Thursday, March 14, 2013

TT Fat Kids




I wasn't a fat kid, but once I hit puberty I started packing on the pounds. It was tough to be a fat girl. There was no such thing as torrid, and few places carried anything over a size 11, so I started buying men's jeans. I was lucky though. I was (am) pretty awesome. I was (am) outgoing, talkative, amusing, friendly, opinionated and nice. People liked me. I had friends, and boyfriends, and people didn't make fun of me (to my face or to my knowledge anyway). Even with all that, it was hard. I can't imagine what it would have been like if people had teased me. If I had been bullied. I would have been destroyed.

After high school, I started making changes. I cut out soda. I drank fat free milk. I ate less garbage. I started working out. Slowly, over the years, I got healthier. I educated myself and immersed myself in fitness books, magazines, and websites. I started running. Lots and lots of times I started running. Until one day miles and miles behind me, I was a runner.

It wasn't easy to make those changes, small and slow as I made them. My parents made fun of me when I switched to fat free milk. "Would you like a glass of milk, or are you going to have a cup of dirty water?" my mom would ask. 

When I switched to cascade fresh non fat yogurt, with no artificial flavors or added sugar (except fruit) I gagged the first few times. My dad would say, "Why eat that if you don't like it? Food is one of the pleasures of life. You should enjoy it". I explained I would like it eventually; I just wasn't used to it yet. It was hard for them to understand. They weren't obese like me. Maybe they even took it as an insult that I would question the food they worked hard to provide and prepare. Food was one of the first things I bought for myself when I started working.

I don't want that for my kid. I don't want for him to struggle with weight like I did. So, for years before I even considered parenthood, I decided that I would do whatever it took to help any offspring I might have avoid that fate.

One of my reasons for breastfeeding was statistically breastfed children are less likely to be obese.  I waited to introduce solids until six months, for the same reason. In fact, nearly all of the food choices I have made up to this point in my son's life are to help him be more likely to be healthy. 

I joined weight watchers, because I know I have to be healthy in order to be a good role model, and because he is more likely to continue these habits if they are family habits. So even though I don't like to cook, I do. Even though I love to eat fast food, I don't. Even though I'm tiered and don't want to spend every weekend at a park when I could be watching TV, I will be. For the next oh, ten years or so, I'll be at the park playing with my son.

People are willing to admit that we have a problem in this country when it comes to our ever widening waistlines, but not so much that it's a serious problem within our families. That it's putting our children at risk. That it's putting our country at risk. It doesn't seem that many of us are willing to take responsibility over this problem and resolve to change it. If not in our country, in our home, at our own kitchen tables. 

When I child is fat, It's not their fault. They can't do it alone; We have to help them. We have to be their (and our own) advocates. It wont be easy, but we can do it. Our children deserve to be healthy. It's our job to make that happen.



This post is part of a multi blog collaboration, to read about some other hot topics, or to add your own rant thoughts, just click the TT button.

24 comments:

  1. Good for you, taking responsibility for your child's health! I shouldn't have to say that; it should be a given, but it's not.

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    1. Lol, so true. You wouldn't believe the rude ass comments we get because we won't shove cookies down his throat (he doesn't like them yet). It's sucha hot topic button for me, it's really hard for me not to unload my massive judgements on their food choices, but I don't. I wish they would have the same self control...

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  2. I'm so proud that you're raising him this way. It'll be easier for him when he's adult to be healthy if that's all he's known! I struggle all the time, with myself, and the boys, because I wasn't raised healthy.

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    1. I want either, but I was the only obese member of my family. Update: my dad's a vegetarian and my mom drinks fat free milk. They would make very different choices now I bet. But we can still do it! you and I both :)

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  3. Well done you, it isn't easy changing the habits of a lifetime, and the foods you grow up with definitely have an impact when it comes to adulthood and choosing how you eat and take care of yourself- for better or for worse. Since having kids and becoming responsible for what someone else eats, I have definitely taken a long hard look and made some changes. There's still room for improvement in our house, but we're doing what we can.

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    1. That's all we can do, right? The best we can with what we know :)

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  4. How many overweight adults wish their parents had been like you, teaching them to make smart eating choices when they were children? You are right; it's one of the most important jobs we have as parents.

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  5. I have seen many parents that do NOT lead by example in this way. What you are doing is what everyone should work towards so that future generations don't end up like the people in the movie WALL-E. Good for you!

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    1. Thanx. One of the awesome things my parents did, was be active with us. We rode bikes, walked, swam, and hiked. Being active luckily is an easy habit to fall back into :)

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  6. I wrote a paper in college about the increasing obesity in our children in American culture. It is a sad fact that the unhealthy foods are the cheapest, and it sounds like, from books and documentaries I've read and watched, that the government's subsidization of corn growing (which is needed for high-fructose corn syrup) makes these foods cheaper, by far. Since I've changed our family's diet to more natural-based foods our grocery bill has, at least, doubled. Which is typical of the percent of income people were paying 50 years ago and today, in other countries. I understand that the government wants to make food cheaper for everyone, but filling it with corn-based garbage doesn't seem to be the answer. Now, diabetes is taking over our country. And this doesn't even touch on our children's reduction in physical activity.

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    1. Amen sister!

      Ditto on food cost. I try my best to be a savy shopper. I buy in season, get a lot of staples at trader Joe's buy the store brand at whole foods and get a lot at Costco. Still it's tough...

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  7. Teaching your kids to make healthy choices is SO important...the younger they start learning about good nutrition, the better!

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  8. Good for you! This is a constant struggle in my house. While my husband is bordering on obsessed with appearance and I have to constantly remind him that he should not be making comments about our tiny, little girls getting fat some day - he is also the one who is handing out the cookies on a daily basis. I bought *him* a box of cookies one day to take to work that was made with healthier ingredients and he left them out on the counter - like he does EVERYTHING - and when the girls asked for one he didn't say no. He can never say no to them and if it were up to him they would eat what they want and then he would be all shocked when they hit puberty and packed on the pounds.
    Constant struggle.

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    1. That would drive me INSANE! I know it's hard to say no, but then the not so under their breath critiques. We're working on that too, not w/food thankfully the hubby defers to me in that area...

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  9. So many of us want to blame the food. McDonald's. Processed food, which is obviously less healthy or nutritious. Sometimes we forget to address the lack of activity in our daily lives. Sedentary lifestyles burn less energy. Portion sizes matter. Lifestyle matters. Balance and choices matter. Teaching our children at an early age to make good choices matter. In the end, we pay for convenience one way or another.

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    1. It is most definitely the sum of all of those things, and we pay dearly for that convenience!

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  10. My family never got it wither. My dad still calls skim milk "blue milk" and asks why I don't just add water to vitamin D. Anything over 1% gags me now.

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    1. "Blue Milk"! hahaha, it's hard to change when your parents aren't supportive. My parents would raise us so different now, my dad became a vegetarian 7 years ago, and my mom drinks "dirty water" now too ;p

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    2. I think my parents would rather die than eat healthy or work out. Possibly a self-fulfilling prophecy after my dad required QUADRUPLE bypass surgery a few years ago. Yet he still eats horribly and refuses to as much as walk. But I am the crazy one for running. Right...

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    3. I'm sorry to hear that. It's hard to watch (and get made fun of) ppl you love while they continue to make the same choices. When my dad changed it was because of a health scare, now he's my running partner. I don't remind him of the hard time they used to give me because I'm thrilled that they've changed.

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  11. Yeah so is it bad that I am eating a reese cup cookie as I read this? No, I agree and it is so hard to have my daughter around my parents b/c my mom wants to force feed her junk! Like "eat all of this hot dog and chips and fat shit, and you can have a treat?" We don't do that, you don't desert for cleaning your plate. Reasons I was on a diet at 12? Cause my mom got me fat, got embarrassed, and got me skinny. Frustrating shit.

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    1. Frustrating for sure! We don't do a dessert for a clean plate either, and when I pack a lunch I don't send a "treat" either, but my mom watches him and she gives him treats randomly. I try notto let it get to me. I'm not against treats, but I happen to think a juice fruit or creamy yogurt is dessert too. Then an occasional peanut butter cup is perfect ;p

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