Weighty Matters

Re. Teenage Waist Management

February 20th, 2014 : No Comments »

Dear Crystal,

Your point about calories counting – even while ingested standing in front of an open freezer door – is well-taken, although I still like to think the fries I steal from Brad’s plate somehow don’t. But given how sensitive the average teenage girl is to criticism, I fear that any remark pertaining to health and fitness will be interpreted as a dog whistle for weight gain – and let’s face it, they are probably right about that.

As a former fat girl myself, and someone who still struggles with those elusive extra few pounds, I certainly appreciate the need for healthy choices and portion control when it comes to eating – even if I don’t always practice the same. But I think I can speak with authority when I say that had my parents ever suggested I go on a diet way back when, I would probably weigh upwards of 600lbs today. After all, telling a teenager what they should or should not be doing generally has the same effect on them as a red rag to a bull – or maybe just a can of Red Bull.

As it was, my parents generally preferred to take the British approach of never, ever mentioning the gigantic elephant in the room, even when she was flanked, as I was, by two gazelle-like sisters. All this meant that the one and only time my father did feel compelled to pass comment, and inquire if I intended to eat the entire family bag of Cheetos in one sitting, his words immediately turned my chips into ashes, and while I probably did finish the entire bag, I have never bought one since. To this day, I still love anything covered in fake orange cheese, but I know I can’t have anything like that in my house.

Ultimately, however, I don’t think anyone can really lead another person to weight loss and make them thin. And the risk of doing more harm than good, in the sense of triggering eating disorders, is far too great. All we can do is offer our teens healthy meals, our own example of how to take interest and pleasure in food – and maybe a single, passing comment upon how it’s not always necessary to finish the damn bag.



Cheetos girl


Posted in DC Diary, Weighty Matters

Teenage waist management

February 20th, 2014 : No Comments »


Body image and self-esteem seem to be all the rage these days in expert parenting circles. I don’t recall so much of this in the early 80– unless you count my boyfriend’s mother telling me my Laura Ashley dress clearly showed that I had a “tendency” to pack on the pounds and should “start” to be careful. Crushed my mortal soul for sure but did also learn that the small pints of Haagen Dazs I ate at college indeed counted for very real calories no matter how much despair I felt in calculus class.

Now, I suppose, we’d know better than to point out anything with regard to the teenage body and simply hope code words like healthy and fit are enough to suggest our teen not keep a spoon in the half gallon of ice cream in the freezer for instant gratification purposes. I only wonder if in the process of building our kids’ self-esteem, we’ve failed to teach them about the real world. Sure, they see thin models with better clothes than theirs in magazines, but how to account for the cutting remark by their classmate about their “Kardashian sized” booty? Shouldn’t we better prepare them for the idea that there are better ways to manage stress than at the bottom of a bag of those perfect sized mini pitas?

I’m not suggesting, Phoebe, that I have any answers but have found myself wondering as I do my daily squat and bend routine to pick up snack wrappers if I’m doing no one any good (except, perhaps, MY Kardashian sized booty) by keeping quiet. I suppose the experts would say an honest conversation is not a bad idea if it avoids discussion of any current physical qualities and focuses only upon how to be more moderate in many habits. I do think my own “home school” would have to end with the very real lesson: Yes, dear teens, those ice cream calories ingested while standing at the freezer door using the spoon in the cartoon do count. Just look behind you to be sure of it. Thank god for all of us that the Kardashians have made it fashionable, at least.



Read what Phoebe has to say about: Re: Teenage waist management


Posted in DC Diary, Educating the Masses, Family Values, Food and Drink, Motherz in the Hood, Weighty Matters

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