I have a very hard time with overweight children. There, I said it.
Maybe because I was one. Because I was enabled to become "pretty plus", probably stemming from my mom's guilt at having to work 2nd shift throughout my childhood. My grandparents, God love them, took it upon themselves to turn a "too skinny" 4-year-old into a fat 7-year-old.
It's all too easy to recall how miserable my childhood was, once I'd made that metamorphosis. The only real friend I had was a same-sized girl down the street. I craved male attention in some unhealthy ways. And my relationship with food has been way out of whack since.
Maybe that's why I struggle with overweight kids. Maybe it reminds me of how I felt, that my parents didn't care enough. I wonder if those children feel that way. What kinds of demons are they feeding with their chips-and-twinkies habits.
The majority of my friends have kids that are dealing with this issue. Some are more accepting of this situation, which really burns me up. When a friend tells me her (obese) 9-year-old has high cholesterol in the same conversational tone that she'd use commenting on the weather, oh, it's so hard to bite my tongue. Another friend who has two children dealing with weight issues is more concerned about their health and self esteem, but seems almost reluctant to lay down guidelines lest she "exclude" her kids from family activities. I understand that's a fine line to walk. The last thing you want to do is shame a child into an eating disorder. I wouldn't even know where to begin with that, except to keep all the junk off the grocery list.
I am so very, very blessed to have a "too skinny" child. I guard that obsessively. More than anything, he shouldn't repeat my life. I fret over his penchant for anything with HFCS, and I rejoice over his love for fresh vegetables.
I'd just posted a FB status about the 25 Worst Kids Meals and how one restaurant actually has a 1/3 lb burger on the kid's menu. And a friend commented back about how we have to lead by example.
At 225 lbs, what kind of example am I? My son has watched me struggle with my weight his whole life. Even if I ever got down to a healthy weight, it will be a struggle until my last day. Is it better for him to see me working towards good health? Or would it be better for him to have an example of acceptance instead of obsession? That I'm happy the way I am.
There's little that's been hidden from him growing up. He's been free to talk about my weight problem. But a few weeks ago, he found a chink in my thick skin. He came up to me and said, "mom, I'm going to love you forever, no matter what you look like." It was a sweet moment, but do you see them veiled message? He called me fat, and it hurt.
I don;t know if there's really a point to this post - it feels a little scattered. Just my thoughts on a bunch of things. What do you think?