On Tuesday, the 11th, 108 campers attended Camp Greenwood.

It would be easy to say “Wow! That is a lot of kids,” and then go about your day. And you wouldn’t be wrong, that is a lot of kids. But this number, albeit large, fails to adequately embody the 108 souls that it represents.

This three digit number is meant to encompass 108 people; one with a scraped left knee from that one day on the playground when he fell off the slide. Another with blisters on her toes from practicing that flip in the pool until she did it perfectly.

108 different smiles—with wide gaps where wiggly teeth laid until eager fingers placed them beneath a pillow, each child awaiting the glint of a coin the next morning.

108 different outfits—some are flashy, fluorescent, and forward. Others simple, striped, and sweet.

108 different haircuts, mindsets, talents.

108 different worries, nightmares, and dreams.

108 different endings to the statement, “When I grow up, I want to be…”

108 different stories, all yet to be written.

108 different futures waiting to be fulfilled.

We, as counselors, look after dozens of campers each day. Sure, there are times when their faces seem to merge together. Moments when individual giggles blend to form one collective chorus of laughter.

But every now and then, a little red grouper looks up at you with beaming wide eyes and a crooked smile, or a blue grouper trips over his words as he excitedly tells you about that new science fact he learned, or the quiet girl from yellow group who, with watery eyes, so tightly squeezed her mother’s hands that morning, begging her not to leave, lets out a squeal and says “this is the best day ever.”

And it is in these moments that we pause, glance around, and notice the 108 unique, pure, irreplaceable human beings that surround us, no two children the same.

So yes…on Tuesday, 108 little pairs of feet scurried their way into Camp Greenwood. But, in reality, these four walls contained more energy, history, and life than one number could ever encompass.


Fad Diets – Ubiquitous and Tempting

Fad diets are ubiquitous and oh-so-tempting to try and lose those last 10 pounds in one week! The problem is, they are unrealistic, impossible to stick to and provide temporary results.Not to mention potential health problems down the road that may be a side effect of an extreme diet or supplement. Here are some tips on how to spot a fad diet and then turn the other way and RUN:

  • Severe calorie restriction: If you’re dropping more than two to three pounds a week, what you’re losing is not fat. Our bodies aren’t designed to lose fat that rapidly. It is water, or (even worse) muscle. Once you begin to eat normally again, you will at least regain all of your water weight. Also, regaining your muscle is hard to do,but regaining fat is NOT hard at all.
  • Promises of a quick fix and other claims that are too good to be true:  “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!”  You’re never going to make a change by not making a change.
  • Cutting out an entire food group: Demonizing one particular food group is like a giant, neon “Fad Diet” sign. Just look at the history of diets through the years, we were usually wrong.  Cutting out an entire food group is not sustainable and it’s not healthy. You will miss out on important nutrients.
  • List of good versus bad foods: This is, again, making it sound like one food is your problem. It’s not a good place to be mentally, there is no “I can’t have,” it’s a matter of “How does this fit?”
  • Research: We are learning, we know we want a diet backed by research! The problem is how to know what good research is.  Many times simplistic or dramatic conclusions are drawn from a very complex study or studies have not been peer-reviewed to ensure they are accurate. There is so much to know, but your dietitian can help you sift through some of these studies and make recommendations.
  • Heavy promotion of meal replacements: Sure, you’ll lose weight…right out of your wallet. It is usually simple calorie reduction that’s taking those inches off your waist. Beware of any programs that require you to purchase their meals. Even if you have success with the program, they don’t teach you how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Will you continue to buy these products forever? Many people gain the weight back once they’ve completed the program.
  • Requirements of specific food combinations: This is scientifically unsound and you might be missing out on some important nutrients due to the limitations.

It is always better to have a sustainable and well-rounded diet. It can be frustrating, but weight loss should be slow. You didn’t gain weight overnight – it won’t come off overnight! Come see one of your Greenwood Dietitians to discuss a realistic way to get started on your health journey.

Kristin Burgess, RD, GATC Dietitian