This is by far my favorite song, especially Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version. I only discovered him a year or two ago as I began to use Pandora on my iPhone. I'm sure I'd heard it before, but never found out who the musician was.
This man has surely died too young, never reaching his 40th birthday. He had battled with obesity all his life. I have mixed feelings when I watch this video that includes a slideshow of his life. I love his music, so joyful and sweet. So when I see him, in spite of how large he is, it is easy to love and appreciate his photos. Oh, how I would have loved to meet him in person. I'd be thrilled to get a hug from him. Then I see his childhood photos and my heart just breaks. Beginning life he was as normal as a child could be, but all too soon, he becomes obese. If we saw a parent giving a child alcohol, a cigarette or crack, we would all be horrified. Yet it doesn't seem to phase anyone when parents feed their children into obesity.
My thoughts aren't to put out harsh judgments to parents. There is enough criticism everywhere you turn, that parents hardly can catch a break. Then one day we find our children in therapy as they rake their parents over the coals for all their imperfections and blame them for their own shortcomings. I think more of myself and my own challenges with food. I diet much more successfully when my kids aren't around, when school is in session and then for dinner I eat by myself and let their dad have dinner for the kids. And that's because year by year, I allow them more and more unhealthy food.
Just last night, my husband was out of town, so I took the kids out to a restaurant. Chloe begged for us to try a new place nearby. It advertises homestyle cooking like your mother used to make, which I really think is code for really fattening, loaded with butter, extreme portions, fat food. Why is that associated with home? She had a hamburger, french fries and strawberry shake. Jasper had a hotdog in a bun that was toasted with loads of butter, french fries and a root beer float. Me, I had the fish tacos. Not a terrible choice, but I would have preferred they didn't bread and fry the fish. The strawberry shake was enough for 2-3 servings. I had half. Jasper wouldn't touch the hotdog bun with all that butter on it, so I ate it. He had only a few sips of his float, so I took it home. And ate it. Not a good night.
After getting on the scale this morning, I was feeling a little sorry for myself. But also thinking a lot about why I would let my kids eat that junk. My kids seem to be great regulators. They can eat whatever junk food they have a taste for, but never eat too much. They stop when their full. It's the miraculous genetics they were gifted from my husband's side of the family. I don't think they need to switch to an all raw, vegan diet. Although I love it for myself, I'm not convinced it is necessary (or possible) for the entire population to eat that way. I do know that regardless of the fact that my kids aren't fat, they aren't eating very healthy food and these habits might be harder to shake when their 40 and their metabolisms begin to slow. Or worse, they'll be fighting heart disease, diabetes, cancer, whatever that is associated with poor diets.
For all my struggles in trying to change my diet, I know it will really sink in and become a lifestyle instead of a challenge when I can cross the hurdle of feeding my family better. That is truly my goal.
It is a wonderful life. For that, I wish to enjoy as much of it as possible being healthy and sharing the good health of those around me, especially my family.