have 3 babies I want to see grow up and
continuing the unhealthy lifestyle I have followed isn't going to get me there. Do I fall off the food wagon ABSOLUTELY but I try to climb back on and continue.
As for our children giving them a positive body outlook no matter what size they are is the only way we are going to help them with their body image issues. If we individually as humans try to adopt that lifestyle helping our children realize how beautiful they are no matter what they look like,but try however to encourage a healthy attitude when it comes to trying to limit fast food,high sugar diets,etc.. we can help them achieve the perfect "them"which will vary form person to person because we are all individuals and we are all beautiful. We aren't going to change the world as a whole we can only change ourselves and through our change impact the world.

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"Never has the devil found such fertile territory upon which to work as in this era when his very existence is denied by so many" - St. Padre Pio