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#1 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

My dd(8) has been making some comments in the last month about her body.  She will say things like, "why is my belly fat?", or, "I don't want to wear these snowpants, they make me look fat".  She has brought it up numerous times.  I have asked her why she is so worried about it, and she says b/c the kids at school make fun of fat people.  We have talked about how she is perfect just the way she is, and there are many different types of beautiful bodies(btw, she is actually very thin).  I don't talk about my own body being fat.  She may have heard my husband say he needs to lose weight several times.   How concerned should I be about this?  I feel really scared b/c my sister was bulimic for years, and it is such a terrible illness.  What else can I do at this point?  

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#2 of 22 Old 12-20-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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if you make it a big deal, they will make it a big deal. you play it as no big deal, and they will follow you.

 

my dd did that too. and i'd do meh - yeah ur belly is big. so? whatever. look around you. dont most people have big bellies. look around you dont most kids have big bellies. look at the ones who dont. do you see how thin they are. i'd rather you be ___ and have some meat in you so that if you get ill you still will be ok and wont get too thin. this last explanation really helped dd. 

 

heck i talk about my body being fat. heck i talk about fat. becasue being fat as a kid and me being fat are two different things. dd finally accepted she was chubby and its all right. i told her she has baby fat on her - and like it or not - she will have to live with it, till it goes away. and for dd that started at 10.

 

but i treated her question v. casually with a so what attitude. and gave her lots of info when she brought up more. i'd show her botticelli's angels and their little tummy, i went over how it was fashionable to be fat years ago, how awfully thin the models are. mind you i had to do these things because since she was 4 her dad and grandpa were after her for being fat. i tried telling them to stop but they wouldnt. dd has the exact body type her dad had.

 

and sure enough teh moment she hit puberty like her dad the fat fell off revealing her curves. 


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#3 of 22 Old 12-21-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Mee mee, for the reply.  That is encouraging to hear.  I am sad for your dd to have to deal with her dad saying those things to her.  I know that is so hard for little girls to hear. 

I will try to not make such a big deal over it in the future.  I love your idea of showing art work of voluptuous women.  I sometimes feel guilty b/c I am very thin, and she may be comparing herself to me.  I hope not. 

I hope it is just another wierd phase she is going through.  There have been a lot of those concerning phases, then they pass.  Lets hope this will pass too. 

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#4 of 22 Old 12-21-2012, 07:35 AM
 
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 Lets hope this will pass too. 

dont worry mama. this will pass too. how it will pass depends on you. remember through everything YOU will be the one she will be taking her cues from. inspite of the media, and peer influence, your word matters the most. 

 

so what YOU say is what is the most important. that means puts a lot of pressure on you. to stay cool and not react. 

 

and i have told dd that. that she has to give me time to react. i might say mean horrible things - but she has to give me that. i am human. but that is just a momentary thing. once i get over that - then we can sit down and decide how to deal with the situation. 

 

yes cith it was painful to hear them go on and on about dd being fat at 4 (but i also knew they were worried - there is so much in the media) but i think it also helped dd. the more 'hard' situation she has been, it has definitely built character. she gets being fat or thin is all about her. her preference. it isnt about beauty or acceptance. its about who she is and who does she see in the mirror. who does she decide to see in the mirror. the fat girl, just a girl, or a thin girl. however i have warned her - be careful. your family history is full of terrible diseases. make sure you dont ever get too fat. it is not worth it when you want to live. 


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#5 of 22 Old 12-21-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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DD and I refer to things like that as "healthy" and "not so healthy", so when I've been lamenting about my rear growing a bit, she'll suggest a little more kale. And when she sees an obese person, she'll say things like "too many cookies there, huh, mom?" or "that lady could use a little spinach"...that sort of thing. I don't want to create an atmosphere that we judge those who are hefty, yet I want her to recognize that hefty does not equal healthy, and there is not a good reason to carry around more than our bodies can handle. I'm hoping that if we approach body size from a health perspective, she'll be more likely to have compassion for those who are struggling as opposed to having disgust for people who she would deem as lazy and those types of things that children seem to mock each other for.

 

We also struggle with sugar addiction around here, so being aware of what cookies and those sorts of things do (grow the rear, make us moody) is part of everyday life.

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#6 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 05:21 AM
 
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It might also be worth letting your daughters know that *some* people who are overweight - especially morbidly so - sometimes are so due to medical issues. Not everyone is obese due to "too many cookies" or "not enough spinach".

 

And to be honest? I can't help but wonder how those comments are any better than what the classmates are saying to OP's daughter.

 

I would let my daughter know that many - if not most - kids put on some weight before going through a growth spurt. But there are also people of differing body types. Pick a combination of height/weight, and there is someone they likely know who fits it. It's all normal. Some people can eat what they want, with nary a sign of it physically. Others need to be more careful. But it's always good to try to eat healthily and keep fit.
 

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#7 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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There is NO reason to make judgements and comments about someone else's body because YOU DON'T KNOW.  That is the lesson you should teach your kids.  If you want to teach children about health, teach them about THEIR health.  Other people don't need to figure into it at all.

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#8 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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Whoooops. I think in my effort to be brief in my reply, I came across as someone who runs around with dd making comments about bodies. I'm sorry. That is really not the case, as those are comments made in processing our unique family situation.

 

During the holiday season especially, it becomes a topic of conversation around here. There is always some kind of family gathering, and if you can imagine, nearly every person over 30 is very ill, barely moving well, seriously overweight, and they are all sitting around eating the most unhealthy and dead foods. At times, I've avoided the dinner hours on holiday visits since there are so many hurtful things to eat there, and DD does know the reason. Family members tend to mock us for eating so many "weird" things while they try to get DD to eat a 'spam and velveeta on white', and they also made fun of DD for not eating her Halloween candy. (This was her choice, btw). I look around and see my (and dd's) future if we aren't proactive and thoughtful about how we approach food. So, truthfully, when DD said "__ can't play with me because she got too big from cookies like Santa and has her chair" there is truth to that, yet I tend to add something about it never being too late. DD thinks it would be possible to heal the whole family with kale, and she's probably not too far off. If she is aware of what spaghetti does to us (it's not pretty, friends--the crash is bad) then she knows that it has no place in our health. 

 

DD has also watched me advocate for less snacks and candy at school, and knows if she actually ate all the candy from school yesterday her head and tummy would hurt. Why do we advocate for healthier foods there? Because there is a problem with kids becoming too unhealthy and becoming obese from those types of foods, and now there is a lot of talk at school about what kids bring to school for lunch. It would make sense if kids are processing that. I suppose it would be impossible to come into school talking about healthier foods and avoiding the childhood obesity epidemic without having kids also talk about "fat".

 

There is a serious problem not only in our family but nationwide in terms of clueless eating. The OPs daughter may be hearing those comments due to the presence of the problem in our society. It's true! It's a problem. When kids are noticing the problem, it's a good time to talk about it. We can have those discussions about being healthy, hopefully in ways that do not cross over into eating-disorder city. But I don't think that a papa who notices his tummy has grown (for whatever reason) is going to do damage to a young girl by mentioning it and then putting together a plan for fixing it. It's good for kids to see a parent take charge of his own health. 

 

But--it's also true that lots of snow clothes make us look huge! Around here, it's a funny thing. "look how big I got in my puffy clothes! Raaahrrr" So maybe redefining it a bit would help? DD can make her tummy stick way out like she's pregnant, and then suck it all in like a skeleton. She thinks it's pretty funny..I wonder if some humor there might help? Our bodies can do some pretty awesome things.

 

OP--sorry if my above comment derailed your thread.

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#9 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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And it is also true that a lot of people are overweight for reasons that do NOT have to do with unhealthy eating. I'm sorry, but those comments are rude. Pure & simple.
 

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#10 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 02:21 PM
 
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And it is also true that a lot of people are overweight for reasons that do NOT have to do with unhealthy eating. I'm sorry, but those comments are rude. Pure & simple.
 

 

How DO we talk about being overweight with our kids, when 77% of Americans are overweight (we're the laughingstock of the world, really) and the vast, vast, vast majority of that IS due to lifestyle choices?

 

I really struggle with this. I want DD to have compassion for people who are overweight, and I was an overweight teen for a while and the comments really hurt. Overall I really want it simply to not matter what a person's body size is. But on the other hand, I want her to know that she has some responsibility, as she grows, for her body's size and health. I don't honestly know how to talk about it with her. She would like to eat candy and junk all day long. Right now I tell her that her body needs healthy food and the right amount of calories so that it stays healthy and slim so that she can do the fun things she likes.

 

But then she can't help but look at her 8 year old best friend, who was pretty average a year ago and now is overweight to the point that his face looks different, he can't run or play actively as long, and he gets winded easily, and she tells him, "Your body needs healthy food and the right amount of calories; you're getting fat."  She's sad and frustrated that he can't play like he used to and that what he mostly wants to do is watch TV and play video games. She's been leaving him out because that's boring to her. I know his feelings are hurt; I know he doesn't want to be overweight; I know he feels so discouraged and depressed about it that I have suggested to DD that maybe its better to just make sure her own body is getting the right stuff and not to worry about anyone else's body. But she wants her friend back.

 

DD chooses to play with friends who are active and slim because she likes to be active. When in a group of children, she will gravitate towards the ones who are being active. I have tried encouraging her to give people a chance regardless of what their body looks like, but it really is true that overweight kids, at least the ones we know, prefer the quieter activities and won't jump on the trampoline as long or ride bikes or play chase. So I have given up trying to get her to include those kids even though I think its sad and unfair that a person is excluded, or not chosen, simply because of their being overweight.

 

Given that the vast vast majority of weight issues in our culture are related to lifestyle, what is a way to encourage children to make healthy choices, and also let them know the results of not making healthy choices, while at the same time discouraging them from making judgments about other people's bodies, or their own?

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#11 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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You are really really focused on size and not health.  IMO, there is no reason for weight to come into the conversation at all as we do not eat the way we do to avoid being fat, we do it because it's healthy.  Kids who are overweight can still keep up, fat doesn't automatically = wheely cart in Walmart.  And she really REALLY needs to know that even if that's what she's THINKING, she needs to keep her thoughts to herself about her "friend" who has gained weight.  Her "frustration" that he doesn't want to play has nothing on how he probably feels about himself after he hears that. 
 

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#12 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 04:24 PM
 
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Given that the vast vast majority of weight issues in our culture are related to lifestyle, what is a way to encourage children to make healthy choices, and also let them know the results of not making healthy choices, while at the same time discouraging them from making judgments about other people's bodies, or their own?

 

Yes. You articulated this so well. When we spend all day modelling compassion for our kids, and this includes some thoughtful discussions about activity and health (i.e. if we keep sitting like this all day we might feel pretty crappy. Wanna go for a walk? or I should really leave this gift box of chocolate with someone or I will eat the whole thing! Oh no! or No, we don't eat that stuff in the school day because it makes our brains go too slow, and you need those for school) but then say to our kids "you cannot comment on your friend's unhealthy food and what it might do at lunch. It is rude". It's just a really tricky thing. One of DD's friends gets chips, cookies, and fruit snacks in her lunch (and it's starting to show), and at our house that stuff is like, once-a-year. When her friend said "your mom is mean!!" DD didn't quite know what to do with that, and came home wondering why kids think that it's mean that I send her with seaweed (it's her favorite). I wonder what would happen if DD said "that crap is going straight to your A!" because that is what I've said about GS cookies "no, no, can't do. It will go straight to my A. No off button". When her friend is over here, she hits the fresh stuff like a starving madwoman, though. So it just has to be so confusing for them all. Now that school is doing the initiatives, I wonder what kind of peer-pressure in the anti-snack realm there will be...and how they will tell the difference between friendly feedback and outright bullying. It's easy with something like drugs..but eh, the food is a tricky one...and one that a lot of kids have no real control over. 

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#13 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 09:51 PM
 
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You are really really focused on size and not health.  IMO, there is no reason for weight to come into the conversation at all as we do not eat the way we do to avoid being fat, we do it because it's healthy.  Kids who are overweight can still keep up, fat doesn't automatically = wheely cart in Walmart.  And she really REALLY needs to know that even if that's what she's THINKING, she needs to keep her thoughts to herself about her "friend" who has gained weight.  Her "frustration" that he doesn't want to play has nothing on how he probably feels about himself after he hears that. 
 

Actually the main reason our family eats the way it does is to avoid becoming fat. I'm less concerned about "healthy" specifically because in the process of eating foods that are likely to fuel our bodies as much as they need but not more and feel full, we tend to eat a ton of "healthy" foods because the healthy foods tend to be less calorie-dense. The 13-year old across the street was diagnosed with diabetes type II this year.  Although I don't emphasize weight with DD, I call it "eating healthy" just because I'm trying to avoid having her make judgments about people who are overweight.  Maybe I need to rethink my beliefs about weight or something. I know that I am somewhat sensitive to gaining weight myself because of the way I felt about myself as a teenager, when I weighed a great deal more. But I don't really think I can fully get behind the idea that weight isn't related to health, not with type II diabetes considered an epidemic in this country right now.

 

In our neighborhood most of the children are overweight, and they definitely cannot keep up. I'm sure there are many people who are overweight that are in far better physical shape than I am and could easily out-do me in stamina. But this is not DD's experience at all with other children.

 

Yes I know her friend feels really badly about himself when she says things like that, and I have asked her to keep her thoughts to herself, and she has been. I do understand that what she said, although she didn't mean it to be rude or mean, was rude and mean. Nevertheless, he comes to play, and she now makes excuses because he really can't keep up and she doesn't like sedentary activities. I hate it is this way but have no idea how to change it.

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#14 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 11:15 PM
 
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Yes I know her friend feels really badly about himself when she says things like that, and I have asked her to keep her thoughts to herself, and she has been. I do understand that what she said, although she didn't mean it to be rude or mean, was rude and mean. Nevertheless, he comes to play, and she now makes excuses because he really can't keep up and she doesn't like sedentary activities. I hate it is this way but have no idea how to change it.

But what if your DD is precisely the active kind of pal this little guy needs? Is her only choice to quit being friends with him because she can't say "dude--it was way more fun when we went outside. I don't wanna sit around here being slow! Come on! Let's go play!" because she is afraid of giving him friendly feedback that might suck from his end? If we all pretend it's no big deal will anything change? I don't think that any parent wants to be responsible for a kid who can't run and play due to weight (again, barring unique medical issues), but I'm a little tired of parents who defend the crazy low-nutrition foods and sugarwater they send with their kids to school and then complain that someone called their kid "fat"....just from where I'm standing in my area, anyway. (It's really a huge problem). We owe it to our kids to catch on when things are growing out of control (and I'm not talking about the temporary thickness that precedes a growth spurt...we have those too, but they are not to the tune of the man-boobs that I've been seeing on so.many.little.boys) and start making some changes in the entire household.

 

If DD came home one day in the future and said "mom. I have this muffin-top growing over my pants! Am I getting fat?" I would not automatically say "no, darling. You are fine just the way you are". I'd really have a conversation about it. Maybe the pants are just too tight, but maybe she's caught something in the early stages that needs a little attention, and she's asking for my help. Maybe it's time to have a look at what's going in the pipe and what kind of activity is happening. Maybe I've been serving up a lot of pie lately. Maybe it's the effects of the media or peer comparisons. Who knows? But I think we can't be afraid to use the "f" word, so to speak.

 

Why is it okay to say to a kid "honey, you're getting kind of skinny here. I think we need to feed you more", but not the reverse? Why is it that we see typical lanky kids in other countries but not so much here in the US anymore? It's just getting kind of creepy, and we're all trying hard not to become those pro-ana people yet be straightforward about why being too big for our bodies is really not okay. I hear grown people say "oh! You look different! Did you lose some weight?", but not "oh! You look different! Did you gain some weight?". I just think that culturally we have a long way to go on this one. As a society we're pummeled with the idea that any fat-commentary is rude and bad form, yet we look around and see that as this idea has taken hold, so has a serious problem. Are they related? What's going on? How do we address the big issues without also becoming fat-bashers? That's the big question, I think.

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#15 of 22 Old 12-22-2012, 11:47 PM
 
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Hi,

My dd(8) has been making some comments in the last month about her body.  She will say things like, "why is my belly fat?", or, "I don't want to wear these snowpants, they make me look fat".  She has brought it up numerous times.  I have asked her why she is so worried about it, and she says b/c the kids at school make fun of fat people.  We have talked about how she is perfect just the way she is, and there are many different types of beautiful bodies(btw, she is actually very thin).  I don't talk about my own body being fat.  She may have heard my husband say he needs to lose weight several times.   How concerned should I be about this?  I feel really scared b/c my sister was bulimic for years, and it is such a terrible illness.  What else can I do at this point?  

It doesn't really sound to me like she thinks she is fat, but she is worried about how the other kids will act. It sounds like maybe there is some bullying going on that could be addressed, and maybe she needs more opportunities to talk out some of the stuff that is being said.  I think I might spend a bit more time on the actual statements she makes, both with what other kdis are saying, and what her own feelings are.  When it comes to bellies being 'fat' there are a lot of good reasons for that which you can talk about - for example, the need for fat to protect your organs; and the fact that most kids and womens will have a convex, rounded belly even when they are slim because that is just how we are shaped.

I remember being uncomfortable in bulky snow gear for similar reasons, but some reassurance on that level is good too.  "They don't make you look fat, they just look puffy.  Everyone's snowpants are puffy and we know that it doesn't mean you are fat!"  


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#16 of 22 Old 12-23-2012, 01:13 AM
 
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i tell you this fat debate with kids has really made me mad. seriously.

 

why is all fat being looked at equally. they are not equal. esp. in children. esp. children with healthy eating. 

 

how come genetics is not taken into consideration? what happens to baby fat?

 

the reason why i bring this up is coz i have suffered. dd has been fat since birth. she continued to be fat through her early elementary school years. she couldnt perform on the monkey bar like her other skinny friends. she wasnt just fat. she was obese. she had to deal with her friends calling her fat. i would not call them bullies though. just social conditioning. she was struggling to fit into clothes in the large sizes. 

 

did i worry? did i do anything? no. because first dd is a high energy child and she always ate a healthy diet (now that she is 10 its a whole other story - but she still eats some of her veggies) dd has inhereted her father's body type. he had teh same thing as dd had. down to the same round cheeks till he hit his puberty. and boom he lost the weight. dd has followed in his footsteps to the T. she is now a slim girl with curves. on the scale she is still heavy (no longer fat or obese) but that's because like me she has heavy bones. but seeing her slimness you'd never believe she was that heavy. 

 

everybody loves jumping on the fat bandwagon. we have gotten so judgemental about it that even our children make fun of other children. yet no one tries really hard to help. this is the result of wonder bread. what was it. a hundred years ago or so wonder bread ads made you feel horrible if you were cooking from scratch and not spending time with your family. in the process one lost basic nutritional knowledge. and then throw in addiction and how can anyone compete. we are a nation that is overeating and are addicted to food. i think the book overeating was an eye opener to me. 

 

it is v. easy to say hey tell the kids to stop eating all that junk. but is it that simple? there is the social pressure. there is the food addiction. even adults though they know they are intolerant or allergic to some foods, still cant say no. even adults cant stop eating. somehow food has become a big thing than just feeding our body.  

 

btw no we are not the only nation that is obese. it is spreading all the world over as people get more sedentary and eat an american diet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfENV7cW3eE

 

why does soda even exist? or for that matter even martinelli's

 

in fact as i watch some people i see for whom the definition of food is completely different than mine. and we eat completely different things. as dd gets ready for middle school one of my concerns is will she be able to handle the peer pressure over teasing about food. how sad is that - that healthy eating is looked down upon. where a muffin is a good breakfast - when in my books - it is junky food. 

 

many of us - we are lucky. we have access to good healthy basic whole grains and veggies. for many others either they have no idea how to cook carrots or they have gotten so used to processed foods that carrots taste disgusting. 

 

i think too we are looking at fat so differently. you cant look at fat in children the same way as adults. growth spurts or other hormonal changes made our kids for a while heavy set. 

 

there are a few kids in dd's class that are fat. i think the kids by now in 5th grade have gotten over the fat name calling. 


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#17 of 22 Old 12-23-2012, 04:53 AM
 
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But what if your DD is precisely the active kind of pal this little guy needs? Is her only choice to quit being friends with him because she can't say "dude--it was way more fun when we went outside. I don't wanna sit around here being slow! Come on! Let's go play!" because she is afraid of giving him friendly feedback that might suck from his end?

 

There is a big difference between saying something like the above, and saying "I don't want to play with you because you're fat." Suppose her friend was in an accident and wheelchair-bound? Would she dump him then?

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#18 of 22 Old 12-23-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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But what if your DD is precisely the active kind of pal this little guy needs? Is her only choice to quit being friends with him because she can't say "dude--it was way more fun when we went outside. I don't wanna sit around here being slow! Come on! Let's go play!" because she is afraid of giving him friendly feedback that might suck from his end? If we all pretend it's no big deal will anything change? I don't think that any parent wants to be responsible for a kid who can't run and play due to weight (again, barring unique medical issues), but I'm a little tired of parents who defend the crazy low-nutrition foods and sugarwater they send with their kids to school and then complain that someone called their kid "fat"....just from where I'm standing in my area, anyway. (It's really a huge problem). We owe it to our kids to catch on when things are growing out of control (and I'm not talking about the temporary thickness that precedes a growth spurt...we have those too, but they are not to the tune of the man-boobs that I've been seeing on so.many.little.boys) and start making some changes in the entire household.

 

If DD came home one day in the future and said "mom. I have this muffin-top growing over my pants! Am I getting fat?" I would not automatically say "no, darling. You are fine just the way you are". I'd really have a conversation about it. Maybe the pants are just too tight, but maybe she's caught something in the early stages that needs a little attention, and she's asking for my help. Maybe it's time to have a look at what's going in the pipe and what kind of activity is happening. Maybe I've been serving up a lot of pie lately. Maybe it's the effects of the media or peer comparisons. Who knows? But I think we can't be afraid to use the "f" word, so to speak.

 

Why is it okay to say to a kid "honey, you're getting kind of skinny here. I think we need to feed you more", but not the reverse? Why is it that we see typical lanky kids in other countries but not so much here in the US anymore? It's just getting kind of creepy, and we're all trying hard not to become those pro-ana people yet be straightforward about why being too big for our bodies is really not okay. I hear grown people say "oh! You look different! Did you lose some weight?", but not "oh! You look different! Did you gain some weight?". I just think that culturally we have a long way to go on this one. As a society we're pummeled with the idea that any fat-commentary is rude and bad form, yet we look around and see that as this idea has taken hold, so has a serious problem. Are they related? What's going on? How do we address the big issues without also becoming fat-bashers? That's the big question, I think.

 

You bring up some really good points. Your post was kind of a relief to me. I think we do have to talk honestly about fat, and I think we need to somehow break the shame that is associated with that word and that body type. I don't think the way to divorce fat and shame is by saying "oh no there is nothing that should change about your body; you're not fat" or "oh, its just your genetics."

 

Our first pediatrician, Harold Troutman, was involved in some big study in Seattle on childhood obesity. The thing that struck me about some of the studies was how overweight parents of overweight children really did not see that their child was overweight, and when asked to identify a body of a ideal weight from pictures, they chose pictures of overweight people. It was reminiscent to me of people with addictions, particularly alcohol, in the way that the mind recreates reality so that unpleasant or shaming realities are dismissed (i.e. denial, confabulation). To me when a person engages in denial or confabulation, they are doing something that is healthy, in a way - protecting themselves from something very painful. But why does it have to be painful to acknowledge that you or your child is overweight? The other interesting thing the studies show is that people who are overweight tend to have pets that are overweight, and they spend a whole lot more time than the slender person, on average, thinking about food and recipes and posting about food on facebook, and when they think about gifts like at Christmas they are more likely to think about baking something or making some food item to give to other people.

 

Before we can heal our bodies I wonder if we need to heal the shame. I'm not sure, because its probably easier to heal the body and then the shame will heal itself. In other words, to use my DD as an example, she was ashamed because she was a "slow" reader in first grade and put in a "slow reader" class. I could tell her, and did, that everyone learns to read at a different pace and that she will read when her brain is ready to read. But those words didn't help and she didn't believe them. What did help was focusing on reading until she got good at it. Now she has pride instead of shame.  So maybe even if one barrier to a body of a healthy weight is the shame around acknowledging being fat, the cure might still be to find a way that works to create the body that you feel good about. A child will need the parent to heal their own weight issues before or alongside the child.

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#19 of 22 Old 12-23-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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The idea of eating a certain way to avoid being fat is part of the reason people stay fat.  It's backwards thinking.  If a person can focus on eating to be healthy and being active to be healthy, weight loss will (for most) follow eventually.  Weight loss is a slow process and you don't see it in yourself, even after many pounds.  Increased health is pretty easy to measure, as is increased fitness.  It might take me a month to lose five pounds, but in that time if I have eaten healthy and been active, I will FEEL better, my skin will clear up, I will sleep better, and my fitness level will increase  noticeably.

 

I know many people use fat as a measure of health, but it's just a backwards way of looking at things.  Carrying extra weight isn't good for you, but it's the habits that make the weight that are really ruining your health.  It may seem like a small distinction but the people I know who are FORMERLY obese and maintaining a healthy life style and smaller size all say they never could manage to change their lives till they could change that thinking.

 

And it's still never ok to comment on other people and their bodies, even if you try to hide judgement in talking about 'healthy' instead of saying what you mean, fat.
 

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#20 of 22 Old 12-23-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

 

And it's still never ok to comment on other people and their bodies, even if you try to hide judgement in talking about 'healthy' instead of saying what you mean, fat.
 

Unless you are saying something nice, of course. "Wow, I really like your hairstyle." "Dude, those are some biceps you got going on there" and I can tell, dude, from the shirt you are wearing and the oil you've rubbed on your shiny muscles that you'd like me to notice.

 

Its not possible to tell DD "people have all kinds of bodies; everybody's different; its all good" and then "But don't say anything to them about their weight cause it might hurt their feelings." Those are two contradictory messages. I would like to know what is the best thing to tell DD about people's bodies and health and weight and all this stuff. And I would like it to be respectful. And honest. And framed in a way that benefits everyone and hurts no one.

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#21 of 22 Old 12-23-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

It might also be worth letting your daughters know that *some* people who are overweight - especially morbidly so - sometimes are so due to medical issues. Not everyone is obese due to "too many cookies" or "not enough spinach".

 

 

Something about this strikes me as wrong.

 

I guess its cause if you say some people can't help it - its medical - then you are also saying most people CAN help it - its their fault. Why is it okay for excess weight to be the result of some medical condition, but not okay to be the result of eating too much?

 

I don't think its ANYONE'S fault, ever, when it comes to weight. I wish it wasn't about fault at all. I know what it feels like to have an insulin spike and crave sugar even though your stomach is full. Those cravings can be awfully hard to resist even for grownups. Or eating when you're depressed, or bored. Or whatever the reasons are. Aren't they just as valid as a "medical" reason?

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#22 of 22 Old 12-26-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Uh, how about, "While you and I know that what a person looks like is never a reason to be unkind, it's also true that a lot of people don't know that or use what a person looks like as an excuse to be mean to them.  That's why we don't comment on how people look unless we are being positive or complementary, even if we think we're being helpful.  If someone asks you what you think or for help, then you can answer.  Otherwise, there's no need to comment on how people look, especially if you're telling them what they should do.  Most people don't like that, unless they've asked you."
 

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