Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

Being teased for being a fat child makes you a sad panda – DUH February 19, 2010


doing my daily mail surfing (i have had the same yahoo address for 15 years) I saw the following headline:   Childhood Obesity Takes Psychological Toll, Too (from http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100215/sc_livescience/childhoodobesitytakespsychologicaltolltoo).   DUH!  Like being fat, especially growing up, is fan-fucking-tastic.   Adults may catcall a fat chick as she walks down the street…bullies will make a fat kid eat mud…and oink like a pig…literally.  “Overweight kids are more likely to have depression and low self-esteem, to be teased or bullied, and to bully other children,” said Catherine Davis, associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia. “These can be serious problems for these children.”  It’s hard NOT to have low self-esteem and suffer depression when EVERYONE when you are a fat kid is telling you that you aren’t good enough.   You aren’t thin enough for your parents, your doctor, your family.   If you have friends, they either walk all over you, or only hang out with you when nobody is watching (i actually had someone tell me that in middle school….i wasnt cool enough to be seen with but they sure would play my Nintendo).

“Overweight and obesity are terribly stigmatizing conditions, regardless of age,” said Sara Gable of the University of Missouri, Columbia. “Living as a member of a stigmatized group is stressful and can produce feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.”  FOr a child, it means never learning vital social skills because they don’t get the practice they would if NOT part of a stigmatized group.   ITs hard to jockey for social standing when you are the last one picked, and automatically shunned because of your body.  “A lot of who we are is based on how others interact with us,” said Eric Storch of the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of South Florida. “With kids who are overweight they internalize others’ feedback, ‘You’re fat, you’re no good, no one wants to go out with you.’ That contributes to anxiety and depression.”  And what exactly do you do about a fat child?  Starve them?  Put them on a diet?   IF being fat really IS 80% genetic, we are setting up a whole group of children to hate themselves, their body and never really trust their peers.   I for one, ALWAYS know when someone is watching me.   It’s not paranoia, but self defence…if you see and hear the kids whispering to each other about you BEFORE they tease you out loud, you can avoid that horrid “what do I do” feeling. You can arm yourself with a comeback, or get ready to read and ignore them.   We are setting up an entire swatch of people, men and women both, to be complacent in abusive relationships….its not such a far step from “im never thin (read that as good) enough”  to “its my fault, i deserved to be hit, no one else will love me anyway”   I would really like to see the statistics on weight/BMI and spousal abuse.  (if they even exist)  

Researchers are finding that overweight kids are stigmatized in the very arenas they need to “feel better”  and “lose weight”…exersize.   What former fat kid doesnt remeber the horror of gym class….or sports……or even playing in the park:

“He estimates rates of depression are as high as 20 percent in kids who are overweight.

 “It’s not simply being overweight that leads to depression,” Storch said in a telephone interview. “It’s being overweight and getting a bunch of crap about it from peers that leads to anxiety or depression.”

While one paradigm suggests weight leads to teasing, which then leads to psychological issues, another reverses those arrows to suggest depressed kids are less likely to exercise and more likely to gain weight.

In fact, Storch and his colleagues studied 100 overweight children and those at risk for being overweight, ages 8 to 18, to find out the effects of bullying. About a quarter of the children reported significant problems with bullies during the prior two weeks. The study, published in a 2007 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, revealed bullying often caused kids to avoid situations where they had been picked on, such as gym class and sports fields.
Storch’s team also found bullied kids were more likely to be depressed, lonely and anxious.

“When you think about it, it makes intuitive sense, when you consider the hallmark signs of depression – sadness, fatigue, lack of interest in things you used to like,” Storch said in a statement about the study. “When kids are having a tough time with peers, and struggling with depression, then this can translate to reduced rates of physical activity.”

And researchers are seeing that this anti-obesity stigmatization starts early.   IN a national study involving 8000 kids, following kids from kindergarten through 3rd grade.   “by third grade overweight kids reported less favorable peer relations and feeling unpopular.”  Overweight girls acted out more, did worse in school.   (as reported by teachers) Kids who were fat as young as KINDERGARTEN  “were more likely to be sad, lonely and to worry than kindergarteners without extra poundage, according to reports by their teachers and the kids themselves. As overweight kids entered higher grades, these feelings just got worse.”    As a parent, you know when your kid is overweight but this “anti obesity”  message is getting out of control (even if your kids are small and underweight for their age group)….your doctor tells them…tv tells them…and books…and the health teacher….posters all over elementary schools tell kids to never have soda, only drink diet (and then sells them chips out of a vending machiene), my SIX year old told me she wanted to try and be less hungry.  Our kids are humans too…they LIVE in our culture, and they hear more than we give them credit for…childhood isnt rainbows and lemon drops…its fitting in, and being popular (or learning how to deal with NOT  being popular), dealing with your peers and learning the “norms” of society.   If a round body type is not “normal”,  if being fat is labeled “dangerous”  and “a disease” (and im not talking about nutrition here, i actually eat really well and so do my kids, i am talking about physiological body types)  “The fact that overweight boys and girls reported more loneliness and worrying suggests that, as early as first grade, they may have an understanding of the stereotypes that accompany living with the stigma, the researchers say.” 

“Gable said research on other stigmatized groups, such as racial minorities, shows these negative feelings can interfere with academic performance and other aspects of a person’s life, and “there is good reason to think” these findings would apply to children struggling with weight problems, Gable told LiveScience.” OH but we choose to be fat….a five year old CHOOSES to be teased…too have less friends, and do worse in school.(remember obesity is showing up as young as 3 months now according to research….lets tell the infants to lay off the twinkies fatty) yea fucking right.   I don’t understand when these kid are supposedly getting fat….and we know that if a kid is fat, they will be a fat adult (for the most part)  could it be because its GENETIC?   no I guess we just need to stop eating all together  /headdesk

Their tips include turn off the tv and get involved in sprots….well geuss what….I grew up with hippie parents…which mean NO tv till I was 8 and then black and white tv till middle school.  We didn’t get cable till I was in high school for the love of god.   I NEVER had a tv in my room till college.   I was in a sport every year, sometimes 2 a year.   We lived near a playground and had a big back year to play in.   And by the age of 10 I was over 100 lbs.   Because of the hippie parents, and the chem major dad we didn’t eat out (dad knew EXACTLY how dirty a restaurant could be), so i wasnt eating McD’s and getting fat.   We ate healthy, homemade meals that were not processed.  (hell for a while we baked our own bread) But it was said to me all my life growing up it was my fault I was fat…..and down that road lies eating disorders , depression and a lifetime of hating my body.  But even the headline of this article seems to blame obesity for the depression…instead of placing the blame squarely on society’s stigmatization where it belongs.

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Childhood Obesity: its not the TV its the junk food commericals. February 9, 2010


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209095753.htm

Found a great article about childhood obesity rates and their exposure to not just tv but junk food commercials.

 The association between television viewing and childhood obesity is directly related to children’s exposure to commercials that advertise unhealthy foods, according to a new UCLA School of Public Health study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study, conducted by Frederick J. Zimmerman and Janice F. Bell, is the first to break down the types of television children watch to better determine whether different kinds of content may exert different effects on obesity.

The researchers gathered data from primary caregivers of 3,563 children, ranging from infants to 12-year-olds, in 1997. Through time-use diaries, study respondents reported their children’s activities, including television viewing, throughout the course of an entire weekday and an entire weekend day.

The analysis controlled for the amount of physical activity and the children’s gender, age, race/ethnicity, mother’s body mass index (BMI), education and sleep time.

Among all children, commercial viewing was significantly associated with higher BMI, although the effect was stronger for children younger than 7 than for those older than 7, the study found.

“The persistence of these results, even when the child’s baseline weight status was controlled, suggests that the association between commercial television viewing and obesity does not arise solely or even primarily because heavier children prefer commercial television,” said Zimmerman, professor and chair of health services at the School of Public Health and the lead author of the study.

Non-commercial viewing, including watching DVDs or educational television programming, had no significant association with obesity.

According to the authors, the findings strongly suggest that steering children away from commercial television may be effective in reducing childhood obesity, given that food is the most commonly advertised product on children’s television and the fact that almost 90 percent of children begin watching television regularly before the age of 2.

By the time they are 5 years old, children have seen an average of more than 4,000 television commercials for food annually. During Saturday morning cartoons, children see an average of one food ad every five minutes. The vast majority of these ads — up to 95 percent — are for foods with poor nutritional value, the researchers say.

“Commercial television pushes children to eat a large quantity of those foods they should consume least: sugary cereals, snacks, fast food and soda pop,” Zimmerman said.

Why does it take a study to point out what to me is common sence?   Part of growing up in our society today is to learn to be a consumer…..the first 20 years they sell sugar…and the rest of your life they feed you diet food to NEGATE the sugar you were sold for the first 20 years.   I know…lets all get tivo and computers and forget this whole commercial thing…then the only brands we would hear about would incorporate themselves into the tv itself.  Scary thing is, the companies are getting hip and worming their way into tv itself.    Project runway has l’oreal and overstock.com , Extreme makeover:home edition is Sears,  American Idol is a coke commercial (every week they drink a different coke product..theres a coke red room for chrissake).   Whats next for kids when they realize the consumer shift away from tv, away form the commercials that make kids go MOMMY I WANT FROSTED FLAKES?  are we gonna have Sponge Bob work at McDonald’s?   IS Hannah Montana going to eat only Kelloggs?

 

Biggest Fear January 19, 2010


So I am driving my kids in the car to go out to eat for a birthday dinner with their grandparents.   And the youngest daughter, the one most like me, pops up with “I think I eat too much…I’m going to try to be less hungry”  and my heart just broke….my biggest fear is I will somehow “give” my eating disorder to my daughters.   Even though i am step mom (their mother passed   over 3 years ago now.)  I love them like my own.  (for those that belive in the supernatural, i have dreampt about them since i was 12, but i digress again as usual)  I try VERY hard to cook balanced meals, not talk about good food bad food and try to help them look at food as fuel for your body…we need various food groups like your car need fluids or it wont run right.  At the same time i teach them to cook, to bake, to love food and life.

We tried hard to explain that she needs to eat and drink so her body can grow big and strong….. but now I worry….I’ve know her since she was 3…..she has always LOVED seafood and veggies…in fact at buffets she often just eats sliced tomatoes, seeds, cheese, and strawberries, happy as a clam.   But with that comment i find myself worried more and more….is she restricting?  or just enjoying the foods she loves?  do i force her to eat the meat and such that is the “main course” with dinner?  (our usual rule is as many bites as your age of veggies, fruit and protein)  She also has a bad gag reflex and will start to choke and puke a little when she’s upset (smells and tastes will also set her off).     At what point is that bulimia?  She has the other “triggers” for and ED too….a need to be perfect….childhood trama…..a crushing need to feel accepted.  Already when she messes up, she will run away and call herself stupid.   I try to tell her we have to make mistakes to learn but i don’t know if she hears me.  

Kids being the curious buggers that they are have caught me in a few ED freakout moments, so I sat down and explained as best  as I could how some people are fat and some people are thin, and how the people that sell diet stuff try to make you feel bad to sell the diet stuff.   They are starting to read, so we look at the tiny print on the diet commercials.  “mommy it says average weight loss 5 lbs total, thats not as much as the girl in the ad.”  But how do you explain bulimia and EVERYTHING that comes with it to a 6 and a 7 yr old without making them question their body, their self-worth?  How do you armor a child that , due to her genetics (her mom was 200+ her dad is over 300 lb) has a pretty good chance of being overweight?  (and do it without damaging her self-worth)

I honestly stay up at night worrying about stuff like this, and cry for a world where i have to worry about getting a 6-year-old ready for a life of being fat, of loving yourself in the face of pressure to diet because you are never, ever good enough.

 

cautiously excited: new reality tv with Carnie Wilson January 13, 2010


So for those of you who don’t know…I LOVE LOVE LOVE   reality tv.  I have a degree in anthropology, and there we learned it’s not ok to take 10 americans and force them to survive on an island….but you can pay them to do it with fabulous prizes.   It gives you a chance to people watch and i do so love to people watch….but I digress….

I was watching Tabitha’s Salon takeover (http://www.bravotv.com/tabathas-salon-takeover) when I saw a commercial for this show on the game show network of all places…http://tv.gsn.com/shows/unstapled/.   Carnie Wilson, the “fat” member of Wilson Philips (or as I call her the pretty one) has had her ups and downs, her spokesmodelships with weight loss companies, her stomach stapling, and her playboy cover.  Now shes making a reality show.   I actually started CRYING (gogo pms yay!)  and hopped online to see more…i am cautiously optimistic…..hit play one the box in the middle of the link and you will see the commercial, i cant seem to find it on you tube to link it to you guys right now so its playable on my blog (hopefully an edit will be coming soon on that front).  

After perusing the site I am even more happy…nowehre does it say “as we follow her on her journey to lose weight”  it does mention weight control, but that IMHO tends to mean more eat right and less diet.  here is the direct quote of the tv guide-y blurb they ahd….”Unfiltered. Uncompromising. Unpredictable. Carnie Wilson, host of the Newlywed Game, brings you inside her chaotic life with her own new reality show. Mother, wife, entrepreneur, singer and songwriter; you won’t want to miss Carnie struggle to get her busy life – and weight – Under Control.”  

Looking through the photo gallery, and watching the videos, at first i was sacred…i KNOW she got her stomach stapled, and I was worried it was going to be one of those inspirational-watch-the-fatty-cry-and-lose-weight shows that crop up everywhere in the wake of biggest loser (which i HATE as someone with exercise and bulimia and competition issues, but i digress again go ADD)…this does not seem to be.   It does not seem to be however.   She DOES exercise, and she does makes salads in some of the pictures, but she is also baking cookies and other tasty desserts too, and more importantly is sharing them with all freely and happily with the joy only a good cook may have.   I have always loved Carnie since the mid 90s, she was pretty and a rockstar with MY body type (and so was her mom) .  I know she’s been doing the newlywed came and other hosting jobs over at GSN (and doing really well at it too)   Seeing the clips available online makes me like her even more…she seems brass and sexy, tired like moms can be, but unabashedly sexy and willing to talk about sex toys.  HEr mas seems to love her too, just the way she is, and doesn’t see to mind being intimate.  Hopefully the cameras don’t ruin their relationship like it has for oh so many other reality tv couples.  They are both rockstars already, and carnie has grown up in the limelight, it may turn out ok….i for one will be watching.

 

yet another angry link January 11, 2010

Filed under: Fat Acceptance,parenthood — erylin @ 1:37 am

from http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Family-Lifestyle/9-Kids-Cartoon-Character-Transformations.html

Has anyone else noticed a disturbing trend to make iconic kids toys of the 80’s SKINNIER to update them?   i get the Dora to a certain extent….she started out 3 years old…the newer Dora is what, 8-9?  Kids DO get taller and less round as they get bigger……but what about strawberry shortcake?  Rainbow bright?  hell even the motherfucking TROLL DOLLS get skinnier and they aer SUPPOSED to be ugly….and dont get me started on the care bears.    THEY ARE BEARS.   Arent bears supposed to fat, what with the hibernating all winter and whatnot?   Girls already crack under the pressure to be perfect in high school and junior high….but now we have to make them feel fat in elementary school, too?    Why does “updating”  mean also “skinny”?

 

So sorry about the holidays December 20, 2009


hey guys…i know i m not the biggest of blogs yet, and in retrospect maybe starting this the week before thanksgiving into the Christmas holidays was a bad idea….im fairly new to the mommy thing and the girls (ages 6 and 7) still belive in santa…..meaning mommy has to hurry hurry get the shopping done before the kids are home for the winter break. ….then the oldest was sick and home from school….but now the presents are bought and wrapped, the christmas cards sent and the stuff to the out of towners shipped off (hopefully in time for Christmas).     I will be writing more as time allows…..working on a blog about the offensive nature of NYE resolutions and my new NON diet ones……also a big one about culture and food (the idea sprang from the atcha guest blog secret santa gift exchange.)….In the meantime happy holidays, take time to breath in the great baking smells, and don’t let your ED de-rail you.   (the holidays have SO many pitfalls for those in recovery)