On Feb 5, 2010 I wrote an open letter to our First Lady and shared it via this blog post. Essentially, it was a request that she re-examine her messaging in her "Let's Move!" campaign to focus on health rather than weight--an overall "do no harm" approach to wellness.
Today I write an open heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Obama for the change in her languaging evident during the "Let's Move!" Google+ fireside hangout on March 5th. As reported in a March 18th Sacramento Bee Article by the Eating Disorder Coalition, "Mrs. Obama stressed that a lifestyle of overall wellness, not size or weight, dictates health in the long run." The Huffington Post, reporting on the same fireside chat, quoted Mrs. Obama as adding,
I have two young daughters. We never talk about weight. I make it a point. I don't want our children to be weight-obsessed. I want them to be focused on: What do I have to do, in this body --because everybody is different, every person's body is different-- what do I have to do to be the healthiest that I can be. [For a post that outlines the time-line on the First Lady's "shift" in a far more detailed manner, please visit Dr. Deah's Tasty Morsels site.]
There were numerous other concerned organizations and individuals who also responded back in 2010 with letter writing campaigns, blog articles, social networking posts and tweets, etc. Were our concerns heard? Did they help in initiating the "new" verbiage we heard a few weeks ago? We have no idea, but I must celebrate this change in Mrs. Obama's messaging and commend her for being willing to speak in a less potentially harmful way.
The evidence of change, however, comes via actions. If the new words become reflected in the Let's Move! curriculum then my deep gratitude will be multiplied ten-fold. Until then, I remain grateful for baby steps.
To add your thanks:
[Originally posted on the Gürze Books Eating Disorders Blogs]