Friday, December 13, 2013

If you were obese or overweight as a child, you were probably picked on like I was.  If you didn't know this happens, now you do.  Yes fat kids get bullied.  I was a fat kid and here are some of my random thoughts.

There is no other way to say it, but kids are mean and make fun of each other all the time.  Some people will argue that is just part of childhood.  Everything I went through made me stronger eventually and it created the person I am today.  I have no regrets, no grudges.

I know parents and schools are getting together to stop bullying.  I am really glad to hear that. However, if you think bullying will stop completely because of the campaigning, I hate to say it but you are absolutely wrong. 

I am involved in my kid's school and coach his baseball team and I still see hints of this activity and behavior going on in all different ways not just toward the overweight kids.  Schools think because they send the message out the activity will stop and they can go on to the next item on their agenda.  That is not reality.  Why does it still occur?

Because there will always be bad kids and some of the time it is due to bad parents not giving them the attention they need and educating them on the proper way to treat others.

Child Obesity Consequences to Keep in Mind:
  • If a kid is overweight or obese, classmates are probably making remarks to them on a daily basis or enough times that it bothers them.
  • They are probably not participating in sports or activities as much as they want.
  • They feel bad/sad when they perform poor in Physical Education tests.
  • They most likely will have low self-esteem throughout their childhood.
I lived with low self-esteem for years.  My confidence sucked and I am still (at the age of 39) working on it.  I dealt with a lot of crap from kids.  Sometimes I had to step up and give them a beat down or at least scare them when they yapped too much. That's just the way it was back then but it was exhausting.  Fat kid chasing down a skinny kid is not easy. 

When you are a fat kid, you also miss out on a lot.  A lot of opportunities and doors are shut in your face.  All because of the way you look.  Don't believe me?  Look around.  It happens to children and adults every day.  I have experienced it as a fat person and after I lost the weight, so I personally have lived in both worlds and know there is a big difference.

However, if I knew that just losing weight would have changed my life 360, I would have put in the work a long time ago. 

What do I do if my child is overweight?  Do something about it...Now! If you are one of those parents that want the 'best' for your kid, don't let them be chunky, husky, chubby, fat, overweight or obese.  Because if they are, they are not experiencing the best things in life.

Child Obesity Prevention and Bullying Tips:
  • Talk to your kids; find out if they are the bully or if they are the ones getting bullied. Not just one afternoon, check in on them every week.  
  • IF you think looks are not that important and you don't care they are overweight then you need to find ways to make sure their confidence and self-esteem stay high.
  • If they are overweight, make changes to their eating habits.
    • Have them eat less candy, desserts, etc. 
    • Don't let them drink so many sugary drinks. 
    • Ice cream every night?  It is not needed.
    • If they are drinking soda at a young age...stop.  Soda brings no nutritional value to a child's (or anyone's) life.  They don't need all!
  • Yes of course, have them become more active.  Trust me, I used to play outdoors every single day and until it got dark.  However, I was still fat.  Why?  Because my eating habits sucked.
    • Go for bike rides with them.  Walks, runs, it all, make them bonding moments.
  • Make more homemade meals.
    • Have them eat more fruits and vegetables.  Do it at each meal.  Make smoothies, put some work into it.
I know, I know beauty, looks, being skinny is not everything.  We shouldn't all shoot to be cover models.  I am not talking about that at all.  I am referring to being overweight.  IF you don't think it affects you child's (or yours) life in a negative way, you are wrong and you are taking the easy way out and just ignoring the elephant in the room.

Don't rely on others to make the change!  Its up to you.


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By: Fred Lechuga


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