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What Would This World Be Without Chubby Girls?

By carolyncastiglia |

chubby girls, childhood obesity, putting kids on a diet, dara-lynn weiss vogue, dara-lynn weiss memoir

Let's hear it for the chubby girls!

I just caught up on the story of Dara-Lynn Weiss, the mother who wrote so proudly in Vogue about putting her 7-year-old daughter on a diet. Meredith’s post on the subject contains a thorough recap of the story (which is, kid’s a little chubby, mother is horribly mean to her while forcing her to diet, mother writes about it for Vogue) as well as bits of the Vogue article, which isn’t available online. KJ Dell’Antonia has more quotes from the Vogue piece on Motherlode today, including the following disturbing bit. KJ writes, “When the little girl, now 8 years old, looks at pictures of her heavier self (not included in Vogue), she insists, powerfully, that “that’s still me. I’m not a different person just because I lost 16 pounds.” Most of us would agree that she’s right, but her mother doesn’t. “I protest,” Ms. Weiss writes. “She is, indeed, different.””

I’m thrilled at this little girl’s bravery in claiming ownership of her fat self, especially in the face of her mother’s clear disdain for it. (From the Vogue piece: “I dressed down a Starbucks barista when he professed ignorance of the nutrition content of the kids’ hot chocolate whose calories are listed as “120-210″ on the menu board: Well, which is it? When he couldn’t provide an answer, I dramatically grabbed the drink out of my daughter’s hands, poured it into the garbage, and stormed out.”) I admire the way this girl is able to look at a photo of her formerly thick frame and see her essence there. Maybe, I’ll venture to say, though I’m sure Dara-Lynn Weiss won’t like it, Weiss’ daughter looked at that fat photo and saw her true self, even. Because – shock! horror! – some women actually feel like they were meant to be chubby, and gosh darn it not only have they begrudgingly accepted that fact, they sort of totally love it.

Yes, I know, I know, there are all kinds of women who think that an out-of-shape frame, even if only slightly, is disgusting. Any amount of flab at all is to be reviled. These women believe that being fit and thin is the only ideal, and I suppose they have a right to feel that way. I mean, of course they do. But not to the extent that they would punish a child for carrying a few extra pounds, taking her dinner away the way Weiss did to her daughter.

And sure, many overweight people are unhealthy: after all, there are very obvious health risks involved with obesity. But morbid obesity and being mildly overweight are not the same thing. And not everyone prescribes to the same standards of beauty, whether Vogue editors like it or not.

When I first read about Weiss putting her 7-year-old on a diet, I thought about the little girl in the video I posted this morning, Laughter with Teddie. Teddie is probably close in age to Weiss’ daughter, and she’s an adorably hilarious chubby little girl. She’s got chubby cheeks, a broad, infectious smile and the sense of humor and good nature we love our chubby girls to have. I thought about one of the girls who was in my daughter’s kindergarten class last year. A chubby girl who was unafraid to take charge when she needed to, who wasn’t shy about sharing her thoughts unabashedly with the class. She was a real brick of a kid who didn’t take crap from anybody and I liked her style. As I observed her and talked to her more while directing the class play, I thought, “I hope that’s me when I grow up.” Of course not every chubby girl is outgoing and gregarious; god help you if you’re the big fat girl who is as quiet as a mouse! People don’t understand you and they probably think you’re sad. And maybe you are sad, because people don’t understand you. Or maybe you’re just quiet. And fat.

Most importantly, though, when reading about Weiss’ ridiculous experiment, I thought about myself. I’ve got probably exactly the figure your mind conjures when you say the word “chubby.” I’m a little bit fat in all the right places, proportionate and curvy. I’m not obese, but I’m definitely not thin, and I’m very happy with myself. For the most part. I mean, I won’t say there aren’t days when I think about being able to shop at H&M or some other cheap-ish Eurotrash store that sells floral-print minis and tiny cardigans. But then I think about how many women work so hard to be a size their metabolisms can’t really support, and how much of the time they spend in the land of self-loathing, and I suddenly don’t mind having to shop at Lane Bryant. After all, they sell DKNY now! (Thank you, Donna! Come get a chubby girl hug – it’s the best kind!)

I’m not saying all thin women hate themselves or that all fat women are healthy, but I think any reasonable adult should be willing to admit that bodies fall naturally on a spectrum of varying shapes and sizes, and that everyone should feel comfortable being a shape that their system can easily maintain without having to eat nothing and do hours and hours of exercise a day. For some that may naturally be a size 2, and for others it’s a 20. Why’s that such a big deal?

Because the beauty and fashion industries make money off of women’s insecurities, of course. So it makes perfect sense that Vogue would support and encourage a mother who wants to make sure her daughter isn’t fat. But Weiss is going to have to accept the fact that her daughter – and indeed her daughter’s body, will likely one day rebel. I’m reminded of the story of Robin Marantz Henig and her daughter Jess Zimmerman, who shared a dynamic similar to that of Weiss’ and her daughter. Henig battled with her weight in an unhealthy way her entire life and was obsessed with the notion that both she and her daughter be thin. She restricted Jess’ diet when Jess was a small child, and by the time Jess was 16, she was bulimic. (Henig writes in Oprah magazine, “My first thought was she couldn’t be, or she wouldn’t be so fat.”) By the time she reached her 20s, Jess was well and part of the fat acceptance movement. Her mother eventually came around, too. I only hope if Weiss’ daughter ends up being chubby again someday that Weiss will be able to swallow her pride and love her daughter for who she is, not who she wants her to be.

Dieting as a child? How losing weight as a kid shaped my life

p.s. – According to Jezebel, Weiss is coming out with a memoir about her daughter’s weight loss, so, that should be fun.

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About carolyncastiglia



Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “What Would This World Be Without Chubby Girls?

  1. Monica Bielanko says:

    Carolyn, this post rocks. YOU rock. So love this and your thoughts and perspective.

  2. carolyncastiglia says:

    Thanks, Monica!

  3. Sara A. says:

    As a woman pregnant with her first, I can’t say that I’ve practiced what I preach, but I would argue that as a mother it is my job to teach my child to love him or herself. Teaching a child to diet would be the opposite of that goal. Part of teaching the child to love themselves no matter what would seem to be modeling that you love yourself no matter what. Watching my mom diet and judge herself wanting taught me that there must be something wrong with me too. What I was trying to say is that we should show our daughters (and sons too) that we love them no matter what their size fat, thin, or in-between. By extension we should love ourselves the same way since our daughters look to us (or will look to us) to find out about themselves.

  4. Meagan says:

    Well, I’m not arguing (at all) that the mother is handling the situation well, but the motherlode article you referenced gave a pretty clear cut other side of the story. Obese is not the same thing as “chubby” and if my kid’s pediatrician told me I had to “do something” about a health issue that I’d failed to gt a handle on, I can at least understand how someone would be reduced to throwing fits in Starbucks. Like I said, she may not be dealing with her daughter in a positive manner, but the NY times article made it sound like it was about health… Not vanity. I haven’t read the actual article. I’m sort of guessing you haven’t either? I’m not really sure there’s much point in criticizing her based on pull quotes.

  5. carolyncastiglia says:

    I haven’t read the full piece in print. The pull quotes do a good job of telling the story. I can’t understand the fit in Starbucks – if you don’t want your kid to have hot chocolate, don’t take her there at all! That’s twisted. Who calorie counts for an 8-year-old? 16 pounds is not an excessive amount of weight – if the kid weighed over 100 pounds, maybe I’d worry. If the kid weighed 150 pounds, I’d definitely worry. Ugh.

  6. Melissa says:

    I think this Mom is ridiculous. Only have healthy options in your home for meal/snack options and get active with your kid. She’s a young girl, get her outside playing or involved in something she enjoys. Give her some self confidence and the rest will probably follow. I don’t like for my kids to have a lot of junk so guess what that means, we don’t keep it in our house. To me the solution seems like it should be a lot more simple than the Mom is making it out to be.

  7. Meagan says:

    16 lbs is not a lot of weight for me or you but it IS a lot of weight for a child. I didn’t say I agreed with her fit, I said I could understand it. She allows her kid a small treat as part of the diet her DOCTOR told her she needed to be on, and the guy behind the counter can’t even give her the nutritional information he’s legally required to have and provide. You really can’t see how that would be frustrating and lead someone to do something they aren’t proud of? And you can’t know the pull quotes do a good job of telling a story you haven’t read.

  8. Rosana says:

    I have not read the whole article either but what I could get from the bit and pieces in other articles is that Weiss could not handle the situation properly because she has never being able to handle her own situation properly. She wrote about her self image and how she obssess about what she eats, etc. It did not seem to me that she was proud of her approach but she was honest about telling how she handled it.
    Following a healthy lifestyle does not equal to an obssesion with being skinny. Even Weiss in her messed up mind understands that.

  9. carolyncastiglia says:

    We’re not going to agree on this Meagan, but no, I don’t see how bringing a little kid into Starbucks and telling her she can have a hot chocolate then dumping it out in a rage is okay. I just don’t. I have a crazy rageful mother and it’s twisted growing up like that. If your kid is on a “diet” (again, why?) then don’t bring her for a treat at all! Get her a vanilla milk, get her a regular milk, get her some juice or water – or figure out the calorie count before you buy the drink! Argh.

    And also – I highly doubt anyone’s opinion will change after reading the parts of the article that are not already vastly quoted. No one seemed to gain any more sympathy for Amy Chua once her book came out.

  10. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “I thought about myself. I’ve got probably exactly the figure your mind conjures when you say the word “chubby.” I’m a little bit fat in all the right places, proportionate and curvy. I’m not obese, but I’m definitely not thin, and I’m very happy with myself.” Obese is a medical term. I know I always viewed myself as “getting a little thick around the middle” with encroaching middle age, but when I actually entered my stats in to a BMI calculator I was significantly overweight. At any rate, that mom sounds borderline insane and emotionally abusive. And she never says anything about exercise, which is disturbing.

  11. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “Who calorie counts for an 8-year-old? 16 pounds is not an excessive amount of weight – if the kid weighed over 100 pounds, maybe I’d worry. If the kid weighed 150 pounds, I’d definitely worry.” It’s all relative. My 7 year old weighs weighs 43 pounds, so to me it seems silly to argue that a 93 pund seven year doesn’t require intervention. 93 pounds is what my 11 year old son weighs.

  12. Manjari says:

    Love, love, love this post.
    “…any reasonable adult should be willing to admit that bodies fall naturally on a spectrum of varying shapes and sizes, and that everyone should feel comfortable being a shape that their system can easily maintain without having to eat nothing and do hours and hours of exercise a day.”
    I wish everyone thought this way.

  13. bethanne says:


    Yes, I yelled that. I couldn’t help myself. As someone who is “chubby,” I want to stand & applaud. There is a distinct difference between being chubby & being unhealthy – I can’t wear H&M, but my blood pressure, sugar, & cholesterol are lower than “normal” ranges. I can run a mile but I refuse to order a fancy coffee with skim milk (yuck!).

    I think it is beautiful to see a young girl embrace herself. I wish I had been able to but sadly, it took me until I am almost 30 to feel mildly confident with my body reflecting choices I make.

  14. Rosana says:

    Anybody that read Chua’s book will understand the reason why she wrote it. Only those who read it.

  15. heather f says:

    Mirroring what someone else posted, but it truly is all relative. 16 pounds is even a lot to an adult body – think about how long it takes you to lose 16 pounds and how many pant sizes you go down when you do! Now think about someone half your size with that much extra weight they’re carrying. Those 16 pounds might make us “chubby”. But that is a lot to their small bodies. Chubby is just a few pounds overweight for them, 16 pounds overweight is not chubby for a child – that’s obese or borderline for their little bodies and not a fun way for them to grow up or a healthy start. Whether they love themselves for who they are or not, kids are mean and tease. So they either grow up to be accepting of their bodies and happy (rare) or they become the “quiet fat girl” (sometimes), the sad fat girl (many times), or more often they become the exceptionally mean fat girl who isn’t happy with herself and doesn’t want anyone else to be happy either. They are kids, they are supposed to be a active and barring any medical conditions adding to their weight issues, there should be no obese children. I love the basis of this post – to love yourself no matter what, but I think we should teach our kids to love their own bodies and also to be fit, active, and healthy. Size 20 is not “chubby” by the way. At my heaviest, I was a size 18. That is not “chubby”. Size 12-14, maybe, but not 20, that’s obese, it’s unhealthy, – even if all the blood levels are perfect, that weight is not good for the joints. I’m a size 6 now (thanks to Weight Watchers and Winsor Pilates) and 6 months post-partum. Hoping to get back down to the 2/4 I managed to get down to after losing close to 70 pounds. I’ve been a size 12 all my life and thought my body just wasn’t meant to be “thin” ever. Now I know differently.

  16. Meagan says:

    @Carolyn this type of argument drives me nuts. Did I SAY it was ok? NO. I said I understood how she would be frustrated, and it’s pretty evident that her rage is at the Starbucks barista; she inappropriately takes it out on her daughter. As for WHY she’s on a diet, from the times article it soundly like she’s on a diet BECAUSE THE DOCTOR SAID SHE NEEDED TO BE ON A DIET. Are you suggesting “good” parenting would be to ignore the doctor’s orders to protect her self esteem? Because self confidence is important, but diabetes is a more immediate concern.

  17. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “Love, love, love this post.
    ‘…any reasonable adult should be willing to admit that bodies fall naturally on a spectrum of varying shapes and sizes, and that everyone should feel comfortable being a shape that their system can easily maintain without having to eat nothing and do hours and hours of exercise a day.’
    I wish everyone thought this way.” Yes, and the very highest weight that’s considered healthy for 7 year old girl who is 4’4″ is 67 pounds. The low end is 52 pounds. And people are supposed to exercise daily.

  18. tali says:

    Everyone is so quick to judge this mother based on the opinions of the bloggers who are writing about her. Has anyone else even read the original article? Childhood obesity is a real problem in our country and most children who are obese in their teens are still obese when they are 25. Maybe this mother’s methods were extreme at some points but what parent wouldn’t go to extremes to make sure their child was able to live a healthy life? If you want a more refreshing take on this article read this:

  19. katie23 says:

    The sad thing is that her daughter’s actual WEIGHT is the important thing to this mother. A high number on the scale can be in many (but not all) cases, is a result of having too much fat, and maybe (but not always) symptom of unhealthy habits. But the number itself is not the actual problem! She (along with toooo many people) are confusing vanity with health, and it’s killing our self esteem and ability to have normal relationships with food. I speak from first hand experience.

    If the doctor thought her daughter had an unhealthy lifestyle (which, for some people, causes them to gain unnecessary weight), then the solution is to engage in habits that are healthy, not to turn the scale into a measure of self worth. If Bea had the sheer luck of a metabolism that kept her thin despite her poor food choices (which, at that age, are largely controlled by the adults around her), she wouldn’t be shamed for it.

    If a person — any person — has an ongoing positive relationship with food (and access to wholesome meals), is in tune with their hunger signals enough to eat normal amounts of healthy food when they are appropriately hungry (doesn’t feel the need to overindulge or use food as a reward/punishment), and is reasonably active on a regular basis, then whatever weight they are as a result is probably a healthy one!

    We’re so quick to come to the illogical conclusion that because body fat, this one symptom (of many) of an unhealthy lifestyle manifests itself visibly, and having a healthy lifestyle is better than having an unhealthy one, and one reason (of many) that someone’s lifestyle is unhealthy because they are lazy or lacking self control… that the ONLY way someone could possibly have excess fat is because they are lazy/lacking self control and therefore an inferior person.

  20. Suzie says:

    Who says 16 pounds is not a lot of weight…for a grown woman OR a child? And 16 pounds turns into 20, turns into 30 and so on…I was chubby as a preteen and it came off naturally from joining sports in highschool BUT I wish someone would have take more control over my diet during the 10-14 years so I wouldn’t have had to be made fun of and feel the awkward and bad feelings that led me to have mild eating issues when I was skinny in highschool. My family exerted NO control over what I ate and I ate fries on the way home from school, then an after school snack, then dinner and dessert. I wasn’t into sports as a kid, someone I got into them as a teen. Teaching “acceptance” when what you’re accepting is unhealthy and, sorry, unattractive, isn’t doing anyone any favors. I hate, hate, hate, too, hearing women my own age (40) go on about how they “accept” themselves and are “real women” and how they’re teaching their daughters this, all the while carrying on on FB about is it “wine o’clock” yet and how many Girl Scout cookies they eat, how much they love bacon and how much they hate exercise. The socialite Vogue mother is the OTHER end of the spectrum. Normal women with healthy attitudes toward food and fitness fall somewhere between.

  21. Bea Reiter says:

    This story drive me nuts! But the Starbucks thing is frustrating. Don’t you think that the kind of milk used affects the calorie count? What about the addition of whipped cream or the size of the drink? Obviously they can’t put exact calorie counts in the menu because of this. Just takes a little common sense. Oh and there are plenty of smartphone apps and books that have been out for years that give calorie, fat and carb counts for fast food and coffee places. Throwing a fit over this not only embarrasses the child but assures her of therapy in the future.

  22. Suzie says:

    ^^^ Yeah, I totally thought that about the Starbucks drink. She does not sound very smart does she?

  23. Pete Mat says:

    I’m with you Suzie! “Acceptable” chubby leads to obese too easily.

  24. Meagan says:

    Yes, the type of milk counts, as well as whether they use whipped cream, sugar free any added flavor, and obviously, size. And all that information is available and SHOULD be provided. Giving a range rather than a real number is an out that restaurants should not be allowed. And no, it doesn’t justify slapping a drink out of your 7 year old’s hand, but as someone who’s been on diets before, it really annoys me when you are given a fake non answer about nutritional information. That also includes bs chain restaurants that don’t include the included side dishes in a meal’s calorie total. Which is more or less all of them. End rant.

  25. Dancing Branflake says:

    I was put on a diet in second grade. Slim fast, nutritionalists, food journals… you name it, I did it. I blog about it fairly openly but still… reading about other children going through similar things makes me nauseous. Yes, I was overweight, but I also rode my bike for hours daily and played soccer throughout my childhood. Was I healthy? I have no clue. Was I sad? Absolutely.

  26. bunnytwenty says:

    “Are you suggesting “good” parenting would be to ignore the doctor’s orders to protect her self esteem?”
    No, that would be idiotic. Good parenting would be improving her child’s habits in a healthy and loving way instead of humiliating and shaming her. And frankly, even putting a kid that age on a “diet” while she’s still getting taller and maturing is foolish – forget calorie counting, just make sure that everything that the kid eats is nutritious, get her to exercise so she doesn’t gain that much more, and as she gets taller and goes through puberty it’ll even out.
    Really, guys, any extreme behavior is a bad idea, and humiliating and verbally abusing your child is always a bad idea. what’s so hard to understand about that?

  27. Jessica says:

    I have a great idea! Why don’t you all worry about yourselves and your kids, and let others handle their own lives. Hitler had an ideal also…blond hair, light eyes…and we all know what happened there. Hating people who are not thin is the most acceptable form of bigotry. As a matter of fact, it has become a norm. What about the heart? How about judging people for who they are on the inside, and not their looks. I am 5’6 and weigh 150lbs. I have no health problems, and men break their necks to look at me(not bragging, just being honest). I have to starve myself to be under 145. STARVE MYSELF! Because, God made me to have a little bit of fat on my body. Its natural. The idea of skinny is a Western idea, and it’s a new idea. And if you are not skinny naturaly, it’s a bad idea.

  28. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    @Jessica, what are you even talking about? You’re not overweight! Your BMI at 5’6″ and 150 lbs is 24.2 which is well within the healthy range. I’m pretty sure everyone agrees that shaming and humiliating a child is poor tactic to encourage healthy habits, so I really just don’t understand any portion of your post.

  29. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “make sure that everything that the kid eats is nutritious, get her to exercise so she doesn’t gain that much more, and as she gets taller and goes through puberty it’ll even out.” Yes, this, even though this is the answer most people with overweight children don’t want to hear because it means they also have to change their own habits. People need to find a happy medium between pretending there isn’t a problem while their kid gets heavier and heavier and being an abusive ass. I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand. You know, I have one kid who has to work really hard in order to maintain a healthy BMI and we’ve been talking about it since she was a preteen. The fact is that some people need to work harder in order to maintain a healthy weight (myself included) and there’s really no benefit to ignoring that fact until a child becomes substantially overweight.If you’re a generally stable peron with a good relationship with your kids, the issue can be addressed without throwing shit around in Starbucks.

  30. Ellen says:

    That barista is an idiot. The calories depend on the type of milk being used. Use skim milk the calories will be lower use whole milk higher calories. Duh

  31. em says:

    I do not intend to use this comment to address the original article, I think the above essay does that quite elegantly. I’d like to offer my own perspective on weight loss and weight struggle for both parents and children, but especially for young women.

    I think we’ve all globbed on to this Vogue article for a reason, and it’s because we have all needed a space to get mad about this for awhile now. Mad at society for fostering norms in which fat is equated to ugliness. Mad at corporations for selling us food-like products that turn us into balls of lard. Mad at pop culture for trapping us in sedentary lifestyles with television, mad at civil engineers for building cities that are only accessible by car, mad at the American dream for trapping us in office jobs, with our butts in seats all day. We’re mad and we’re not taking it anymore!

    I’m not mad anymore, myself; I’m a survivor. I was obese by the age of 5, but twenty years later am a healthy adult. Will take this opportunity to share. As our perspectives are shaped by our experiences, I’ll share my stats first, as far back as I can recall accurately:

    Height: 5’9″
    Age 10: 160
    Age 12: 170
    Age 16: 210
    Age 19: 260
    Age 21: 220
    Age 23-4: 180-90
    Age 25: 150-5*

    At the age of 19 I was a size 20-22 eating twice the calories I needed every day and not exercising at all. I was drinking a lot (because let’s be honest with ourselves, who ISN’T drinking a lot at 20) and my body was made of chicken fingers, french fries, veggie paninis, sugary cereal, cherry coke, and nachos. Ladies, if you think you’re a “healthy” size 20, with all due respect, unless you’re over 7′ tall, you’re DELUSIONAL.

    Cut the crap. It ain’t worth it. You got some good livin’ to do.

    At the age of 20 a nurse practitioner looked me in the eye and said, quite frankly, “stop eating.” And it terrified the sh*t out of me. I knew I couldn’t stop eating, of course, it’s not like smoking or drinking or driving too fast – you gotta eat to live. But you have to learn how to stop eating. You have to learn how to stop eating processed sugary high-fat foods and drinks all the time. You have to learn how to stop eating when you are full. You have to learn how to stop eating something that isn’t nutritious and to start eating foods that are nutritious. You have to learn how to stop eating when you are bored. You have to learn how to stop eating when you are sad. And you have to *practice.*

    It is very simple to do once you have decided to do it, you just have to make that choice for yourself and dedicate yourself to your choice which is very very difficult to do, in all honesty. You are choosing a happy healthy long life over an unhappy life and early death. This is the truth and it will set you free, but this is not easy for anyone to see, especially a child. What child wants to equate the behaviors that make them “feel better” (ice cream is awesome, especially lots of it!) with dying, and what parent is capable of communicating to them why they shouldn’t eat this or that, without getting too intense about it? I know I didn’t, and my parent’s weren’t. But you know what? It’s OK. Moms out there, don’t worry if they dont get it by the time they leave the nest. The key is to not worry at all! One day, someone will care and give your child/ young adult advice that will help them learn how to live, for real. Maybe that will be you. Maybe that will be me, if you show this post to them. Or maybe they will discover it for themselves, that they do not want to feel like crap anymore, physically and emotionally. But they can’t do it until they decide it is for the best. I knew at the age of 19 that I wasn’t made to be like that forever. I knew that I’d be healthy one day, and I made it happen. That NP just gave me the push I needed to get on with things. This is not about ideology or vanity: this is about the drive to live a happy healthy long life.

    In case anyone is wondering how I did it, the answer is this: I decided I wanted to move, then I started moving. It took 5 years to lose over 100 pounds. I probably lost a lot more within that period, what with the up and down and up and down (it’s just a fact of things, and it’s FINE.) I started walking, then hiking, then yoga, which turned into yoga, biking, running, elliptical, and (lots of great) sex. Also, green vegetables, whole grains and dried fruit when hunger cravings hit, lots of greek yogurt, lean protein, etc. If you like pizza, EAT PIZZA, just have one slice and a salad or a side of broccoli (this isn’t rocket science.) If you like a bagel, have a bagel with the works, just do it once every couple weeks. If you like beer or cocktails, have them, but remember what your body tells you the next day when you’ve had too many, and then don’t have so many. Not much if any red meat for me, but that’s just a personal proclivity. And KEEP MOVING. Believe me, if I – I, who at 16, would come home from school, eat three or four hot dog buns with butter followed by milk, crackers, cheese, then back to hot dog buns, then sit on the couch until dinner, which I ate too – if *I* can retrain my taste buds and body to like green things and exercise, you can too.

    Think about it – when you’re eating, are you only looking to satisfy your tongue?

    All logistics aside, the most important bit of advice I can offer for anyone struggling with weight loss is to forgive and love yourself. Forgive everything you have ever done to get your body where it is, all the indiscretions, and start looking at yourself like you deserve to be loved and appreciated. Picture the self you want to be, and become it, I am living breathing evidence it is possible. There is a very powerful Zen saying: “the treasure house within you contains everything, and you are free to use it – you do not need to seek outside.” You have the power to love and respect and forgive yourself right now, and it’s amazing. And that won’t go away when you reach your “goal weight” or whatever, it’s something to practice for the rest of your life. You DO deserve love every moment of every day, and don’t wait for someone else to do it for you – do it on your own, right now.

    *I ain’t never gonna be no size 2

  32. SJB says:

    Everyone wants to criticize this woman but how many of you grew up fat? For those of you who didn’t, let me tell you– IT SUCKS! I only wish that my mother had have been more proactive in shaping positive eating habits earlier on. And sometimes that takes an extra effort when you’re dealing with a child that is naturally plump. I was constantly ridiculed by family, friends and school bullies for my size. And I wasn’t morbidly obese, just fat. Do you really want your 10-year-old suffering from stretch marks and cellulite? Yep, that was me. And because I am naturally plump, I will always struggle with my weight. At least this little girl has a chance to not only battle the bulge but to conquer it. Wish I got skinny before middle or high school. Can you remember middle and high school? Who wants to ask out the fat chick? Trust me, her life will be way better thin, even if that means having a complicated relationship with food (she’ll probably have that either way).

    Any no one knows how that interview was edited. The little girl could have had said much more about how much better her life is thin, even if she’s still herself.

  33. Kristina F. says:

    A size 20 in NOT normal!…and “diet” is to harsh of a word when talking about young girls. Overweight girls need a life change, not to count calories.

  34. Helen says:

    You don’t put kids on diets full stop! You change what they eat and get them to move more.
    I have struggled with my weight most of my life, since I was about 10, I’m 37 now. Sometimes I’ve done really well and sometimes my love of food and lack of love for exercise have betrayed me.
    That poor kid, she didn’t get to be overweight by herself. Someone is buying the junk she eats (isn’t one of the famous weight loss quotes “Don’t drink your calories”? Taking a kid with a weight problem for hot chocolate… no wonder she has problems!) and letting her not run about enough. I have every sympathy for her, as I love a sedentary lifestyle too : S
    It sounds like the mother is more concerned with appearance and getting her name in print, than helping her daughter improve her self-esteem. Obviously if she’s overweight, then she needs to help her, but does the WHOLE world really need to hear about it?
    I think America is obsessed with weight in a bad way. Yes there are people who need to sort their weight out (like me) but the judgmental lunacy about it, well there’s no excuse for that.
    If it’s not yours, or your child’s body, back off! I’m from the UK and not only is obesity not as insane as here, neither is the cruelty towards less than stick insect like people. Neither is bullying as bad all together come to think of it! I dread my kids going to high school!
    “Perfect” appearance should not be the ultimate goal.

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