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My Weight Issues Have Now DAMAGE My 11-year old son's thinking....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let me start by saying this is very hard thing for me to talk about & be open about. I don't feel like hearing any negative thoughts, I just need to vent and express my feelings about my pain.

Yesterday, I picked my 11 year old son up from track practice. We live in Florida & the heat index yesterday was almost 100 degrees. Now I noticed that majority of the boys on the team had their shirts off but my son didn't. So when we got in the car, I asked him "Why didn't you have your shirt off?" He replied with a soft look on his face & said "I don't know." However, I could tell from his response that he wasn't being completely honest.

So I asked him a little more & his brother said "Because he thinks he has a big stomach" and I asked my son "Is this true?" He said "Yes, he thinks he is fat because he doesn't have a 6-pack" My heart melted because I could see the hurt in his eyes emoticon Now my son is no where near fat, this is the same child who runs cross country. He doesn't have any stomach at all. I think he sees how thin his brother is and thinks he should be thin like his 10 year old brother. Isaiah is built like a football player, you can tell once his horomones kick in that he will be ripped like football player. He feels since he can pinch his belly, that means he has belly fat & needs to lose weight.

I think maybe he sees the older kids on his track team with 6 packs & looks at himself and doesn't see how come his body isn't defined like theirs. Me & my man sat down to have a heartfelt talk with him. He helped a lot that my man could relate to body image issue b/c he used to be not defined when he was younger. Part of me feels like I talk about how big my stomach is at times & I fear he thinks his stomach will look like mine. emoticon I really hope that our talk helped him realize that he is not overweight & that he should love his body.

I just feel part of me has let him down as his mother. emoticon I feel maybe if I was a smaller mom that he would never see his self in a negative image or see himself as fat. I have a lot to work on over here. I can't let my self images rub off on my children, I need to really reverse how I behave or express my thoughts. I want my son's to live healthy lives but I don't want it to seem like a burden or tough part of their life.
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    2510 days ago
    I'm glad that you were able to have this discussion with your son! It sounds like you guys have a great relationship! Kudos to you as a Mom!
    Please do not blame yourself! You could be as think as a rail and he still may have these thoughts! Unfortunately media, songs, etc play into this "perfect body" perception and it's fed to our kids on a daily basis! No pun intended...LOL are working towards losing weight in order to be healthy and here for years to come! You're a great Mother! Keep up the good work! emoticon
    2512 days ago
    It's great that your and your man could talk to your son. I think it's really important that he hears a man's perspective. Think about it-grown men won't always listen to women, so why would a preteen or teenager?

    I know exactly what you are going through. My older son is built like a linebacker (6'1"/about 230 pounds) while my younger son has almost no body fat at all-he does indeed have the 6 pack (6', 185 pounds). He is all muscle. But I always stress to them that while people come in different body shapes and sizes, everyone should strive to be HEALTHY.

    You can be thin as a rail and still be UNHEALTHY.

    They are 21 and 19 now and both work out/exercise. They still won't eat as many vegetables as I'd like, but hey-we can only do so much as moms!
    2515 days ago
    I think you are so wise to bring it out in the open and discuss it. A lot of kids have self-image issues, and it seems to start earlier and earlier (thanks to the media I think). Sounds like you handled it like a champ!
    2516 days ago
    To me it sounds like you were a very good mom who recognized an issue and discussed it with him. Good Job!
    2517 days ago
    Awwww I'm sorry to hear that. The good thing is you are now making a change. Maybe you all can start eating healthy meals together and working out together. That is what helped me with my mom but the damage in case since I was like 16. I am sure everything will work out fine.
    2517 days ago
  • RAVEN227
    2517 days ago
    You did the best thing any parent can do you talk about it and made sure he knew you love him just the way he is. I know it is tough to see your son struggle, but I think this is a story about what a great mom you are. You asked the right questions, you engaged with him and you cared - you can't ask for more than that.
    2517 days ago
    emoticon to both of you! I've had similar talks with my daughter. Parenting is hard work. I think you handled the situation perfectly.
    2517 days ago
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    2517 days ago
    So many positive things have been said I don't think I can add anything else but repeat, you did the right thing to notice and address the issue. There's so much bombarding our children today that impact their self-image. Sounds like he's an excellent motivation to push yourself to your goals and show what healthy eating, exercise and positive talk can do for everyone.
    2517 days ago
    You are such a great mom! We just hurt so much for our children and feel guilty when they are struggling. But, it's not all our fault. They live in a world that worships a certain look and no matter how we try, they pick up on that. The fact that you talked to him about what is going on with his body and his world is wonderful. Just keep talking him through those tough teen years- he will be one fine man!
    2517 days ago
    I am sorry you have to go through this, but everything Shelley81 said I agree with. You are a great mom for the way you handled it. I hope all works out.
    2517 days ago
    Body image is tough for any kid. They don't want to be different from anyone else (no matter how "individual" they try to be). We need to be honest with them about our own body image problems, and then pray with them that God helps us in this thing too. I feel for you, but remember, his image problems don't necessarily stem from you. He is surrounded by a world that tells him he isn't right in some way or another. Love him. That makes up for a world of differences. Time will also help.
    2517 days ago
    Part of this is also the TV that we watch. You are now improving yourself and that will reflect to you dear son
    2517 days ago
    As a parent you did the right thing by having a chat with your son and letting him know that you and your man are there for him. That's what is so important and missing in a lot of teens lives (I am a middle school math teacher) communication so often breaks down as the kids hit their teen years but it's more important than ever to be able to chat! You are doing all the right things and now you are aware of your own body-hate talk, which, will help you work on your own body image! Best wishes!
    2517 days ago
    Awwwww. I'm so sorry your baby is going through those growing pains. That is what it is Sweetie. Please don't blame yourself. Take it from me, a mother of 3 boys, 2 grown, the baby is 16. Not to mention a host of nephews that spent all their their weekends and vacays at my house.

    Boys go through pre-adolescence issues just like girls do. He see the forms of the boys around him, wondering why he doesn't look like them. And I'll bet girls are no longer icky to him. Simply put, he is growing up. Once he comes into his own, you'll see a happier kid.

    Have patience. He'll be okay.
    2517 days ago
    It is definitely heartbreaking for any mom to hear that. I know my son was 5'3" and about 99 pounds (He was runner, soccer player, and tennis player) until he was in 11th. He had no fat on him - not a ripped kid - LOL now he is 21 yo and he is 6'3" and about 180 pounds and if I may so ripped. I hope he understands - he will get more defined when his body thinks it is time - not on anyone elses time schedule.

    Give him a hug and let him know that we are unique and we grow up and get body changes on our own time schedule - that we don't even know about at a conscious level.
    2517 days ago
    I understand how you feel as a mom..... my daughter who is 5 asked me mom why is your butt big? I said you know honey I am working on it... she said no mom I like you the way you are... I just love you mom... at 5 its a lot different then 15 or 16, the GREATEST thing you did was sit and talk about body image... explain hormones...
    2517 days ago
    We think as parents, we have control over how our children react. We do influence, but to give you an example, I was one of 5 children. Only 1 had a weight problem and we all had access to the same food and the same parents. She was lazy and a piglet. She is now 73 years old and is huge.

    The best gift we give to our children is that we love them, they are valued in the family and their contributions are important.

    I have 2 children, a boy and a girl, and now they are grown I hear their versions of childhood, it is hysterical. They disagree more than they agree and I am amused and wonder where was I? Some of the things, are totally foreign to meet and I was a very much hands on Mom.

    Raising children is always interesting. Do your best, because that is what normally we ask of our children.

    2517 days ago
    My dd also felt this way...she was very concerned that she would end up obese like her mom. I stressed to her that my situation was not genetic (the rest of my family are not overweight) ...but the result of my choices , not exercising and not eating right.
    That she could take control and not end up like me.

    She is 25 years old, in GREAT shape, but also really takes care of herself. But of course in her eyes, she feels she could lose 10 lbs. I think when she weighed 10 lbs less, she looked unhealthy and she is at a great weight now.

    But I think of myself in my early 20's, when I was 118 lbs and thought I needed to lose weight...siiiiiiiiiigh

    I think body image is always going to be a problem...helping our kids to concentrate on healthy living not on numbers on a scale or six pack the trickiest part of parenting.

    2517 days ago
  • CORKY982
    I have a 9 year old sister who is overweight. She knows that she is, and it affected her. She cried, she got upset and self conscious... we made her that way without meaning to. We stressed about what she ate, we stressed about what WE ate, and we called ourselves fat. So, we realized that... just like we gave her a negative self image, only WE can give her a POSITIVE one. Just keep talking to your son, and you will get through this.
    2517 days ago
    Thats so hard! My DD is only 1 1/2 so we havent had to come to that yet but a dear friend of mine is struggling with her daughter and poor body image. I wish i had advice but all I can say is HUGS!!! You are doing a great thing by being a good example!
    2517 days ago
  • REDSHOES2011
    emoticon my 16 year old was also obessessing about fat in and on everything.. He also doesn't have a gram of fat on his body..
    2517 days ago
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