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Up a Pound: GRRRRRR!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today's weight: 138.

I've been pretty steady at 137 for a couple of weeks.

But: yesterday involved two (2!!) glasses of wine and some cheese and crackers with DH on the patio after work before supper; some vanilla icecream with my berries for dessert. Total "score" for the day less than 200 calories over my "high end" range: and I'm generally at or a few calories below my lower end range (because that's what it actually takes for me to maintain).

So: the scales were quick to record this indulgence. Which seemed worth it yesterday. But: I know it will likely take a week or so to see that pound drop off again . . . And I also know, if I'm not vigilant I'll zoom up to middle number 4. Quickly.

Not happening.

So: I'm reading my Beck cards. Reminding myself: hunger is not an emergency. Sitting down to eat everything, slowly. Rearranging my environment to hide the peanut butter and cheese (no chips in the house at all, thank goodness).

Doing what I did to LOSE weight is not necessarily what I need to do to keep it off. Still learning what my lowest sustainable weight is, and what I have to do to keep it there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 8/2/2011 1:24PM

    Your bulldog vigilance is MOST IMPRESSIVE!

I've got to build a better bulldog for myself...am getting there...! :-)


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NANCY- 7/31/2011 12:15PM

    hmmm... cheese usually involves salt. Salt likes water.
You are being attentive and mindful.

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PHEBESS 7/31/2011 10:23AM

    While 1 lb isn't that big a deal, it can bring friends along quickly - so being proactive is good! And we both know you can do this!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/30/2011 4:19PM

    Good plan, Ellen! Taking action now and recommitting are smart moves. I find that when I am near the top of my range the best move for me is to cut back just a little, not all the way to losing calories. I find that easier and it works.

Your willingness to take a week is good. Since you only went over a little, though, I bet it doesn't take that long. Cheese and crackers have quite a bit of sodium, so drink a little extra water and that will help, too. You'll find what works best for you. Take care.

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CMRAND54 7/30/2011 3:58PM

    Yeah, I was up two pounds this morning. Maybe the snacks I ate yesterday, maybe skipping the gym the last 2 days. I'm back at it today and I'll be fine. I have a colonoscopy on Monday, so only clear liquids tomorrow, with a strong laxative in the evening. That should take care of the two pounds!

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DBCLARINET 7/30/2011 2:07PM

    Wow, if I worried about a pound, I would go nuts!! I put two back on from over-indulgence, myself. You obviously have better discipline than I do -- I tend to over-indulge, and then when the scale goes up, work my butt off to get it back down. Your way is definitely more practical!

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/30/2011 2:03PM

    What Contagieux said! You're doing great, and consistency is what counts, long term.


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CONTAGIEUX 7/30/2011 1:42PM

  Keep looking forward. Don't hold on to the guilt. What you ate yesterday doesn't matter anymore. What's important is that you make better choices today . . .

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LRK4CHRIST 7/30/2011 1:39PM

    I pray God gives u good success!

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Shoplifting, Overeating: Compensation for Loss?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I read an interesting article in the National Post last Saturday about shoplifting. Nope, shoplifting doesn't tempt me at all . . . but this was a review of a book by psychologist Dr. Will Cupchik about the reasons why people shoplift. Cupchik says shoplifting is not just addiction. Here's the link if you want to read more:


Cupchik thinks that all of us can be pushed to do too much of something in order to cope with various stresses. The stresses that interest him arise from losses and especially when there is a perception that such losses are unfair. Some of us eat too much, or work too much, or run away too much, or party too much; some of us shoplift (any amount of that would seem to be too much). In other words, if we don't cope with our losses appropriately we're going to "act out" -- inappropriately.

So: even though I'm not a shoplifter, it's absolutely the case that I ate too much for a very long period of time. Worked too much maybe as well.

To compensate for losses? Doesn't entirely resonate with me, frankly.

Shoplifting as a compensation for loss: there's a pretty clear connection. And Cupchik says that shoplifting is most strongly associated with otherwise upstanding citizens coping with the ultimate loss: death.

Eating too much or working too much as a compensation for loss? Hmmm. Of course Cupchik also acknowledges that some stealing is just rebellion: not all stealing is the loss-triggered "shoplifting" phenomenon. So presumably that's also true of some over eating, over working etc. etc.: there are other motivations for these behaviours.

Just helped my DH with a couple of 20 kg (44 pound) bags of salt for the water softener. Hard to believe I used to weigh 2 bags of salt more than I do now!! The loss of 90 pounds?? A good loss!! No compensation required, really: and especially not overeating!!

(Although come to think of it, and given only about 5% of losers actually maintain weight loss . . . maybe there's something there! A return to overeating to make up for the "loss" of all that food that other people can unfairly eat without gaining weight? )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 7/29/2011 7:18PM

    Really great read. I love when you review things. You and Cupchik make some interesting points.

Look at you hauling salt. You go girl!!

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CMRAND54 7/29/2011 3:24PM

    Very interesting. I've never even thought about shop lifting, so it's hard to comment on that. Overeating for me was more of a habit than anything else. I just like food. I like the taste and texture and smell of food, in large quantities. If I'm compensating for the loss of something, I'm not sure what. I did manage to lose 70 pounds through SP and I've kept it off for seven months now. I still love food, but I'm making better choices of what to eat, and I've come to love exercise, too.

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PHEBESS 7/29/2011 9:58AM

    I LOVE comparing my weight loss to something tangible, such as the salt - it makes it so much more real to have that object(s) in front of me!

So good for you on this LOSS (which needs no compensation, and instead needs to be embraced and rewarded, which you do continuously)! Way to go!!!!!!

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PENNYAN45 7/28/2011 9:24PM

    What a great physical reminder (the salt) for all the weight you've shed. (Please note that I didn't refer to the weight you 'lost.')

I do agree with the author that dealing with stress inappropriately can lead to all kinds of acting out behaviors -- and certainly overeating is one of them.

Shoplifting is something I have no personal experience with - thank goodness. It seems logical to me that it could be related to a feeling of lacking something.

It's an interesting subject.

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SMILINGEYES2 7/28/2011 4:18PM

    I attended a conference back in the 70's where the presenter indicated that some persons who engage in shop lifting have problems with low blood sugar. The person does not eat breakfast or eats foods with high sugar content emoticon that causes their blood sugar level to soar. After a couple or so hours, the sugar level in the blood drops to a critical level. emoticon If the individual does not get another sugar fix, they may seek alternatives to give that spike and shoplifting releases loads of adrenalin with the "Can I Get by with This?" mentality. I have not heard much on this since but the presenter used multiple illustrations and did a demonstration on the impact of even a little sugar on the body. It's food for thought anyway.

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ECHAVEZ2 7/28/2011 10:22AM

    I have no advice, but would like to send you some emoticon Hang in there! emoticon

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DDOORN 7/28/2011 9:42AM

    Food can represent just about ANYTHING to food addicts. It all depends on what you struggle with. Have difficulty with anger, boredom, loss, anxiety and even good things like intimacy, joy and celebration? Food to the "rescue!"

Building new ways to meet our needs and deal with all of our emotions: That's the challenge for many of us...yours truly included!


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NANCY- 7/28/2011 9:41AM

    if you look hard enough you can find an explanation for everything.

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BELLEFAITH42 7/28/2011 9:15AM

    I am reading this book called Shirran's Solution and he talks about how using the phrase 'losing weight' implies that something is lost and will need to be found again. We should think if at as getting rid of the rubbish!

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KALIGIRL 7/28/2011 9:01AM

    Great blog - interesting how we hold on to 'stuff' - loss of what? When you think about it, our attitude is everything - if we let it go, 'it' (whatever it is) doesn't cause us stress...
Namaste my friend.

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DREMARGRL 7/28/2011 12:14AM

    Interesting.....We are all so unique and complex. There's a good book on why we do the things we do that I've read a couple of times. It's called "The Moral Animal" (Why we are the way we are: The new science of evolutionary psychology by Robert Wright. Your post just reminded me of it.

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PUDLECRAZY 7/27/2011 9:55PM

    Sometimes I think things get oversimplified; we have fairly complex psyches and response. Interesting ideas, though... I'll have to ponder that. I am definitely a workaholic, and even in play I continually challenge myself. From loss?? The thing is, there are no control groups. We all suffer losses. Can it be biological? I have one driven son, and one who isn't. My driven son was very active throughout my pregnancy, crawled early, walked early, talked early, went to Brown, got a great job, has many of his ideas patented, plays music, loves to tango. My other son was less active before and after his birth and is far more laid back. I have to think that some of this is nature, not nurture or loss of nurturing. Darn it, Ellen, you made my brain tired! emoticon

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New bathing suit(s)!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Scored: two new tankini style suits, identical (one purple, one black) so I can "mix and match. And at half price! Two for the price of one.

Wore the purple one to the beach yesterday and it's much more "swimmable". I hadn't bought a new suit for at least 10 years -- and at least 20 pounds ago!! Even my smallest was a size 12, and with the loss of elasticity over time as well as the weight, no longer doing the job. Droopy. The other three were 14s, even older, and even droopier. Especially in the bosom area.

The new suits are snug and secure. Simple v neck top with a bit of a twist at the front. Lingerie straps, so adjustable, and with a pretty chrome buckle. Decent length so the belly button isn't hanging out. Decent coverage in the bottoms too.

Not mumsy, not matronly. Really really exciting? No, probably not. Pretty plain, actually.

But still, giving me a lift -- literally AND figuratively!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 8/5/2011 12:02PM

    Where's the photo proof????? :D

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/29/2011 7:20PM

    Go hot stuff!!

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DSHONEYC 7/28/2011 3:18PM

    You beat the odds! 90% of the women who try on bathing suits don't get too excited looking in the mirror! Just seeing how you are doing, as I have been a neglectful emoticon.

I settled on a couple of the cutest summer dresses last Saturday. Size 12, though the 10s fit but I thought a little too snug on the top. Also, half-price from my favorite dress shop - Steinmarts. Yippee! Retail therapy is good on occasion. And I threw in a pair of red $6.99 sunglasses just for fun!

I bet you look great in your 2 new tankinis! How about posting a picture!

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PENNYAN45 7/27/2011 4:58PM

    AAhhh! Enjoyment and swim suit purchasing were two ideas that have not co-existed in my mind for many years now. How exciting that you are reaping the rewards of your determination and hard work. Congratulations to you! Thanks, Dr. Beck!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BARBIETEC 7/27/2011 5:16AM

    sweeeet! It is so much fun buying clothes when you are happy with yourself!

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PHEBESS 7/26/2011 8:23PM

    YAY for new swimsuits - I bet you get followed home!!!!!!!

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FROSTIERACES 7/26/2011 2:47PM

    Yay!! I love new swimsuits! So much fun with mix and matching and colors! Fabulous!...and you sound extremely happy too which is just great to read! :)

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PUDLECRAZY 7/25/2011 7:55PM



I did that last year; it felt great! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!


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NANCY- 7/25/2011 11:18AM

Ah how wonderful to find a fit.
I think it is extremely exciting.

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KALIGIRL 7/25/2011 9:21AM

    Love it - bet you looked HOT!

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CMRAND54 7/24/2011 11:13PM

    They sound perfect!

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JOYFUL711 7/24/2011 6:07PM

    Congrats, that is a major milestone!!Yeah, I had to go through my bathing suit drawer, funny thing, I had thrown one in my gym bag to go in the sauna, when I put it on at the gym it was like a sack, especially in the chest...LOL I wore that one last time, then went shopping! All new suits this year, and all bikinis! Even one from Victoria's Secret. I am 50 and I don't care who thinks I am to old to wear a bikini, I worked hard to look acceptable in one.

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/24/2011 4:00PM

    Hooray! What fun! I got 2 new ones last summer, and found one I really like on dry land isn't actually "swimmable" -- the over blouse thing floats up like a water balloon! Been so long since I bought a suit I never even considered that! Sounds like your choices will be good in and out of the water! Enjoy!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/24/2011 3:51PM

    Hey, you passed a BIG test! I love clothes shopping -- for everything but bathing suits. If you can love yourself in a bathing suit, you are doing really, really well. Celebrate! Celebrate!!

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_LINDA 7/24/2011 2:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
New swimsuits are fantastic, especially with a bargain!! Would love a photo, sounds fabulous!!
Enjoy strutting your stuff!!

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TBANMAN 7/24/2011 11:21AM

    I love getting new bathing suits. Especially smaller ones!


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Chillin' Soup

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chilling in my fridge, a big pot of summer soup. Should be icy by the time I get back from the gym!

Found in my fridge and cupboards this morning:

2 cartons Imagine chicken broth, low sodium
a full tub of fat free Greek yogourt
2 raw beets
1 pound of asparagus, lightly steamed and chilled
small bag of shredded carrots
package of mini cucumbers
tube of fresh chopped dill weed
half a large tub of baby spinach
two fresh ripe tomatoes

I used the food processor with the pulse chop feature sequentially, so there's still plenty of texture. Added some water at the end.

It's a pretty pink colour thanks to the beets! I'll stir in a little salt and grind fresh ground black pepper onto each serving . . .

No idea, of course, of the calorie count -- but it's gotta be low, and relatively high in protein, and full of vitamins.

And I'm betting pretty delicious too.

OK: 400 calories to burn on the elliptical (about 34 minutes probably) and upper body weights workout next!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Post sampling report: yes!! delicious!! I picked up some crunchy sea salt with my groceries . . . and I also stirred in some red chili pepper flakes for a bit more zip. It was fun to serve over ice cubes!!

(Spent a couple of hours at the beach, too: gorgeous sizzling hot day!!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 7/25/2011 10:47AM

    Yum! I often do a quick mix of baby spinach into my yogurt...sort of a spinach pie on the fly...! :-)


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NANCY- 7/24/2011 10:19AM

    How yummy, healthy and refreshing!!! What a wonderful way to enjoy summer.
I'm still looking out for those tubes... a store a few towns away is supposed to have them, I'll check it out when I head out that way.

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PHEBESS 7/23/2011 10:27PM

    Must be a gorgeous color!

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CMRAND54 7/23/2011 8:38PM

    An interesting recipe. I wouldn't have thought of using raw beets, but it does sound good and healthy.

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JOHAL52 7/23/2011 1:06PM

    Sounds refreshing and delicious! Hope that the drought there isn't hurting your gardens!

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IMAGINE_IT 7/23/2011 12:24PM

    Your 'chillin' soup sounds refreshing Ellen!! Enjoy!

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TKADEEPBREATH 7/23/2011 11:20AM

    Very good, may give this a whirl too if I can tear myself away from gardening. Let us know how it tastes!!

as always, love, Jan

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BOOKWORM27S 7/23/2011 10:54AM


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SLENDERELLA61 7/23/2011 10:38AM

    Wonderful!! That's just great. Thanks for sharing your recipe for summer soup. Today with my sore throat I'm still wanting hot soup, but maybe next week I'll go for the cold!!

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Obese Children: Should They Be Taken Into Care?

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The Toronto Globe and Mail ran a very controversial article today about "interventions" by the state to protect severely obese children: actually removing children from their parents' care. The argument in a nutshell: if parents were failing to provide the necessities of life such that children were starving, the state would step in. So why not when children approach health-threatening levels of obesity? Overfeeding is considered an abuse issue -- and at the weight levels discussed in the article (90 pound toddlers, 400++ pound young teens) maybe that's so.

Still, actual intervention and removal of children from their home and their parents is an idea that makes me deeply uncomfortable. I was a fat kid myself (although not obese to that extreme degree). I raised two kids, one of whom had excess weight problems and the other of whom was a string bean: neither at health-threatening levels, pretty much hereditary metabolism issues I believe.

At one point, when at my doctor's suggestion I'd stopped buying much in the way of high cal "treat" foods in an attempt to support one child's efforts to slim down without imposing a "diet", I was a bit oblivious to the reality that my thin thin child was struggling to get enough calories during a rapid growth spurt. There was always lots of food in the house, but not enough rich and calorie dense food, apparently, for the skinny one's growth needs!

Hmmm. Made me feel very very bad, that's for sure. Made the child who wanted the high cal foods (and wasn't "supposed" to eat them) feel very unfairly deprived too.

As adults, both are within a "normal" weight range now. The difference is, one will always struggle to stay (down) within the normal range, while the other gets to eat lots and lots and is still rangy and thin without a worry in the world of ever ever becoming obese . . . even to the point of scarfing down several suppers a day!

So eventually it's sorted itself out. But not easily for either of them: there is significant social isolation experienced by even a moderately overweight child. And although we would never have been in danger of "state intervention" the social disapproval parents of that moderately overweight child experience is also very real. Even without anyone calling the "Fat Children's Aid Society".

Your thoughts?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAVEINSEOUL 7/24/2011 8:30PM

    I'm not sure that this was ever suggested by anyone in the government, but rather a 'concerned citizen' who thought that this might be a good idea. As much as we sometimes set bad examples for our kids, I wish certain people in our society think that it is OK for the goverment to act as a 'nanny state'. Government intervention should always be a last choice - and for mere obesity? Come on! As someone wrote in an earlier blog, we let kids stay in much worse situations than this. Once the government starts removing kids from the home because of bad food choices, what's next? Taking kids out of the home at birth because the government can raise them better? This is a long, long, slippery slope toward a Owellian state that I don't want to be any part of.

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MEGA_MILES 7/22/2011 7:13PM

    Just a correction. This suggestion was made by a doctor David Ludwig at Children's Hospital Boston, this is NOT Big Brother coming to take your kids. These movements rarely are initiated by the government, they almost always come from concerned citizens trying to make the world a better place. The government ends up owning the responsibility and that's when things can go pretty haywire.

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JOHAL52 7/22/2011 11:36AM

    I think the government interferes too much or at the wrong times human on human. So I wouldn't trust them to handle such a program wisely. Much better to "attack" the problem by making sugary food more expensive (like cigarette tax?) And sponsoring programs where people are rewarded for making good food choices in some way. Remember when fresh food was tax free but processed food had sales tax?

Ultimately though it is up to individuals to make wise choices. If we encourage students in a positive way at school to eat healthy--school lunches--then it's possible that the NEXT generation might be wiser. But I really don't know. I am saddened by the carelessness of so many parents nowadays.

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DDOORN 7/22/2011 9:30AM

    I feel TERRIBLE about the horrible example (poor food choices, no physical activity, morbid obesity, etc.) I set for my son while he was growing up. While I agree that this is a grave problem the devil is always in the details.

Rather than some intrusive government intervention into our families, how about this: governments are ALREADY *HIGHLY* intrusive when it comes to influencing our food choices. Corn and beef subsidies and allowing food corporations to air their "food porn" commercials, etc.

How about government subsidies to promote HEALTHY food and fitness choices, to put big advertising $$$ into making it "cool" and popular to eat broccoli & cauliflower and to walk to school, stores, etc.

Let's face it: advertising works or corporations wouldn't be dumping TONS of money into it! Let's use this technology for GOOD instead of EVIL!

This is an old rant of mine which I often repeat:


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KALIGIRL 7/22/2011 8:36AM

    I think the government is too involved in our lives in too many ways, but serving on a foster care review board has focused my attention on the child. The question is one of abuse, a harsh word I know, but what are the consequences for the child and for society? Impossible to answer. I just wish there was a way to feed those children who are hungry.

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JENN03275 7/22/2011 7:03AM

    I do not believe that children should be removed from the home if they are obese. I am in support of parental/family education for healthy living. Much like families going through, let say a divorce, have to take parenting classes. Why not support mandatory education on diet and exercise? Chances are, mom and dad are probably in desperate need of education.

I have 2 boys whom are large, not obese but big kids. My home is full of healthy choices and maybe a few calorie dense choices. My children are built like their father. Big boned and "husky". As my older one hits puberty he is growing and thinning. My younger one plays hard and is outside from the second he gets up until he is forced to come inside.

My point is, you can't fight genetics. If the obesity is due to poor parenting, education needs to be provided. Provide these parents and children with the tools they need to succeed!

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PUDLECRAZY 7/22/2011 6:56AM

    Argh! WTH??? As a teacher, I have known of severely abused children who were kept in the home; children who REALLY should have been placed in safer situations. Children are in homes with drug addicts, alcoholics, sociopaths, etc. Why would we target out parents of obese children to remove the children from their homes? I can only see this as a response to other family abuse in addition to obesity. Intervention in the form of nutritional education and offering fitness programs for the child would make more sense.

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GODZDESIGN95 7/21/2011 11:22PM

    I do not support states taking kids from their homes just cause they are over weight. Gov meddling too much as it is. Maybe we all are at fault. It starts at the table at home. These days with the lack of jobs and the cost of foods....Potatoes, rice and beans may cause weight gain but they are pentious and cheap. hunger is a growing problem in this country and other countries. Wicked leader in other countries using starvation as a mean of getting rid of of folks. God will judge.

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CMRAND54 7/21/2011 10:25PM

    I have trouble with the idea of the state separating a child from his parents for weight issues. I think education for all parties concerned might not be a bad idea, but that's as far as I'd go.

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