Bullying. Beyond teasing and taunting. The dangers in the new found fun of bullying among kids.

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Most of us know Bullying is a serious issue. I chose to blog about it since this month is Bullying Prevention Month or Bully AWARENESS month, however, I believe prevention with education along with awareness is the best way to handle a growing problem, specifically in our youth. But also, because this topic hits very close to my own heart.

As adults bullying can still be an issue and is just as serious on our emotional health as it is on the youth in our society. The difference is that the youth depend on the adults to protect them in the places they should be feeling safe, but don’t.

There are hundreds of resources out there for those who feel they are or their child is being bullied.

Here are just a couple: National Bullying Prevention Center and This Emotional Life (PBS)

Maybe you remember a time when you got picked on, pushed down, made fun of, had things thrown at you while on the bus or walking home from school. This isn’t the “Bullying” we are talking about. We are talking about the relentless, never ending torment some kids go through each day because they are a little different, or misunderstood.

 

 

Imagine the terror a child would feel, knowing there was someone or a group of people who every day tried to hurt you or take your things, or call you names. Today this doesn’t just happen at schools, it happens every possible place you can think of and of course, on the internet and through cell phones.

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For some kids they feel there is no escape from the physical and emotional pains and the fears. They don’t feel comfortable telling anyone maybe because of even bigger fear of retaliation or disbelief, maybe blame that they caused it.

Cnn reports on teen who was bullied and committed suicide. This report includes her heartbreaking last video as seen on youtube. 

 

I am here to tell you that as parents this is something we need to talk to our kids about. We cannot just expect that they aren’t “that kind of student” or that they would come to us if things were happening to them. And, we need to teach them to stand up to the bullies, to tell when they see someone being bullied and to support those who need their support, the ones too scared to speak.

 

I hope you will join me in spreading the word against bullying by liking this blog post, by sharing it with your friends and family members, and by talking to the kids about what happens when someone is bullied, how they feel and of course, what could happen.. we are all humans, we all have feelings, and we need to teach them to appreciate the differences in each individual.

 

Thank you for reading, and I hope you share.

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Till next time, yours in health, fitness, and wellness,

Jenni Whipple

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Zombies! Zombies! Everywhere!! Wait…Parents, where are you?!

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Okay, maybe not real ZOMBIES. But, as I was driving down the street I happened to notice something rather disturbing. The kids that were outside of the High  School pretty much looked like zombies with new clothes and bright white shoes! All that was missing was the moaning and groaning sounds (some I’m sure smelled fresh and clean but…Just an attempt at being funny there). Seriously though, as they stood there, some drinking very large soda drinks (<- WATCH THIS VIDEO!) from the local 7-11 or gas station, I couldn’t help noticing how over weight so many of the kids are! Maybe some aren’t aware of what they are drinking and should “rethink your drink“. 

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It has also been brought to my attention that some kids “kickstart” their morning with some sort of chemical concoction sometimes consisting of one of their favorite energy drinks (which by itself are bad for you), and either soda, or coffee…or what the hell?! Now granted, when I was a Freshman in High School I remember rushing off to catch the bus, getting to school where we were rounded up in the cafeteria. Very convenient, we had all the access we wanted to soda and garbage crap machines! My choice would be a can of Dr. Pepper and a Suzy-Q! That’s right.. I know what it’s like to BE THERE! However, I was not obese because this was not my lifestyle!

 

Most of the kids I saw this morning seemed to have had managed to SQUEEZE their bodies into clothing that perhaps would have looked better a size or two bigger. I’m not saying that to be mean, one girl I felt very bad for because her overly large stomach was hanging out from under her yellow name brand tank top, and over the top of her brand new shorts that were riding up in front (OUCH!) and in back. I began to find myself concerned about her. Not just because I know how mean some of the kids in High School can be, although I’m sure things will be said that will hurt her self confidence and her feelings, even though she may try to brush them off..they will linger in her mind and when she least expects it, she’ll hear what was said, AGAIN only this time, she’ll be saying it to herself…and that makes me very sad because I’m sure she is a very nice young lady and very smart. How people chose to look on the outside is their choice, but I also thought about how her health has to already be affected. Maybe she’s already got shortness of breath when she walks any sort of distance. Maybe she already has low energy because of the food choices (or lack of) she is putting into her body daily and the lack of exercise. Maybe she is already putting tremendous strain on her heart..though she is currently unaware of any damage that is going on right now…and then.. I thought of her parents. There are some genetic cases, I know that, but that is not every case and trust me, there were a LOT of over weight kids standing there texting or talking on their phones while eating and drinking waiting for the school doors to open!

Like a brick to the face, it hit me. What do these young kids parents do and say, not just to their teen, but to themselves? I began to wonder if they had the same lifestyle habits, more than likely they do. And I began to wonder, WHAT IF these teenager’s parents decided THEY were going to make a change in their lives that wouldn’t just benefit them.. but that they could STEP UP and be role models for their kids by deciding it was the best thing they could do for themselves! Now, I have no idea what the parents do and don’t do, so this is speculation but it seems to me that if a parent(s) is going to be careless about nutrition, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, that is what will be passed down to their kids, and their kids, and so on. The cycle HAS to be broken somewhere, even if it isn’t for the parent themselves..but for their kids..or maybe their significant other..or…themselves, why not and why not TODAY?!

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Most people will do more for someone they love than they will do for themselves. There are events that my children will go through, milestones, that I want to be here for..Graduations, weddings, births of grandchildren, GREAT grandchildren, special moments that I would NEVER want to miss out on,..or that MY KIDS wouldn’t want me to miss out on.

As I thought about this more and more, I did some research and watched some video’s of kids who had lost (either in death or they are unable to be an active parent) their parents because of obesity, the debate of whether obese kids should be taken from their parents,  or health issues that could have been prevented if they would have simply decided to make some changes to lose weight.

As you may know, I actually joined Beachbody back in 2005 after I saw a picture of myself in a swimsuit. The facts were placed before me and I had no one to blame but myself for allowing myself to gain the weight that I had gained. I stopped working out after we had our 2nd child and my life was all about her, not me..until I saw that photo. That was the transformation day for me when I decided I was NOT going to look and feel that way and I was NOT going to have my kids looking at me in a negative way. I couldn’t afford a gym membership with monthly dues, gas there and home, child care and such and I saw an ad on TV ..”Beachbody”. I saw the before and afters for Power 90 and while I didn’t believe there was some lighting, photo shopping and shading, along with make up and a good tan.. I HAD to give it a try. This was back BEFORE there were Coaches who got commissions for helping people achieve their goals. All we had was an online message board. I dropped in whenever I could..but, with family obligations and crazy schedules, it wasn’t as often as I would have liked, but when I was there, I tried to be as encouraging and help as many people as I could. 

Now not only are people getting paid to help others reach their goals, but people are getting paid just to workout! This is the P90X2 results winner!

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This is the REAL DEAL. But back to what I wanted to get across to you, I am here to help you IF you want my help. If you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, if you have kids that you wished you had more energy to do  things with them, if your doctor has told you, “you need to make changes in your lifestyle”, if you want to set a good example for your kids, I want you to watch this video I made, and please contact me because I truly do care about people and want them to have fabulous lives doing all they ever wanted to do and experience.

I hope you will do this for YOU, but if not for you, do it for your significant other, your kids, your grand-kids, or someone else you want to be around for. Together, We can do it and while you’re at it, why not win some extra money with the Beachbody Challenge!?

Don’t you DARE tell me, “13 is too young” to be an Entrepreneur”!

ImageMy daughter who just turned 13 came up to me a while ago and stated she was ready to make money. Our neighborhood is small in size, surrounded by commercial and retail stores, and doesn’t have many kids left in it..they’ve all moved up to High School or recently graduated.

We went through various ideas on ways a young girl could  start her own business, dog walking service, babysitting,..in the area where we live it seems about the extent of services she could provide but, there isn’t a market for it.

She is very independent, a self starter, passionate and dedicated. A leader without a doubt. She’s good with saving money, and she is ambitious, some pretty awesome qualities for a young lady! She’s explored several different ideas and I have no doubt in my mind that this girl will eventually think of the right idea for her and will do very well.

I, myself, have spoken to a few people about her aspirations to become an Engineer and her hard work ethic, as well as her incredible desire to be accepted into IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy). She’s hopeful she has a chance as a student who is has been accepted for the past 3 years into the IMSA Fusion Program as well as the Gifted Science program and we have been trying to find something she can do, as a 13 year year old girl that is her “own” and may help her with her future plans and goals.

You may be curious how Entrepreneurship and Engineering go together, or at least I was. I found several articles written about how Engineers can be great entrepreneurs. Proof of great companies that were led by engineers..Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Larry Page from Google, just to name a few! I was very impressed with the story of Matt Wilson who
an active member of the IET, working on local committees and mentoring a number of new engineers in his area. He is an IET Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Ambassador, going to schools to get children interested in STEM subjects. You can read more about him on businesscasestudies.co.uk

We were also able to find out about these young successful Entrepreneurs:

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Check out some of these “Big Thinkers“..all teenage Entrepreneurs who are doing business and making some big money! They all made a fortune before they were 18!

There were the two 13 year old boys, Jordan Casey and Puck Meerburg who seemed to really WOW those who attended The Next Web Conference Europe 2013

Another young Entrepreneur you may have heard of is Lane Sutton. He became an entrepreneur at the young age of 5! Yes, I said 5 years old! Now at the age of 16, he has an impressive history of speaking and working with some top name companies and agencies!

And we certainly can’t leave out Catherine and David Cook! As it expanded, myYearbook left the high school realm and was ultimately sold to social networking site Quepasa for $100 million in cash and stock and renamed MeetMe, a site that attracts advertisers including Neutrogena, ABC and Walt Disney.

So why would I post something like this on the “Lovin’ Life Fitness and Wellness” blog. I hope you aren’t really asking that. But, if you are, it’s because we all need to have dreams. BIG dreams. We need to know that it’s possible to make those dreams come true and how to go about achieving them. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying. We all have to have SOMETHING to go after or we can’t be happy. Growth and Contribution. Two of the human needs.

The daughter I am speaking about, some…MANY have heard me refer to her as “my firecracker” because she is THAT passionate. When people have dreams, especially our children, we should listen to them. Investigate with them..and maybe, just maybe GROW with them.

“Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.” – George Washington Carver

 

So, here’s to the dreamers! The ones who haven’t heard, “That’s impossible!” enough times they’ve started to believe it, yet. The ones who haven’t developed the fears some of the adults have, and to the ones who BELIEVE and WILL make it happen…because they can!