magyar_saman: (I may not be perfect....)
[personal profile] magyar_saman
Why We Need More People Like Jennifer Livingston to Tell the World There Is More to Life Than Our Weight

Since the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) became widespread and pretty much replaced cane sugar in most of the USA's selection of soft drinks and processed foods, the weight of most Americans has been going up every year. The ratio of large-to-thin people is fastly leaning toward the large side.

Eating fat doesn't make fat but eating anything with HFCS in it, does.

The comments on the above article make me sick. So many people think it's perfectly within their rights to judge anyone who doesn't fit the Madison Avenue-pushed physique. What is ironic is a lot of the people doing the judging aren't exactly model-thin themselves (and thank Goddess for that; being too thin has more health issues than being too fat).

It's very hard to avoid things with HFCS in it, especially in this day and age where food prices are skyrocketing and pocketbooks are thin. Next time you go to the grocery, try to find a loaf of bread that doesn't use HFCS as an ingredient. What do you notice? Those that don't have that listed as an ingredient are far more expensive than their counterparts.

This is true for any food product which uses natural sweeteners compared to those that do not.

A great deal of Americans have little choice but to purchase foods that are too high in carbohydrates, and too low in vegetables and meats. A diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats can get pretty expensive - so if you're not rich, it's hard to follow such a diet. It's more likely that you purchase certain preprocessed dinners and other foodstuffs - and every one of them contains HFCS.

Why didn't baby boomers get fat as kids drinking soda? Because during their childhood most sodas were sweetened with sugar. These days you have to purchase an off-brand or order soda special if you want some with sugar instead of HFCS.

The same goes for your bottled teas, energy drinks, fruit-based drinks, etc. Look on the label next time.

You see, we in the USA are caught in a conundrum: We cannot afford a completely fresh, from-scratch diet but we have "the ideal body" constantly shoved down our throats, and not just by television and other advertising. How many times has your doctor got on you about the few extra pounds you carry around, even if your blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect? Those few pounds aren't hurting you, not if the rest of you is healthy.

There are a whole host of "hidden diseases" which contribute to extra poundage as well - but those who are quick to judge never stop to think that perhaps that large person has one of those.

I am a large woman. I also have a host of "hidden" diseases that prevent me from being as physically active as I'd like to be. In fact, those diseases have caused me to be entitled to handicapped parking.

I remember years ago, when I was at my local store shopping. A slim, elderly couple went out of the store ahead of me, and they happened to be parked in a handicapped stall right next to my vehicle. They got to their car before I did, and caught sight of me when I got to mine. The looks on their faces said it all: I was a malingerer who likely was using my mother's handicapped card to get away with parking there. I stared at them for a bit, then said to them, out loud, "I have multiple sclerosis." They were in a quick hurry to get out of there after that.

We are all tempted to judge others by what we see. If you don't think so, pay attention the next time you're looking at someone on the street (or a "personality" on the TV) and ask yourself what are your first thoughts. Are they a critique of how that person looks? How sexually appealing they are? How thin or fat they are?

October is Anti-Bullying month. I wish they would've had such a thing when I was in public school but back then bullying wasn't so much on the national radar because we didn't have the convenience of the Internet inflating the problem. That doesn't mean bullying didn't exist. It not only existed, it was just as painful to us kids who endured it then as it is for the modern kids of today.

I was one of those kids criticized for my weight, even though I was bright, healthy, and active. I was beat up a lot, had nice outfits ruined on purpose, etc. My mother fought the good fight for me and made sure I got a bus seat behind the driver, as well as talking to teachers and playground supervisors about why they were turning their heads to the violence being done to her kid.

There should have been more like my mother back then - and there should be more like her, now. Jennifer Livingston nailed it when she said that the best way to discourage bullying is by example. How many of you sit there and vocally criticize others, right in front of your kids? What, you don't think bullying is a learned behavior? Think again. It always was, and always will be, so if you don't want your kids to be bullies then stop being a bully yourself.

Nobody is perfect on the outside - even those who model clothing. Their thin-ness brings on a whole new set of problems that a large person will never face, and they're far more serious than those faced by a large person. No one SHOULD be that thin so please STOP holding that body type up as an example to "strive for". Do any of you realize how much money you mis-spend on diet plans, exercise equipment, and related items? It's a multi-billion dollar business and has it really done anything for you besides drain your pocket? The answer is likely a resounding "no".

Stop feeding that industry, and stop thinking that you should look like a Madison Avenue model. Eat the best diet you're economically capable of and do what you can to make yourself feel alive and healthy. Stop worrying about a few extra pounds and start worrying about how we all criticize one another over the most trivial of things. You can't take a walk in that person's shoes so you don't know all the factors that may have led up to them being a larger person. You also don't know if they are healthy at that weight - and frankly it is none of your business. Stop turning your sights outward and turn them inward, toward yourself and your family.

Teach your kids that size does not make them better or worse. Teach them that their skin color, their weight, their acne, or any of a dozen more visual things, do not define who they really are and what they are capable of. Teach them to turn a deaf ear to anyone who bullies them for their differences. Support your kids' self-esteem and that kid will grow up happy and healthy, regardless of size, skin color, gender identity, or other things which may make them subject to bullying.

Please don't be a sociopathic turd and point fingers at a woman like Jennifer and have the audacity to say she's not a good example for the community. She's an excellent example, and you could learn a lot from her.

Stop teaching your kids that it's okay to bully someone because they're different.

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November 2012

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