Fit Friday: Weighty judgement

Today I’m deviating from posting a proactive workout idea or about my week’s fitness attempts, and asking about the other side of fitness. The reactive side that deals with handling, balancing and/or eliminating that the things that take can make it harder to be fit. The bad habits and pitfalls that we all have to moderate or eliminate to meet self-improvement goals.

Obviously, every.single.person has their own issues. I don’t care if your 10 or 90, you struggle with your weight (gaining or losing), your self-image, your activity level, your weakness for cupcakes, etc. But I know that children’s obesity is a particularly hot topic.

It’s one thing when you’re 30 at a desk job and trying to get your high school sports shape back.  It’s another when you’re in high school and already have a lifetime experience with being overweight. There have been many new programs that focus on getting kids eating healthy and moving and fit. But the latest one from Disney is apparently causing some serious heartburn.

 This article from an organization named A Weigh Out caught my attention this week thanks to my Google Alerts at work. Apparently, Disney rolled out a new experience called Habit Heroes. They have characters and a theme park attraction that focuses on eliminating less healthy things and replacing them with better-for-you alternatives. Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, the characters aren’t all positive role models. Several are cartooned bad habits…with names like Sweet Tooth (not so bad, I get it–you shouldn’t eat nothing but sweets) and Lead Bottom (oh no, big butted character that is slow and evil–sketchy, Disney, very sketchy).


I think the problem comes in when Sweet Tooth and Lead Bottom need to be “beaten” while the park provides ice cream bars and over-processed hot dogs at every turn. You don’t see mixed veggie stands like a Hidden Valley commercial so maybe taking it quite so far is hard for people to take. Especially if their kids are feeling the consequences–who wants to be called Lead Bottom in class? Anyone?

However, on the other hand, Disney is hardly who we should exclusively look to for how we should look. Lord help you if you are skinny and awkward–you’re going to look just like a cartoon villain. And unless you have perfect hair, skin, huge eyes and the firm belief that a Prince Charming will make your life whole, you could never be a Disney princess. So maybe these “Habit Heroes” aren’t as bad as people’s first reactions imply.

I have never been a “skinny” kid. I preferred to be indoors reading than out on bike and I got hips in elementary school. Heck, I was born at almost 10 pounds–curvy girl from the beginning! 🙂

But, I had a mother who focused on keeping me and healthy and in-check. I loved my team sports in junior high and high school and busted my butt waitressing all through college. I strongly believe in moderation and healthy choices each day. And I really cringe when I see anger, shame or judgement associated with behavior modification. But I do recognize the need for a hard lesson / reality check when necessary. I’m not sure this Disney program is what’s necessary, but maybe it was a good try that went bad.

Disney has recently shut it down and will be reopening it at a later date with modifications, according to their statement in theOrlando Sentinel. They program’s website says it’s “Down for maintenance”

Cue the wop-wop machine

So, what do you think? Are you guys familiar with this newest Disney program? Were you an overweight kid? Positive step that needs tweaking or traumatic fail that needs to be shut down completely?


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