Friday, August 1, 2008

Educating myself and others

I find it kind of funny lately that a lot of us had zero or no concern about exercising or dieting until a certain point. Then it's super focused until we maintain, quit, or for the rest of our lives. The rest of our lives. I get exhausted just thinking about it, but really. If I'm going to lose weight and stick with it then I can't be on a "diet", because I have to stick with it until the end. But that is a digression. I just wish it wasn't a wake up moment...that people could be more aware or not get there in the first place.

I teach developmental psychology. In the course we talk about physical, cognitive, social and personality issues with each age range. Something I teach is that healthy eating habbits are obviously good, but also the consequenes of not so healthy eating habbits and what happens physically, emotionally, society wise, etc. Yet, as a larger person I can't help but feel a little like a hyppocrite. It's like someone that can't manage their credit giving financial advice (it's why I got out of accounting and finance...I'm terrible in my own life). But, at the same time, we have a saying in psychology that it's ok to have issues and help people out. A doctor is not immune from the flu or colds, so why should we be immune from problems? As an aside, I know a lot of doctors and nurses that either smoke, are overweight, or both. Why is it not ok for us?

Who else would know how important it is to get good eating habbits younger than someone that didn't get them and is struggling to be healthy? I also had a rare opportunity to focus on the stuff we never talk about in classes like compulsive eating (without purging), or how perceptions can change if you'd give people a chance. I showed a variety of people I hadn't focused on a 170pound woman (55") who could run 4 miles, an over weight guy under the pretenses that he was "just" overweight versus a binge eater vs just lost 100 pounds. I also asked about other "perception" stuff like is this person athletic, smart, etc. Did you know that young kids even associate being overweight with less smart (5 & 6 year olds). That I know 5 year old girls that don't want to be fat like their parents or grandparents and say they need to go on diets? Our society makes me sad sometimes.

However, it was nice, even for a brief moment, to open some people's eyes to issues that usually don't get talked about much. I think I may have introduced things that they otherwise would not have. Let's hope it helped... and shows up on my evaluations :) Evaluations are a whole different topic/post.