Dangerous diets and other stupid things

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Dangerous diets and other stupid things
7
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 3:45pm
we teach our children...

Ok, this is a rant, you've been warned!

We have some friends, neighbors actually that we spent some time with at the pool yesterday. While there the mother complimented me on my weight loss and asked me what I was doing. She has been a lifetime member of weight watchers for a few years and wanted to know if I had "finally joined" in her words. I explained that I've been eating healthier and going to the gym. At which time she explained that she doesn't like to sweat and that with weight watchers you aren't forced to workout. I let it go. There is no point arguing with people who won't work out. She then explained how the lifetime thing works. That because she reached her "goal weight" she just goes in once a month to weigh in. And that as long as she is within two pounds of her goal she is fine, if she is more than two pounds over she has to pay them. Talk about a great scam, I wish I had thought of it. But nevermind, WW has taught alot of people some good things, this isn't to slam on them. I asked her how that worked and explained about the three or four pound fluctuations based on time of day and day of month that I experience. She told me that it is fine because she decides what day she is going and weighs herself at home first. If she is too heavy she "just fasts and takes some laxatives and diuretics until at goal weight". No lie! She admitted it. So, I bit my tongue and tried not to lose it. She held up her water and said, "I'm fasting right now so I can weigh in Thursday before our trip." I was horrified. If your maintenance plan is to fast and take stuff to purge your body before weigh in the plan has failed...

I was then even more upset when my daughter offered hers a strawberry and was told that she couldn't she was fasting with her mom to support her. What? This is an eleven year old girl who has fasted for two days with her mom? And her mom let her? I had to sit down with my daughter afterwards and explain the absolute stupidity of the entire thing so she wouldn't buy into it.

I have never had any doubt that the mother in question wasn't all there. I'm now questioning the wisdom of allowing my kids to play with hers at all. I'm terrified that anyone would teach their daughter such dangerous behavior for the sake of a number on a scale. This is our next generation, which is going to win out, healthy living or dangerous dieters?

Whew, gosh it feels good to vent all that. I swear I'm going to write a book when I reach my goal weight. I'm gonna make a million!

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 3:56pm
that is horribly sad and scary when an eleven year old won't eat a strawberry because she is fasting with her mom.

i'm not at all convinced we aren't raising the next generation to be even more dangerous dieters than our is.

that reminded me of something i saw this weekend - at the wedding brunch we went to, one mother was feeding her infant (maybe about 6 months) pieces of bacon! i couldn't believe it. is that common?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 4:40pm
Ugh, no way! These days doctors are saying no meat, eggs, dairy, or chocolate until after the first birthday, or at least my niece's pediatrician says so. There's a theory that food allergies in children come from introducing foods to an immature digestive system too early. Another theory is that children with diabetes could have been exposed to corn syrup too early or too often, which is why my niece doesn't eat anything (except at daycare, grumble grumble grumble) with corn syrup in it.

On fasting, I personally have no problems with a juice and fruit fast for a day or two, in order to detox and feel better, I just finished one, but to focus on a number on a scale and subject your body to the stress of a complete fast for a few days JUST to reach a goal weight? No way. I did lose a few pounds on this juice fast, but I'm certain that it was mostly water, so if this lady is trying to lose REAL weight, she's still not succeeding. It's like she's obeying the letter and not the spirit of the law, which means she's totally missed the point. And her daughter is missing the point too. And that's a shame.

Edited to add: And the daughter supporting the mother thing...if it was the mom's idea, that's baloney. If you choose to fast for whatever reason, that's fine, but it shouldn't affect anybody else! I came home last night to find my SO eating pizza, which is one of my favorite foods....and I had a glass of vegetable juice because I'd committed to two days (and felt great, just hungry).


Edited 7/2/2003 4:52:07 PM ET by judie_rae

Judie Image hosted by Photobucket.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 5:39pm
AMEN! My daughter's doctor was all for delaying the introduction of solids as long as possible. She had breast milk ONLY until she was 11 months old. We introduced cereals and fruits/veggies at that time. But, because she was getting breast milk and at times formula we delayed meats and eggs for another several months. She is one of the healthiest kids I've ever seen. NO food allergies at all. Our son ended up taking bottles much sooner, and went to formula by 8 months of age. He too didn't start on solids until 11 months. I made their baby food myself with the blender and froze it in ice cube trays to store. They never ate out of jars. I swear it is why they are so willing to eat food in its natural state (ie. raw carrots where my brothers kids will only eat them cooked with brown sugar and butter on them...) I think they were both three or so before they ever tried chocolate, our daughter doesn't like it at all. Peanut butter was around 18 months and we don't eat bacon unless we are visiting someone who makes it, so Molly was 4 or so and Kyle was 2. They don't like it at all. Judie, I've heard that about food allergies, the diabetes makes perfect sense. How scary!

I want to be clear here, it isn't the practice of fasting that I'm against. It is the reason and nature of it in this case. Your fasting to detox, or fasting for religious reasons is not at all the same as fasting for a weigh in so you don't have to pay money. And, you continue to take in healty calories from juices, she says she does water only. And... she was taking laxatives!!!

I think that WW has helped millions of people. But if even a small portion of them are doing what this woman is then the system is broken. Just my opinion.

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 4:16am
What an appalling story. It frightens me to think what we are teaching the next generation of girls. Reminds me of a story -- my aunt, an OB/GYN, had a nanny for her young daughter when she went back to work. Turns out she was really weight obsessed and sending really bad messages. She had to fire her because my cousin -- who was FIVE -- refused to eat dessert because she said she was "too fat."

I have mixed feelings about WW. It has always seemed like a really expensive way to count calories, and the lack of emphasis on exercise could be dangerous. My mother lost a lot of weight with WW a few years back. She didn't like the whole weigh-in culture, though, so she went off WW, thinking she would be fine on her own. She ended up gaining back all the weight she had lost -- and then some. Of course, on the diet, she lost both body fat and lean muscle mass. When she gained it back it was all body fat. Which is why I don't believe in "diets." I believe in a healthy diet. I just haven't mastered it yet. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 7:29am
i think WW is fine for a person who doesn't know anything about dieting - my mom was on it for awhile, did just wonderful, but when i was reading her material it was all about portion control. she DID incorporate exercise - walked three miles daily with her girlfriends and continues to play tennis every other day. she has now joined my gym and is weight training and she says she feels SO much better than she ever did on WW. She also said WW tricks you into believing your weight - from the fasting before weigh-ins, no doubt.

that mom/daughter fasting stuff is BS and makes me mad!!! I see girls my bro's age starving themselves - their bodies are going through puberty and they want to stop the weight gain. they fast and my brother told me one even takes diuretics. i don't take any of those - only when i'm having trrouble, you know :-) and that is MD approved.

on the other hand i see so many overweight kids these days. i don't know why; maybe too much TV/computer??? i don't have kids so i really dont know why - maybe it is the whole feeding bacon to a 6-month old. that's WAY too early for bacon! i know that my parents fed me formula, rice cereal, and applesauce until i was sixteen months! With some cheerios thrown in, hehehe.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 9:01am
On baby food.... My niece (who I referred to, the daughter of my twin sister) weaned herself when she was about 11 months, she would have no more breast, only ba-ba! But after six months she started getting breast milk with rice cereal. Her first vegetable was sweet potatoes, cooked at home and frozen in ice cube trays, and that went to the daycare in cubes, just like the other babies had little jars! Grace's jarred food consumption has only ever been organic baby food, and she didn't start eating what my sister considers inappropriate until she started eating with the bigger kids at daycare. They have a VERY starch-heavy menu, with little regard for processing, additives, etc., and the parents aren't allowed to send food for their own kids unless they send food for ALL the kids.

Some people don't realize how important it is to start kids out with the very healthiest of foods, bad habits start so early. We've discovered, through one of my sister's neighbors, that Grace likes hot dogs. :( And once she discovered sweetened fruit, it's hard to get her to eat vegetables. I'm sure it will all work out eventually, but it helps us (who haven't had kids yet) realize what we can do with our eating habits and attitudes before they affect very flexible minds.

And on my juice fast--I ate dinner last night and I felt AWFUL! lol... After two 500 calorie days, I _was_ trying to go back into regular eating slowly, but this little place down the street makes really good burritos.....

Judie Image hosted by Photobucket.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 11:31pm
Stories like this make me so sad. Losing weight should be a healthy thing and good for you. If you're losing weight in an unhealthy way, then you're not healthier. I don't think WW advocates this. I have friends who have lost a lot of weight on it and I think it's a good intro on portion control. At the same time, it doesn't teach much about nutrition and health. I have a friend who lost a lot of weight but drinks tons of diet drinks and only considers the calories of food. At the same time, i think it's the most some people are willing to do so it's better than nothing. I can't get over that she's having her daughter do it--it plays into the idea that you should be thin, not healthy. Ugh, I wonder how the next generation of girls will end up.