Last year, MTV aired what's possibly one of my favorite documentaries of all time, Fat Camp — a two-hour glimpse into the lives of adolescent campers trying to lose weight at a facility in the Poconos. The greatly anticipated (or at least by me) Return to Fat Camp aired this weekend, following a whole new set of campers — with some familiar faces here and there — as they started new fitness routines and diets. My favorite of all the kids was 14-year-old Logan, who is sort of like a mix of Beth Ditto and Courtney Love and a bottle of Xanax. She's not as lovable as some of the other campers, but her laziness and lack of enthusiasm for outdoor sports is something that I can relate to all too well.

This is Dianne, my favorite camper from the first installment of Fat Camp. You can read more about her here. I was glad she made a few cameos in Return to Fat Camp, but honestly, I was hungry for more.

Illustration for article titled Its A Trail Of Tears For Some Kids At iFat Camp/i

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This program really saddens me because I could have very easily been one of those kids.

In my family, everyone is overweight, many of them obese. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I was fat through most of my childhood, and I was constantly teased and ostracized because of it, as were both of my brothers. It would have been really easy for us to blame our sizes on some sort of genetic predisposition to weight gain, but the fact of the matter is that the reason that everyone in my family is overweight is because their eating habits are terrible. I grew up eating potato chips and snack cakes and processed junk of all varieties. Dinner out was KFC or McDonalds. If it hadn't been for the fact that all three of us wound up being extremely competitive athletes, and adopted healthy eating habits independently, we'd probably all still be fat. Furthermore, once it occurred to our mother that maybe she shouldn't have been blaming her weight on genetics all those years, she joined Weight Watchers and lost more than 50 pounds.

I'm not saying this is the case for everyone. Surely there are many people who have a legitimate predisposition to weight gain. But I'm sure that just as many, if not more, see that the people around them are overweight and assume that must be so, or use it as an excuse.

I see these kids and I just remember how miserable I was when I was overweight. But I guess that the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle is one you have to make on your own rather than being forced into it by concerned parents.

Depressing all around...