Is being fat an AP issue? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 05-11-2003, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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The latest copy of mothering magazine has a story about kids and food (really worth checking out!), and I'm reading Dr. Sears Family Nutrition Book and just generally boning up on my knowledge of nutrition and feeding. We are almost fully vegetarian and eat almost no processed foods, and we are all reasonably slim and healthy.

I have always been 10-15 lbs over my *ideal* weight, which I define as the weight where I feel I have the most energy and look strong and healthy. I never really cared too much about those extra pounds, until I had a child and started thinking about what kinds of food I want her to eat and what kinds of eating habits I want to model for her. All of a sudden, my extra fat seems like an important issue.

Just as an example, I am a huge fan of doughnuts, especially Krispy Kremes, and I used to eat them for breakfast every Saturday morning while reading the newspaper. Now I have this little Bean watching me eat, and there is just NO WAY I want her to eat those sugar coated gobs of fat and processed white flour, so I've had to give them up. Goodbye doughnuts. Goodbye junkfood in general.

I don't eat anything I don't want my baby to eat, and as a result, I'm shedding those pesky 15 pounds that have been with me the last several years. It just seems really important for me to be in the best shape and health that I can be as a role model for my child.

I'm curious about how other AP parents feel about this issue. Is it part of the AP lifestyle?
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#2 of 17 Old 05-11-2003, 12:49 AM
 
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I don't know if I would call watching what you eat an AP thing, so much as a concerned parenting thing. But, since AP parents are concerned and involved parents you may see it more often here. I would consider myself a moderate AP'er, but since my dd has gotten old enough to notice what we eat I've done a major overhaul of my eating style. My dh and I are both doing Atkins now in an effort to get down to a healthy weight, and because of that there is NO junkfood in the house at all. My dd is 19 months old and her snacks consist of diced fruit or the veggie based chips you can buy at the health food store. She's nuts about the Terre sticks!
for making a healthy lifestyle change! Your child is lucky to have you for a mommy!
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#3 of 17 Old 05-11-2003, 03:36 PM
 
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I don't think it's an AP thing, I agree that it is more a "concerned parent" thing. I have many, many mainstream friends that are quite thin, exercise frequently, eat organic veggies and fruits and are quite concerned that their children eat healthily.

But then again, I don't consider breastfeeding an AP thing either for the same reason - almost 100% of my mainstream friends did it or are currently doing it.

Maybe I just am lucky to live in an unusual area?
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#4 of 17 Old 05-11-2003, 06:33 PM
 
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I also shed a few extra pounds due to an increased interest in good eating after my dd started mooching from my plate. But with time, I am getting more relaxed about it. I eat chocolate, she does too. I have a cafe au lait, she can spoon the foam.

Where in Canada do you get Krispy Kremes? They apparently just arrived in Montreal. I'm trying to ignore it.
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#5 of 17 Old 05-12-2003, 04:18 PM
 
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My daughter thinks that desert is yogurt or rice cakes!

When she goes to my moms house, it's junk food heaven. I occasionally allow her to have one little cake and that is it. No soda (sometimes I will let her have a coke or ((I prefer)) sprite). My mom's kids, 13 and 11 drink coffee for breakfast and soda the rest of the day?: She says that is perfectly ok and they eat healthy: ? Her logic is one that I rarely understand. Luckily, my daughter has never asked me why we can't have more food like at Nanny's house. She just accepts (and loves) that yogurt is her dessert!
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#6 of 17 Old 05-12-2003, 05:21 PM
 
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Well, perhaps I shouldn't speak for AP. But I think it's crucial to love your children no matter what their shapes are. My parents were obsessed with my weight when I was a child. I wasn't a particularly overweight child, either. My peers didn't tease me, I never had trouble running and playing, etc. But my folks made me feel terrible about what I ate and how I looked. It did not help me develop healthful eating habits or an ideal figure as an adult, and was really damaging to my self-esteem.

And I don't think I'm unusual in that! Nearly every woman I know went through something similar! Kids who were actually fat had it worse, but we all had some version of it.

Then there's the version in my ds's family, where no one is fat but kids are yelled at for wanting sweets and junk food. My ds used to hoard candy in his room. His sisters are pretty dotty about this with their children.

So healthy food is great, and I hope to teach my baby to eat good food. But I don't want to get all bonkers about it. I promised him during those tense first days in the hospital: Just nurse now, honey, and I'll never bother you about food again.

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#7 of 17 Old 05-13-2003, 03:46 PM
 
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Captain Optimism, your post made me smile. I totally agree.

AP stands for "attachment parenting", the key word being "attachment". How does nutritious eating specifically foster attachment?

It's probably common, though, to see AP and nutritional awareness in the same family, though, because they are both natural family living issues.
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#8 of 17 Old 05-13-2003, 03:59 PM
 
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You know, I've been wondering about this but from an opposite perspective (which is how I ended up in this thread). I want to be a good role model for my child and also take good care of myself. We eat relatively well, with a few issues still remaining, and when we eat unhealthy we at least make it homemade (extra effort, extra love, engaging project, some control over ingredients).

But I was wondering about AP making many moms *more* prone to being overweight because the time and energy that used to go into exercise is less available with infants and toddlers around. If you are not naturally thin -- via genetics -- and trying to be very available to your young children, how do you find the time to get quality exercise time? This is especially true for us working moms, but probably true for many SAHs, too.

The balance I am struggling to find, then, is how to be a good physical fitness model for my child, who is too young to be a good walking or sports partner. The time we spend outdoors is great for him, but only fresh air for me.
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#9 of 17 Old 05-13-2003, 04:44 PM
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Kate, you might want to check out the thread in TAO re how folks here manage to exercise (without hiring a nanny or babysitter to watch the kids while you do so!).

Re the OP, I think it's a "concerned parent" issue, rather than an AP issue, as others have said. Children learn by the examples you set. For example, if you don't want your kid thinking it's fine to eat half a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts, then it's best to avoid scarfing them down in bulk. If you don't want your children eating fast food, then don't eat it or serve it to your family. I'm sure, though, that despite the best of intentions and setting the best example, our children will be exposed to doughnuts, junk food, fast food and the like through their peers and their families. There's no avoiding it, really. So maybe it's best to set reasonable eating habits, rather than adamantly requiring that one's children be strict vegans come hell or high water, or something else of the sort. I vote for moderation in most things, not prohibition.
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#10 of 17 Old 05-13-2003, 08:44 PM
 
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[quote]AP stands for "attachment parenting", the key word being "attachment". How does nutritious eating specifically foster attachment?[quote]

I agree! :

Also, it doesn't necessarily follow that because one is chubby one eats poorly. The kindest, gentlest AP mom I know is a little squishy around the middle!

Jen
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#11 of 17 Old 05-14-2003, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by scribblerkate

But I was wondering about AP making many moms *more* prone to being overweight because the time and energy that used to go into exercise is less available with infants and toddlers around. If you are not naturally thin -- via genetics -- and trying to be very available to your young children, how do you find the time to get quality exercise time?
I find being AP actually keeps me fit - much more fit than if I used a stroller or swing or saucer or any other kind of artificial baby minder.

I carry my baby and always have - we go on two hour hikes every other day and walk briskly for at least half an hour every single day of the week. It's alot more aerobically sound than pushing one of those ergonomic marvel of engineering strollers that require you to expend only two calories before the thing practically pushes itself! Even a wagon takes more effort to pull.

And constantly shifting the baby from front to back, from one arm to another, while cooking or cleaning or going about my day has made my back and biceps very strong. I always have a good laugh when I walk into our local community centre where we go for swimmming lessons and baby gym, and I'm breathing hard after our 30 minute hike to get there and trying not to get run over by all the moms in minivans pulling into the parking lot. What really kills me is the women who take the baby out of the car seat, put them into the stroller, push the stroller 20 freakin' feet across the parking lot and into the community centre where the babies sit in daycare while they do pilates or something. WTF? They could save themselves a lot of time and money if they just got a carrier and walked to the gym.
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#12 of 17 Old 05-14-2003, 02:31 PM
 
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I think AP practices helped me maintain a healthy weight when dd was a wee one. Now that she is 19mos, it is more of a struggle. Example, she doesn't want me to carry her everywhere. She wants to walk, very slowly. Also, at a certain weight, my back started to feel a little wonky. I would no longer feel comfortable slinging her for a long walk.

Although I think APing can help you lose pregnancy weight, I don't think that it has much to offer mothers of older (and by older, I mean, slightly) children -- in this respect.
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#13 of 17 Old 05-14-2003, 04:20 PM
 
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For me it is all about lifestyle choices. I'm going to be fat, but I exercise and try and choose healthy foods, although I am not always good about that. Letting your children eat a lot junk food, and eating a lot of it yourself is not a healthy parenting style. Part of the LLL philosophy is eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. Even before I had a child, I would go through stages where I tried to be make healthy choices in terms of food and exercise.

When my daughter was about two, I switched over to a more whole foods, vegetarian way of eating--lots of raw foods, cut out trans fats and a lot of animal products. I also tried to eat as little as I could and exercise daily, and with my daughter's nursing I ended up losing 50 pounds. I was still categorized as obese, however. Then as I got pregnant and my daughter weaned, I gained the weight back anyway. I want to be diligent about the healthy eating and exercise, but I don't want to lose weight by means other than lifestyle changes that I know I will maintain for the rest of my life.

As far as the comment about ergonomically engineered strollers go, I think the point is that it enables you to increase your speed and get your heart pumping, instead of slowing down because of the slow wheels on a poorly designed stroller. The point isn't to give you extra weight to push, since joggers normally run without pushing anything. And it isn't a good idea to walk and carry handweights anyway although I know some people do it. Better is to increase your speed or incline. Or maybe carry your baby in a sling, which you suggested. I've done walks with a sling, backpack, regular stroller and jogger stroller, and I try to keep my heartbeat at an aerobic level no matter which one I was using, but the strollers that roll better are better for that than the ones with the crappy wheels that lock up everytime you try and break into a jog. I have to admit, though, that one of the reasons I use the sling is just to give my arm muscles a break. I know I held her longer than I otherwise would. There was no way I would take a walk of any length if I had to hold her solely in my arms the whole time.
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#14 of 17 Old 05-14-2003, 04:38 PM
 
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quote "What really kills me is the women who take the baby out of the car seat, put them into the stroller, push the stroller 20 freakin' feet across the parking lot and into the community centre where the babies sit in daycare while they do pilates or something. WTF? They could save themselves a lot of time and money if they just got a carrier and walked to the gym."

:LOL

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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#15 of 17 Old 05-16-2003, 06:50 AM
 
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Completely off the topic, but I remember going grocery shopping and seeing women in their workout clothing with their empty carts looking around for the cart corral. Oops, it's 3 parking spaces over, better just to push the cart up in front of my parking space. What, would walking those extra 40 steps or so do you in? Meanwhile I'm pushing my cart with my child to the front of the store, then carrying my child all the way back to the car.
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#16 of 17 Old 05-16-2003, 11:47 AM
 
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I wanted to add one other thing to my post upthread. I said above that it was important for attached parents to love their children, fat or thin.

Another benefit to strong attachment between parents and children is that children learn to love their parents whether they are fat or thin. When your children are strongly attached, they think you are beautiful the way you are. There was a thread somewhere around here about children who loved their mommies' soft tummies.

A corollary is, if you spend all your time putting yourself down for being too fat, it's going to hurt them. Or in fact, putting yourself down in front of them at all. Luckily my baby is very little right now, so I have plenty of time to start to practice what I'm preaching here. :

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#17 of 17 Old 05-16-2003, 11:55 AM
 
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I don't think it's an AP issue, but I do think that people who call themselves "AP" are also more mindful about many aspects of their lives, including their diets and their children's diets. So I'm guessing that if you looked at AP parents as a group vs. mainstream parents as a group, you would find that the AP parents might be healthier, on average, than the mainstream parents (and children). I choose the word "healthy" over "thin" because there are plenty of unhealthy thin people, and unhealthy ways to become thin, and on the flip side, plenty of larger people who are in good health.

So, I think it's a correlational relationship rather than a causal one.
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