i can’t believe it’s obesity week…

and I can’t believe that I learned this from my “smart” scale. Yes, my smart Withings scale, (the thing I weigh myself on every morning). first my scale let me know through an app on my iPhone 6, then my scale invited me to participate in a Steps for Change challenge! (Kinda freaky!) More about that later.

I’ve heard of teacher appreciation week, banned books week, but obesity week? Wow! Honestly though, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. Years of attending PE conferences and conventions, and reading professional journals predicted it was on the horizon. Sometimes, Physical Education teachers have the hardest job on the planet. Especially when faced with dire predictions for children. When science is telling you “this generation of children may be the first to NOT LIVE LONGER THAN THEIR PARENTS because of an epidemic of obesity” you get really sad. How did our society let this happen?

As I reflect back over my career, I can see how the subtle changes in schools and society played a role. For one thing, since the ’80’s, daily physical education was getting watered down and phased out in many states to make room for more academic offerings. Around the same time, the technology and video game boom was occupying and keeping children safely indoors! Super-sized foods began making their way from the malls into school cafeterias. Kids were able to get a lot of filling, cheap food, loaded with overly processed grains, salt and sugar. No one listened as the newly unemployed PE teachers left the schools, confused and frustrated. They wondered out loud – “how is this happening?” We couldn’t understand why the physical education of our youth was not valued in our culture anymore? We all knew what a deadly metabolic combination it could be for kids, a poor diet and a lack of daily, habitual exercise. And, here we are today. Thankfully, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction.

Children are our greatest resource.They should be the number one valued asset in our culture. They should be loved, exercised, fed good food, nurtured, educated, and guided along as the most treasured little gifts a human being can have. (Just my opinion.)

Now off my soapbox and on to the challenge…If you ‘d like to get involved and walk to be a role model for a young person, check out the Steps for change challenge. All you have to do is walk 10,000 steps a day. Collectively, the goal is to reach 500 million steps, the number of steps it takes to get to the moon. At 500 million steps Withings will donate $10,000 to ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of the need for an “obesity week”?

In closing I never thought I’d say this, but, I am grateful for my scale! Not only is it helping me manage my weight and my body fat, it’s counting my daily steps through my iPhone 6, and sending me motivational tips and challenges in an app. I’ve said this before and I will say it again…we live in an awesome time!



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