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Old 11-28-2006, 05:17 AM   #16  
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I almost feel like we're a normal family as long as my son stays skinny (I can't believe I just admitted that).

So tell me, how is my son not going to have food issues if I'm already worried about his weight????????
I think it's really healthy for you to acknowledge your feelings, Nalynn. Your son being skinny at a time when you control what he eats would (right or wrong) naturally feel like a reflection on your parenting skills. And with society being largely judgmental, you're not off the mark by thinking you and your husband would likely be viewed more harshly by some for having an overweight child than a thin family. And it's great that you're concerned about sparing your son from your own worries about food.

In reading all of the other replies and thinking about my own experiences, here's my untested theory for not passing on food issues: Teach by consistent, positive example. If your son sees you and your husband living a healthy lifestyle and having a good relationship with food then it will feel normal to him to copy you. Just as it will feel normal for him to mimic your food issues and bad habits if that's what he sees.

While all we had were healthy things to eat in the house, my family's relationship with food was (and still is) really unhealthy and obsessive. There was a lot of discussion of foods being off limits, fears of weight gain (my mom's fear I would take after her, my dad's similar fear, his resentment of my mom when I began to, and his frustration with me for not taking after him), shock and disapproval when I started to gain weight, the disposal of my school pictures year after year because I looked fat, the constant inspection/judgment of everything I ate, the "do as I say, not as I do" approach my mom had towards healthy living. I could go on, but I'll spare you!

If I ever have children, I want to be a good example for them and teach them how to make positive choices, but I don't know that I'd have foods be off limits. It just becomes "forbidden fruit". I'd want to exercise as a whole family, but make it just part of playing together and having fun. And any conversations about food and weight would have a positive approach rather than a negative or punishing one. I think my top goals would be to avoid making food an emotionally charged issue for them and avoid making their weight, whatever it may be, a condition for my acceptance.

I believe my parents acted out of love and wanted me to be healthy and happy. They didn't want me to suffer. I guess we can only learn from our experiences and try to do better if/when faced with the same situations. Thanks for bringing this topic up, Nalynn!
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:45 PM   #17  
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In reading all of the other replies and thinking about my own experiences, here's my untested theory for not passing on food issues: Teach by consistent, positive example. If your son sees you and your husband living a healthy lifestyle and having a good relationship with food then it will feel normal to him to copy you. Just as it will feel normal for him to mimic your food issues and bad habits if that's what he sees.
Thank you for your post. I am really struggling with setting an example. I know you're right; my son needs to see my husband and I living a healthy lifestyle. There is no better reason in the world to change your bad habits than for your own child.... and yet I have yet to make the change. I struggle everyday, and he sees me make more bad choices than good. I have to somehow stop this cycle.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:42 PM   #18  
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Okay, I'm going to get (lovingly) tough here. You CAN stop, Nalynn--if you want this bad enough. You might not be ready to stop yet. I firmly believe that people have to be ready to lose weight. It took me a long time and many false starts before I became committed to changing my lifestyle. For me, it started with making that commitment, then getting people in my life to realize that I was making a commitment and that I needed support. And I told them what support looked like. For me that support meant throwing out all the unhealthy food and telling my family that if they wanted junk food, they needed to keep it in their rooms or have it away from the house. The peanut butter was put on the top shelf, and if I really want it, I'll use a stool to get it. I made exercise part of my life, and drag myself to the gym nearly every day, sometimes kicking and screaming, because I made a commitment to myself.

So, my not-asked for advice to you is to sit down with yourself and see if you really are willing to give up what you want right now (food) to get something in the future (good health, great clothes, and everything that comes with feeling better about yourself). If the answer is yes, then make a commitment to yourself and start making the changes that will support you.

Many We're here to support you. Tell us what you need, and we'll be there for you.
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