Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm fat and I wear Crocs. Deal with it.

You'd think this guy was just kidding, but he's not.

Apparently, Crocs are responsible for people being fat. This is because, according to some guy who makes his money off of "boot camps for brides before weddings", kids "clop along" in Crocs, or shuffle their feet. It makes me wonder if he's ever 1. seen kids walk, or 2. worn a pair of Crocs. I've seen plenty of kids shuffling as they move; hell, I did it, and I remember it being part of an attitude, not because of the shoes I was wearing. If I wanted to run, though, I bloody well ran until the asthma attack happened (before you ask, I was a THIN child and teen--asthma is a disease of the lungs, not the result of adipose tissue). When I was in high school, I was capable of dashing up or down two flights of stairs in high heels.

Now that I'm older, and I've been stricken with this stupid disease, I can't wear the heels anymore. I'm not doing a lot of running. But, I do wear Crocs. I've worn them on hikes, and I've run short distances in them without trouble. In fact, they're much easier for me to wear for those activities than other shoes, because they are light, ergonomic, and fit me very well. Wearing Crocs has pretty much eliminated all plantar fasciitis pain, enabling me to be more active than I otherwise could be. "Athletic" shoes have caused me nothing but foot pain throughout the years; I've spent a great deal of time and money trying out different brands, and while a couple brands were less painful than the rest, none have given me the freedom from pain that Crocs have.

Perhaps the big name athletic shoe companies are feeling a bite in their profits due to the success of Crocs. How about, instead of planting little fitness fascists (like the weenies in this article) to insinuate that shoes are making kids fat, they develop competitive, comfortable products that serve the needs of the customers they are losing? How about recognizing that people want to spend money on shoes that don't hurt their feet, don't fall apart within three months, and are simple to clean and care for? Sorry, large shoe companies, but I've thrown too much money away on your products, only to have them give me blisters, not provide enough shock absorption to prevent knee and ankle pain, and to be unsalvageable if I stepped in something disgusting. Learn from your losses instead of badmouthing your competitors.

Here's quote from Junkfood Science:
Crocs are certified by the U.S. Ergonomics Council and the American Podiatric Medical Association and they’re designed to help with certain foot and circulation problems. Will anti-obesity initiatives be coming after nurses, elderly, cashiers, gardeners, diabetics, and those with foot problems next?

Also, the article included a quote from some doctor:
"I have seen 9-year-olds with type 2 diabetes," Hassink said. "Obesity is an indicator. It tells us about our environment, about our culture. It is the canary in the mine."

What she's not mentioning is that this is most likely due to the fact that prepubescent kids have a natural and temporary insulin resistance that is associated with hormonal changes and growth. This is normal and natural, allowing them to have the energy stores needed for growth and puberty. Remember, puberty? When girls get curvy? Remember when it was okay for women to look like women instead of prepubescent boys? Anyway, this (again, temporary) period of insulin resistance in growing children (remember, too, they're supposed to do that--get bigger as they get older) can lead to overzealous practitioners to label the kid with type 2 diabetes. This would be due to the fact that, in the past, no one really bothered checking for it, so kids sailed through that period of development without anyone knowing a thing.

Now, of course, they put on some fat layers as part of puberty, and everyone PANICS! because OMG ADIPOSE TISSUE OMG OMG! So we had to start testing them to prove that it's a bad thing--and of course, a healthy 9 year old kid is just the right age to start testing as insulin-resistant. Instead of waiting it out to see if it's normal puberty changes, we now have to medicate the hell out of the kid, put them on a treadmill, and enforce a 200 calorie per day diet so they don't become socially unacceptable. Because it's healthy, you know.

I'm so old that I remember when kids were allowed to do kid things, without having a mortal fear of food being programmed into them. We got to play, and physical activity was allowed to be fun. Our day wasn't scheduled from dawn to dusk, leaving plenty of room for creative activity. Reading a book was regarded as an acceptable activity instead of a fattening one. We played outside in the worst possible shoes (thongs, aka flip flops!), or even in BARE FEET. Mom gave us cookies, and we thought of them as a wholesome snack because they were fresh and mom-made. Those cookies gave us the energy to build our bodies, our brains, and our spirits, refreshing exhausted little bodies that had been busy and running around for hours; refreshing needy little hearts with mom-love; refreshing tired little brains with a boost of much-needed calories.

What happened to all that? What happened to childhood being fun? Can't we back things up about twenty years and stop this foolishness? I am SO glad I'm not having children in the paranoid climate we have today.

P.S. I highly recommend Sandy's take on this, as well as Big Fat Blog's.


Andee said...

You know -- you just know -- that one day not too far off, they'll find it in them to ban DESKS in schools. And CHAIRS. And make the kids walk on treadmills nonstop during every class. Wearing Air Jordans, of course, because everyone who doesn't wear Air Jordans all day every day is too fat to fit through the door of a school bus and will be ginormous forevermore. If your parents can't afford Air Jordans, you're expelled. Oh, and they'll get rid of the school buses too, and make the kids walk 5 miles to school and 5 miles home after their oil-free lentil-and-brown-rice lunches.

Does anyone else smell MAJOR GENERATIONAL REBELLION coming in the decades ahead? I do.

Andee (Meowser)

Aurora96 said...

My kid (age 6) has two pairs of crocs. She also has two pairs of sneakers, two pairs of mary janes, a pair of dress sandals, two pairs of flip-flops, a pair of rain boots and a pair of patent leather dress shoes. I've seen her run in all of the above with varying degrees of success. ("But Mommy, I LOVE to run!!" she'll tell me after taking a particularly spectacular tumble because her feet/shoes didn't cooperate.)

She will be the size she will be. She's got a fat mommy and an averaged size daddy. I worry more that all of the OMG FAT BAD!!! crap she's picking up in school is going to push her into the yo-yo dieting cycle that has plagued my life. I refused to let them put her into a "study" to track her blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure. (She's got a doctor, thanks. I don't need her elementary school tracking her cholesterol!!!!)

Another thing that chafes my backside is that I constantly get gentle "reminders" from the school about appropriate snacks. Idiots. I pack healthy and varied lunches and snacks for my daughter that include small pieces of chocolate from time to time. She gets a chocolate kiss or two at lunch and it's not the "forbidden fruit". She gets her sweet and she's happy. Haven't these people ever heard of the concept of balance?

Harpy said...

Andee/Meowser, I'm pretty sure I've already read somewhere that there are classrooms designed to get kids to move around a lot - few chairs, lecterns instead of desks, that kind of thing. Bah.

I tried on some pairs of Crocs once and there is no way in hell I would be able to walk a lot in them. My feet have odd proportions that just don't work with those shoes - and also I need shoes to be strapped or laced on well otherwise my toes curl up and cause problems. I love Brooks athletic shoes, the arch support is in exactly the right place for me.

Eschew uncomfortable shoes!

bermudabluez said...

Hi there! I stumbled across your blog while looking for whether I could wear my crocs while walking on a treadmill. I have many of the same problems as you....fibromyalgia and asthma for example. And I LOVE my Crocs....just purchased the Crocs Troika for upcoming fall season! Great Blog! I'll be back to check out more! Take care!