As I have previously discussed on this blog, I am a TVaholic. I love me some down time after a long day of work and kid duties, where I veg in front of the boob tube watching some show I have previously DVR’d. And as I have also noted, sometimes my 6 year old son watches some of those shows with me. It is our together time. Should I be playing a board game or something with him to enrich his young mind? Probably. I do that on occasion. But mama is tired in the evenings, and if I can spend some time with my oldest while also killing off one of the megajillion shows I have queued in ye olde DVR, that is a score in my book. I usually limit the show we watch to some sort of reality competition type show that has some entertainment value, but without vulgarity or cussing. You probably won’t be surprised to hear this, but those types of shows are extremely hard to find. So yeah, Jersey Shore and Real Housewives are out. Thus far the approved shows that I also want to watch and are ok for him as well are Dancing with the Stars and the X Factor (that second one more for him than me, really).
However, during the last season of The Biggest Loser, at the end part where they are all skinny and in shape, he caught some of the episodes and was hooked. Figuring “how bad can this be, really?” I had no problem with him watching some of those shows with me while I was watching them. But now a new season is upon us. It is the beginning of the season where everyone is extremely large and flabby. We watched the first hour of the first show of this season together. And I think that might have been a huge mistake.
Now, if you have never seen this show, the first episode is basically weight loss boot camp. The trainers get these tubs o’ lard into the gym, which most have probably never seen the interior of before, and break their spirits with lots of yelling and forced extreme physical exertion. People pass out. There is lots of puking. Falling off of treadmills. Basically, it is like some sort of warzone in that place.
I apparently had forgotten how screamy and violent that first show can be. So, I am watching this with my young son, and realizing that this might not be the most appropriate show for him to be watching. Did I mention there is an old dude on it this year that looks like Santa? He is there with
Mrs. Claus his wife, and they are the red team. Yeah, one week after Xmas. So, this dude passes out on the floor during his workout and has to be tended to by medical professionals, while Mrs. Claus his wife looks on worriedly. Damn. This show done killed Santa and I sat here allowing my son to watch this hot mess. Parent of the year right here!
Ho Ho Oh my back!!
My original thought on this was that the show actually teaches good values. The value of being physically fit versus being a big fat lazy schlub. The value of working out and training to improve yourself. The value of teamwork and striving for goals. Seems valid, right? Well, apparently that is when you get past the first couple of Imma-kill-you-with-fitness episodes.
The other issue is that I think he might be too young to really understand or even have to deal with the concept of “overweight” and “dieting.” You see, his father and I are both overweight. There is no getting around it. We have been ever since he has known us. We have pretty much been on some sort of diet our entire lives as well. For as long as I have had children, we have never really had a family meal. Maybe a couple on rare occasions. But, because the hubs and I are usually on some restrictive diet, and usually different ones at that, I make dinner for the kids only, then the hubs and I each make our own dinner after they are in bed. My son has never known it any other way, so it is not strange to him. He is used to mommy and daddy eating separately and different foods from him.
But recently, say in the last 6 months or so, I have gotten very lax on my diet. I have gained a good amount of weight. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would still be considered “skinny” compared to the Biggest Loser contestants (at the beginning, anyway), but I am by no means within an ideal weight. So, I have resolved to get back into it, back on the wagon, so to speak, and stop munching on the noodles and chicken nuggets and pizza and mac & cheese, etc. that I make for the kiddies, and instead stick to my own boring but more nutritious foods. Salads, lean proteins, more salads, NO NOODLES!! (Damn, I love me some pasta. Sigh).
Anyway, so I mentioned something about this last week, about how I was going to start trying to eat healthier and was going to stop eating all the crap I had been eating. My son heard me and asked what this meant. Offhandedly, I said that it meant mommy was gonna have to stop eating pizza and chicken nuggets, etc. that I make for their dinners. He looked confused. It wasn’t until later that I realized I inadvertently told him that the dinners I make for him every night are “unhealthy.” Sigh. Parenting fail.
Then, fast forward a couple days later and my son is watching a show where very huge people are killing themselves trying to get “healthy.” I’m really not trying to scar my son, I swear. It’s just natural talent is what it is.
The thing is, my kids are not overweight. While I do make a lot of pizza and chicken nuggets and TONS of noodles (what can I say? They take after their momma in their love of pasta), I also make chicken and fish and turkey burgers and roasted turkey, etc. And LOTS of fruits and veggies. I also completely limit their intake of sugar and salt and candy and junk food. My kids do not drink soda. The only time they have juice is for breakfast. They have never once had a Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets (that I know of. I would kill the hubs!). We don’t eat fast food, unless you count Chik-Fil-A, which I don’t because it’s real chicken, unlike whatever processed abomination comprises the McNugget. Basically, my kids are healthy-ish. (And I am in no way making a commentary on anyone else’s parenting skills if you do in fact feed your kids Mickey D’s. I am just trying to make the point that I at least try to limit processed, unhealthy foods for my kids. Mostly).
But, I fear, there will be a time where their heritage and genes will kick in, and they too will be unable to escape the overweight monster. I am doing my best as a parent to instill in them good eating habits, even if it is do as I say and serve you for dinner, and not as I do when I stuff my face, nom nom nom. But, I don’t want them to have to fear this yet, or even worry about health or weight or any of that at this young age. And by watching this show, which deals solely and specifically with all of that, coupled with the badly timed mention of the diet of yours truly, I feel like I might be starting my son down the path of no return.
So, I guess my question is this: By allowing him to watch this show with me (which I will continue watching but can watch after he goes to bed), am I just spending some quality time with my son or am I scarring him for life? Weigh in!
By the way . . . Misty’s Laws now has it’s very own Facebook page!! Very exciting, right? Anyway, since I suffer from debilitatingly low self esteem, you would really make my day if you “liked” me. Please???? Only if you really wanna, though. No pressure or anything.