Teen Obesity. My Turn to Chime In. #UsFatGirls

obese promLast weekend was the local prom. There is a spot in town where all the teens go to take pre-prom photos so we went to people-watch and see all the fancy dressed up couples.

What struck me vividly was that out of about 50 people, only a handful were of “average size” (a size 16 or smaller). All of the other darling ladies were size 20+. They were so cute and dolled up and dressed to the nines. There were photo shoots happening all around the fountain.

My heart ached.  Not for how they looked carrying the extra pounds, but for the years ahead.

Typically the teen years are some of the most prime physically for boys and girls.  If they are struggling now, what will that mean for college years, or when they start having babies and metabolisms slow and baby gain acquires more inches?
There were soooooo many ladies severely overweight.

My heart ached for them, not merely for the weight, but for the physical limitations, the emotional roller coaster that carrying 100 extra pounds feels like. And there were so many.

This is why I do what I do.  I was like them, not during my teen years, but after having babies.  I know what it feels like.  And I want to help.  For me, extra pounds were never about the food or the exercise – it was about feelings: defeat, shut down, hide out, hurt, depression, exhaustion, stress, overwhelm, etc.  It may not be that for them, but for anyone who it is – let’s do this! Let’s fight to live, which can’t happen if we’re unhealthy.  I want whoever is ready, to go with me.  Let’s fight back for healthy.  Healthy heads, healthy hearts, healthy thoughts, healthy emotions, healthy identity, AND healthy bodies!

Fighting “fat” is an internal fight and, as we all know, it’s hard!

I must be getting old, but I do not remember having that many friends in high-school that were visibly obese. It’s as if the ratios have reversed. Most are overweight now and a handful are of average size.  I believe the reverse was true even 20 years ago.  Most were average size and a handful were overweight back in the day.  (It could also be more common where we are currently living:  southern comfort foods and lots of sweet tea on the daily menu).

I can’t even imagine the identity and pressure teens live with now! Social media expectations of who has the most “likes” to determine value and popularity.  And more accessible cheap horrible unhealthy food.

Teen girls have the same struggles as any of us grown up women only with the hormones and emotions magnified.

I guess I’m feeling heartbroken and burdened seeing the young ladies. I saw before me more females that need encouragement to treat themselves as valuable! I don’t want these young, beautiful ladies, with the whole world ahead of them, to die young or be physically disabled way too soon.

One day at a time, one person at a time, every person, every day, every chance to be loved and valued! (telling myself)

It’s never too late.  No one is ever too far gone!  Let’s conquer fat together.

Thanks for “listening” as I digest and process what I was feeling!