Yesterday, at the gym, the TVs were playing one show on a loop: “The Biggest Loser”. I’ll admit to having watched season 1-3, fascinated by the trainers (I still love them) and the courage it took for the contestants to stand in front of everyone and be weighed in their skivvies. Now, the show just gives me the skeeves.
America is a fat nation of fat shamers. In spite of the fact that a full 30% of its population is overweight or obese, the shrill of fat shaming has reached a fever pitch. This year, the show brings kids into it.
Somewhere in Hollywood, a producer said “I know what will help these kids battle obesity!!! PUBLIC HUMILIATION!!” More likely they had dollar signs in their eyes and evil in their black hearts. Perhaps they sold their soul, and simply couldn’t understand why this would be a bad idea.
When I was heavy, I didn’t wear shorts, let alone let someone film me vomiting from over-exertion. Hell, I’m only 10 stone now, and still do not want anyone to film me at the gym. It isn’t pretty. I think I make faces only the man should see. (British weight measurements sound better..I also measure my sugar by cubes and my awesomeness by how big my balls are)
I don’t think the answer to childhood obesity is to exploit children on national television. “Hey kids, you’ve clearly not been bullied enough! Let’s open you up to the scrutiny of millions!! I am SURE the kids at school will ONLY focus on the fact you were on TV, and definitely NOT why!!!” Moreover, I can understand wanting to pull your children out of dangerous habits and prevent permanent obesity, but what in the fresh hell would drive you to exploit your own kids like that? Money? Fame? Is it worth it? Probably not.
It also probably makes people think you’re a dick. Just saying.
Seriously. Kids are assholes. Not all of them, mind you, but trust me, some are just assholes. I know this because I was tortured by said assholes. Tortured. I was tortured before twitter and facebook and horrible group boards. I was tortured before mass text messaging and google alert, and there were times I thought I’d not be able to go on. I simply cannot fathom how horrible bullying is now in the age of social media.
We cannot go on like this.
I don’t think anyone disagrees that the US needs to set a better course for our future. We’ve all but eliminated phys ed from our schools in favor of test prep. The food we serve in our cafeterias is often barely passable as food. Lower-income neighborhoods have easy access to fast food and convenience junk, but little else. Kids aren’t taught how to eat or why in our schools.
Tradition begets tradition, and in the US the tradition has become soaked in deep fryer oil in front of the television. I spent more than one evening in my youth, eating french fries while watching “Full House.” (insert daydreams about Uncle Jesse here) I am trying to do better by my children. I want them to appreciate movement. I want them to love the strength and energy the right foods gives them. I don’t want them tortured at school.
What do you think about weight-loss shows featuring kids?
Ok. Rant over.
Cheese. Beer. together. Happiest marriage ever.
Even better? It doesn’t have to be absurdly unhealthy.
I grew up on the southern classic “pimento cheese”. It’s an amalgam of mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, butter, pimentos, and an asston of salt. Needless to say, it’s effing ridiculously delicious. I used to LOVE pimento cheese spread on bread, fried, and topped with potato chips after frying. Fried on cheese on butter on chips. What could be bad? Sure, one bite could give you a coronary, but you’d die happy.
Nowadays, that’s a once a year treat. That doesn’t mean I don’t crave it like Sarah Palin craves relevancy. I just don’t eat it. I find substitutes.
There is another hillbilly classic that not as many people know about, but is still absurdly yummy.
Beer Cheese Spread.
Typically made with an amber beer, cream cheese, full-fat cheddar, and mustard, it is decadent and heavenly. It’s also much easier to make less calorically dense. Using 2% plain chobani for the cream cheese, Guinness for the beer, and a reduced fat cheddar. I swear, you’re mixing it with beer, don’t freak, it still tastes fab.