Help for Overweight
Teens Who Maybe Can't Afford Residential
Residential school programs for
overweight teens (some in excess
of five thousand dollars a month)
are becoming popular but there
are other options. These schools
provide a reduced calorie eating
plan plus increased activity (sound
familiar) in a safe environment.
I'm glad someone is making an
effort, but five thousand dollars
a month! Yikes. You could hire
a personal trainer and nutritionist
plus my program for far less than
that. Hopefully these schools
offer counseling, but it isn't
likely to go beyond the advice
which simply does not work. People,
young and old need something more
such as actual techniques and
exercises they can use to deal
with the reasons they prefer to
eat processed foods, and why they
don't enjoy physical movemint.
It's not about the food. It's
what's going on inside your head.
I tried to find stories of teens
who had successfully completed
these programs and what I did
find instead were other options,
in case you feel you are at the
end of your rope and don't know
where to turn.
Get Your Kids
Up and Moving
Find an exercise activity your
kids would love. Most overweight
kids probably aren't too crazy
about the idea of running and
jumping but what about bike riding?
Or hiking with a GPS (Global Positioning
Satellite) is enormous fun and
anyone can do it. Adults are reporting
losing 20, 30 or more pounds while
they are out exploring the woods
and hills in their surrounding
area. An added bonus is that learning
to use a GPS is educational too
(math, science, physics, geography).
Martial arts is an excellent
activity for kids of all ages.
It helps with much more than just
physical fitness teaching kids
discipline, honor, and self defense.
Nothing builds self-esteem faster
than knowing you can take care
of yourself in any situation.
Talk to your kids.
Find out what they may be interested
in, and then explore the options
My son is a good example. He
was never overweight but I noticed
when he was about 13 that his
skin tone was flabby. He didn't
go outside much, preferring to
play Nintendo, and he was an excellent
student so he studied every day.
I wondered if I should do something
to encourage him to go outside
and play, but I knew he'd just
say no thanks.
Luckily neighborhood kids invited
him to start playing football,
and today, five years later he's
a senior in high school playing
varsity football and loving life.
In school he had weight lifting
as a physical education class
for two years (wish we'd had that
choice when I was in school).
He also had a class that had the
kids each bring in some labels
from home, and then went on to
explain how to read and use labels.
After that he started telling
me how many grams of sugar were
in a soft drink and he started
to drink them less too. His body
has shaped up nicely (he's still
a young teen but now has muscles
and an excellent skin tone). He's
confident, well liked, and I have
no worries that he'll continue
with a healthier lifestyle from
this point forward.
Before he took up football we
bought him a bike which was rarely
used. He has a skateboard, and
a motorized scooter, pogo stick.
He took a year of Karate but then
he broke his wrist on the playground
at school and when it had healed
he didn't want to go back. I couldn't
see any reason to force him so
that was the end of martial arts
for him. If the neighborhood kids
hadn't asked him to join their
play, I don't know what he might
have done, but I do know he was
likely to find some sport or activity
as his father still runs regularly
at 72-years old, his grandfather
and great grandfather are both
in the Linfield College Hall of
Fame, his sister achieved pre-qualification
for the Olympics in track ...
and I could go on.
Sports and physical fitness seems
to be in his blood, but it didn't
just happen. Without someone to
encourage the kids to go out and
toss a ball around or get on their
bikes, it's easy for them to end
up watching TV or sitting on their
computer. Yet, even if you don't
have woods or forests nearby for
hiking, and you can't ride bikes
where you live, or you have other
limitations, there are physical
activity games for the computer
now. I've talked before about
(Dance Dance Revolution),
a computer game that kids (and
adults) are playing with an added
benefit of losing weight in the
Sometimes it takes
awhile to find the right fit,
but nearly everyone will feel
better when they find a physical
activity they like.
Activities in Your Area
If you live in the city, get
out the phone book and/or search
the Internet for indoor activities
in your town. Here are a few for
my area (Vancouver, Washington)
using the search words: indoor
sports vancouver washington
Indoor Sports which offers
programs for adults and children.
Books on Sports for Kids: You
might also read up on the subject
in books on sports for kids
The Ultimate Sport Lead-Up Game Book: Over 170 Fun & Easy-To-Use Games To Help You Teach Children Beginning Sport Skills
Finding something your kids would
enjoy that keeps them active is
all it takes, and if they are
reluctant, I can tell you once
the blood starts pumping they'll
get jazzed. It feels great to
be alive. Remember, any hobby
helps. Keeping yourself busy with
something you're truly interested
is what is needed to get off the
couch with a bowl of food in your