One of my closest friends and I talk everyday over Voxer about our weight. We talk about how our eating is going, our successes and the hard days. My friend has lost over 100 pounds and deeply understands all the things I've always felt about body image, self-worth, and going for your goals. We've both been at lower weights than we are now and we are working towards slimmer and fitter bodies.
My friend's daughter is the same age as Megan. While Megan is very slim and petite in height, my friend's daughter feels uncomfortable about her size. The doctor suggested a nutrition plan that really limits carbohydrates for most of the day. Sugar would of course be limited too.
What is a mom to do?
I think back to when I was around that age and everyone was trying to police my food (or so it felt). I remember going to the diner with my grandparents and being encouraged to get the diet platter, which was a burger with the bun and cottage cheese. It makes me want to weep now just thinking about it (it's the only unpleasant memory I have of my grandparents). I remember getting Alba low calorie shakes while my sister was given rich and creamy Carnation Instant Breakfast shakes. I remember my cookies being rationed out. I remember being taken to diet programs. Everyone's heart was in the right place. I needed to lose weight. I couldn't fit into clothes like my friends could- I needed the "pretty plus" jeans which felt anything but pretty. But all of the efforts to make me lose weight made me feel deeply ashamed.
If you have a child who needs to lose weight how do you help him/her without the shame and feelings of restriction? To lose weight, some foods do have to be restricted. It's just the way it is. But how do you help a child both lose weight and not feel shamed and restricted?
My kids don't really have my genetics. They definitely don't have my weight struggles. But I feel so much for my friend whose daughter is in this situation. She wants her to be happy, healthy and confident and weight really does play a role.
Have you ever had to help a child lose weight? Any strategies?
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski