Saturday, March 5, 2011

Healthy Kids ( & adults too) : Fighting childhood obesity, a lesson learned at the playground...

I came across the videos below today and I just have to share them!
I am on a very serious note here because I wanted to talk about this sometimes down the line but I feel like I have to do it now as my heart and my mind are truly bothered by the subject of childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is a subject that is starting to become dearer and dearer to me because of something I witnessed a couple of weeks ago.

  One Sunday afternoon after lunch, my husband and I took our healthy active children with some friends to a  big local Mall so they could play at an indoor playground. As I watched the children playing, I noticed a little girl, still in her diapers or pull ups that was seriously overweight. I observed her the whole time she was there and it crushed my mood to see that absolutely no children tried to befriend her and play with her. 
 She was constantly playing by herself, she entertained  herself pretty well but it was akward to witness that nobody approached her. I was somewhat painful because I kept thinking that this playground was a place for children to make new friends. I kept watching how some kids were attracted to each other and this little girl had no attention from anyone. Nobody interacted with her. It's almost like she was invisible to everyone.  I know that none of the children playing there did it intentionally as they were all busy going wild, but it was quite a thoughts provoking scene. 

 She stayed there playing for 30-45 mns by herself.  With a man, I assumed must have been her dad, watching her. I was thinking that it's a good thing that she's very small and might not even realized it...but then it hit me: children become teenagers and teenagers become adults. I realized that she might grow up scarred by the memory that kids did not even care to play with her, not even pay her any attention.  Yes, I am blessed to have healthy and fit children but it  nonetheless pained me to witness that scene. I am a mother, empathy for children come naturally even if the child is not mine.

This picture was available on google search
I felt sad for her, then I felt mad because I know that we the adults are the one feeding our children. So I was mad that the parents allowed her to be that fat, but I also felt sad for the parents...thinking and assuming that if the statistics are right, the mother or caretakers of that precious little girl might themselves be battling obesity and a plethora of health conditions.  If it's true that the majority of obese kids are from obese parents then it's obvious that "We can not always give to our kids what we don't have".   That's why it has to start with us adults taking responsibilities for our health and our children's health.

Watching that cute yet overweight little girl playing alone, I comforted myself by telling myself that to her parent's credit she was at the playground getting active. The man with her was a young looking Caucasian male probably in his 20s and he looked normal. Not fat at all, even though he was not necessarily the athletic type. Minutes before that little girl left, a family came that instantly got my attention. A little girl and a little boy arrived with their parents in shorts and athletic shoes. As soon as I saw both the husband and wife I felt for them, pride, respect and from them I gained a fresh motivation. They were FIT and dressed in active gears, there is no doubt that the whole family knows a whole lot about being active, making better choices and being role models to their children.

 It was 2 weeks ago and I still can't erase those scenes and observations from my mind. I certainly did not expect to get a lesson from just watching a bunch of children playing at the playground!  I used to let my hubby take the kids there while I am hanging at the Barnes and Nobles. My time there that Sunday afternoon, watching a bunch of families and their children showed me some things that no books could have illustrated better.
I will probably talk more about child obesity in a near future, for today I simply want to get this off my chest and sincerely motivate any of you that might stop by here to: watch those videos and be active with your children. You might not have children but there are children around you, get fit, take care of your health and influence a child, a nephew, a niece, anyone, to become active and fit.
I think Obesity is a painful subject to talk about but it has to be addressed, with love, with understanding , with knowledge, with education and with no more excuses.
Please watch the videos below and be inspired to take action today!

Those women are obviously very different, their styles might be different but at the end, their messages is the same. So please, please, please...
               Let's make better choices
          Eat nutritious food
          Be active &
          Have Fun Doing it
As adults we owe it to ourselves and our children to be their role models and to protect them. Good health is a gift money can't buy but that we can obtain as we make better choices, it's a gift that's in us and no one can give it to us but ( God and)  ourselves.

We have to let go of all our excuses and just do it! Being role models and motivating our children is one of the best gifts we can offer them as it will protect them not just from physical ailments like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes but from emotional and psychological ailments as well.  It's seems silly but lives are at stakes. Either some will die from those physical ailments or some might literally take their lives away because of all the rejections and shame they might suffer due to obesity.
Please start today to make a change, one step, one choice, one day at a time to give yourself or someone you love the gift of a better body and a better life!
I love you and I want to see you and those around you thriving!

We are all in this together, it doesn't matter if you are reading this and you are a size 2 or a size 14 or whatever. As a society we are all in it together. We all come across someone who deserves good health and a better life. We all need this generation and the next one to be healthy because without our children there is no legacy to leave, no baton to pass on. So it's more serious than just losing weight and looking good in our clothes. It's about having healthy bodies and lives that will offer us healthy minds and the power and ability to do great things as individuals and as a nation.

I am eager to learn from you, any suggestions, any actions you think will work to reach the children around us and the parents as well. Please take the time to express your thoughts and opinions. Leave some comments, every suggestions is valuable.  If it's your first time visiting the blog please become a Follower and let's build together a healthy community!
In your opinion, what are ways we can make a difference in the lives of people that suffer from obesity? How can we all reach out and truly motivate those who are not fit yet,  to take control of their health and start valuing themselves, their lives and their bodies? Do you know of any inspiring stories of change that would motivate and inspire someone reading this post to start living a better life?



  1. Nina - this is a serious issue for sure. I came across this at Divas Club and am so glad i came by. Don't know what a solution could be - I guess more the awareness the better it is and that is where blogs like yours come into the picture. Good post here. I am at Please do come by and leave a comment..

  2. Nina, great post. Enjoyed it very much. Tough business, especially when it comes to our kids. As parents, we ARE the difference. Thanks for sharing. Do stop in and visit me and leave a comment at:

  3. Thank you for this blog Diva! I am trying to make better choices in my life with eating. I am looking forward to reading more! Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks to you all for your comments! I know it's a very sensitive subject and almost intimidating to address so openly in a blog! I appreciate your support and encouragements and hope that together we can make a real difference even if it's in a very small way. We all need to be more understandin yet very committed.

  5. There was a time before the internet and video games and cellphones when families would go out to parks or even the sidewalk and bike ride or run around and play more often. All these things are becoming "old fashioned" because who needs a park to play catch when there's a TV and a nintendo Wii right in the living room.

    A child like the one you saw at the park might unfortunately become part of that snowball effect I mentioned in my response to your comment. I've seen it so many times and I have been part of it too. It starts with family instilling bad habits in the child, then the child begins school and is ignored by other kids because the child is "different" and so at recess there is no one to run around with. The child continues school in this manner and next thing you know the only friends the child has made is a supersized meal at McDonald's. It's definitely a very sad thing because the longer that snowball is rolling the harder it is to stop it. So yes, parents need to be aware of healthy nutrition and activities for their children asap. It makes the growing up process so much easier without the lack of self-esteem due to obesity.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is definitely a thought-provoking and very serious subject.