Weight Loss Support - Help for moms of overweight children

11-23-2010, 09:59 AM
I'm putting myself out there, hoping for some brainstorming here. I thought perhaps a thread dedicated to the subject may be of help to those of us who struggle with overweight/obese children.

There is so much angst surrounding this subject. I definitely feel that no matter what I decide, I'm going to screw up my son in some fashion. There are so many posts wagging the finger at the parents for childhood and adult obesity. Some parents are too limiting, some are too giving, some said too much, some never said a word. :dizzy: What's going to be the best approach for MY child? I have no idea.

I have a little boy who is ten and quite overweight. We did have a handle on it and he was maintaining 114 for almost a year. Then he went on a one week trip with his grandparents and no lie, the child gained 10 pounds and has added two more since. He weighs 126 now.

We HAD been encouraging exercise and he eats what I eat. That was working beautifully. He's a very sensitive little fella and it's a very touchy subject. I try to influence him under the table. There aren't normal snacks in the house, no chips, cookies, or other "snacky" foods. No pop or juice. We have only milk or water to drink. The problem is it doesn't matter what I have in the house, he will eat it and lots of it. He eats SO much fruit it's insane. Five apples in a day is not unusual. If I have flatbread, he smother it in peanut butter. He'll concoct things.

There are no activities he enjoys. None. It is such a struggle to get this chid active. He's very uncoordinated and has low muscle tone, so team sports are out. It's socially unfair to do to him. I did just find out about a church sponsored athletic organization that is non competitive. We're looking into that. I have him playing dodgeball after school, and though he loves it, he is always picked last. Socially it is just not good.

I'm asking for ideas right now because this weekend he complained of back pain and leg pain non stop and I can't help but think it's because of his weight. The last I checked his waist was 34. He's wearing size 18H now which are way too long for him.

I have to do something.

I think today I am going to go get two tennis rackets so he and I can bat a ball around outside. I'd like to think of several fun activities he and I can do together. It's going to be hard and I'm going to have to think outside the box because if it feels like exercise he is going to be angry, sad and hard on himself. It can't be running, walking or even bike riding. I'm thinking tennis, four square, jump roping (with me), a game of tag...

Any ideas? Any at all food and activity related? I need ideas for how much, how to keep it routine, how to talk to him about it, how to keep him from food, etc. Is it right to lock my fridge and pantry and have complete control? Or will that damage him for life?

Please be sensitive. :( My head knows this is not my fault, but my heart feels like it is. I know many people will blame me because if a child is overweight it is the parent's fault. Sometimes...but I have tried everything I know.

11-23-2010, 10:03 AM
Oh, also, food related temptations crop up ALL THE TIME! His grandparents are the worst and we've had that conversation but have yet to solve it. Then there's going out to eat, vacations, carnivals, etc. I have no problem saying "no" most of the time. I'm an unusual parent, actually, and don't go for popcorn at the movies or pretzels at the pool. I say "no" a lot at events like that. But now and then a kids got to be a kid and there are some occasions that center around food. We'll get going well with him and then bam, pizza and cake at a birthday party.

11-23-2010, 10:10 AM
I have to get to work, but will check back in and give it some thought. Hugs!

11-23-2010, 10:13 AM
I just have a couple of minutes, but I wanted to give you a :hug: and tell you I think you are a wonderful mom.

How about tae kwon do? It's individual and builds self-esteem and self-discipline. Plus he can earn belts and it's low pressure, go at one's own pace. And it's fun to break boards.

11-23-2010, 10:17 AM
Thanks guys. ;) You're wonderful, short on time and all. I get that!

We did try taekwondo and he enjoyed it. It got to be too expensive though. It's a remarkably expensive sport. I would make that recommendation to anyone who could afford it. It was excellent for self-esteem and the individuality of it was fantastic.

11-23-2010, 10:25 AM
FOr my birthday I got "myself" a Wii Fit (we already had the Wii machine). It's really a game for the whole family, and some of the balance and aerobics games are a LOT of fun. If he's like my 9yo daughter, she'll play with us, or by herself. And when it's just her, she's not as worried about coordination and shyness... she just has fun and tries to beat her (or my) high score. SHe's even had her little friends make avatars so they can play too.

It's a very easy, safe way to incorporate play-movement to the nonathletic.

11-23-2010, 10:30 AM
Oh yeah, we have Wii Fit. I forgot about that. I find it boring. ;) He likes it but we've played it out. I wonder about updating to Wii Fit plus. We also have "Outdoor Adventures" which I recommend to any parent. It has child centered games that are fun and I remember my heart rate getting up on it more than with Wii Fit.

Thanks for the reminder!

11-23-2010, 10:37 AM
Hi there. Sorry you (and your son) are struggling with this :hug:. Even though I'm not a parent, I have a lot of experience with kids and especially around food. Like you said - you are already doing a lot of good things to help your son be healthier. Definitely not having candy or snacks around the house is a good start. If he goes crazy on peanut butter, maybe you shouldn't have that around either.
I'm not sure locking the pantry is the best solution. At my last nanny job the mom tried to control every bite the kids ate (the older one had a tendency to binge) and guess what? The only thing it did was make her hide candy in her room and make eating something secretive and something to be ashamed of. And like you said yourself - if you're only addressing the symptoms (eating too much), he won't know how to deal with all the temptations outside the house.

I feel the better approach is to talk to him. Even with a sensitive kid you can talk about why he eats (is he hungry, bored, lonely?) and how he feels about himself. I do believe it's okay to voice your concern for his health and stress that you want to help him feel better. Tell him you understand that talking about this is uncomfortable and makes him angry, but that you are only doing so b/c you love him. After all, it isn't just about feeling confident - his health is at stake. You can also talk about your own weight struggle and let him know that you want to help him.

It sounds like getting him to be more active is your biggest problem. You say if he feels something is exercising, he gets mad/sad/angry. Do you know why? Have you talked to him about it? I think your idea of coming up with activities you and him can do together is a step in the right direction. But why won't he walk/bike with you if you disguise it as something you want to do with him? What if you say "I feel like going outside, want to come?" - make it look like you are doing it for yourself, not for him or because he needs it.
I honestly haven't met a single kid/boy who hates ALL activity. I'm sure there is something he likes, it's just a matter of finding it - and trying different things. Here is what I've done in the past with kids:
- when you're out running errands, park far away from the entrance - he'll be forced to walk to the store :D.
- If you can, walk to and from school/church (tell him he is helping you by walking or that you're saving gas money :lol:)
- Does he like swimming? Even if you might hate it, maybe that could be a weekend activity you do together? (without the stop at the snack bar, of course)
- Does he have friends to play with? We had a rule that when kids came over and the weather was nice, they had to go outside for at least an hour - no sitting in the basement playing video games the entire afternoon.

Sorry, super long post, so just this last comment:
Definitely get the grandparents on board with this "healthy eating". There isn't much you can do about birthday parties and unless there is one every weekend there isn't anything wrong with your son having cake now and then. But put your foot down with the grandparents. It's your son and you are working on making his life better - if they don't agree to follow your rules, maybe he is better off not spending much time there. Sorry, I know this sounds awful and harsh, but remember that you are doing your son a favor. They aren't.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I'm not sure it all makes sense, but I feel for you and hope you can work this out.

11-23-2010, 10:45 AM
I'm not going to hijack your post. I'm not going to hijack your post. I'm not going to hijack your post.

You know about my dd, I'm at the end of my rope with her too. Every suggestion gets shot down, every compromise is hard won and sometimes bloody.

If I had any advice to offer you I'd give it kindly, but I have nada. I just hope you and he can communicate effectively, before puberty. The hormonal **** that is my life right now. . . let's just say, beating my head against a brick wall is a lot less painful.


11-23-2010, 10:51 AM
Cincimini, thanks for the ideas! All very good!

As to why my son doesn't like activities, it's entirely about self-confidence and his lack of coordination. Unfortunately for him, his younger brother outshines him athletically. The sibling rivalry is horrible. He's very intelligent and quite good at anything computer related. He just refurbished two of our old broken computers. :rolleyes: He gravitates toward those activities he's good at, as any of us would!

I like the idea of parking far away. Sneaky! I knew about that for me but hadn't thought about with the kids. I'm toying with the idea of getting him a gym membership. Technically he's four years too young, but the gym doesn't care as long as we pay them. Then we could swim laps together. We both love to swim. Thanks for the reminder there!

I just thought roller blading too. That's great exercise. He's lousy at it, but I know he'd improve with practice. That's part of his problem there. He tries it once and if he can't do it he gives up. It sucks that his brother tries something once and is excellent at it within the hour.

11-23-2010, 10:53 AM
I'm not going to hijack your post. I'm not going to hijack your post. I'm not going to hijack your post.

You know about my dd, I'm at the end of my rope with her too. Every suggestion gets shot down, every compromise is hard won and sometimes bloody.

If I had any advice to offer you I'd give it kindly, but I have nada. I just hope you and he can communicate effectively, before puberty. The hormonal **** that is my life right now. . . let's just say, beating my head against a brick wall is a lot less painful.

Oh my goodness, hijack away! LOL! That's why I put it out there! I was hoping it WOULDN'T be all about me actually! Make me feel better, please! I like to not be alone. :D

And as far as hormones, yeah, 10 year old boys have them too!! Or so I'm convinced! I am definitely trying to tackle this before puberty.

11-23-2010, 10:55 AM
What about a mini trampoline? Jumping is fun!

11-23-2010, 10:57 AM
CAn I just say that this boy is SO lucky to have you as his mom. Wow. You are amazing.

Okay. I am curious though, is HE upset about his weight? Does he mention it?

Anyway, 10 is kinda young, but I'm wondering if there's not some sort of program or a dietitian or nutritionist or psychologist (or better yet a combo) that you can take him to see? Of course only if he is willing and excited for it.

I wish I had more to tell you. You are truly doing everything that I can possibly think of. The only thing is, perhaps as he gets closet to puberty and has more of a desire to be slim (girls and all that) he may make a concerted effort to lose the weight.

Oooh, one more thing. You mentioned sports and he are not so great. Is there anything that he shows interest in? Maybe get him involved in something that he enjoys and can feel good about himself? Music, art? I know it's not physical, but you just want him to feel proud and accomplished.

My heart goes out to you. :hug:

11-23-2010, 11:03 AM
i remember "feeling" hungry often as a child. like i was trying to fill a void. to this day i do not know why i felt that way. i mean my dad was a workaholic, and i never ever saw him. who knows, maybe that had something to do with it.
my mom had me on all kinds of diets, of course, none of them worked, and the concept of high fiber low fat low cal hadnt even been talked about yet. so the "diet food" left me feeling hungry. now,stuffing myself full of filling foods, make it nearly impossible to overeat. it would be great if you could find a go to "filling" food that he loves.
it would be awesome if you could figure out "why" he eats in large quantities. is he too filling a void? is he an emotional eater? is his body craving something and he just keeps eating to "find it". does he have a thyroid issue? could be lots of reasons.
i know i also had self esteem issues. i didnt want to be in a group of kids doing any sort of exercise. in dance class i felt like i had 2 left feet and a big belly. in swim class i felt like i made a big splash and had the biggest belly. gym class was a nightmare. forever etched into my brain. maybe the 2 of you could just take a walk together after school. doesnt have to be a long walk. just something leisurely, maybe to talk about how his day went. that would give you a 5 day a week exercise regime and he wouldnt even have to know it was exercise.....just mommy and me time.
and as far as the grand parents go.........pfft........i'd rule that one with an iron fist. i have had this battle with my mother over my daughter MANY times....repeat repeat repeat.......it is FINALLY starting to sink in. my girl is 14, and she constantly battles her weight. and i swear my mother is relentless....but guess what, so am I, and i am finally winning that one :)

good luck to you and your son....my heart goes out to you both, i suffered through my entire childhood as an obese little girl, and on into my teenage years..rough road..........very rough road. i hope you find a solution that works for you. and i hope you will share it with us :)

11-23-2010, 11:06 AM
What about a mini trampoline? Jumping is fun!

lol jumping IS fun! :D

11-23-2010, 11:35 AM
Okay, Eliana, but only because you gave permission. I went back using the search feature, and here's a few things I've written in the past. As you can see, I'm clueless how to help her without hurting her, like I had done to me all my life. And the older she gets, the harder it gets. Me losing weight has not motivated her at all, in fact she has gotten larger as I have gotten smaller. She weighs almost as much now as I did when I was first starting out. We exercise together, and the crap food is kept out of our house, for the most part the only exposure she has is at school and friend's houses. Nothing is helping!!!

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I have two children. One is 12 and obese. One is 2 and is in 50th percentile for height and weight.

My older dd was breastfed for only 6 weeks. Then she was formula fed, cried all the time and her doctor told me she was hungry, feed her. He put her on cereal at 2 months, jar food at 4 months, and she graduated to table food by 6 months. At 12 months she wore a 3T. By kindergarten I was begging him to help me reduce her weight. He told me not to put her on a diet, I would deprive her of nutrients, and that she would grow into her weight. Well, now she's 12, 5'7" and 215. We weigh the same amount, we wear the same shoes and we share clothes. In fact, I am thinner than my daughter.

My baby dd was breastfed exclusively for 6 months, started slowly on real food, not jarred baby food. She learned to eat until she was satisfied, and was never overfed because some pediatrician said she's hungry, feed her. She's allowed treats, in fact I think she eats too many treats, but she's incredibly active and apparently genetics are on her side.

It pains me to have conversations with dd1 about food. My parents shamed me into losing weight, it never worked, and I secretly binged on cookies and even cake icing out of the can in my room at night while they weren't watching. I never wanted her to think I was ashamed of her, and I think that's a big part of how she ended up the size she is. While she's at home there is a limit on what she eats. There are very few treats, but when she gets one, she goes overboard. Instead of one serving of frozen yogurt, she's going to have 4 in one bowl, more than once a day, until it's all gone. Oh, how many times have I said "you're not allowed to have that much" or "if you go back to the fridge again I'm throwing it out" or along those lines.

The sad thing for me is: I set her up to be this way from birth. Through my own inexperience, ignorance, whatever you want to call it. I think she comforts herself with food because that's all she ever got as a baby/young child. She never "grew into her weight" or "lost her baby fat" or any number of other things that doctor told me. She's been teased her whole life by adults and children alike, relatives and strangers. She has a very good self esteem, lots of friends, and didn't let her weight bother her. As she's gotten older she's gotten very sensitive about it.

Every conversation is a nightmare, walking on eggshells, the fine line between educating her, controlling her, and not making her feel ashamed.

My question is, short of padlocking the pantry and fridge, just how are parents supposed to control what their kids eat? We don't have tons of junk in our house, we go out to eat very rarely, and I cook plenty of healthy nutritious options for her to choose from. We all know it's possible to overeat on healthy food. . . And don't get me started on her eating at school. I hate to say "force" but I force her to go outside and be active every evening. We go for walks as a family, we play, we have discussions about healthy versus unhealthy calories, portion sizes, choices that can be made in the absence of veggies at school, on and on and on.

So yes, I am the fat parent of a fat child, who has been fat her entire life, just like I was. And I'm not rolling over, sticking my head back into the sand, and pretending we don't have a problem. But she's still fat.

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Yes, my dd (12) and I went to the mall this weekend. She told me "I think they designed this place to make me feel like crap."

In every trendy store that actually carries "plus" sizes, the largest thing I found was an XL t-shirt that would literally fit someone who weighs half my weight.

She wants to spend my money on their brand, but their selection or the lack thereof, well, we ended up going to a department store and looking over the women's rack, most of which appears to be designed for the over 30 crowd.

What dd would like, is for the clothes to be all on the same rack, arranged by size from XS to XL or larger, so that she didn't have to visit the "fat" part of the store while everyone was watching. And what I would like, is for an extra large shirt to fit an extra large person.

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I think insults and backhanded compliments have actually led to me being overweight. My parents especially thought it was "motivating" to tell me that I shouldn't eat x or y because it would make me "more fat" and my father particularly used to make comments such as "I wouldn't take you to a dogfight if you were the main contender" and "why can't you be more like your sister?" (Sis, by the way, is fatter than I am now, so there!!)

While you're young and impressionable, hearing this sort of garbage and feeling the shame and tearing pain in your chest that comes along with your parents hating you (even if they didn't, that's what it felt like to me) when they should love you, and not being able to go to them when you get teased at school or asked if you are pregnant when you're 12 because they would get a huge laugh out of it. . . I learned very early to eat my feelings. Sort of rebellious and f*** them, I'll eat more of this than I really want just to show them I don't care what they think.

That kind of attitude has held on through all these years, and now that I'm almost *gasp* middle aged, well past puberty and young adult-hood, still holds to this day. If someone is laughing and pointing, making comments whether directly or overheard, it is perceived by my tiny mind that they are in fact laughing and pointing at me because I'm fat. Directly resulting in a strong urge to empty an ice-cream container into my mouth.

Compliments, well, they are a whole other ballgame. If someone says "You look great" my mind finishes the sentence with "you usually look like crap." If they notice I've lost weight then that means they noticed how fat I used to be. There is no way to convince myself that sometimes, people are just NICE. Haven't run into too many nice people over the years, but lots of A-holes.

Sorry to ramble. Neither shame nor adoration motivates me. I have to do this for myself, because of my health, so I can be around to watch my children and future grandchildren grow up. And spend a fortune on therapy, I guess.

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I make them eat what I eat. I've greatly changed all our menu's to include less fatty meat, more veggies, and barely any pasta/rice/potato dishes. That is not to say that we don't have spaghetti or mac-n-cheese sometimes, I just refrain. I have some chicken breast and veggies instead. Good luck!

11-23-2010, 12:28 PM
How about asking him to "form a team" with you - just the two of you and come up with a name, maybe buy a special tshirt for both of you? And between the two of you, you come up with a goal - by Jan. 1 we'll have walked together a combined 100 miles or whatever - and then it's something that you're asking him for HIS help for YOU, too. Let him help set a challenging first goal, but one that you should be able to meet even if the weather turns crummy... Maybe a decathalon type of thing with a variety of activities that you do X times before the end of the year ... then new goals for the first day of spring, etc. ?? GOOD LUCK.

11-23-2010, 12:31 PM
Sherrie, it's so good to read the same emotions from you that I have. It is such a struggle knowing what to say to these little guys! Like your daughter, my son is teased and he hates his weight, but he can't do anything about it. When I say that, I mean he's 10...what can he do? He's hungry, legitimately so I'm sure...I've been there. When you're hungry, you eat. I can tell him about protein and how it's more filling and will keep you full longer, but his brain isn't ready to understand that yet. He thinks, I'm hungry, I need to eat.

Oh, and BTW, both my boys were breastfed seven months and would have been longer but my milk dried up. (Thanks PCOS) I know they say breastfed babies are LESS likely to be obese, but it isn't 100%. Don't beat yourself up. ;) One of mine doesn't have an ounce of fat on him and yet wants to lose weight because, well, it's a topic of many family discussions. :rolleyes: That's a whole different story! He's been bragging to everyone that he finally lost four pounds because he got the flu. *sigh* Then there's my ten year old, the topic of this post.

Robin, thank you so much! Your words mean more to me than you know. It's really hard to KNOW with 100% certainty that some people blame me as his mother. We've had posts here on this site even pointing fingers at the parent saying that it's child abuse to have an obese child. :( That just cuts right to the very core.

And yes, Glory, jumping is fun! I'm adding that to my list of things to pick up at the second hand sports store this afternoon. Just a mini one should do the trick.

11-23-2010, 12:32 PM
How about asking him to "form a team" with you - just the two of you and come up with a name, maybe buy a special tshirt for both of you? And between the two of you, you come up with a goal - by Jan. 1 we'll have walked together a combined 100 miles or whatever - and then it's something that you're asking him for HIS help for YOU, too. Let him help set a challenging first goal, but one that you should be able to meet even if the weather turns crummy... Maybe a decathalon type of thing with a variety of activities that you do X times before the end of the year ... then new goals for the first day of spring, etc. ?? GOOD LUCK.

That's a great idea! I know he has a personal goal of running the full mile at school instead of walking. I could use that.

We tried motivating him with an end reward of a hotel stay at a local indoor water park, but that fizzled.

11-23-2010, 12:38 PM
I have a son who is 12 and I had been pushing the exercise and all of that for years. He is just one of those kids who likes video games. The more he plays the more he gets addicted and the more he gains weight.

He is a big part of why it finally clicked that I needed to do something. At 12 years old the scale for him was 191. Now granted he is about 2 inches taller than me, so he stands about 5'3 and is by FAR the tallest kid in his class. However, 191 and a size 38 mens pants scared the crap out of me. Pardon my language.

At that moment, I threw all of the crap away and put us all on South Beach. I will be honest, I bribe him with video games and TV time. For every 20lbs he loses he gets a new game, and for every 5 minutes of cardio he gets 20 minutes of video games/TV/Computer. (this tops out at 45 minutes which equals three hours) it sounds like a lot but trust me, it goes fast and is WAY much less than he was doing without the "lockdown"

Before he was getting bullied, and teased, he is honestly a gentle giant. He feels good now, he knows that he has to make good choices. He is at his dads for the holidays, and his dad and stepmom just eat whatever, no real thought for nutrition. So I know that he is not going to be "on plan" for this week. I am hoping that his dad will see the change in him, and want to keep it up, and I am hoping against hope that my son will make good choices. But if he doesn't we will talk about it and we will recommit to a healthy lifestyle.

Now I know it sounds bad probably that I bribe him to be healthy, and it probably is, but that is my son's motivation. We all have different ones. He does not understand the potential health issues, or what the future holds for him. He understands wanting to play video games. My daughter, who is 16 is a different story, her motivation is how she looks and feels, how much better at sports she is, and a new wardrobe.

Find what motivates your son to make good choices, and talk to him about the ones he makes that are not so good. You cannot keep him from the grandparents, but you can teach your boy to make better choices. Even if it is just portion control.

Good luck

11-23-2010, 01:19 PM
Hey there.....

I have an 8 year old son who is not extremely overweight, but is starting to get a little pudgy. Starting to get into the husky pants in certain brands. He is growing rapidly in height, but we found out at our pediatrician's office that he also gained 16 pounds in the last year. Which is A LOT for a little guy his age. The pediatrician expressed some concerns, but nothing major. I was so puzzled about it, because this year more than any other, I have been cooking healthy, eating healthy and losing weight! So has my husband. So what's going on with my son?

After talking to my husband a lot, he said that I need to just apply what we have been doing to him a little more (well, duh, why didn't I think of that!) For example, my son loves those Kraft "Easy Macs". My husband said, "Would that fill YOU up?". No! I would eat something whole grain and more filling, so why wouldn't he go straight from the Easy Mac to eating cookies, etc. It's just making him more and more hungry. Well I know that!
Another thing is juice boxes, Capri Suns and gatorades. I've tried to either eliminate them around here or buy the light versions for lunches, etc. I am buying a lot more bottled water for him to take to school and sports. I don't drink my calories, so why should he. I think empty calories from drinks are a big problem for kids. Also, I noticed he is eating fries way too often, so when we eat out, I've been trying to encourage him to get fruit or something different as a side.

My mom loves to "feed" my kids. I talked to her a little bit about what was going on, and just told her that she doesn't have to be the "food police" when she watches him, but also, please don't be a food pusher. Just give him a reasonable helping, and don't really offer seconds. In the past, she'd ask over and over if he wanted more, and his answer was always yes!

So my approach has been to feed him more filling foods (less empty calories) and cut WAY back on the calories from drinks. Replacing some bad choices with healthier choices, but not eliminating his favorite foods altogether. I think it's working, too. But part of me does think he is going to battle his weight, just like his dad and I have. That makes me sad.

I really can relate to not knowing what to say. I don't want to mess him up or damage him with any of my comments. I've tried to first relate my own weight struggles, and explain what I did wrong that got me to my weight. Then I used the analogy of a car needing gas, just like our body needs food. Too little isn't good and too much isn't good. You need to put in the right amount. I think he gets what I'm saying, but I'm so fearful about saying the wrong things. It also doesn't help that my other son is UNDERWEIGHT, and the doctor has started to bring him in for regular weigh-ins because she's getting concerned about his growth. Ugh!

Good luck to you and HUGS from someone who does understand!

11-23-2010, 01:59 PM
I never thought to "form a team" with dd, or to have a goal for our team. What a fantastic idea!! That's going on the short list.

So far, bribery hasn't worked, new wardrobe, pfft; $1 for pounds put away to buy a Wii, pfft; and my favorite but no go, redecorating her bedroom (she gets to pick out EVERYTHING including paint color) for a goal-prize, pfft.

Scaring the daylights out of her, NOT what I intended to do when we talked about diabetes and that black ring around her neck which is NOT dirt, just made her roll into a ball and cry inconsolably.

It's heartbreaking when I just can't reach her. . .but I can't give up.

11-23-2010, 03:00 PM
Gosh I am really sorry to hear what you and goodforme (sherrie?) are going through :(

It's so hard but the only thing I can suggest is talking to your parents and stressing about the junk, I mean 10 lbs in a week? NOT good- that's 1-2 lbs a day! I hate to say it but I'd probably go so far as to say the kids can't go over to their house anymore unless they make sure to give the kids healthier meals. While they are 100% welcome to come to your home anytime (sans food) they can't have the kids over cuz of your son's diet.

I mean I'd approach them with your son is having health issues and the doctor is concerned (lie if you have to) and therefore the healthier eating must continue with ALL members of the family, not just in your home. Then if they continue to do whatever they want then just don't let the kids over to their house (if you can help it).

Sometimes kids just have to make their own mistakes unfortunately, you can't force them to want to eat healthier (unless you lock the fridge) and it might take for them to go "hmm, my mom tried and now I realize she is right." You are the best example for your kids and if they see you continuing to slim down it might click for them to do so as well (maybe not today but someday).

Maybe the kids could go to therapy? I know I overate as a child but I know why I did it- part of it was my PCOS- part of it was my unhappy childhood (yeah mine was not very good- abusive father)- it's taken me a LONG time to move forward from it but I recognize it- maybe your kids are having issues that a professional can help them with?

Oh and maybe for the Karate being expensive maybe you can see if you can get a program that is cheaper or helps out parents who don't have a lot of money?

11-23-2010, 04:09 PM
Does your community recreational department have classes? Ours has a ton of classes, many geared towards kids and teens.

We do karate through the county recreational department and it is $80/3 months. Sure you have to buy a gi and belt tests are fairly cheap ($20?). I know a lot of private martial arts companies can be expensive but generally a community recreation center will be cheaper. If they don't have karate, they might have something else.

Does he like animals? nature? How about hiking? How about going somewhere like a local zoo where there is a lot of walking?

How about geocaching? It might be fun for him to go hiking with a gps device but it is like treasure hunting.

11-23-2010, 04:09 PM
Hi I'm so sorry. Your son has the "best" mom. I had the same problem with my son and the "social thing" was terrible. For a while he was on a swim team, then a soccer team, but he was not as good as the other kids and they teased him. So he wouldn't go. The lines are really blurry and while it may not be your problem. I know it feels very much like it is and I'm sure every time he suffers, you suffer with him. My son is thirty now and "super obese". I would guess he weighs around 500 lbs. I still wish I could help him but as you said he is and always was very "sensitive" about his weight. If I try to talk about it he won't talk to me for weeks at a time. I feel like my focus on his weight when he was young may have been part of the problem. I had us all on a high carb, low fat diet which was the standard at the time. I can see now that it contributed to the problem. I took him to the doctor when he was 16 and the doctor put him on phen-phen and he lost 50lbs. He gained it back and now won't take pills of any type. I'm so worried about his health. I know he has insulin resistance as he has had skin tags and acanthosis nigricans since he was 19 or 20. I'm afraid he could be diabetic and if he isn't already I'm sure he will end up so. I hope you can sit and talk to him and share your fears. Hopefully you can open that door and he will be willing to try things like exercise he may not like if he knows how important it is for him. I wish I had been able to open a door between my son and myself so he would reach out to me. Due to your post and the fact that I think about this all the time and pray for him. I'm going to copy information about insulin resistance and give it to him at Thanksgiving. I pray that he doesn't get angry. I will pray for you and your son. Maybe the Wii will help.

11-23-2010, 06:27 PM
If he's not interested, or reluctant to be involved in traditional sports/teams, their are tons of other great activities. My husband loves to pitch horseshoes, there is probably a club for that in your area. He may have to throw with adults, the kids around here do, but they are more apt to be helpful and less critical. Yoga would be great for concentration and coordination, but would probably bore him to tears.

Since you said he's a computer whiz, have you checked out 4-H? They are now offering projects in engineering, robotics, film making and tons of other stuff that might interest him. Conquering a few projects would be great for his self esteem. Plus it would be something that interests him, and he would get to hang out with other kids who have the same interests.

I peeked in on my break at work, gotta run, bbl!:D

11-23-2010, 06:51 PM
Kitty, I fear that so much. A least I'll be able to say I tried. It sounds like you can say the same. ;) It is pretty much his responsibility now. Your son will be ready and your own weight loss will most certainly be inspirational for him. He'll have a wonderful sounding board in you when he is. :hug:

Shcirerf, I hadn't thought about 4-H for anything but raising rabbits! :rofl: I think I may be a little out of touch. I will be googling in a moment. :D

On the home front, I have good news! DH and I went out and bought a small trampoline, inline skates, a jump rope and tennis rackets. We put it all away for Christmas, BUT I met our son at the door after school with the tennis rackets and tennis ball. We played out front for 15 minutes before he tired out. And I got a big old hug. :D And just now, as I started typing, he came to his dad and begged to go out and play tennis. Too bad it's dark out! LOL!

And so far this evening he had only half a peanut butter sandwich for an after school snack.

So far, so good!

I also just ordered two Taebo videos and a kids workout video and two Wii games, one a walking game and one a "Outdoor adventures" game. We own one already and I really like it. This one is another in the series.

I think I need to keep it interesting with something different frequently.

11-23-2010, 08:54 PM
Wow!!! I'm so excited for your family embarking on the New Year full of adventures and fun, active family time!!!! My daughter dances 4 days a week and loves moving her body and I've been doing my daily exercise, but we could ALL benefit from what you are trying to do. I am very inspired!

11-23-2010, 09:32 PM
my dd also has weight issues. So far, it's not out of control, but i try hard. She plays soccer, indoor soccer, and softball. But her genetics are against her and she is VERY big boned. She has an amazing broad set of shoulders. i cook healthy things and try to incorporate them whenever i can without pushing. We are cutting down on pizza and junk just by virtue of my Hubby dieting and myself going vegan. We have increased the water and cut soda out of the house, we do whole grain alot more. i haven't seen a huge difference yet, but she is still wearing pants from last year, they are just shorter, so that's a good sign for now. Fortunately she has some MUSCLE (alot of muscle) but genetically she puts any fat in her belly. It's like she never lost the "toddler" belly. i am so scared to say the wrong thing. She does say she is "fat" but she is also not shy of her body-it's more of a "i am what i am take it or leave it" which is good-but what do you say? What are the "right" things? i remember barely having my license and exercising that independence by going to the drive thru- i don't want that to be her. She says "the other kids eat junk and i eat salad at lunch, and carrots, and eat all of it, and i'm fat!" and it breaks my heart. She's 11 and i don't know how much she weighs to be honest.


11-23-2010, 09:36 PM
Eliana, no one with even one brain cell could ever mistake your love for your family and healthy lifestyle for child abuse. I think a lot of people forget that kids are real people with autonomy over their actions, and that parents do not personally oversee every single bite of food that their children eat.

I'm really happy to hear he's enjoying tennis! I remember my mom dragging me out to play in the park behind our house and trying to get me to go for walks with her. I hated it then but now I see what she was trying to do. Your son has nothing but excellent role models with healthy lifestyles to look up to!

11-23-2010, 10:22 PM
:rofl: at rabbits!:D

One thing I found with my kids, is that if you are honest with them, they are more receptive and perceptive than we give them credit for.

So, anyway, not every boy is meant to be a big ole, he man athlete like John Elway or Michael Jordan. I mean where would we be without Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and (sarcasm ahead) ole what's his bucket the politician who claims to have invented the internet?

But good health, nutrition and some form of physical activity is important, so that you can enjoy the people and things you love and live a happy life, whether you are Hulk Hogan or Super Geek.

So, maybe have a "visit" "with" him, instead of talking "to, at, over or around" him. Allow him to help with the decisions. I think he'll feel much better if he can have an active part in the process and understand that you don't expect him to be like his brother or anyone else. That you just want him to be healthy and happy. :hug:

Just my 2 cents worth.

11-24-2010, 12:28 AM
This is not at ALL directed toward any specific parent, and is certainly not meant to hint that my issues are related to Eliana's child or anyone else. But since I was morbidly obese as a child I thought I would share a data point.

I was overweight or obese from basically birth thru my 20s. Many tactical approaches were taken by my Mom...none at all made a significant difference.

My food issues were not something I realized were actually related to DEEP emotional issues until I was almost 30. It was basically a means to exercise control over the only thing in my life I could control. My psyche couldnt handle it, so it sorta dumped off the need to be in control to the physical body...and it worked well for a time. I survived. Thanks psyche for not breaking! You did what you had to do, and I am so thankful :)

I endured daily trauma as an infant in a physically violent and drug addicted parental situation (father was drug user and abused my mother). She left him when I was 2, but my mother was basically a borderline sociopath herself...so 40+ moves and 12+ husbands (my mother, not me!) later I was an adult and definitely no longer in control of food, it was in control of me!

I remember my mother telling a story all the time she thought was cute...about how when I was a baby she could sit me in my highchair, give me a bowl of peas, and I would take an hour to eat it...carefully inspecting each pea. Seems not so funny, but enlightening to think that even as a baby it had begun...the control exercise to evade the constant traumas I experienced in daily life.

It was dealing with the trauma in conjunction to dealing with the eating disorders I attained as a result that actually helped.

11-24-2010, 01:11 AM
I know as mothers we hate to see our children suffer, be it physically, or emotionally. Has your son been tested for diabetes? Or thyroid disease?Maybe a referral from your DR. to an endocrinologist might be the key.
I think walking might be the easiest way to get him moving, or how about swimming? The T-shirt and making "your own team" idea is GREAT! Maybe you could set mini goals like for every 5 miles we walk together we'll go play mini-golf, or a movie, or something similiar. Naturally you will have to break that 5 miles down in smaller increments until he builds a little stamina and endurance. But you could chart each quarter mile or so until you have reached goal. Maybe have a big reward at the end of a year.As we all know here, achieving those little goals is what keeps us going :) Prayers for you and your son that a solution will be found soon :)

katy trail
11-24-2010, 01:51 AM
ok lots of comments, i'll see if i can remember them all.

first, yes! you are doing a great job as a mom, i don't blame you at all. i'm sure for all of us chicks any suffering our children have to go through is completely unintentional. we would never want them to go through the pain we've been through.

trampoline, wii games, i was thinking of those too. we have those too.

with food. it's hard.
i try to talk with my kids about that often. how to choose foods, because they give us energy. notice how after they ate a poptart, they were hungry again soon after. but when they ate a healthy snack they had lots of energy to play.

maybe for holiday events and birthday parties you could talk to the hostess. make it a party not centered around the food. like go to the waterpark, rock climbing at a gym, hang out at a reg. park. ok all those sound like kinda the same idea, but lots of ways to celebrate and get together without being surrounded by cake.

have you tried dance dance revolution? that's great for parties too. and lots of fun. doesn't feel like exercise.

if he's into computers, maybe you could use that to your advantage? like lots of charts to mark his progress. his exercise minutes, intensity, inches lost, times he tried new fruits/veggies, or ate his produce. try to build some consistency, then he can look back on it and feel great!

it really seems like there would be a way to make martial arts more affordable. it's such an independent sport. maybe you could get a used boxing punching bag? that can be really fun! both my boys like punching/kicking ours. great for feeling strong and getting out stress. there's lots of kickboxing dvds. you could rent some with male instructors. see how he likes it. they also have weighted gloves.

what's great is, he's old enough to understand about how the body works. he can learn all about nutrition and the different cells, muscles and lots of gross stuff. if he's into science stuff (I know my sons are) he could get really interested in that. they have an exibit at our local science center called grossology. learning all about how the body makes boogers and bunch of stuff. maybe if it's presented in an interesting way, he would like to learn about how his body works and what would make it work better.

you could do science experiments. like he eats meal A then records or tells you how he felt after. did he feel hungry 20 mins, 2 hrs, 3 hrs later? how much energy did he have? can't think of anything else.

then you two could compare to other snacks/meals. does he feel better with less carbs, more protein? lots of carbs, doesn't care about protein? maybe he just wants lots of apples and it tastes good lol.

Iconised Ghost
11-24-2010, 09:36 PM
hey there, I'm not a mum but I was just trying to think of stuff I enjoyed as a kid in terms of exercise. I was terribly shy and extremely unco-ordinated and would have sold my soul for a note to get out of PE. But I LOVED swingball. Like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mookie-761588a-Super-Swingball/dp/B0000A120M Im not sure how many calories it burnt, but it was awesome fun and great stress relief :lol: I'm not sure where you live, but walking on the beach collecting shells or looking in rock pools was also heaps of fun. "Going for a walk" was always a chore, but going to the beach for a look in the rock pools and to poke the sea anemones was a treat :D Frisbees were also good, but a bit harder to disguise the exercise part.

11-24-2010, 10:45 PM
Great thread... this is a future concern of mine (as mine is not even on solids yet). OH + I are very athletic (my weight problem was 6 years ago) and sometimes I fear that we may push our athletic lifestyle too hard, expecting him to be like us. OTOH, I don't want him to rebel against that and feel pressured, with the opposite happening.

I don't know what to do :(

11-25-2010, 08:08 AM
I just thought of another thing when I read 'frisbee'.
Frisbee golf!
It's easy, fun for the whole family, it's not really about winning AND you're forced to stomp around the woods for a good hour or two ;). The tougher courses have actually quite a lot of hill climbing incorporated, so you get some good "moving around" exercise.

11-25-2010, 08:52 AM
Oh yeah, we have Frisbee golf around here. I forget about that. And "swing ball" looks a bit like tether ball and I am a tether ball nut! We got the kids to play with us at a farm we went to not long ago. I'd love to have a tether ball in our back yard, but I'd be picky about it. I'd want it to be as firm as the one at my playground growing up and I'm not sure backyard tether balls are made that way. Swing ball looks like it wouldn't matter nearly as much, and it looks like it takes a bit of hand/eye coordination which is a good thing.

Sacha, don't sweat it. ;) You'll know. We ended up with a little boy who is not athletic and we are just fine with it. What you do is try them out in various things from piano to soccer to art and see what interests and talents they have. We're musicians on our end and I've had them playing piano for a few years now. One is amazing at reading music but not so coordinated with the fingers. The other has an amazing innate talent for piano, good rhythm, good ear, but can not read it to save his little life. If they're not good at music, that's fine. We're not into football AT ALL but our youngest wants to be a pro football player. :D To each their own! LOL!

11-25-2010, 10:57 AM
Thanks :) Maybe he will be a pro footballer and Eliana will retire to a Miami beach condo :)

11-25-2010, 01:34 PM
Eliana - I was a not a seriously overweight child. I remember my mother taking me to see a specialist when I was 8, who diagnosed the fact that I was fat. I have been living up to that ever since !!
My own kids have been overweight, skinny, just right. I have taught them what good food is, and encouraged them to eat well and exercise. It is a horrendous problem, and one that is very difficult to handle correctly. I'm a teacher and teach my kids about healthy eating as part of course work. We also try to discuss the emotional issues connected with weight. With my own kids I have taught them to cook, taught them about calories and what is good and what is not. My son is currently at his fattest, my daughter is in the normal weight range. Having me lose so much weight has breally helped. All you can do is support, advise, guide and be the great mother that you already are. :hug:

11-25-2010, 08:22 PM
My son is on the autism spectrum and having gained a few pounds around his hips and middle--we are trying to nip this in the bud quickly.
The reason I mentioned the autism spectrum is because it radically changes the way he is willing to participate in sports. He is high functioning, but hates most competitive sports because they are too chaotic. The rules are quite subtle and don't make sense to some children.
I have found a sports group catering to children who don't thrive in other environments. Some are overweight, some have disabilities and some are just working on gross motor skills. This is a no pressure group and it is awesome.
I have found that my ds complains when I make him exercise, ie) take him on walks or hiking no matter how fun I try to make it. The solution? Find a peer who is really active instead. My ds loves to swim at the pool with his hyper friend from down the street. This friend engages him into action and gets him moving.
I am also testing my child for food sensitivities. My physician has been talking about the epidemic cases of dairy and gluten sensitivities he has seen, not to mention candida yeast. It is possible that your son may have some food sensitivities, weight gain is one of many subtle symptoms.
From my own experience, I am also trying to make my children drink water- and lots of it. I still surprise myself for thinking I am hungry when I am really thirsty.
Oh, and the Mom who bribes her kids with electronics? I do it too! Pokemon DS Heart Gold/ Soul Silver games come with a pedometer. The more the child moves the better Pokemon they can find. It is a win win.

11-26-2010, 08:38 AM
My son's 10 and he wanted to send a message to you.

He said to tell you first of all that you sound like a really nice person and so your son must be too. That it's a shame you don't live nearer so they could do things together.

Then he said that you should all be in it together, and should keep moving. Moving is better than sitting around (he was a bit keen at this point - he does read a great deal whilst sitting and lying around ... but I'm sure you get the idea). And moving is better than always competing.

His specific recommendations were walking (running will come a bit later, according to him), the mini trampoline, sit-ups (his big thing at the moment) and ... darts for those cold, dark, wet nights (do you have those where you live?) He thinks darts are good, especially if your son is a bit technically/mathematically minded. Movement and arithmetic. (He told me this whilst I was washing up and taking my turn at darts with him - we have the board up in the kitchen.)

So, Eliana, I said I'd pass all this on. Very good luck. :hug: And, yes, it is a shame you don't live nearer. We could all have a go on the tennis court!

11-26-2010, 09:30 AM
I was overweight (not hugely) as a kid and was put on Weight Watchers at age 11, if I remember right. It promptly caused me to begin sneaking food, eating in secret, etc. No kid should ever feel hungry, seriously, fat or not.

My mother (bless her heart) just wanted to help me be more of a normal kid but the scars from "dieting" remain. I remember knowing that I was different than other kids and feeling shameful about it.

I am 22 but find myself strongly drawn towards buying weird things like fruit roll-ups now because they were not allowed then.

Some people never forget what happened to them as kids-
I still feel nervous/guilty if I eat a snacky "kid" food, and still have a hard time with my mother sometimes for doing that to me.

Everyone has given you great advice, (and you sound like a wonderful mom trying to encourage healthiness) I would just urge you to remember that any vibe you give him now may be remembered (heavily) forever.

11-26-2010, 10:22 AM
You've gotten lots of good advice :) And huge props to you for being such a wonderful and sensitive mother.

I'm not a parent, so I can only imagine what a tough situation this is for you. I was always chubby, though never "fat," as a child. In a way, I definitely wish that my parents had stepped in and helped me with my weight earlier. They were divorced, and my mom was a single working mom who never had time to cook. I had either fast food or Kraft Mac n' Cheese nearly every night. On weekend visits to my dad's, he'd spoil me with hot fudge sundaes and other junk. They weren't doing me any favors, that's for sure. And my weight was never really brought up except for some random side comments that always stuck with me.

One activity that I thought of was geocaching. Basically, people hide little "treasures" (mostly just little knick knack things, I think), and they post the exact coordinates of the location online. Then you can look up location points within such and such miles of your home, take your GPS and go find them! Basically a hiking treasure hunt with technology. It popped into my head when you mentioned he was enthusiastic about technology. This way he could play with a gadget and have a motive to get outside and active. It would be a fun family activity too...he could be the family navigator. I know some families get pretty serious about it and go on geocaching roadtrips.

11-26-2010, 11:45 AM
Silverbirch, please give your ten year old a great big old hug! What a little sweetie! He certainly has some great ideas, sit-ups aside. ;) LOL! In fact, I just asked him "What's your favorite exercise, like sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks?" His answer? "I hate all of them." That's ok! I understand! It's all hard, hard, hard! So we're getting it in sneakily.

Kaala, yes, you've described my fear. It's every parent's fear. No one knows just what they may do to ruin their children for life. I try to strike a happy balance. For instance, I hid the Halloween candy and give them each 14 pieces at the beginning of each week. I like my sweets and believe in moderation, so we go out for ice cream probably once a week. I spoil them with really good cookies from the Whole Foods store now and then, not often at all. I just don't buy crappy cookies from the store. We'll eat chips with Subway, but we don't have them in the house. They get fruit snacks on road trips, but we don't have them in the house. That kind of thing.

Megan, someone else mentioned GEO caching too, so now I need to ask. How can you make it a hike? We've done it a few times and it's a matter of driving up to the location and looking around a little. I guess maybe stop the car before we actually got to the location? But how do you know you're in a location that lends itself to walking?

11-26-2010, 12:21 PM
Megan, someone else mentioned GEO caching too, so now I need to ask. How can you make it a hike? We've done it a few times and it's a matter of driving up to the location and looking around a little. I guess maybe stop the car before we actually got to the location? But how do you know you're in a location that lends itself to walking?

Maybe you have to look at the site further to find details but I've been on hikes where I've seen geocache boxes. (ie somewhere that you would have to walk at least a mile to get to)

Do you have any known hiking/walking trails near you? I would think if you found geocache spots at those sites, then you could start there?

11-26-2010, 12:54 PM
GEO caching is awesome!
I don't know about the US, but in Germany, we have a lot of pre-set caching challenges that you do on foot. In some places you can also rent the GPS equipment with pre-programmed locations. Sometimes they are set up as "treasure hunts" where you don't get the location for the next cache without solving a puzzle or finding a clue - those are the best!

Start at geocaching.com or check out local state/national parks that might already have treasure hunts in place.

11-26-2010, 06:01 PM
How about having a weekly family meeting to plan meals and snacks. Sometimes taking the daily choice out is helpful. If you have agreed that on Monday after school snack is hummus with pita, then that is what it is. We do this including planning any treats we might have. This is win win in our family because we then all eat things that we like (or at least don't hate)

I do this kind of planning because it simplifies grocery shopping and i don't have to think before i cook. It also helps everyone know what we are eating, just check the list on the fridge. My guys don't participate in the weekly plan but we discuss it on a regular basis and they make suggestions for what should be in the rotation. That way they can't complain about what they got for lunch since it was in the 'approved' list. Also it means that we don't run out of stuff because we have a plan.

the other thing that may help are things like making sure that anything that comes in a box eg. crackers is repackaged in appropriate serving sizes. I've read studies where they present snacks to kids on a plate vs in a baggie/tupperware container and if you have a container, you tend to think that is the serving size (no matter how many serving sizes there actually are in the container/bag). So that might also be a simple way to give a cue about how much is appropriate to eat.

Also how about ensuring that all snacks have a bit of fat or protein eg. 1 apple with a tbspoon of peanut butter may make you feel more satiated than the 5 apples. I know i've had that with fruit, where you just never feel full...

hope these ideas help. Good luck and don't despair. remember your job is to offer healthy well-portioned foods. His job is to eat it or not.

11-26-2010, 11:20 PM
I wrote a really, really long post, but it rambled and made very little sense.

As someone who was overweight and who (sorry mom) was not dealt with properly regarding that weight, all I can say is this:

If your son does not develop will-power (to stick with a sport, to not eat unhealthily), he will not be physically healthy. If he doesn't know what is unhealthy, he can't have the will-power to not eat unhealthily. Does he know why flatbread covered in peanut butter is bad? Last but not least, the best thing to encourage success is success.

So educate him on nutrition. Then, do everything you can to make sure he stops giving up on stuff. And every single time he does something right, make sure he knows how great it is that he succeeded.

11-27-2010, 09:39 AM
You can also incorporate more walking by being a bad shopper. For example, park at one end of the mall when what you need is at the other. When you get back to the car end, remember something else at the other end that you need. Same with grocery shopping. Purposely forget thing in the aisles so there is a lot of back and forth.

Does he help with meal planning and preparation? Maybe you could have him tell you the foods he wants that you don't get to have often and then you could work together on making them healthier?

Could you have him take acting classes? Those tend to be active and also fun for kids who are into more creative things than athletic things. And if he is into video games, maybe go to the arcade and play there, where he will be standing and possibly even playing games that require movement. If he likes football, take him to the field and have touchdown races where you run with the ball the length of the field.

You say that you only have milk and water to drink in the house. Do you limit his milk? I adore milk and we used to go through a gallon a day, easily, between the three of us. Milk is good for you, but also an easy way to pack on a lot of calories. Maybe make it a rule that milk is only drunk with meals.

You are doing a good job, though, and you shouldn't feel bad. My friend has two sons. Both were breast fed on demand and had healthy infancies. One was a chunky baby and still has to be really aware of what he eats. Both boys could eat the same thing and the one will gain weight and one won't. Some people are simply more efficient at storing and using calories. Just keep gently guiding him and loving him.

11-27-2010, 10:15 AM
To Eliana and all of the moms here, I just want to send my support to all of you! :hug: It's really clear how much you care about and love your kids. I don't know that I have the best advice. Sometimes you have to just do your best. Limit the snacks in the house, offer exercise opportunities, guide them nutritionally--something you are all doing. As they say, "You can lead a horse to water...but you can't make them drink." Being a mom is so hard sometimes. We have to watch our kids make mistakes and be there for them when they fall down, both literally and figuratively...

11-27-2010, 11:00 AM
I'm a mom of a three year old boy. I've been obese my whole life and sometimes struggle to not show my son any food issues. Like placing value on treats and things. I don't want him to covet them. So if we have them I don't make a huge deal about it being special.

Anyway, I'm sure you already do but please tell your son all the time that you love him the way he is, you aren't embarrassed of him, arent ashamed. That you are proud and want him to be healthy and strong. I have many scars from my childhood of my father and the way he dealt with my weight. If you think you've told him enough tell him again. I'd tackle his self esteem and the weight might follow. :)

Latchkey Princess
11-27-2010, 11:27 PM
I've not read all the replies so please forgive me if I repeat something someone else has said. :-)

I'm a mom, my kids are considerably younger than your son, but we've already been hounded by the pediatrician about my 3 year old's weight (she weighs 44lbs). Honestly I think she's just a big kid as she's also tall and eats like a bird, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like at some level I may be setting her up to be an overweight/obese/miserable child like I was. So this post kind of hit home for me on a certain level.

As far as your son, have you tried to tackle the social issues? If he feels left out during sports and feels like his brother outshines him (man, that reminds me of myself as a kid), maybe a club or organization that centers around something he enjoys, like electronics or music, would help him form the self confidence that would help him to be more comfortable in other areas of his life, like physical activity. Also less time for him to be hanging at home snacking. It would also give him some new friends with the same interests as him who may also have other, more physical, interests that he could pick up on and share.

That's the only contribution I have right now. I'm going to go back and read the other posts and see if anything else jumps out at me. In the mean time... :hug:

11-28-2010, 09:09 AM
I have a question about snacking? Why are kids (other than little, little kids) getting snack? I know it may be an american cultural thing but it is also what makes americans more obese than non-snacking cultures.

I have a 10 yo. He rarely has a snack. You could tell your children snacking is only for little kids or for special events. That might help. My younest still snacks. We point out that if you have a snack it is something small to tide you over till the next meal. So, a very small bowl of cereal, one fruit, a handful of nuts and that's it.

Latchkey Princess
11-28-2010, 05:50 PM
I think snacking is mostly because people get hungry within the 6-7 hours between the three main meals of the day, more if you get up early and don't get home for dinner until late... Honestly I think that's fairly natural. I agree that the type of snack should be healthy, but I don't think snacking in and of itself makes Americans obese, I think it's the excessive nature of our culture that is more to blame. But that's another post entirely. :-)

11-28-2010, 11:47 PM
wow, i'm glad you are seeing some progress!!! i wish we all had parents who cared and understood. my suggestion was going to be also take him hiking (with you participating) at a local/state/national park if you live close enough. it's hard not to like a lake, streams, nature, especially when you have a companion to do it with you. because some of the other things are just telling him to do it, and he will be picky about what he wants. and at some point, you are the parent and he is the child; he needs to exercise a certain amount just like he needs to shower every day, even if it's not his favorite thing to do. but it seems that you have found some ways to motivate him for himself by helping him:):)

11-29-2010, 09:18 AM
I have a question about snacking? Why are kids (other than little, little kids) getting snack? I know it may be an american cultural thing but it is also what makes americans more obese than non-snacking cultures.

I have a 10 yo. He rarely has a snack. You could tell your children snacking is only for little kids or for special events. That might help. My younest still snacks. We point out that if you have a snack it is something small to tide you over till the next meal. So, a very small bowl of cereal, one fruit, a handful of nuts and that's it.

Mmm, I disagree. I think snacking on the right foods is a GOOD thing. I think skipping meals and snacks may be part of the issue as it leads to later bingeing. Frequent meals/snacks (all small) keep the metabolism revved. It's how I lost nearly 80 pounds. It also keeps you from being hungry, so you eat less at meals.

I try to control his snacking as much as a mom can control her 10 year old's snacking. He does have a tendency to be sneaky.

11-29-2010, 09:51 AM
Snacking is part of my plan and a vital one at that.

Of course I'm not speaking about snacking on cookies and chips.

I'm talking about snacking on grape tomatoes, an apple, a small bag of popcorn. Something to keep my hunger at bay, my energy in tact and my sugar levels even.

I need my snacks. As healthy and filling as my meals are, they're just not going to be enough to keep me going for hours and hours and hours..

When children get over hungry, it sets them up not only to overeat later and make poor choices when they do eat, but to not be focused on their school work. I think it's important for kids to snack (properly) for the same reasons that I snack.

11-29-2010, 05:57 PM
Hi, Someone sent me a link to an article by Mark Harmon, MD called Food Addiction: Could it explain why 70% of Americans Are Fat? I'm computer illiterate or I would post a link. Have a look I found it enlightening. It's about Big Food and how we and our kids get hooked.

11-30-2010, 01:29 AM
I think the snacking is definitely a cultural thing.

I've lived in places where people just don't snack. I worked as an au pair girl in France, and at the afternoon snack, the adults drank coffee, and only the kids had something to eat. At first, I would always help myself to the food, but finally the lady of the house commented to me that normally adults did not eat at snack time-- the snack was only for children. And even that "snack" was very formal, like a little sit down meal, always at the table, always at the same time of day. It was not the kind of snacking my kids do, where they whiz past the fridge, pull the door open and stand their staring at it until they decide what to pull out.

I don't think frequent snacking is wrong or right per se. What matters is total number of calories, however it's divided up. But I don't think snacks are NECESSARY. Kids can eat at meals only and do just fine. It has more to do with what they expect and what they are used to.

11-30-2010, 06:27 AM
I also agree that snacking can be a good thing - if it's done with the right foods.
In Germany, snacking is fairly common. School children have a 10-20 minute break at school around 10am and the teachers encourage them to bring (healthy) snacks/sandwiches from home. At the office, 10am is usually "coffee break" and it's fairly common for someone to bring in treats (e.g. there is always someone with a birthday). My sister's team at work gathers every Friday to have a 10am "sausage breaks". And yes, they still eat lunch later.

A lot of people also have coffee and cake around 3-4pm, much like the English tea time. Especially on weekends, it's common for the family to gather for a piece of homemade cake, fruit bread or cookies. So, it's definitely not a US thing. I just think there is a problem with portion sizes and proliferation of fatty/sugary/chemically enhanced foods - and people don't know anymore what is "normal" food.
Anyway, this is way off topic :lol:. Hope you're getting your son motivated for some activities! :hug:

11-30-2010, 10:21 AM
Hi, Someone sent me a link to an article by Mark Harmon, MD called Food Addiction: Could it explain why 70% of Americans Are Fat? I'm computer illiterate or I would post a link. Have a look I found it enlightening. It's about Big Food and how we and our kids get hooked.


Is this it?

There are lots of books and articles on the subject of our culture of fake and processed foods. You might also like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I had no idea just how far gone we are as a country - even the types of seeds we can get for growing our own food is highly managed and controlled. We live in a land of fake food, it is truly no wonder people are fat and unhealthy.