"The most damaging effects of obesity for children are the ones you can't see." Dr. Art Mollen
I was overweight, or what some liked to call "husky", as a child. Heck I was on the heavier side through my teens and into my early 30's. I struggled through the years with the social pressure to be thin and the shame that only an overweight kid knows.
It was the 70's and both my parents worked. Even though my mom cooked us dinner every night the focus was on quick and easy. There was no thought about the effects of high processed, fatty or pre-packaged foods. It was a different era...a different way of thinking.
Our Saturday afternoon ritual included a stop at McDonald's and portion sizes were of no concern. I was a growing kid...I needed to eat. There wasn't much exercise in my day other than playing in the street and that just wasn't enough.
It took me years to figure out that it's all a matter of self control and making educated choices; years to realize I didn't have to finish everything on my plate, that I could have this again so no need to finish it all now and years to realize that exercise does make a difference.
Today I am running the Phoenix 10K, that benefits the Mollen Foundation, in hopes that the children of our future learn these things both easier and at an earlier age than I did. The goal of the Mollen Foundation is to promote a healthy lifestyle in children that includes fitness, nutrition and self esteem through exercise programs and nutritional education.
This is something I believe in; something I wish was available when I was a child and something I want to support by running this race.