Happy Belated Weight Stigma Awareness Week (It was actually last week).
Growing up I was picked last for all team sports. Even when I was thin, I had terrible coordination. Everything got even worse when I gained weight. This made me hate team sports. I would often do my best to get out of it, feigning illness as often as possible.
When I was in eighth grade, I had a great teacher who refused to let me back down from learning volleyball. I sucked it at, couldn’t serve over the net, couldn’t hit the ball back. My teachers and my classmates didn’t make fun of me. They encouraged me to keep practicing. The result, I never became a great volleyball player, but I got better. And I loved playing.
I subscribed to NPR via facebook. They recently posted an article about heavier kids losing weight when they took up rowing. Of course the focus of this program was to help fat kids lose weight.My only hope is the rowing continues when the weight loss stops.
I try to avoid reading comments but I thought about posting my annoyance that the focus was on fat kids rather than rowing for ALL kids. Then I saw this comment:
"You're going to need a bigger boat."
Even though the rowing was focused on weight loss, the article mentioned about the stigma of having fat kids finding a place to exercise
There was no comfortable place for 17-year-old Alexus Burkett in her school’s typical sports program of soccer and lacrosse and basketball.
“They don’t let heavyset girls in,” she says.
I have mentioned before that when fat people exercise we get a damned if we do and damned if we don't attitude towards us. We're told to get off the couch and go for a run and then told we run too slow or too sloppy. We're told we can't run, can't dance, can't play, or play team sports.
“I know I need to be active, but please don’t make me play school sports!” That’s what exercise physiologist Sarah Picard often hears from her young clients at the OWL.
Movement is very important to the human body. Studies have shown exercise benefits people regardless of size. But this is pointless if we shame people away from having regular exercise.