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too fat for 15 | family support

The Style Network has a great reality show on a weight loss boarding school in NC.  The other day, they showed the summer for these kids. The kids left the boardings school after losing hundreds of pounds to head home for the summer.  They all failed in different ways and it was ALL because of their family support systems!

This show and many other weight loss shows are GREAT for me to watch because it’s a way for me to see inside the homes and lives of Americans and get a better idea of what’s going on.  I am so engrossed in my nutrition research that I often forget that some of the things that I know as obvious is completely foreign to the regular American.  I also assumed while watching this show that if a parent was willing to pay thousands of dollars a year to send their kid to this academy they’d be willing to make these changes themselves…NO!!

What a shocking show! I was absolutely amazed at these parents who were totally unwilling to make the changes these kids were making in order to live longer, healthier, happier lives.  If not for themselves, could they not do it for their kids?  They couldn’t!  It goes to show that for many people food is an addiction! It’s as hard for them to change their eating habits as it is for heroine addicts to quit their drug.  Often, it’s been said that the chemical response in the brain is the same if not worse for foods like sugar.

My point w/ this post is both that I was totally shocked and that the majority of these kids fail when they go home because of their LACK OF FAMILY SUPPORT!  This is the same stat for drug and alcohol treatment which is why there is a need for families to get their own treatment for their addict and for the addict to not return to the same environment.  This is so much more complicated with FOOD than with drugs and factor in that these kids cannot leave their environment, their parents’ home!

It works best if the entire family has the same wake up call at the same time.  This doesn’t happen all the time though!  We are often in different places than the people in our families but you will also notice that many families suffer from the same problem of obesity, together. It is a very personal thing and quite a process to go from deciding you think you might need to make a change, to for sure being ready, to making the plan to actually DOING it.  It’s a HARD thing to do to be the one who makes the change when the world around you – your friends, family and coworkers – are not changing with you but sometimes that’s the only way!

Ron and Mike were a father/son team (respectively) on The Biggest Loser.  They were all obese, including Ron’s wife and Mike’s mother & Ron’s other son and Mike’s brother.  Ron’s wife decided many years ago that she was DONE!  She decided she was going to make a change. She wasn’t going to live like that anymore. She wanted to reclaim her life. She was going to do it whether the rest of her family came along or not!  She did it!  THE KICKER….The rest of her family later followed!!!

Though it is often hard to be the only one in your home, workplace or with your friends who is making the change to be healthy and fit, it is not impossible!  It can be done! And often, they will follow!  BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.

Be the change you want for your family. Be the leader. Start the change.  Tell your family that you are ready to change.  You will change. You want to live a better life. You want to live the life you imagined. You want to stop admiring other women (or men) and you are ready to be that person.  You are sick of hating yourself for doing the opposite of what you know you should be doing every day. You are sick of going to bed at night and feeling like a failure and you are ready to do and be the person you want to be!

Do it and see what happens! It won’t be easy! It will be hard!  It will be a challenge. You will be sabatogued. There will be jealousy and complex emotions.  But, what if you bring them with you on your journey?  Give them time. They need time. They cannot make the change because you are ready.  Make the change. Learn the tools to do it for yourself and they will learn along the way. Take control of your life and take what you want for yourself.

FITori Story: In college, my husband brought me along on his fitness and nutrition journey. He made changes and let me know that when I was ready, he’d help. I “got” ready and asked for help. I did BFL.  Later through my fitness journey, a few years later, I asked for help again.  I got a trainer and started my path toward my…now…healthy obsession with health and wellness.  During my contest prep, I was alone in my journey!  I decided I would start cutting for my competition with or without my husband doing it with me BUT there had to be HOUSE RULES. There could not be any “bad” stuff in the house that would tempt me.  As I said in this post about my environment I am easily tempted by foods in my environment and to achieve my goals I needed his help in that regard.  [I’ve gotten better about this recently and I don’t always eat “bad” when he does but that is hard for me and was especially hard when I was starving my self to cut for that show! Not recommended…the starving part.]  The point is…he later came along and joined in. He had his own journey and he started that journey when he was ready WITH ME AS INSPIRATION.

SHARE YOUR STORY!  How have you made changes and what has happened? Were your friends and family supportive?

grocery goddess jen - This show (which is filmed about an hour from where I live!)is fascinating to me, too. Did you see the episode where the boy had to have his gallbladder out, and his mom came to pick him up for the night? She was obese, and she took him to an all you can eat Chinese buffet!!! And she was proud of some of his choices, which were clearly excessive. I was so upset by that, by the fact that his own parents weren’t making healthy changes in their own life, and that his mom wanted to make him happy by taking him to a place like that. From my perspective, I thought she needed to set a good example for him and show him she loves him other ways, not through food. I think it will be very difficult for most of those kids to succeed, for the reasons you said.

My family eats pretty healthy, and I do the cooking, so it’s easy for me to cook and eat what I want. Living with a boyfriend who wants cookies frequently is a little harder, because if they’re there, I’m tempted to eat them. However, if I need a break from sweets or junk food, I can talk to him about it and everything’s cool.

tori - I was absolutely appalled at that boy and his parents. He went to a church camp for a week and gained 21 lbs and his mother was pissed that anyone could accuse him of contributing at all. IT’S OBVIOUS TO ME THAT THE MAJORITY OF THIS COUNTRY HAS NO IDEA HOW TO EAT & MOVE OR LOSE AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT! People say all the time to me “I know what to do, I just don’t do it” but I don’t think they know! If they knew, they’d NOT GO TO BUFFETS! I get so spun up over this!!!! I want to teach everyone! And, I want to change the culture in this country!!!

Also, did you see the biggest girl on this show return home? Her mother has a HUGE attitude about the daughter eating healthy and bringing that crap into the house. She wouldn’t even attempt to eat healthy. She was taking her daughter to eat fast food every night. The kid was over 600 pounds and she’s taking her to get FAST FOOD!! I get sooooooo mad!!!!

That’s why I say it HAS to be an addiction and the HAVE to not know how to do it or have something stopping them. I just can’t believe they’d do that to themselves and their kids. But then again, who knows!

grocery goddess jen - Yes, I saw them going through the drive thrus…but the girl seemed to be making the healthiest choices she could, given the situation. I think people are afraid of change. I think they’re afraid that if they change up their family’s meals that their husband or kids will get pissed, or if that they don’t cook the things everyone loves they’re somehow less of a mother. Did you watch Food Revolution over the summer??? That one mother, oh my gosh, everything she fed the family was crap, but she genuinely didn’t seem to get it, and just wanted to be good to her kids! Argh, I’m sure you and I could discuss this enraging topic for hours 🙂

tori - We could talk about this all day!!! I did watch Food Revolution! It was awesome! And, I feel so sorry for that girl b/c I feel like her willpower will run out at some point and she’ll start back down the road to being just like her mother! It makes me sad.

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