Today Lauren pens her thoughts on obesity, a topic covered throughout the September 2013 issue of HFM.
By Lauren Galley
Throughout my life, I have met several overweight girls, all of whom have asked the same question: “Can an overweight girl find true love?” This question hurts my heart. This should NOT be the reason someone feels insecure about their weight or desires to lose weight. We should want to be in good health simply because it is what’s best for us as a community and as individuals. The list of health risks associated with obesity is long, but let’s face it… they are not what an overweight girl thinks about when she looks in the mirror every day. She ponders, why does no one like the person I see in the mirror? Why can’t I be favored like the skinny girls?
But the real question is: What exactly defines the term “overweight?” Is it the magazine covers, the runway models, or the media’s tabloid talk? All these factors play a large role in this definition. In the 1950s and 1960s if you were curvy like Marilyn Monroe you were considered beautiful. Today a girl that size would be labeled “overweight.”
The CDC recently posted this statistic:
“The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.”
My generation of youth has it easy. Let’s face it…. we are a lazy generation glued to our smart phones, iPads, TVs and video games. Advancement in technology makes day-to-day living easy on the body, and it’s time for parents and children to make changes. Life is sometimes so busy that parents tend to allow media devices to “babysit” their children because the parents have had a long day themselves. Grabbing fast food for dinner because everyone is tired becomes routine and with it comes the excess weight gain.
My take on it is, you need to get healthy for YOU, not everyone else. Once our culture gets this mentality, the mentality of eating and exercising for health and not thinness, I truly believe my generation will have the motivation and drive to get off of their feet and DO something about it. Unfortunately, it’s way too easy to sit in bed and feel sorry for yourself, and that only makes things worse.
As mothers, fathers, friends, siblings, etc. of someone who is suffering from obesity or just a weight issue, it is YOUR responsibility to convey to them that they are beautiful people and not to criticize them for their size. Encourage them to be healthy and let them know that being a healthier size will change their risk of diabetes, their confidence level, and their overall happiness.
Carry out change for those reasons, not in view of the fact that the boy in Homeroom doesn’t notice you. There is plenty of time for that. Concentrate on you first!
I know someone who is frightened she will never find love due to the fact that she is an obese teenage girl. She is aware she needs to be healthier, but guys just seem to hate her like she has a contagious disease. They behave differently towards her. One day she asked, “Will someone ever love this?” as she pointed at herself. I informed her that any girl can find true love. It is not important how much you weigh, how tan you are, how funny or how quiet you are. The only attribute that matters is having a kind heart. Trust my insight when I say it’s true. Unfortunately, however, tweens and teens in today’s society are being taught that if you’re not skinny, then you’re out of the game.
Do not fret about it. The magazines and the media are wrong, wrong wrong! I happen to know lots of bigger boned girls that are not skinny but rock who they are with the proportions they were born with. There are guys out there who are ordinary, decent and caring, who are genuinely physically attracted to heavier girls. Put your trust in these guys, I’ve known some of them for years. Be happy with yourself and there are plenty of guys out there who will view your size as an asset instead of as an issue.
If a guy wants to be in a relationship with you only if you meet a certain silly physical ideal of his, then what does that say about how reliable or faithful he is going to be if that ever changes down the road? What does it say regarding how interested he is in who you are as a person? Do not decide to be with somebody who just overlooks you, or want you to change your appearance, when there are guys out there who prefer you like you are. You will be much more cheerful and confident when somebody is appreciating what you have instead of tolerating it or avoiding it.
If you genuinely care and the issue at hand of excess weight is troubling YOU personally then stand up, get off the couch and do something about it! I bet you will be astonished how quickly you notice results if you truly set your heart and mind to it. Find a companion who will help motivate and encourage you and start running or walking with that person! Once you begin feeling confident, everyone will be more attracted to you. Confidence is the best feature anyone can have.
Believe in yourself! I know someone who has an illness that causes her to be overweight, but guys still like her! Drop some weight, but do it for yourself to be in good health. Do not give up!! The exact point in time you accept defeat is the moment you decide your happiness is not worth fighting for. You only have one life and you deserve to love every second of it. When you begin changing yourself for others, you lose sight of who you truly are. That is why I urge you to truly think about the real reason you want to improve your lifestyle. If it is for you and no one else, then grab a veggie smoothie, your jogging shoes, a good friend and do some hard, but rewarding work!