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Weighty Problems

by Linda Jenkinson |

a dogs sharing a pickle

I have often wondered if really heavy people know how much better they would feel both physically and mentally if they would just put in the effort to shed some pounds. I began losing weight to feel better about myself mentally, but the physical benefits far outweigh the mental.

I am 5'2" tall. As a young adult, I weighed 110 pounds. Especially after having children, what I had described as baby fat became my very own. At its highest, my weight was 193. At that weight, my hips hurt constantly. Going up a flight of steps was like climbing Mount Everest. Walking the dog around the block left me breathless (he's a big, independent minded dog). I was tired all of the time.

In the last year I have lost 34 pounds and I'm still losing. I can walk through a department store, faster than most of those around me. My hips no longer hurt and I could even control our big, boisterous dog (most of the time) without gasping for air.

Losing weight not only helps a heavy person feel better about themselves and take them out of the unhealthy "danger zone" of morbid obesity, it also helps them feel better physically.

While I'm on the subject, let's talk about the clean plate club. You are not and your children should not be obligated to clean their plates. Many parents aren’t financially stable when they have young children. It seems as if throwing out food is like throwing away money, so we teach our children to clean their plates. We all probably have a fond memory similar to being told about the poor child in some impoverished country that would be happy to eat the spinach.

Moms, unwilling to throw out food, are the clean-up squad of the clean plate club. They finish off that last meatball, bite of pasta or pork chop. However, belonging to the clean plate club, while seemingly virtuous, really does more harm than good. From your body’s perspective, trash is trash. If your body doesn’t need the food to grow and/or maintain its health, it is just another receptacle for garbage.

Eating what you don’t want to eat or cleaning a plate when you are no longer hungry serves only to develop poor eating habits that will stay with you life-long or at least until you have the epiphany to break them. Don’t do it and don’t make your children do it. Type II Diabetes, even in children and childhood obesity, are both prevalent problems in America today. Those problems and many life-long dietary problems get started with the clean plate club.

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