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THE TALE OF TWO ATHLETES: THE STORY OF JUMPER AND THE THUMPERA True Story on Understanding and Combating Childhood Obesity
By M. Christopher Griffith Jeana R. Griffith
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 M. Christopher Griffith, M.D. and Jeana R. Griffith, Ph.D.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHi, my name is Jasmine. I love to play outside, ride my bike, and run with the wind. However, I wasn't always this way. I used to like to stay inside, play video games, and eat junk food all day long. What changed my life?
Well, when I used to eat all of that junk food and not exercise, I started to gain a lot of weight. First, I noticed that my clothes were getting too tight. Then I began to feel sad and embarrassed when others started noticing too! My mom had to sew the buttons back on my pants because they kept popping off. Some of the kids at school picked on me and called me names like "Factory Fat Girl" or" Little Miss Piggy". At one point, the teasing became so bad that it made me feel really nervous inside, and I didn't want to go to school anymore. When I did little things like going up the steps or doing simple chores around the house, I noticed I was out of breath.
Finally, I had enough of feeling tired, feeling bad about myself, and being teased by my classmates. When I went in for a checkup, I told Dr. G. what was going on and how I felt. He explained, "You have to watch your weight and get more exercise."
Next, Dr. G. put me on a special scale that measured the amount of fat in my body. He told me that the amount of fat in my body was way too high. If I kept gaining weight, I could have all kinds of health problems like diabetes, highbloodpressure,andevenstrokes!Dr.G.thentookoutajaroftan-colored goo and told me that it resembled what fat looks like. "Eww," I said. "I don't want all that gooey stuff in me!" I agreed with Dr. G. and my mom that I would try to lose some weight.
Six weeks later, at my next doctor visit, I stepped on the scale. I was horrified to learn that I had gained more weight instead of losing it! It was hard for me to hold back my tears when I told my doctor that I had really tried to lose weight. I explained that it felt like the food was calling my name. I did everything that I could to resist, but most times I gave in and ate it. Fried chicken, dumplings, collard greens, biscuits dripping with gravy, and chocolate cake. What's a girl to do? An expert in helping people just like me, Dr. G. said that he understood what I was going through. He invited me to be a part of a very special program that he was doing. Dr. G. told me that he had created a program for children who struggle with their weight. I said to him, "I guess I can come." I then thought to myself, What do I have to lose but weight? Why not give it a shot? Still, I hoped that I would not be too embarrassed because I was the heaviest kid there.
The next week, my mother took me to the community center where Dr. G. was giving his program on childhood obesity. I admit that I was a little scared at first. But once I looked around the room, I could see that it was filled with overweight kids, like me, and their parents. I sat next to a boy wearing a yellow sweater, who was much larger than me. He didn't seem nervous at all and gave me a great big smile that spread from ear to ear. His smile was warm and filled with such joy that it made me feel relaxed. I shyly smiled back. All of my embarrassment vanished! I no longer felt alone and realized that other children struggled with the same problem.
Excerpted from THE TALE OF TWO ATHLETES: THE STORY OF JUMPER AND THE THUMPER by M. Christopher Griffith Jeana R. Griffith Copyright © 2012 by M. Christopher Griffith, M.D. and Jeana R. Griffith, Ph.D.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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