“Obesity in children has become a top priority for health professionals in the United States. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight and 30 per cent suffer from obesity but there has been a dramatic increase in childhood obesity. In the United States, the percentage of overweight or obese children has doubled over the past 30 years to 25 per cent of the under-19 population.” (Taken from the website Better Health USA)
Pretty much anywhere you go, you will see a child that is obese. Does you mind not wonder about the parents thoughts on the matter? Obesity is an obvious concern. But do you ever think about the child that is just bigger and heavier?
It seems that it is so easy to make the assumption that if one just stops eating, the weight will stop too. It is an easy judgement.
It is easy enough to think that if you just put your mind to it, you can do it.
I have 6 children. Each of them is built very differently. Sammy has always had a speedy metabolism. He is a child that in over the top with energy. As a teen, he eats ALL THE TIME! While I wouldn’t use the term skinny to describe him, he has always been slim.
Then there is Tyler… he was my biggest boy, at 7 lb. 9 oz. He has always been a big boy. I was forever buying him pants to accommodate his build and cutting off many inches to fit his length. He has always had big feet and wide shoulders.
As a teen, he has size 10 feet and broad shoulder that can compete for his father’s tee-shirts.
Unfortunately, he has had too hear comments his whole life about his size. People use words that constantly give the message that his size and built are not acceptable. He has heard this from his brothers being mean to his own grandparents.
If you are not a slim trim lad, you are going to hear things.
Tyler approached me to help him lose weight a bit ago. He is always conscious of his body. With each year, that consciousness continues to grow.
We went our doctor who was great about it. He should him on the growth chart where he is and where he would be if he continued to grow as he is.
He talked about food choices, healthy choices, about metabolism… how unfair it is to have a sibling that eat the same thing yet can be built totally different. He talked about exercise and what was appropriate. He talked about diets … being accountable for what you ate.
We left there. We talked about what route we would take and begin the journey.
I have learned so much watching my child on this road to learning to take control of his life. You will not believe the self control Tyler has found. While his brothers may eat ice cream… he just says no thanks.
He knows and is understanding this is a life change. He understands its OK to break from that discipline, but also understands the consequence of his body.
He is learning too eat to fuel his body rather than eat to feed his emotions. He understands so young that life isn’t fair.
He is already made such strides and experienced success! He has of course experienced disappointment too.
But as I watch this young beautiful man of mine, I am learning along the way.
What l am learning is that talking about ones appearance constantly is just not approbate. Why do we need to talk about ones appearance?
When we say… “You look like you have lost some weight and look great…” What is understood is that if I gain that weight back, I am not acceptable.
I want my boys to learn how to treat their bodies as temples of God. I want them to accept who they are, big and small. Short and tall. Likely, they will all struggle with that yo-yo of weight at some point in life.
I have learned that this child of mine has a great strenth that will see him through many of life’s hard lessons.
Is it child abuse? As a parent that sees how life is unfair… I would say no. But it is really hard to do the HARD Stuff with your child. Yes, I know, Love isn’t easy. Parenting isn’t for the weak at heart.
I write this with Tyler’s permission… and thank him for letting me sharing this journey. I write it simply to encourage parents that it is time to bite that bullet. Today we are equipped with tools to fight the things that haunt our kids.
It isn’t easy. A bag of chips is so easy.. isn’t it? Planning ahead to pack a bag of veggies or fruit isn’t the easy way when I am not an organized kind of gal for such things.
So we are on this journey together. Child Abuse? In most cases, I think not. Rather it usually monkey see, monkey do.
Time to make a change…
Tyler, my sweet boy…
I love you no matter how big your feet get! 🙂
You are one special boy!
The biggest thing on you isn’t your feet or smile… but rather your heart!
It is a wonderfully huge heart!
i am so glad you are mine.
I love you.
P.S. I am not wearing your hand me down shoes… Daddy might! lol