Is This Okay? (Mini-Rant)

I know it’s the weekend and I usually post something about my family or something that is going on in my life. And I may put that up tomorrow. But twice today I was confronted with something I see ALL THE TIME and for some reason it struck me wrong.

Here’s the first scenario:

I’m in the parking lot of Kroger putting my groceries in the car. A woman and her daughter come up next to me and begin unloading their groceries. I glance over, mainly to make sure they aren’t ax murders or something, and can’t help but notice three things:

  1. The mom is about as big as I used to be.
  2. The little girl, who is probably about eight years old, is fairly overweight.
  3. They are each holding a candy bar while at the same time opening a 20 oz soft drink – the mom a coke, and the little girl an carbonated orange drink.

The mom tells her daughter, “You can’t go wrong with a soda and a candy bar on a hot day.”

It made me so sad to see this. I was morbidly obese. I know how it feels to be obese, and even at my biggest I knew I didn’t want any of my children to be obese. Not obese as a child or an adult. I wondered why the mom would offer a huge soda which had over 200 empty calories in it coupled with a several hundred calorie chocolate bar. Doesn’t she realize that she is setting her daughter up for a life of difficulties, both from the emotional toll obesity can take and the health problems obesity brings?

The second scenario was one a friend was telling me about. He was at a local donut shoppe and saw a morbidly obese woman eating donuts with her overweight child. And the child didn’t have just one donut, but rather two iced donuts complete with sprinkles. Now, I’m not a kill-joy. Not at all. We eat cookies on occasion. We have dessert. I think I’ve eaten a donut in the last two years (maybe). But if I was weight challenged, and my child was too, then feeding them two donuts at 7:00 a.m. wouldn’t be how I would generally start the day.

I don’t believe that government can regulate our food choices. Sure, they can force the manufacturers to eventually lower the sodium content in foods. They can work on reducing the trans fat/high fructose corn syrup/etc. in foods – but it does come down to individual choices.

That’s why I have such high hopes for the blogging community. It’s a grassroots community that has a wide reach and is influential. I hope that as time goes by we will all see less and less of these types of destructive behaviors. It grieves me when I see it or hear about it because I KNOW what it feels like to be morbidly obese, and it isn’t fun.

My husband asked me if I said anything to the candy bar/soda woman. “Of course not,” I responded. I never would have. Although I did want to ask her – “What’s so great about soda on a hot day? What about a bottle of water?” But I didn’t say anything. Instead I got into my car and drove home, thinking about it the whole time.

What do you think when you see things like this? Does it make you sad/mad/don’t care. Do you ever say anythingDiane

62 thoughts on “Is This Okay? (Mini-Rant)

  1. Susan says:

    I see this all the time too, especially with my step-siblings (I have 5 between the ages of 12 and 16). My parents are both healthy eaters, but their partners both feed their kids junk. The type of stuff that would otherwise never been allowed in my house growing up. Just the other evening I was at my dad’s and my 12-year-old step-sis said she was hungry at 9 oclock at night. My step-mom got excited and said there were Ruffles chips and dip to eat. Not nourishing in the least, and I got the feeling that she was just looking for an excuse to eat it herself. Even as a member of the family, I struggle with how to pipe up and say I don’t want them eating that crap!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Blogger Interview Series – Tina =-.

  2. Stacy says:

    I agree with the majority – I would say nothing. They know, and you telling them isn’t going to help the problem. I do see it as a form of child abuse, though. They are harming their kids and setting them up for a life of obesity. I’m sure their doctor is telling them that at the kids’ annual exams, though. I doubt me, as a stranger, would do much to change their mindset.

    The best we can do is lead by example. I for one am looking forward to when our CSA starts up for the summer. Again, I will try to force our children to try out new and different vegetables. I am so mean. Apparently some things are sinking in though. When our son (6) was offered juice or water after t-ball practice, he chose water since “It is heathier for my body”. Drink choices in our house is either water or skim milk, so he is learning!
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Manual labor =-.

  3. julie says:

    As Dr. J said, mostly. But this sort of thing is why some think that shame and derision are appropriate ways to deal with the fat people, because their behavior seems so outrageous at their size. I think it’s a far stretch to assume a person eating two donuts in the morning with their kid is marking a special occasion, or a lady giving her kid a soda and candy bar while putting groceries in car is either.

    I think maybe huge taxes on soda and donuts, other heavily processed foods with no nutrition other than sugar/fat is just the thing needed. It’s like cigarettes-you can eat them, but you pay. Too many people were raised on that stuff, don’t know any other way to eat.
    .-= julie´s last blog ..My Toxic Mind =-.

  4. Julia says:

    Yikes I let my kids each eat 2 donuts a couple of months ago for breakfast, DS had Saturday school and decided each of the 4 Saturdays he was going to use a different coupon at DD so some weeks he had bagel and cheese, biscuit etc but the last week he had a coupon for 6 donuts so I let each choose 2 and 2 for hubby – We haven’t been to DD since and probable not a year or 2 prior to that but this made me think about that one occasion even though they are mostly healthy eaters and neither as teens have weight issues.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..I’m BACK! =-.

  5. kristi says:

    I am just starting my weight loss journey after losing over 40 pounds 9 years ago. Let me say I have made mistakes with my kids on food. My son has autism and will not eat much. However, I am working on upping his activity level. He is overweight and has asthma so I want him to be able to breathe easier!!! It is not a person’s place to say how another should feed their child ESPECIALLY if they do not know that person.

  6. Lisa says:

    I agree. I was 250 pounds, obese, unhealthy and unhappy. That was no way to live and some day when I have kids I want to teach them to be healthy. Not live in fear of eating “badly.” Make good choices 90% of the time and have fun 10% of the time. My mom’s technique was to deny pleasure in food 99% of the time. As a result, I went nuts eating bad stuff whenever I could.

    When I see morbidly obese people now that I’ve lost the weight, I just feel sad for them. They could have the healthy, happy life I achieved. But I see them making so many bad choices…I just bite my tongue. It’s their life.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..I Don’t Do Flip Turns =-.

  7. Hanlie says:

    Yes, this makes me mad and sad! And you’re right, there’s nothing you can say.

    I grew up in a household where we ate very normally – cookies, sweets and sodas were very occasional treats and fast food was virtually unknown. It was odd to see a chubby child. These days there are chubby and even obese children everywhere you go. I have to walk past McDonalds when I go to the mall and I always look at the people inside. Without exception the kids and the parents are overweight.

    Yes, I did become obese later in life, but at least my body had a chance to develop normally while I was a kid and I think that my earlier diet has helped a lot to protect me from the possible ravages of my later lifestyle. It is now believed by the medical establishment that the seeds of certain cancers (among them breast cancer) are sown in puberty. What chance do the youth of today have of living a healhty life if they are nutritionally maimed in childhood? It’s something that really weighs heavily on my mind.

    The key, of course, is educating parents, but this is not so easy when the fast food conglomerates and food manufacturers are also taking part in the “educating”.

Leave a Reply