100 lb. Club - Need Advice From Other Moms




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Loving Me
05-19-2010, 02:35 PM
I've just had an upsetting episode with my daughter (7) and it's really made me feel anxious.
I have been overweight since before having her, so she's never known me as slim as I am now and thinks it's wonderful.
She has seen the changes our whole family have made to eat healthier and take more exercise, and I really thought she had it made. She's very active naturally, and is at a perfect weight for her age and always has been, partly due to the fact that even when I was at my heaviest I made sure to keep her eating as healthy as possible because I don't ever want her to have to deal with the things I have.
One potential problem I was already aware of was my mom. She criticised me terribly for my weight for so long, was initially complimentary on my weight loss, but is now making comments that I'm going too far (I'm still obese!). Anyway, my daughter goes to stay at her house for the night most Friday's and she loves her grandma and grandad to bits. BUT, my mom bakes before she goes and she eats crap the whole time she is there. She eats constantly the whole time she is there I think, they just keep offering her more things.
It does make me uncomfortable and I've talked to my daughter about it on several occasions and discussed why we don't have cakes and candy in the house to eat all the time. But I also know my grandma was the same when I visited, and I think lots are, spoiling the grandkids etc.
For supper each night my daughter has a small glass of skimmed milk and a biscuit. Most of the time she is allowed to go choose her own biscuit, I don't buy lots, and definitely not chocolate ones. Anyway, tonight she went into the kitchen to get her biscuit and I thought she was taking a long time, so when she came into the lounge I asked her if she'd just got the one biscuit or had she had more. She told me in a very upset voice that she'd had a broken piece of biscuit as well.
My initial reaction was to get angry, but I'm glad I buried that down and sat down to talk with her calmly and explain why we eat like we do in our house, that I don't ever want to go back to the way I was and why, and that I love her very much and don't ever want her to have to be like I was.
I explained I enjoy things like candy etc far more nowadays because I only have them occasionally and in small amounts and she said she understood that. She has been so happy for me during this journey and calls me mini mummy now, so I really thought she didn't have any issues at all. But when I asked if she'd done this before she said yes, and when asked if she did it lots she said yes again.... She said she didn't know why she did it though....
I've told her she mustn't do this again, that she gets lots of nice food to eat and that we need to be able to trust her.
The thing is it's totally freaked me out. I know that she is a very healthy girl, she actually chooses fruit and veg over other things lots of the time, and will stop eating when she's had enough to eat. From a chocoholic, to hear your daughter saying that a dessert in a restaurant is "too chocolatey" and she can't eat more than a couple of spoonfuls is still alien to me lol
But it's just the secret eating that's freaked me out completely. No-one knows or will ever know how much I used to binge secretly day in day out, and I'm terrified I've just seen a sign of things in years to come with my daughter.
Am I freaking out for no reason? Is she a healthy normal kid just pushing the boundaries? I've really no idea, she's an only child and I was an only child, and I don't know what normal is, I only know what my childhood was like, and my life before I began this journey.
Any advice anyone can give I'd so appreciate, any ideas of whether I need to say or do anything else with my daughter, or should I just leave it at that?
For now I just need to get through this evening, sneaking a peak at my old binge habits has really thrown me and since putting my daughter to bed I've already eaten a banana which I didn't even really need... Just need to thank god that it was a banana and it stops there.


astrophe
05-19-2010, 03:01 PM
My initial reaction is that you seem to project a lot on to your 7 yr old kid and make food a THING.

Kids this young just see food as fuel. It's isn't a THING until they learn it is. If this kind of stuff comes up, take a breath, and ask yourself "What do I want to teach right now?"

I don't ever want to go back to the way I was and why, and that I love her very much and don't ever want her to have to be like I was.

Why are you telling her this stuff? What does this really teach? That you disliked your former state and you love her now at her current state. And you don't want her to be like your former state... and the unspoken "I won't love you if you get like I used to be?"

Is that really what you mean? If not, why burden this child? Why is a simple "I love you!" not enough?

Mine is 6, and I'm also losing weight but I don't get this deep with her. I figure at this age it is better to just offer a wide healthy assortment of foods and keep it simple.

Soda, cakes, candies are for parties and holiday gatherings. They are not for every day. Party food is fun for when we are at parties.

We need growing foods like veggies, fruit, starch and protein. We have these every day.

When she tells me she wants a snack, I point her to the fridge or cabinet and tell her to get one and then show it to me. I keep an assortment of things in her snack box (dry nuts, popcorn, raisins, etc) or fridge area (cheese sticks, yogurt, grapes, etc)

She gets it, and shows it to me and I praise her if she portioned it well, and I send her to put some back if she got too much and praise her for doing that.

I'm trying to encourage independence and the physical skills it takes to serve out a snack bowl of grapes or whatever. I remind her if she's still hungry she can always get more later but not to overfill her cup or bowl because then things can spill.

I've told her she mustn't do this again, that she gets lots of nice food to eat and that we need to be able to trust her, but if we can't then we will have to get her biscuit for her or she will have to have something else.

I wouldn't have said it this way to a 7 year old.

To me you are saying she's being bad in not portioning it out, there's "nice" food and "bad" food, you don't trust her to portion it out, and that if you have to get the biscuit is "punishment" or she's "demoted" somehow. But there's no offer of aid here.

You assume she's got the same biscuit problem or sneaking food problem you did. What if the problem is simply not knowing how to portion out biscuits properly? Who will she learn from if not you?

I would have said "Hey, good try at serving yourself. Biscuits seem tricky right now -- let me help. A portion of biscuit is... You try." And just praised the effort.

Again -- where's your focus? What are you trying to teach?

Any advice anyone can give I'd so appreciate, any ideas of whether I need to say or do anything else with my daughter, or should I just leave it at that?

I'd try to relax more. In the end, you are the one buying the food. It isn't like she CAN eat junk unless it is you bringing it into the house. You don't need to micro-explain everything like this:

I explained I enjoy things like candy etc far more nowadays because I only have them occasionally and in small amounts and she said she understood that.

I'm not sure a 7 year old can really understand all that or if they just say they do to please you.

Just eat the small bit you eat and that's that. They see you eat the small bit and enjoy it, and that's that. You have taught that a small bit is enjoyable. No extra baggage attached.

If you want to teach her cooking skills, measuring things out skills -- yay. But don't forget she's a little kid.

I would stop talking to daughter about your weight loss efforts, your body image feelings, etc. Save that talk for another adult friend, these boards, or wait til she's an adult.

Just live life as usual, model the healthy behaviour, but don't draw attention to it.

GL!
A.

Michelle98272
05-19-2010, 03:16 PM
It's important that you don't make a huge problem out of a childish behavior. Even though you are now on the path of being healthy you can still harm your child's developing self image by making being "healthy" too much of a focus.

Can you just live the new life you have made for yourself and your family and not make announcements about it nor even draw attention to it? Make it a matter of fact, live it like it has always been a part of your life and do not make it the focal point for your family. If you make a big deal about it, any of it, (eating healthy, what NOT to eat at grandma's, not sneaking an extra cookie) it will lodge in your daughter's brain as something she is responsible for or has caused.

Children think that if there is an issue it must be them or their fault, they are designed to believe that adults are perfect Godlike beings. "If my mom is perfect and there is a problem, it must be me". is the unconscious dialog that goes on in a child's developing brain.

It doesn't sound like your daughter did anything wrong! Nor should you worry what she eats at Grandma's. Grandparents always spoil their grandchildren. If it truly becomes a health issue, then deal with it but I wouldn't ostracize your mother over spoiling your child.

A 7 year old's sophistication can be deceptive. 7 year olds look like mini-adults. Just because she can talk in sentences, can recite to you right from wrong, can probably read, tie her own shoes and wipe her bottom... developmentally she can't think in abstract ways. 7 year olds are very concrete in thier thinking. It is tempting to overshare with a child that age as they seem to "get it" but really the concepts that you are struggling with are beyond her ability to comprehend. Even is she can nod her head and tell you she understands. All that a child is likely to take from a heavy discussion is that they have caused a problem and that they are bad.

Its great to be open and honest with your children but leave the big heavy topics like family dynamics, binge eating, honesty to the adults. It is hard to be a former overweight person trying to prevent your child from having the same issues as you did, I understand. It sounds like you've done a great job in changing your life. You have a lot to be proud of!


ThicknPretty
05-19-2010, 03:36 PM
Ok, my first reaction to this was STOP. The fact that she is doing this and hiding it from you is a sign that she knows you will disapprove and that will cause her to develop the same type of relationship with food that you had. If that's not a recipe for a binge-eater, I don't know what is! I really am not trying to be harsh, but come on...she's a little kid. Of course it's good to encourage our kids to be healthy and show them how to make good choices, but why would you cause your own child to feel like she is being excessive or greedy or doing something shameful by eating a little more than YOU think she should? Is it the end of the world for her to have a biscuit and a part of another?

You said that your own mom was very critical of your weight and openly so. And that you don't want your daughter to develop the same issues with food. You will NOT help her avoid food issues by scolding her, shaming her, restricting her or preaching to her. You think she is just going to magically stop "overeating" (which she probably isn't even doing)? No, she's going to KEEP eating in secret, her quantities will increase, she will gain weight, she will feel worse, you will get frustrated...endless cycle.

Sorry. This just kind of bothered me.

Loving Me
05-19-2010, 03:42 PM
Ok, thanks for the advice, looks like I'm stuffing up royally with this, which I feared I might be.
I just want to protect my daughter so much from all the crap I've had to deal with in my life, and seems I'm going about it totally wrong.
I guess I need to lighten up a LOT and let her find her own way with food, it's just so hard.

WarMaiden
05-19-2010, 03:46 PM
I have a 7-year-old daughter with similar issues. Sugar addiction is a real thing, and it's dangerous; so it's natural to want to protect your daughter from that.

I don't really have any specific advice, since I haven't worked out the best solution for my family yet, but you might try eliminating the sugar completely from your household. Keep sugary treats only to the rare special occasion and so on. That way, there's nothing for her to sneak, and no temptation to lie about it. In our case, one of the problems is that our daughter is pretty adept at getting sugary items from her friends at school or in the neighborhood; we don't have a real solution for that yet.

I also think it is very important to keep an open dialogue about issues of addiction within a family. I have spoken to all of my kids at various times about our family's generational struggle with alcoholism and sugar addiction, and I will continue to do so in hopes that they will avoid the problems which many of their adult relatives have experienced.

mandalinn82
05-19-2010, 03:47 PM
My reaction was roughly the same as ThicknPretty's.

The reason your daughter is hiding food consumption for you is that she thinks you will be mad at her for eating an extra half a cookie. Which I don't know is far off, based on what you said in your post. Your attitude toward food puts moral/value judgements on those foods...some foods are "good", some foods are "bad", etc, and eating more than a small amount of a "bad" food is VERY BAD and UNACCEPTABLE. The inevitable result of this is closet eating...everyone has a treat sometimes, and making those treats forbidden makes them even more desirable for your daughter, but she knows she can't have them in front of you without your disapproval, so she hides it.

Your daughter has shown you that she, for the most part, eats enough to grow appropriately without becoming overweight, so I think you need to worry less about ensuring she doesn't eat "bad foods" and more that she develops a healthy relationship with food as she grows.

For example, you might say, "For dessert, go get one biscuit and your glass of milk. If you want another after you've finished the first, that's fine, but let's try one at first'. That teaches portion control (one biscuit is the amount to grab at one time) without making more forbidden or something one has to hide, so doesn't encourage the underground eating behavior. Talk to your daughter about nutrition and how some foods are healthier than others, but remove the idea that foods are "bad" or "unhealthy" or "fattening" from your vocabulary. It's all just food - and different choices are best in different situations.

astrophe
05-19-2010, 04:00 PM
I just want to protect my daughter so much from all the crap I've had to deal with in my life, and seems I'm going about it totally wrong.
I guess I need to lighten up a LOT and let her find her own way with food, it's just so hard.


Again... relax. There is no food in your house that you did not buy. Just keep buying the healthy foods, maintain the healthy meal time habits, and say nothing about your own personal body project.

If you need to talk about it, talk here with the other adults/parents.

GL!
A.

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 04:14 PM
LM, I just want you to know that I struggle with this issue too, and it is a lot more complicated than meets the eye.

I was raised in a home that was VERY restrictive. My mom gave us skim milk and no sugary cereal, and lots of veggies and very lean meats long before that was popular. But, she also really controlled my eating way more than was healthy. I started binge-eating and binge-ate for the next 25 or so years.

So, I thought I had the whole thing figured out. I would NEVER comment on my daughter's bodies. I would let them eat what they wanted. I would allow junk into the house, take them out for ice cream sometimes, let them choose their own snacks.... I mean, within reason, because I've always cooked a basically healthy diet.

And you know, I thought it was working-- except that one of my daughters developed a minor weight problem, and has shown secret eating type behaviors, and even though I have been unbelievably careful not to criticize their eating habits, or restrict their eating, or comment on their bodies, she still calls me THE FOOD POLICE.

And now, a few times, she has told me she wants to lose weight and I just don't know how to handle it. On the one hand I want to jump in and tell her to stop eating this and that and start tracking her calories on fitday, and then I think OH MY GOD! I wish I had NEVER started down that path when I was her age, and that's the last thing I want for her. I still believe that as long as she has a healthy self-esteem, is active and is fed healthy food at home, the issue will sort itself out without Draconian intervention.

Unfortunately, these issues really do pass from mother to daughter in a very toxic way....maybe my daughter got into secret eating because she saw me do it, and maybe she started doing it because in spite of all my efforts I was still projecting a weird vibe.

The only thing, oddly enough, that helped a little, were that she was visiting grandma and read a whole bunch of my diaires-- and all I talked about for years was WEIGHT WEIGHT WEIGHT and how much I hated myself-- and though I was kind of mortified, I think it did help to open up a dialogue between us-- and now I can say that no matter what the most important thing is that she feel good about herself the way she is.

sacha
05-19-2010, 04:22 PM
One way I like to look at it, is that my son (maybe this is harder if you have a daughter) is a completely different person - a fresh blank slate, so to speak. Unless any sort of issues arise in the future (whether that be eating or whatever), it is safer to assume that there is no issue. Although you have struggled with eating issues in your life, there is no reason to project this onto your child or to assume that she will go down the same path.

I'm sure plenty of us here are the children of alcoholics but can enjoy a lovely drink once in a while. While a genetic/environmental risk of alcoholism (and obesity!) has been shown to exist, it is more fair to assume that we are NOT that statistic, rather than otherwise.

WarMaiden
05-19-2010, 04:31 PM
I'm sure plenty of us here are the children of alcoholics but can enjoy a lovely drink once in a while. While a genetic/environmental risk of alcoholism (and obesity!) has been shown to exist, it is more fair to assume that we are NOT that statistic, rather than otherwise.

Eh, I really don't agree with that. When there is a genetic tendency toward a particular health problem within a family, I believe it is the responsibility of the adult generation to educate the child generation. Would we withhold information about a familial tendency toward heart disease or particular cancers? Of course not; we'd want to arm the child with the knowledge necessary to make the best choices under the circumstances. (Whether the child does make the better choices upon attaining adulthood is of course their own responsibility, but it's our responsibility to prepare them.) When we withhold information about alcoholism or sugar addiction, we risk leaving the child without sufficient information to avoid becoming addicted themselves. Just "not talking about it" is not enough when the danger is genetic.

Loving Me
05-19-2010, 04:32 PM
Thanks so much for your honest response Uber, I really appreciate it.
I grew up with very low self-esteem (was never told I was loved, was clever, pretty, never praised, never hugged or played with by my mum), although I didn't have any issues with food until my teens. As a child my grandma and aunt spoiled me rotten when I visited them with candy and cakes etc, and it seems now that I equated that to love, so as a teen when I was often alone because my parents had divorced and my mum had to work long hours, I started eating for comfort, and it went from there...
I know my issues with food and weight are due to my extremely low self-esteem in the past so I figured as long as my daughter grows up knowing how much she is loved and valued she could maybe escape the same trap. It seems obvious now though that it's a lot more complicated than that and I really haven't got a clue.

Arctic Mama
05-19-2010, 04:52 PM
Just treat food for what it is - fuel. My kids eats when they are hungry, and eat foods that make them grow tall and strong. We have dessert occasionally, and cookies for snacks if I have baked them, but to them these foods are no more or less off limits than anything else. They just aren't what we eat if we want to grow into fast runners, or big lifters (my children are very young, I have to frame things simply).

Food is what God has given us to help our bodies grow, no more or less. We eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full, we eat a good variety of things, sweets included. The only way I know to NOT create bad/obsessive food behaviors is to NOT make it a bad or obsessive situation. Its just food, they're just kids, and the more I try to regulate or protect them from MY mistakes, the more I am projecting those same destructive behaviors on them.

I am the mom, I make all their food. I give them a good variety at every meal, and they have learned that is how we eat, until we are not hungry anymore. Food isn't an issue, it isn't a fight... The best I can do is hope that it stays that way and deal with any issues as they come. But by virtue of what I feed them every day, and what they get on occasion, I think I am modeling the behaviors I want them to replicate. Some foods more, some foods less, it's all fuel to make our bodies move!

atreyyena
05-19-2010, 04:53 PM
I agree, i would definitely NOT have told my daughter (if I had one) many of those things. if she'd come out saying she had an extra part of a bisquit, i might have said, "yeah, sounds like you were extra hungry tonight. maybe you should have had a bit more dinner (joking smile)". but definitely, get rid of the 'good' and 'bad' food idea......yes, there are foods that are for meals ( fruits, veggies, lean meats, ect...), snacks (popcorn and raisins, etc) and desserts (candy) but that's just because they're for a particular meal. it's a self limiting philosophy that keeps food from being an ethical thing.

it sounds like perhaps it might promote healthy ideas for her if you two have special treats after dinner. like a hershey's kiss under a homemade tent and read stories and stuff......make yourself involved in her 'treat/secret' eating.

WarMaiden
05-19-2010, 04:56 PM
I know my issues with food and weight are due to my extremely low self-esteem in the past so I figured as long as my daughter grows up knowing how much she is loved and valued she could maybe escape the same trap. It seems obvious now though that it's a lot more complicated than that and I really haven't got a clue.

Man, I hate to be the dissenting one ALL THE TIME, but, I have to say...

I have amazing self-esteem and always have. It did not stop me from being addicted to sugar. While it's all over the popular culture and media to attribute our problems with food to some problem within ourselves, I believe that is (for the most part) untrue. We have problems with food not because we're broken in some way, but because our food system is broken, and it breaks us. We are physiologically and emotionally fine, but the food we eat is not.

Again, I know it's not popular around here to declare foods "bad" or "good" and I won't do that. Because I actually think some "foods" that we regularly consume are not food at all, they are poison.

It's not as hard for adults to wake up to what is poisoning us and decide that we just won't eat it anymore, while it's very difficult for kids to do so. They often do not feel any changes in their bodies or minds from eating particular things, because their bodies are extremely resilient...they are simply young and naturally healthy. But we are older, less resilient, less naturally healthy...and we can feel what the poison does.

As before, I'm not saying that I have the solution, but I don't think that the answer is that your daughter (or any of our daughters) are broken. They do live in a broken food culture, however--and it will try to break them.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 05:00 PM
I too think you are sending your daughter the wrong message, I think you intentions are wonderful, but it's not coming through that way.

Why not limit *treats* solely to the weekend? Keep fresh fruits - berries, frozen grapes, frozen banana slices, homemade applesauce, baked apples, poached pears, veggie sticks and dip, air popped pop corn and the such as daily occurrences and biscuits and the such as once in a while treats - like on the weekends?

yoyoma
05-19-2010, 05:05 PM
I have only raised one child (13yo) and I will share my experience with her.

We never restricted her serving sizes as she always stopped eating on her own when she was full. She was usually more interested in doing something else, so we had to push in the other direction -- to make sure she wasn't just taking the edge off her hunger. Also, we did insist that she try all the healthy foods we served her and sometimes eat small portions to qualify for dessert.

My personal opinion is that the most important health habits to teach your kids is to love healthy foods and to enjoy active pass times. My daughter truly loves red lentils, brown rice, LF stir fries, home made chicken soup, LF veggie WW lasagna and fruit (we are still working on some veggies, but there are several she will eat with no fuss).

astrophe
05-19-2010, 05:09 PM
was never told I was loved, was clever, pretty, never praised, never hugged or played with by my mum)

So tell your kid she is loved, clever, pretty, praise her, hug her, and play with her.

That would be a good place to start.

A.

ThicknPretty
05-19-2010, 05:22 PM
Who decided that this child has an ADDICTION?

I'm baffled. I really am. As a mom and just as a person.

It is unfair to project our own issues with food (or alcohol or any other substance) onto our children. Our personal restrictions cannot or should not be theirs. It is one thing to keep an eye on your children because of genetic tendencies...and most sensible mothers are mindful enough about sugar...but it is a completely different thing to say, "Because I cannot control MYself and I have struggled with an addiction to _______, I will not allow you to have it either."

Children, and in my opinion especially girls, are sensitive to our reactions to things. If we overreact to something, they remember it and internalize that. It's important that as parents we keep things in perspective, remember that they are fragile, DEVELOPING human beings. I am NOT a perfect mom...I lose my cool with my son more than I should and I feel horrible about it. But I do everything I possibly can to build his self confidence, make him feel good and empowered. Shaming a child for EATING is not a way to help that child develop a healthy relationship with food. It's a quick way to teach them to be secretive.

My child makes healthy choices almost completely on his own because I let him. He likes different foods than me and, as a 6 year old boy, can eat different foods than me. I have ALWAYS struggled with a food addiction and so has my mother and her mother...but if my son wants another hot dog, I'll let him have one (assuming he hasn't already eaten 2...which is never the case). I have gone completely vegetarian due to some new personal convictions. I am going to gradually eliminate the meat out of his diet...but not if he objects or it makes him unhappy. Food is not something to discipline a child with...you can't hide it or take it away or restrict it or make it a "disgusting, bad" food...because food is something we all must live with for the rest of our lives and the way our parents teach us to deal with it/use it/regard it will stick.

Sorry, I'm just really opinionated about this.

Loving Me
05-19-2010, 05:24 PM
So tell your kid she is loved, clever, pretty, praise her, hug her, and play with her.

That would be a good place to start.

A.

That's exactly what both I and my husband do on a daily basis, and she is a very confident, happy and healthy child, so I guess we're doing ok in that respect.
I'm just totally floored by how badly it seems I've dealt with today's issue.

rockinrobin
05-19-2010, 06:02 PM
I'm just totally floored by how badly it seems I've dealt with today's issue.

How do YOU think you dealt with the issue? We are here and you are there. Does anything that we've said ring true to you, or perhaps we are misreading it.

Rest assured, we are all aware of just how much you love your daughter and only want the very best for her. I'm fairly certain THAT is perfectly clear to every one. :hug:

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 06:03 PM
Wow! A lot of emotions on this thread.

The interesting thing about obesity (and yes, I have a health background, and yes I've read up on this extensively) is that there are two separate tendencies that both lead to childhood obesity.

One is parents who just feed their kids junk-- coca cola in the baby bottle (yes I have seen that many times!) a highly processed, high calorie, unhealthy diet that leads to childhood obesity, especially when coupled with lack of activity.

But another cause of childhood obesity is JUST THE OPPOSITE. It's called RESTRICTIVE FEEDING PRACTICES. There is TONS of data to indicate that people who grow up in households where (primarily) mothers are overly focused on weight and body image, and who control and monitor their children's intake too closely also contribute to childhood obesity. Those are the kids who tend to develop binge eating habits, secret eating, etc. I remember being incredibly hungry as a young teen and sneaking around to get food.... I grew up in a very body concscious environment, and I was a competitor in a sport that is known to creat body image issues....

I think that may be why its sometimes hard for people to dialogue on this issue....

If you grew up in a house where you didn't learn to eat healthy and you ended up obese, you will have a tendency to try to teach your kids to eat healthy-- you'll start cooking healthier food and stop incorporating so much junk into the diet.

But if you grew up in a house where health, weight, exercise, and body image were a family obsession, and you were always fed a low calorie diet and you ended up a binge eater, well... you are much more likely to try to raise your kids in an environment with fewer controls.

I have 4 kids three are teens-- two of the three do not have weight or body image issues. The third does.... maybe part of it is genetic. Her body build is more like mine than her dad's and she was almost a pound bigger than the others at birth. Maybe part of it is the way I raised her-- after all I have some whoppers of body image issues myself. In my kids generation, among the cousins, there were a couple of girls with the same issue as me-- early to mature, buxom, not a rail-thin body type. And this time around, we've all been very careful to handle it differently-- no trotting them off to WW, no restricting their food or comparing them to their brothers and sisters. Live and learn.

Warmaiden, I don't disagree with you that our food environment is toxic, but I DO disagree that everyone who has a major obesity problem is totally normal. I'm not. I had major emotional issues around food. I'm much better now-- older and wiser-- but still.

For those of you who really do not have any emotional issues around food I say pat yourself on the back, but it is simply not true that none of us do.

astrophe
05-19-2010, 07:50 PM
That's exactly what both I and my husband do on a daily basis, and she is a very confident, happy and healthy child, so I guess we're doing ok in that respect.

Awesome! Take pride in that she seems like a happy healthy kid!

I'm just totally floored by how badly it seems I've dealt with today's issue.

I don't think you did badly. You were caught off guard by the initial anger and you have mother-daughter(you) stuff from the past casting shadows into your mother(you)-daughter stuff now. I can see where it is hard to see with shadows in the way.

Parents largely have to wing it! We're not perfect, and there's no such thing as having a "practice kid" before getting the "real kid."

If you can just remember to relax a little bit, you will be fine.

A.

ubergirl
05-19-2010, 08:10 PM
LM-- don't be hard on yourself. It's normal for you to feel conflicted about this issue since it's such a priority for you.

You might find it helpful to read something on the topic. I found this book really interesting. It outlines some of the causes of childhood obesity-- not just what kids eat, but also feeding practices, activity, etc. and then he suggests some common sense approaches.

Even though my kids were not obese, I felt like it empowered me to make sure I was looking at the issue in a sensible manner. You might feel the same way.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Child-Obesity/Goutham-Rao/e/9781591023777

TaraLee
05-19-2010, 10:07 PM
This situation invokes the ol' saying "Children don't come with instruction manuals." We parent based on the examples we've had in our lives, generally our own parents, grandparents, etc.

I've read through a few of the numerous replies you've gotten and somethings I agree with, some I don't. You already realize you could have handled the situation better but I thought I might share some of my thoughts about it as I have the exact same fear for my kiddos as you do.
I was raised in a home where food was a luxury. There wasn't always a lot of it around and it was portioned out carefully and there were not seconds. I started binging because I didn't understand control when there was a lot of food available. So I figured the best thing I can do for my kids is to teach them self-control and to do that I have to relinquish, to some extent, control over them.
My kiddos have a snack shelf in our pantry. They are free to get their own snacks as they please (nuts, popcorn, fruity snakcs, granola bars, and they have string cheese and yogurt in the fridge). If its about to be a meal time I'll tell them its a "no snacks" time cause Mommy is making them some yummy good food for them. For now I still portion out my kids plates. I don't force them to clean their plates but I do require one bite from every food group (son HATES trying new things and this way he's actually find he acutally likes a few things). When they're big enough to safely do so, I'll allow them to dish up their own food (we have kids plates with lil portion sections so its not like they can over portion the food really).
Foods that are treat foods, like ice cream, pudding, cookies, I put up in an area where they can't reach and I dispense these when they ask for them. I feel like once they show control over snacks and meals I'll let them deal with stuff that is going to be harder to have self control over such as sugary treats.

You know the idea that when your child falls and you react in a freaked out way, the child will cry and make a fuss where if you react in a positive way, "Oppsy, we fell, hope up" the child pops right up (then of course we nonchalantly check them over). Well, think of this as it applies.