If - like me - you're a Harry Potter fan, I don't need to introduce you to Dudley Dursley, Potter's infamous cousin. But, if you're a true "muggle" with no interest in magical powers, you'd do well to know that Duddles was the apple, orange, pear and banana - and, what have you! - of his mother's [Petunia Dursley] eye.
Petunia's sole raison d'etre was to feed her little one as much as possible: a task she fulfilled to perfection, considering that the pre-teen Dudley's bottom could be easily measured with the aid of a kitchen chair - it drooped over on both sides! No wonder, Potter thought he resembled a pig-in-a-wig!
Save 'em the bother
Duddles' gait and stature may also be likened to a baby elephant. Yes, his school nurse sent Petunia Dursley a strict warning - put him on a minimal diet. Needless to say, this made life really difficult for the boy.
The fact is - I see a lot of Dudleys around, of both genders, some already "there," some in the making! Swivelling my eye, I often notice they are chaperoned by larger versions who can only be their doting moms or dads. What's more, in disapproval, I often want to shout out a warning, but I remember that I'm not their school nurse. So, I smother words before I make a fool of myself.
Granted the arrays of edible goodies in department stores, hypermarkets etc., are a major attraction - something most parents have not had easy access to until now. Likewise, McDonalds, Pizza Huts, or Domino's have mushroomed all over, and if it this weren't good [or bad?] enough, because they offer home delivery in under 30 minutes, aren't they making our diets any lighter?!
Say "no" to yourself
Sorry to crack a wicked joke - at the back of your mind: do you realise that your little ones aren't livestock needing fattening up before being slaughtered? The catch is that if you do manage - this undesirable, yet apparently, so easily-achievable feat, your kids will need to be admonished by doctors. This is an experience that any caring person wouldn't want their loved ones to undergo!
So, learn to be cruel to be kind - and, first, make yourself the recipient of stern admonishments regarding diet, and slowly drive your family back to healthy eating ways. Otherwise, I'm afraid you're in for heavy times.
The next time you see your "Sumo" kid reaching out for a packet of crisps, exchange it for an apple. Brace yourself for the bawling that will follow - you've spilt milk, as they say, thanks to being overly indulgent. Now, mop it up.
Also, get a pair of ear buds to show you mean business. And, most importantly, if you're in the same boat as your chubby children, make a twosome, or threesome, or whatever of dieting.
Last, but not the least, count each others' calories and see who eats the least, wins!
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