A recent report shows a tripling of the number of bariatric surgeries for obese children. Think of how life altering this is for a child! To be 12 years old and feel as if the only way to get control of your weight is to go through the step of surgically reducing your stomach in order to prevent you from eating!
What so concerns me with this process is that a child that young has barely formed a vision of SELF. Yet, this very young person is being asked to make decisions that are life altering in ways that he or she can have little perspective on nor understand many of the long term ramifications.
I'm writing about this for two reasons. One is that I have an acquaintance who works in the nutrition industry and deals with bariatric surgery clients (adults). In our discussions, she concurs that for many of these people, the food/weight issues are more about the addiction patterns of eating they developed as coping mechanisms for their blocked feelings/thinking flow. That ensured the lack of SELF and kept them on the food/dieting merry go round. She notes that so many of these people go through surgery but do not go through the growth work of changing SELF and end up losing weight, but ultimately become very disappointed because the root issue--SELF--has yet to be addressed.
The second reason I'm concerned for these kids also comes from running the BodyMine!Life Puzzle groups online. This is the 3 month online weight management groups that I run. There, feedback by group members tells me over and over again that food/weight is a symptom of the bigger issue--the ability to know SELF in a peaceful way so that they can be focused on creating a 6-10 life. BodyMine!Life Puzzle is an intensive around building SELF and then designing a nutrition lifestyle to support this.
When I put all this together, I worry for these children--who haven't even had sufficient time on this planet to build a healthy, self-loving SELF before they've been overwhelmed by weight issues and had their attention directed to this symptom at the very time their attention needs to be on building strong edges of SELF.