Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

I’m Saying Boo Hoo to Honey Boo Boo!

posted by Linda Mintle

It topped or tied the television ratings for both the republican and democratic conventions and also showed competitive numbers against the opening of the NFL season. The “it” is a new reality TV series that debuted during convention week.

If you haven’t met Honey Boo Boo (nicknamed by her family), you will. She is TLC’s newest reality star, seven-year-old  Alana Thompson. Before her new TV series, she was seen on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras show. Known on the child pageant circuit for her revved up behavior after drinking mom’s concoction of  “go-go” juice (a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew) at competitions, Honey Boo Boo took the reality TV world by storm in her debut show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo a few weeks ago.

The best way to describe this child and her family is to rehearse every, “You know you are a redneck when…” joke. Yes, the family fits the stereotype, but I am not laughing.

When Momma June yells to Honey Boo Boo during her pageant competitions, “Show them your belly,” people may laugh and even be cheering for what seems to be body acceptance, but childhood obesity is a serious health problem facing our nation today. As I reported in my book, Raising Healthy Kids, one in three children and teens is overweight or obese. The fall out for child obesity includes high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, elevated cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, sleep problems, increased risk for asthma, and early maturation. Walk around my children’s hospital with me and you won’t be laughing at these kids struggling with their weight. When a three-year- old is prehypertensive, it is not funny or entertaining!

And then there is the infamous “go-go juice” Momma June pumps into her daughter during pageant competitions that makes Honey Boo Boo go a little crazy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (Pediatrics, June, 2011) put out a position paper on energy drinks.  Their position: Children should NEVER drink high octane energy drinks. Now add the caffeinated and sugary Mountain Dew and you’ve got problems. Drinks like the “go-go” juice are loaded with caffeine and stimulants such as taurine and guarana. Side effects can include an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia. And remember, caffeine is an addictive substance that can lead to withdrawal even in children. Then, of course, there is the added calories  of these drinks which are loaded with sugar, which can result in weight gain and dental erosion.

So instead of Boo Boo, I’m saying Boo Hoo.

While this family can be hilarious in their verbage and rural south behavior, their health concerns outweigh the “entertainment” value for me. And I can’t get past the feeling that this child is being exploited–first in the weird world of child beauty pageants and now on reality TV. The family is making money and supposedly laughing at themselves, but what will happen to this child a few years from now?

Momma June weighed herself on national TV and came in at a whopping 309 pounds. And while I give her credit for being so up front about her weight and accepting, she is also at risk for heart attack, stroke and cancer. If she doesn’t take  her health serious and lose some weight, she may not be around to see Honey Boo Boo grow up. And that would be tragic reality.

 

What is your reaction to this new reality series? 

 

Facing Difficult Circumstances? Try Total Praise

posted by Linda Mintle

So many of us are facing difficult circumstances, a diagnosis of cancer, a divorce, a troubled teen or prodigal child, a significant loss….the list could go on.

And today marks another anniversary of 911. I remember it like yesterday.

Sometimes, words just don’t cut it. They seem too cliche. Sometimes, we just need to immerse ourselves in total praise. So today, let’s join the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in total praise and allow God to lift us above our circumstances.

A few years ago, my husband, Norm, helped produce this video at the Angola State Prison in Louisiana with members from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It was so hot, you could melt. Imagine filming outside in August in the heat of summer in Louisiana! It didn’t matter, the presence of the Lord was so strong on that prison ground. The power of the praise lifted even the most discouraged. The men in orange were crying, raising their hands and moved by the Spirit. This is what God does when we praise him. It lifts us above our circumstances and reminds us He’s there.

For the next seven minutes, join the choir in total praise. Let His presence wash over your circumstances. If God can change the hearts of men sentenced for life or scheduled for the death penalty, if He can put hope back in New Yorkers after 911, He can lift you above whatever you face. Give Him the praise. Let’s praise Him!

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Discover One Benefit to Aging

posted by Linda Mintle

As we age, our bodies ache a little more. We forget things and lose energy. But not everything about aging is negative. In fact, stress and worry actually decrease with age!

Older people, it turns out, have a higher ratio of positive to negative feelings. Part of this is due to the fact that older people have developed coping skills and can look back on accomplishments and goals. Anger lessens and we feel more joy.

But not everyone is aging in a healthy way when it comes to worry. There is a small percentage of people who still struggle with worry. However, you can train yourself  to put aside negative emotions and focus more on the positive.

For those not feeling so worry free, Dr. Brassen and his colleagues at the Geriatric Mental health Foundation decided to develop a treatment program for the elderly who were depressed and unable to focus on the positives. The treatment involves learning to better adapt to life circumstances and focusing on accomplished goals and positive experiences.

Dr. Laura Castensen at Stanford University does caution the elderly to not be too trusting, especially when it comes to scam artists who regularly target the elderly. Case in point, my elderly father gave personal information to a scam artist posing as someone who was going to deliver a hospital bed for my ill mom. My dad simply trusted the telephone caller who turned out to not be who he said he was. Dad was vulnerable because he trusted in the good will of people and didn’t ask enough questions.

So the bottom line is to be aware of those who prey on the elderly, but also approach aging with optimism. Our positive emotions help us live longer and happier lives.

Are You as Over Politics As I Am?

posted by Linda Mintle

I hate politics. I feel assaulted every time a political ad comes on the air. Name calling, accusations, a total disregard for truth.. I could go on but you are experiencing it too! It’s so disgusting that I am clicking off the channel when ANY political ad comes on TV.

In my perfect world, politicians would tell us their vision, their plan and how they will accomplish such. Then, the pundits and commentators would remain silent. OK, maybe not silent but accurately summarize what was said. I think they used to call that reporting!

I don’t need people on TV telling me how to think. I don’t need them to interpret what I just heard. And I certainly don’t need them to engage in rude behavior and bias and expect me to find that interesting.

I know, I’m dreaming.

But the constant modeling of anger, intolerance, hate towards those who don’t agree with you, name-calling and so on can’t be good for any of us. What does it teach us about relationships?

Let’s see. When you don’t agree, attack? When you don’t understand a person’s point of view, call him a name? Make fun of those who believe differently. And ridicule moral and religious beliefs. Call people with standards phobic.

If any of you are taking notes from these political “discussions”, please throw your notes away. Class over. This is dysfunction on display! It’s like those first 20 minutes of the movie, Saving Private Ryan– I sat in the theatre, head buried in my husband’s side, quietly pleading, “Please make it stop. It’s too much. I can’t take it!”

I can’t take it. If you feel passionately about this election, I am glad. I am passionate about my vote. But I am not going to name call, put down, accuse you of hate, racism and all the other crazy things we hear. I’m not going there. If you want a civil conversation on issues, I’m all for it. But what we see in media is embarrassing. It’s like watching a bunch of mean kids. And I don’t find mean kids entertaining or funny.

 

 

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