Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kettle? Meet Pot....Pot? Meet Kettle.

While I'm being so politically incorrect (see previous post for proof of that), let me just pile it on with this particular post. It kind of feels like the inmates are now running the asylum. Or maybe the fox is now guarding the henhouse. Or maybe the government is now adopting that ultimate of parental commandments, "Do as I say and not as I do". Let me set the scene first...........there I was, surfing the internet, checking out the news, clicking on one story to the next when, 'lo and behold, couched somewhere between the news that so-called "lesser" royals of Great Britain will be taking taxi cabs in an effort to cut back on costs (via edict of the queen) and the story entitled "The Big Fat Lies about Britain's obesity epidemic and why you shouldn't believe the government when it tells you to exercise more and eat less" (yeah, somehow I'd ended up on Great Britain's Daily Mail website, don't ask me to trace my route backwards 'cause I don't think I could), I found a little ditty entitled "Reform begins at home: Michelle Obama puts daughters on a diet as she launches anti-obesity campaign". The story caught my attention because I'd heard that Michelle was going to rescue our youth of today from childhood obesity and I was wondering what her game plan was. As the legend goes (and isn't everything related to the Obamas the stuff of legend?), First Lady Michelle Obama framed her national campaign against childhood obesity in intensely personal terms, relating that her own daughters were starting to get off-track before the family's pediatrician gave her a wake-up call and warned her to watch it.

"In my eyes, I thought my children were perfect," the first lady said. "I didn't see the changes."

But the family's pediatrician, she said, kept a close eye on trends in African-American children and "warned that he was concerned that something was getting off-balance." The doctor "cautioned me that I had to take a look at my own children's BMI," or body mass index, the first lady said.

The first lady said that over the next few months she made some small changes that got her daughters back on track. More attention to portion sizes. Low-fat milk. Water bottles in the lunch boxes. Grapes on the breakfast table. Apple slices at lunch. Colorful vegetables on the dinner table.

Gosh. Tough stuff to figure out, eh? She's so much smarter than the rest of us commoners, isn't she? That's probably why she's going to lead us in the battle against fat. But even the Vaunted Michelle can't do this alone. To assist her, she's signed up none other than our own United States Surgeon General Regina Benjamin! Yowza! Talk about bringing in the "big guns", eh? Well,.....er.....actually, yeah. The "Big" Gun, indeed. Take a look at General Benjamin:
Now I'm not saying she's not a competent person. By all accounts I've read thus far, she is. She's apparently a wonderful person, a compassionate neighbor, a dedicated doctor and a fine American. She's also fat. I know some of you are gasping at my lack of tack. "Oh my gosh! How rude and hateful to point out that she's overweight! Being fat doesn't make her bad!", etc., etc., etc. As a person who struggles with weight issues each and every day of my life, I understand that the large size of her pants doesn't make her bad. But being a great person doesn't change the fact that a fat person is standing up there telling us that we need to keep our kids from being fat. Here's a thought! How 'bout you lead by example, General Benjamin? Lose that extra weight you've talked about struggling with. You don't have to tell me it's not an easy thing to do, because I know it's not. I am definitely of the "been there, done that" school of experience. The difference is that never once, in all my fat years (and there were MANY!), did I stand up in front of everyone and suggest that I was going to help lead their children to a thinner, healthier lifestyle. Would anyone have believed me if I had? Of course not! Because I was fat, therefore who could trust in my advice on how not to be fat? But you know, there's going to be people in this country and all over the world, who will stand up and applaud ol' Regina and ol' Michelle as if they're the greatest thing to ever happen to our children when I think it's appallingly obvious that this "campaign" they're launching is just a talking point, an empty promise of a program and a blatant attempt to convince America that our children matter the most to those in Washington. These same people can't even pick a good example to do their preachin' for 'em! It's all bull-hockey.

Wake up, America! We don't need a politician, a politicians wife, a political appointee, a school teacher or even an oracle to tell us how to abolish childhood obesity (for the most part and barring any underlying health issues that are not covered by this discussion! - let's get that caveat in there before somebody briefs me on my lack of sensitivity to the children). We abolish childhood obesity by not buying our children soft drinks and candy bars and Little Debbie snack cakes and potato chips and greasy hamburgers and fried everything. I mean come on, people, if Michelle Obama can figure this crap out, surely the rest of us can to! Or do you honestly believe we need our government's help in even this area of our lives, too. At what point do we start doing for ourselves, America? At what point do we tell Washington we can handle our own business? At what point do we start moving forward because we want to and not because Washington is beckoning us with a handout. (Can you tell I'm against big government, stupid social programs and the dumbing-down of our country? You can? Then good!)

Everyone who is feeling a little peeved that I've dissed Michelle and what I feel is her ridiculous "campaign" and/or that I've committed a grievous social faux pas for pointing out the fact that General Benjamin is overweight, please take the time to figure out why you think that before you brief me in a comment. I'd love to hear your opinions, but only so long as they're not framed as platitudes or trite admonitions. I've had just about all I want to of saying and hearing and seeing political correctness in this country, I truly have. Honest views may not be pretty sometimes, but they're still more valuable than insincerity, at least in my book. And with that, I'll climb down off my soapbox and give it a rest.


10 comments:

  1. You stay right up on that soapbox and tell it like it is!

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  2. Girl, you know I love you but I am definitely on Michelle's side on this. Do you think I want some skinny minny telling me how to get skinny who has never been fat herself?? I have been fat for 30 years and you can be sure that I raised Ashley a lot differently than I was raised. I often told her that I wanted her life to be better than mine. I told her to not look at me as an example of what TO DO but what NOT TO DO. I agree we don't need a politician to tell us what to do but what we do need are high profile people saying that it is the right thing to do. It is called AWARENESS. Sure we know what to do, heck, I know what to do, but hearing Michelle saying that childhood obesity was something near and dear to her heart made me want to do something about it at my school. It MOTIVATED me to do something I know I should be doing. I can be a good model at my school by both getting to a reasonable weight but also by promoting that I do understand what it is like to be fat. My mom does not have an extra pound on her anywhere. She is constantly telling me how I am supposed to lose weight. HOW DOES SHE KNOW??? She's never had to do anything to lose weight. Her breakfast is coffee with cream and a sweet pastry every day! I don't want government dollars going out to schools and writing curriculum for us to teach or whatever... but I am happy that such a high profile woman is willing to take on something that is personal to her family and a problem across the states. I think that shows a lot of guts.

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  3. Hey, when I ready that after I posted it I sound snippy. oops. Not intended to be snippy at all!

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  4. Amen, I hear ya! And, another thing (although I won't get this exactly right) I read somewhere that M has more people on her "staff" than any past First Ladies in history. Like "20 something". What the HECK??

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  5. I didn't think you sounded snippy at all, Terri! I ALWAYS appreciate your comments! ALWAYS!!! :)
    I have a hard time with the concept that we Americans feel the need to have someone "famous" embrace a subject in order for us to pay attention to it. Michelle Obama's "fixes" for childhood obesity are simply common sense applications. Surely America could be inspired and motivated to do those things for the benefit of our children and not because Michelle has decided it's a cause worth talking about. If I am to be honest, however, I have to admit my personal dislike of Michelle Obama may be coloring my whole attitude towards her. But even given that admission, I'm still appalled at having someone like Regina Benjamin so prominently involved in this particular cause. If she were to talk about her own personal struggles with obesity, I would have no problem with that. I could even understand it and participate in promoting awareness of it as an issue. (Of course, my stance on it would be that it is an issue that can be resolved.) You know, my husband has always been skinny. He's never had to battle against fat, ever. I get so aggravated with him sometimes because he can be a tad bit intolerant of the issue (and NOW who's the pot and who's the kettle! LOL), but I would still have to respect his opinion that a fat person can't be a spokesperson for eliminating childhood obesity if they can't even eliminate their own obesity. It's an opinion I actually share. It's called "talking the talk" AND "walking the walk". If you can't lead by example, then your leadership simply isn't as inspiring, motivational, believable or even meaningful as it could be. That's the point I'm making about General Benjamin being involved with this issue.
    Again, I always enjoy your comments, Terri, and did not think you were at all snippy. In fact, you always impress me with your ability to talk about issues with clarity and kindness.

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  6. No platitudes, huh? I just completely agree with you.again. I have nothing to say against this post-- seriously, nothing.

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  7. apparently a lot of double standards ??Good one Kari sandy

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  8. Right on as usual and I like you may be colored by my dislike for the Obama's....

    I heard over the week-end that if he were up for reelection right now no way would he win !! Thank God America is waking up...he is a rookie making rookie mistakes when the world is in turmoil.

    Kathy :)

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