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Old 11-30-2010, 02:15 PM   #1  
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This is not a thread meant for arguments or judging. I'm just wondering. While riding the subway yesterday two extremely obese young teenagers got on the train. Beautiful beautiful girls, but each had to be over 300+ pounds and were comign from school. My heart went out to them and I immediately wondered where their parents were, why they weren't teaching their kids proper food intake. Then I thought about my own parents.

Of course, as an adult, I do NOT and cannot blame my parents for my eating habits. Yes, they probably could've instilled better habits in me but eh, I didn't break 150 until I left their home...so it's MY fault. And genes!

My father passed away due to diabetes and a host of other complications and he NEVER stopped eating what he wanted. This includes soul food, butter by the gallon, greasy bacon and anything else unhealthy you can think of.

My mother thinks its GREAT what I'm doing, so great she has agreed to come visit ME (they live in the midwest) for Xmas and try it out with me for a week. One of my younger brothers has started following suit and he isn't even overweight, he is young and handsome and yet I inspired him to eat better through my blog and progress because when he is older, he does not want to be overweight like EVERYONE else in my family.

The problem is my YOUNGEST brother who just turned 18. He is overweight. He does boxing (every one of my siblings work out or played sports, except for me until NOW) and is a really cute kid. He still lives with my mom but he eats, A LOT. I don't know how to reach him and I don't BLAME my mom per-say....

but I'm wondering how everyone else feels on this topic? What are YOUR family stories? Feel free to share, or not =)

Part of the reason I'm changing my lifestyle is so that when my boyfriend and I DO decide to have children I can instill healthy options in them.

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Old 11-30-2010, 02:29 PM   #2  
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I definitely do. For weight issues, and a lot more.

I come from a broken home, and I'm the only one in my immediate family (of 6) who is not morbidly obese, or super morbidly obese. Neither of my parents seem to have had good upbringings either - but it's a family trait that stops with me. My kids will have different. I'm SURE of it.

So.... do I take responsibility for my own state of being, and my own responsibility for change? Yes. But do I blame them? Also yes.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:37 PM   #3  
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My sister was a bitter heavy person and absolutely blamed my parents. She says that when she was about 11 my mom took her to weight watchers with her which she says caused to her have a weight problem.

I on the other hand don't "blame" my parents. My father suffers from the same food and weight issues that all us kids do. We picked up our habits from him and my mom tried her best to curb our diets. The most I ever weighed at home was about 165. The most my sister ever weighed at home was about 180-190. She gained the majority of her weight after she got married. While I do wish my parents had better eating habits they are just people. We all have our own little issues. Honestly I feel like the schools should focus more on all around health. If our parents are morons we have school to fall back on as our fighting chance at knowledge. Health should be part of that education (and I mean more than 1 health class). Interesting thread.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:37 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by Krizstyling View Post
Part of the reason I'm changing my lifestyle is so that when my boyfriend and I DO decide to have children I can instill healthy options in them.
me too, exactly. i want to have kids someday but while i'm still eating like i am, i don't feel good enough to be responsible for someone else's life and eating habits.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:45 PM   #5  
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Eskimono - I dig this "So.... do I take responsibility for my own state of being, and my own responsibility for change? Yes. But do I blame them? Also yes."

Great way to put it. And VERY honest. It is such a breath of fresh air when I have a place I can come to type (ha) and know everyone is going to be HONEST with their feelings.

Like Kay said, they are just human. Totally agree, I do not harbor grudges against my parents in fact I love them both more than life itself but when my father passed I was ANGRY! Angry that he LET himself get taken from us so early in life. I mean I was pissed off for YEARS. When you lead an unhealthy life it affects so many people in so many other ways, let alone passing on the eating habits and same health issues!

I swear sometimes I think having bad eating habits in your home w/ your children is just as bad as doing drugs/alcohol in front of them!

aml - If that's not motivation, I dunno what is! And it's intelligent and of sound mind as well =) I like your point about being responsible for someone else...totally true!! If we can't be responsible for our own health how the **** are we supposed to be for a child?!
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:00 PM   #6  
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I swear sometimes I think having bad eating habits in your home w/ your children is just as bad as doing drugs/alcohol in front of them!


I think this is the perfect example of generational 20/20 hindsight. Did they know better? Well, who's to say. But since WE know better, there's no excuse to pass it on to our children when the time comes.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:18 PM   #7  
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I would love to.... but can't blame my parents. At least for the food. Growing up, we were poor, so my parents never had junk food in the house, and always cooked. the cooking methods were not the best, but there were always vegetables (canned) and I think nutritional needs were met
As we got older, my parents even locked the fridge on occasion to remind us that food was not everything. that sounds worse than it is. There were four athletic, growing girls. I swear we gave any family with growing boys a run for their money! LOL.
I even got down at one point to about 165-170. I was strong, toned, and eating well. I made decisions as an adult that got me to where I am, and as much as I would like to, I need only to look in the mirror for blame.
That being said, I look at children nowadays, and realize, that while life sucked sometimes because we were always broke, I wouldn't trade it. Children today are definitely indulged, and their waistlines are showing it. Is poverty the answer, No way. But in a way, I had it easier. I ate all kinds of things growing up because it was either eat what was served, or go hungry.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:30 PM   #8  
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I blame my parents any time that it seems useful to me. They're gone so I'm trusting that they don't mind as long as it helps me.

In an odd way, though, their negative example has been one of the best motivators for me. One of my major reasons to lose weight is to live longer than my parents who both died in their sixties. The youngest any of my grandparents died was 79. It's pretty clear that I need to eat and exercise more like my grandparents than my parents. So, perhaps, it's not so much my parents to blame as it is the society that has changed around us all in the last three or four generations.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:33 PM   #9  
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Not going to lie. I do somewhat blame my mother. My parents got divorced when I was about 5. My mom had to work a lot and to fill the place of not always being there for us she bought us whatever we wanted, and lot of times that ment junk food. Food was a comfort for me too. My mother has always been pretty small herself, but I was over 200 pounds by the time I was 11 or 12. At that age and younger it was definitely her responsibilty to give me healthy options and she never really did unfortunately. I know my mom had it tough and she just wanted to see us happy so I don't really have any resentment towards her, but I do wish she'd done things differently.

I'm another who is trying to change my lifestyle so that my own child doesn't grow up the way I did. I don't want her finding comfort in food for any reason. I want her to understand that it's fuel for her body and not much else.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:46 PM   #10  
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Growing up, and even now, I sometimes blame my parents- especially my mom. She always said she could relate to me and how I was feeling because she was "fat at my age" and that "I would grow out of it". Yet, I never once saw a picture of her in her "fat-stage".

I was overweight when growing up and it never seemed to occur to my family how miserable I really was. I suffered a lot from depression, and mom saw that as a sign that I needed therepy. I always wondered why she never sent me to a "fat-camp" for some real exercise and nutrtion tips. Sure we "joined" a gym or went to the Y, but my mom never really motivated me to go, or go with me. I should have decided to push myself, but why care, when my family didn't seem to? So, I was constantly mocked and made fun of, and by the time I got into middle school, I brushed off everyone's comments and didn't care anymore. But, I was still over weight with no motivation, and that followed me into high school.

It wasn't until my last 2 years of college when I really started to slim down. And I thank my older, athletic, brother for that! Living with him for awhile really inspired me to get active. I lost a good 60lbs in a few months and kept it off. I learned a lot living with him.
And although my motivator isn't with me while overseas, I'm trying to remember and do what I did when living with him. Its difficult not having that push, but self-motivation is the most important now. Especially now that I'm older and wiser and have the responsibility to take care of myself.

So honestly, I agree that its our responsiblitity, but I think when you're young, you need the right guidance, motivation, and support from those around you. And its definetly the environment you grow up in.
I have promised myself, that I will never let my kids go through what I did. I want them to be healthy, active and most of all, happy.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:09 PM   #11  
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I think in some cases, yes, parents are absolutely to blame and are responsible for a child's condition.

A lot of the time though, there really isn't much to do. My parents worked very hard to instill healthy eating and I thank them for that. They may not have been able to prevent my obese childhood and even did things to exacorbate it, but they gave me the proper tools so that when I realized my own accountability I knew what to do. It's so hard for some people because they simply do not know how to eat correctly. I may very well pass some of my own food issues to my children, but they WILL know how to eat healthfully, just as I did. I can't really go back in time and tell my parents, "hey, can you not do this because it really gave me some issues", but I am capable of taking responsibility as an adult and I'm glad I did before too much damage was done. I'm a lucky one, though.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:14 PM   #12  
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Even though I'm not in my 20's, I had to respond to this thread, because it's so close to my heart.

I was the only person in my family to be so intensely food obsessed, and the only person in the family (before and since) to have been morbidly obese or for that matter so much as overweight in childhood. I have three siblings, not one of them was fat as a child (and only one who is even mildly overweight as an adult. Like my maternal mother and grandmother, she put on a bit of weight in her hips in her late 20's).

As a family, we ate a lot less junk than most people did. Dessert was rare, two to four vegetables were served with every meal. Most of our meals were home-cooked start to finish.

I think people make a lot of false assumptions about the parents of fat children. If anything, my parents tried too hard to make me lose weight. My childhood was a misery because of being put on diet after diet (my first in kindergarten). And my parents weren't irresponsible, or crazy - they did everything "right" as it was thought of at the time. Everything they attempted was under the advice of my doctor. I was a Weight Watchers member with my mother at age 8. I was even put on crazy crash diets (but at the guidance and recommendation of our doctor). I was prescribed amphetemine diet pills at 13, and encouraged to eat as little as possible, even less than 1000 calories a day.

In the long run, each crash diet left me more and more food obsessed. I was hungry all of the time. I was miserable all of the time, and I didn't understand why my brother, father, and grandfather could eat three or four helpings of everything on the table (they were all thin to very thin), and why my mother, grandmother and I, had to eat so little and have such difficulty losing weight (my mother and grandmother were overweight, but not nearly to the extent I was even as a child).

I do think in my case, that genetics did play a role (I was adopted as an infant). My younger sisters (my parents biological children) took after my parents. One like dad, effortlessly thin and one like mom, putting on weight in the hips in her late 20's and 30's.

But people see a fat child and blame the parents. The more blame heaped on, the more desperate the parents become to make the child thin, at almost any cost. I think forced dieting at such a young age, actually made me more food obsessed. I remember crying many times because my little brother was allowed second helpings and I was not (even at 5 I understood that it was because he was too skinny and I was too fat, but it still felt like they loved him more than they loved me).

I don't know what they could have done differently, given the knowledge of the time. Now I know that to lose weight, I can eat a lot more calories of low-carb foods than moderate or high carb foods, but low-carb dieting was considered extremely unhealthy at the time. My mom (very hesitantly) allowed me to try Atkins in high school, but made me stop when I passed out (I was still trying to eat as little as possible, and probably would have been ok if I'd gone on to OWL, but the Atkins book recommended prolonged induction for someone with so much weight to lose, so I never thought to try OWL).

I still wish my parents had known more about the science and psychology of diet, weight loss, and nutrition but how can I blame them when doctors didn't even know (and most still don't).

Last edited by kaplods; 11-30-2010 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:44 PM   #13  
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Absolutely. I love my parents, of course, but it motivates me to try and change myself for my 6 month old daughter. It would kill me if she were overweight and unhappy because of me and because of my example and because of something I could've changed. I don't believe that schools are the answer either IMO. It is the parent's job to teach healthy eating, not the schools. If parents can't teach something as fundamental as eating to their children... what exactly is their job??

Both my parent's worked full time and my mom tried to cook meals at night, but we were latch key kids and ate all kinds of junk food. Mostly everything we had in our house was processed and fake. My parent's divorced when I was 13 and my mom was tired a lot at night so dinners became "fix your own food night" almost every night. And for me that meant sugary cereals that did not fill me. No protein, fiber, or anything healthy.

I also was depressed for years starting around 10/11 years old. I binge ate like crazy. My mom saw how much weight I was gaining, but never thought it was anything but a "weight problem". I finally put *myself on depression meds when I was a senior in HS Pretty much as soon as we became teenagers, we raised ourselves.

Also, my mom was always making comments about her own appearance when she should have tried to teach us girls to have good body image. I would ask her if I was fat and she would just tell me I was "pleasantly plump". Well, to any pre-pubescent girl, that means fat. I just read a study that said if you tell your child they're fat even if you're trying to say it in a "nice" way, they're likely to be obese 10 years later. This is because when you tell a child that they are something, this is what they will be. Just like when a child is called "dumb", he will not get good grades. I just want to do so much better for my child.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:06 PM   #14  
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So.... do I take responsibility for my own state of being, and my own responsibility for change? Yes. But do I blame them? Also yes.
This. Very much this.

My childhood was extremely dysfunctional. My mother suffered from untreated and under - diagnosed mental illnesses that prevented her from always making appropriate decisions for herself and her children.

Growing up we were poor - very poor at times. We relied on government commodities like potatoes, white rice, peanut butter and cheese supplemented with a spam type canned meat and chicken leg quarters (because they were cheapest). Fruits and vegetables were a rare treat because they were so expensive.

We didn't go to the park or ride bikes or anything like that as a family. My mother was so incredibly depressed that she spent most of her time in bed and, as a result, I spent most of my time caring for my younger siblings.

When she would have the extra money to purchase a "treat" she would often purchase chocolate, candy, brownies or cookies. This was her way of creating a celebration when something good happened or consoling me when something bad happened. Food was cheaper than purchasing gifts or taking us someplace else - like the movies, etc. And, it was easy. She could give us cookies and then go and lay down for a nap. No energy involved.

Looking back, by the time I was 8 or 9 I had serious food issues. Food was one of the few actual pleasures I had in my life. Because of that I started to see food and eating as the ONLY pleasure I could have in my life.

Eventually my mom realized I had a real problem and the doctors started making comments about my weight. Then the diet merry-go-round started. Unfortunately the last person that could properly steer me through nutrition and exercise was my mother. She had always struggled with her weight and it was one crash diet after another. At times anorexic, at times a binge eater - she never displayed and consistent pattern with food and nutrition. Unfortunately I jumped right on the same bandwagon and ate and dieted myself right up to over 300 pounds.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:24 PM   #15  
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I blame my parents for my disordered thinking toward food, not necessarily my weight.

My father has intense control issues, and proclaims he knows what everyone in the family should be doing, wearing, eating. He's probably 50 pounds overweight. He eats tons of processed carbs and very few vegetables. He believes that because he walks 4 miles every morning, he can eat whatever he likes the rest of the day.

My mother is a severe yo-yo dieter and prone to try any new "fad" diet. She is probably 20-30 pounds overweight, if that. She can easily lose those extra pounds with any of these crazy diets she tries, then binges on ice cream until she is right back where she started. She eats in secret because of my dad's control issues.

So where did this leave me? A slightly chubby child gets disparaging and belittling comments about everything she eats from one parent then is taken to binge on ice cream by the other parent. I was slightly overweight as a teen, but never obese until living on my own in college. I could suddenly eat whatever I wanted, without dad's comments and in public! Bad news bears, indeed.

My biggest struggle now is that I need to focus on being healthy for me, and not for my parents. Last year, I had gotten down to 158-159 and I felt like my dad loved me more. How effed up is that? I then regained almost all of the weight earlier this year, and I feel devalued again. He believes I can't do it. I want to prove him wrong, but I don't want to make him happy.
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