Monday, October 28, 2013

Call to Arms: Childhood Obesity Amongst Geeks

I'm putting out a call to arms. This country has a real obesity problem and it starts with our kids. I feel like our wee nerdlettes have it even worse because society expects them to grow up in their mom's basement, stuffing themselves with Doritos and pizza and not contributing to society beyond fighting over the conclusion of Battlestar Galactica on web forums. 

I'm not a nutritionist and I'm not a physician, but I am one of those former-fat-kid-dreamers who is fighting her way to a healthier adulthood without rejecting her fandom or blaming it. I don't think loving comics, scifi, and fantasy is an obesity death sentence like some people do. Geeks are naturally obsessive so if they can obsess about what inspires them, they tend to be more unstoppable than ANY other section of society. At least, that's my opinion and I am terribly biased! I've said this many times on this blog but I had one major mental shift that helped me want change, rather than being told I needed to make it. 

I don't want to watch heroes. I want to be the hero in the epic tale of my life. 

Kids these days are so detached from what they do and what they eat. Some don't even know what fresh food is or where it comes from. 

Heroes are people they admire in TV shows or movies or they play them as avatars in video games. Sure, they want to be like Thor, train Pokemon like Ash, or adorably parkour around obstacles like Rapunzel from Tangled, but what if that went beyond simply playing dress-up or appeasing their interest with more content featuring those characters. What if we could get them in touch with what those characters actually do and stand for so that they can put those things into action in their own lives. 

What if we could show them what Chris Hemsworth does to train for Thor and helped them learn how to do a popper sit-up or push-up? What if we took them to a beginner parkour class so they could pull Assassin's Creed stunts? What if we encourage them to build an adventurer's heart like The Doctor! What if we got them into water bending by doing tai chi in the mornings? What if we taught them to cook food that looks like it came out of a Ghibli film so that they could grow up with the power to feed their health rather than their impulses? 

It's gotta be possible. We should be leading the way for the next generation. I don't have kids but I've spent some time as a mentor and as a camp counselor and I'm pretty passionate about being a good influence on our youth. I want to start taking Project Reroll into that realm. If have any readers with kids, younger siblings, or even people they babysit up to 17 years old, I'd like to issue my first "Mini Slayer" challenge.

The Mini Slayer Halloween Challenge

This week is Halloween, incidentally one of my favorite holidays because we get to ask ourselves what and who we want to be! It's incredibly empowering! 

  • The first step is to take a picture of the kid participating in the challenge in their Halloween costume and have them write a sentence about why they chose be that thing/person. 
  • Then, for just one week following Halloween (Friday to Friday), you and the young slayer participating will agree to do three active adventures based on the theme of their costume. This could be going for nature walks if they were Poison Ivy or finding your center with some Yoga Jedi training. Get creative! Make it something they're excited about!
  • The second part of the challenge deals with diet. Aside from one piece of candy a day, you will agree to make every meal using fresh, non processed food and that you will eat at least one serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit each day. You do not have to eat Paleo, but ideally this whole plan will force you to spend a little time talking about food and cooking together each day.
  • At the end, I'd love to hear about some of the meals you made and see pictures from the activities you did so I can share them here, on our Facebook page and on Twitter. There's no scale or measurements involved here. It's just about using fantasy to inspire and integrate active and healthier experiences into a kid's life for one week. 

Please send all photos and descriptions of your experiences to and leave a comment here if you're planning to participate so I can be on the look out for submissions! Best of luck Slayers! I choose you!

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