Thursday, February 23, 2012
I just read a disturbing story posted on YAHOO news. A 9 year old girl died of a seizure. That would be a tragedy by itself. But, the reason this little girl died was because her grandmother and step mother forced her to RUN for three hours ! This was punishment for lying about eating some candy bars. According to the article, the seizure was brought on by dehydration and a very low sodium level. You can read more here.
Why would ANY adult have a 9 year old child run for three hours without water as punishment for lying about some candy bars ? No sane adult would do this to a child. It's torture.
However, perfectly sane intelligent adults DO this to themselves every day. How many times on Spark People or any other weight loss website have we seen members who were told to go get in an "extra" workout because they ate too much ? How many times did we torture ourselves in the gym because we thought the exercise would help us compensate for all the extra food ?
That's what we're told, isn't it ? We're told that if we eat too much, we should work out more. Right ? No, it's not. It's wrong. A person shouldn't feel guilty because they ate too much. Don't associate food with guilt. No one is weak willed because they ate too much. No one lacks self control. No one is a bad person because they ate too much. And no, they should NOT kill themselves in gym as punishment.
Exercise should be thought of as a REWARD for engaging in healthy habits. If we eat too much one day, then we do our best to eat a little better for the rest of the week.
I'm totally guilty in past of having hit the gym for a couple of hours to compensate for eating too much. That was the unhealthy me. Today, the healthy me exercises because it's fun and because it's part of my routine. This story bothered me on multiple levels. It just reminded me how many people still believe that exercise should be used as punishment because they ate too much. These people were just crazy. You have to be to think that was a suitable punishment for a child.
I hope they throw the book at those two people !