The LLVLC Show Fan Club

If you follow a low carb lifestyle, the internets most informative site is that of Jimmy Moore he has started a fan club with an introductory rate that expires October 31st….

Why the Rachael Ray Show has me a tad upset — Part I

This column is Part I of a two-part series.

{What I am about to write does not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.} ***Also, you may read some of my other columns concerning adult obesity. I take an entirely different track when it comes to children***

I was emailed a link to a story concerning the Rachael Ray Show by one of my clients. Since I had been overweight as a child, he was interested in my opinion about the young person, in a very public forum, trying to lose seventy pounds for an upcoming prom. I am not home during the airing of the Rachael Ray talk show, thus I’m not very familiar with the goings on of her foray into syndicated t.v. talk, so I had to do some research.

First and most importantly, I am not going to mention the name of the young person. I am aware that the name is public;  however, I choose not to mention it.

Secondly, anything I am about to write is not directed at this young person and if you wish to comment here, I will delete any comments directed at this individual.

Thirdly, for full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Rachael Ray. I have watched her various programming on cable t.v. and enjoyed each and every one of them.

Finally, what I am writing is how I feel about this. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist or a mental health worker. I am a Chiropractor and educator by profession, a person who underwent bullying as a child because I was overweight and I was, until two years ago, a morbidly obese adult. I am very concerned with the obesity epidemic in the United States and even more concerned about what is happening to our children. It is my hope to one day begin a foundation to increase awareness about childhood obesity and the resultant type II diabetes. You may agree with what I am about to write and say in my podcast or you may disagree, either way I invite your comments, criticisms and concerns. I just ask that you leave out the young person’s name.

With all that said, from the information I was able to gather, I am upset with this continuing “story” on Rachael Ray’s very popular television talk program. I am not sure such a public forum is the place for a child’s battle with obesity. Yet, even with my concerns over the microscope this person will now be scrutinized under, that really isn’t my big issue.

No, I have several BIG issues with how this weight loss “story” is being portrayed and played out. Childhood obesity is a real problem in our country. I have written about the topic on this blog and in guest columns for my local newspaper. I have made myself available to be part of a program on my local PBS affiliate, WVIA, about the topic and next year I will be starting to speak in high schools, to not only students, but teachers and administrators. It may very well be today’s most serious health threat to our children.

My first BIG issue is the way that this is being portrayed on the program’s website. To quote, “Join us for the start of an inspirational journey as we follow one overweight teen’s struggle to take control of her life and finally reach a place where she can love and accept herself.” When I discuss childhood obesity, I never, ever mention appearance. This quote can lead to no other conclusion that the pathway to happiness is improving one’s appearance.  I always discuss the issue in terms of overall health and fitness. By emphasizing appearance, one can open a horrible, self-loathing portal into the attitude that looks are the most important aspect of childhood. Much in the same vein, this line stating that once this-person loses weight, the ability of self-acceptance and self-love will be automatically given.  What a disgusting implication!

Is a person, due to obesity, not worthy of accepting one’s self?

What kind of message does this solitary sentiment send out to other young people who may read it?

If we are unable to accept and love ourselves, does this, to the reader, now intimate we are unable to receive acceptance or love from others?

When we are tackling childhood obesity, it must never me done from these points of view: appearance, acceptance, worthiness or love. We must make our children understand that their weight does not sway our view of them, not one iota. We must convey that we are concerned for their overall health and fitness. We are not concerned about how they appear and we never make their weight a condition of our love for them, nor should they make it a condition of their love for themselves.

In my column entitled: Childhood Obesity and Bullying, I relate about how my parents supported me. They never made my appearance or even my ability to perform in sports I participated in a condition of their support. They were there to congratulate my success and to console my failures. Either way, I never doubted their love for and acceptance of me and I never had self-doubt for either myself.

To conclude part I, it is my opinion that to encourage fitness upon our children, we should only focus on the health aspect. The premise on the Rachael Ray show that the weight loss will equate to self-love and self-acceptance is fundamentally flawed.