I'm not in high school and haven't been in years. I don't have school-aged kids. I don't even patrol those parts of the internet that tend to attract bullies. But there are MANY ways to be a bully, as this video from Upworthy shows:
I saw this link on my Facebook feed, and it called to me. It called to me because it had a very important message.
First off, yes, being overweight and obese coupled with unhealthy eating choices and an inactive lifestyle isn't healthy and leads to lots of health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. It's a serious issue, and we need to address it. But that doesn't mean sending emails calling another person "fat", a "public humiliation", and such are the way to go.
Before I started on my weight loss journey over a year ago, I hadn't been to a doctor in 4 years. I didn't go, because I knew that the entire time would be telling me I was fat and would get all those health issues with little in the way of tips to actually SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Was it right? Absolutely not. Should I have found a new doctor? Absolutely. But the fact remains the same: I felt bullied. I felt bullied, so instead of opening up to my doctor, I retreated. (And could have quite possibly hurt myself with this behavior!)
Telling people they are fat, sending kids home with "fat notes" - these are NOT ways to get people to change their lifestyle! I know some people mean well! I know my doctor probably meant well when she was talking about my weight. I know that I WANT our kids to be healthy and active and not obese and diabetic. But I knew I was fat, way back then. I wasn't stupid and had to have someone approach me to let me know. I knew - and I just ignored it.
And I didn't have the tools I do now to lose and maintain it. This past year, I have learned SO MUCH about my body and how it reacts to food - the chemicals they put into the junk food to make you eat more, what my body really needs, what my body actually likes if I give it a chance. But it was a journey *I* had to make. ME - not my doctor, not my mom, not my health coach - had to come to the conclusion that enough was enough, that I was ready to learn, that I was ready to start over.
For me, being obese was a part of my food addiction. And like nagging a smoker to stop smoking or asking a gambler just to walk away from the blackjack tables, telling someone they are unhealthy and fat doesn't work.
I feel the better way is to get people to appreciate and love their bodies. When you love yourself and realize how IMPORTANT and WORTH IT you really are, it isn't too far of a leap to go to "Hey, I have some extra pounds - let's see what I can do about that!" And when a person gets to that stage, you can jump in and be a cheering section.
Build people up - don't bully!!