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Old 11-23-2010, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Help for moms of overweight children

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. 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.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html

Last edited by Eliana : 11-23-2010 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:03 AM   #2
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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.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html

Last edited by Eliana : 11-23-2010 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
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I have to get to work, but will check back in and give it some thought. Hugs!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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I just have a couple of minutes, but I wanted to give you a 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.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:17 AM   #5
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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.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html

Last edited by Eliana : 11-23-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:30 AM   #7
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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!
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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Hi there. Sorry you (and your son) are struggling with this . 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 .
- If you can, walk to and from school/church (tell him he is helping you by walking or that you're saving gas money )
- 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.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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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.

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:51 AM   #10
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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. 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.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodforme View Post
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.

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.
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Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)






My "goal" story: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal...goal-post.html
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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What about a mini trampoline? Jumping is fun!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:57 AM   #13
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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.

Last edited by rockinrobin : 11-23-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:03 AM   #14
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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
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
What about a mini trampoline? Jumping is fun!

lol jumping IS fun!
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