***13 rules you did not learn in school:
Here are some basic rules that children should be learning in school, but unfortunately don’t. Not all of these have to do with academics.
I'm going to add my own thoughts to this and gear it toward weight loss.
Rule #1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day.
It's not fair for a child to get cancer; it's not fair for a soldier to die in the Middle East - and we cry about it not being fair that someone else can eat so much and we can't. It isn't fair for kids to go to bed hungry and we cry that we can't overeat? Those hungry children would be thankful to have what the average American family scrapes into the garbage after a meal. We get a little twinge of hunger and we are undone. These kids have stomachs that are swelled up from starvation.
Rule #2: The real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it’s not fair.
Ah yes, the entitlement mentality. Many kids graduate from high school thinking everything they do is wonderful. We watch what we eat for 3 days and think we should have at least lost 20 lbs. because we were so awesome for 3 whole days. The whining really starts when weight loss slows to 1 or 2 pounds a week.
Rule #3: Sorry, you won’t make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won’t be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn’t have a label.
We aren't going to be two sizes smaller after a week or two of dieting and exercise.
Rule #4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you feel about it.
We have a few bloggers that don't mince words and will call others out for just acting like they might someday if everything falls in line get serious about losing weight. There are a few who are very understanding and will make you feel OK about screwing up but does that help much? There are many who have charmed their way out of tight spots and been able to fool others but with weight loss there is progress or lack thereof to prove how much effort was invested. I remember the discouragement and depression associated with obesity. If we weigh very much it is going to take maybe years to get it off. That is why the lifestyle change is so important. If you will begin with "I don't eat sugar" and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and begin exercising you will begin to lose. The person who is hungry and has made this lifestyle change of "I don't eat sugar" will choose almonds, hard boiled eggs, or some lean meat. It doesn't mean hunger has to be endured. It does mean that when you make the next lifestyle change of cutting out the starches to a great extent you will feel so much better. Hunger is not the panic it was; hunger is not disturbing anymore. When you are truly hungry it is an empty, hollow feeling. Really think about lifestyle change - your life should last for quite some time hopefully. You didn't stop eating sugar until the weight was gone; you stopped eating sugar for the rest of your days. You are going to drink the water for the rest of your life and exercise as well. The weight will come off; it has to. There's no big rush. Relax.
Rule #5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand-parents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it “opportunity”. They weren’t embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.
There are people who overcome. I have noticed that the truly great people in this world came from humble backgrounds and learned how to work for what they got. There is that same work ethic that gets many of us to the gym or out for a run. These people want better and go after it. They are self-reliant and accountable. "If it is to be, it's up to me."
Rule #6: It’s not your parents’ fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of “It’s my life,” and “You’re not the boss of me,” and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it’s on your dime. Don’t whine about it, or you’ll sound like a baby boomer.
A few days ago, I blogged about crutches. It applies here.
Rule #7: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t. In some schools, they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone’s feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Liberals have crippled education when they decided that teachers could not be in control of their classrooms. There were a few instances of discipline overdone and so we throw the baby out with the bathwater. What are teachers to do? Look at the dismal rates of graduation in many schools. The self is not something we find; it is something we create. I don't care if they are expressing themselves - what's to be gained from expressing, "Look everybody I'm an idiot"? We need dress codes and discipline - and you know who complains the loudest? Parents. Be a part of the solution. Get your kids ready for life by holding them accountable and expecting them to be good people - then when they get our age and gain some weight they will be able to take responsibility for it and do something about it without getting all emotional and playing the victim. Too many of us have gotten by with being a slacker. Are you, as the parent, in charge or are the kids?
Rule #8: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don’t get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don’t get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we’re at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization.
We don't get time off from being healthy either. Our basic food plan includes the weekends and holidays and vacations.
Rule #9: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.
Everybody has problems. Some of these sitcoms are so mindless. They are promiscuous and it's funny and everything turns out OK. The message sent about women is pretty negative. Do we want our daughters to live like this? Do we want our sons using others? Everything doesn't always work out in the end especially if we have been doing things (like overeating) that don't lead to where we want to go. We are so used to settling for what's easy rather than waiting for the best.
Rule #10: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.
Some of the nicest people I have ever met are nerds.
Rule #11: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you’re out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That’s what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for “expressing yourself” with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Fat is not sexy either. Whether it's fair or not, it's more acceptable for men to be fat than women. I see married women out in public who are obese, wearing sweats and crocs, no make-up or even styled hair, with kids. I have heard men on call-in talk shows express their disappointment in the way their wives have let themselves go.
Rule #12: You are not immortal. If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.
I don't know how to tie this in to weight so much as the immortal part. Everybody dies and many choose how they are going to die.
Rule #13: Enjoy your youth time while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school is a bother and life is depressing but someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.
Have you noticed how time goes faster the older we get? See #12.
By Charles J. Sykes
Printed in San Diego Union Tribune
September 19, 1996
Printed in San Diego Union Tribune
September 19, 1996