Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Couples Win the Weight-Loss Race

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Family vacation at last! Dave, Cathy, and their two preteen daugh- ters, Chrissy and Lauren, packed up the car; they were looking for- ward to an action-packed week of roller coasters, water parks, and seven full days of family fun in the sun. They planned to visit several theme parks and wrap up the vacation by spending a few days visit- ing old friends. Everyone was excited.
Cathy had spent days shopping and getting ready for the trip. Since they would be in the car quite a bit, she packed a goodies basket with chips, cookies, candy bars, juice boxes, and sodas to have while they were on the road.
Their first stop was a water park. Chrissy and Lauren could hardly wait to put on their bathing suits and try out the giant slide. While the girls swam, Dave and Cathy sat in the shade enjoying concession- stand cuisine—foot-long hot dogs, cheese fries, and giant-size soft drinks. The girls eventually spotted their parents eating and ran over to ask for food too. Chrissy wanted pizza and Lauren wanted fried
chicken fingers.
After eating their fast food feast, the girls headed back to the pool. Dave watched the girls walk away and noticed that they both had rolls of fat that extended beyond the sides of their two-piece bathing suits. He mentioned to Cathy that he thought the girls looked heavier than was healthy. Cathy agreed. She said shed had a hard time buying clothes for them this year. In fact, shed had to purchase shorts and dresses
in sizes that were too long for the girls and needed to be hemmed. But that was the only option because the clothes that fit lengthwise were too tight around the waist and hips. Dave and Cathy wondered whether they were doing something wrong in the way they were raising their girls and, if so, whether there was something they could do to reverse the situation. Looking back, they realized that their childhoods had been different from those of their daughters. As kids, Dave and Cathy had always been thin, but during her first year of college, Cathy had picked up the infamous freshman 15 pounds. To Cathys credit, she lost some of the extra college weight after graduation. Then she and Dave got married and they both put on sev- eral extra pounds. They continued to gain weight after the girls were born and they settled into a middle-aged family lifestyle. With the demands of work, the kids schedules, and the busyness of their everyday lives, returning to a healthy weight wasnt a priority for either Dave or Cathy.
After polishing off her last cheese fry, Cathy turned to Dave. She said, “Dave, I have to tell you that I am concerned about all of us! The girls are so much heavier than I was at their age. If I wasnt over- weight at their age and I am now, what does that spell for their future? I dont want them to go from being overweight teens to being obese women. And I’m concerned about you, too. Ive heard you say that you want to lose weight. Why dont we do it together?
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