Wednesday, June 06, 2012
The other day when I got out of the shower, I saw my 9 yr old looking at herself in the mirror. She was standing there, holding her shirt up and looking at her stomach. This horrified me. My daughter is not overweight. She was chubby when she was little (around 2 yrs old) and I was told by the nurse at the WIC office that she was going to be obese. That made me SO angry. Then, the woman had the nerve to say, ďYouíre the mom. Itís your fault.Ē What a b*%$h. Even though I knew she was right.
We made a lot of changes to what she was drinking (she had been drinking non-stop juice and chocolate milk and hardly any water at all). We watered down her juice and used the 25% less sugar Nestle Quik powder instead of buying already mixed chocolate milk or using syrup. We also sometimes substituted with chocolate soymilk and she never even noticed. She got involved in gymnastics and all the weight just fell off within a year. She has been fit, trim and in great health ever since.
She has never worried about her weight. But you could see how this could happen with Mom making this huge lifestyle overhaul. I wonít eat the same things that everyone else in the family eats (and they wonít eat what Iím eating). I weigh myself pretty often and the kids are aware that Iím away from the house a lot more now so I can get my runs and workouts in. In their eyes, I must seem rather obsessed. Well, I kind of am.
There have been some positives from this. They are sometimes curious about this new food mom is eating and they are getting curious enough to at least try bites of things. They are used to seeing me exercise now and they sometimes join me if Iím doing some sort of workout video or lay right down next to me and try to copy my crunches or push-ups. They are definitely proud of their mom and they see my body changing and they do mention it.
But then there is this moment with my daughter, where I donít quite know how to explain to her that Mommy really DOES need to lose 100 lbs. Itís not just a vanity thing or some fad diet. Itís so I donít die. Period. I donít think I handled this moment well because I simply gasped and said, ďNo! Donít you do that! You are BEAUTIFUL!!! Donít ever forget that!Ē
The truth is, she eats junk food ALL THE TIME. She does have the potential to gain weight. And childhood obesity is real. Sheís fine right now, but I worry that if she keeps eating the way she is, she wonít always be fine. We live with my in-laws (who have their own full kitchen downstairs). My father-in-law is in the beginning stages of Alzheimerís and heís a stubborn old Marine. He is a junk food junkie. This dude goes to the grocery store and comes back with Fig Newtons, Oreos, Lays and cinnamon rolls. Seriously. We have asked them to not let Anika eat so much junk (or any) but he is constantly giving it to her. The kids sneak downstairs whenever they want a treatÖwhich is very often.
Iím nervous because this is a delicate subject to bring up with a girl that is about to enter her pre-teen years. I donít know how to have a good talk about this subject without making her self-conscious.
The best I can come up with is to talk to her about HEALTH and not weight. I thought maybe we could watch something like ďFood, Inc.Ē together or ďWeight of the NationĒ and maybe talk about what we learn from that. Sheís a smart girl. She just needs to be educated on whatís best for her body.
What do you think, SparkFriends? Have any of you talked to your pre-teen daughters about this stuff and how did you go about it? I am asking for help. Because this is new territory for me.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!