Fat Like Me

My daughter's thoughts on physical exercise!
My daughter's thoughts on physical exercise!

Am I to Blame?

People always say that you are what you eat. Then, without a doubt, I should have grown up looking like a Hostess Twinkie and a cherry pie! I gorged upon these foods in my closet as a child. I hoarded food as if I would never get the opportunity to eat again. All my money went to food and my fondest memories as a child would be standing next to the food tables munching on treats that my parents would never dream of buying for us and walking to the corner party store to spend my entire allowance on fruit pies, Twinkies and candy.

Surprisingly, I really wasn't a heavy kid. I had the normal weight fluctuations as most kids do but I clearly remember at 12 years old asking my mom what thighs were and she telling me that I didn't have any so I didn't need to worry. I ran a lot and was always on the go. This of course was before color TV, computers and video games.

As an adult, I have always been fat. I am not sure when it actually happened. It was after 28 years old and I was married. I ballooned up over 200 pounds and have moved on from there. Even though I carry an enormous amount of weight, I am still active and have lots of endurance. I just feel crappy and don't like the way I look.

Now, I have two children; a boy and a girl. My daughter has fought the battle of chunk since she was a toddler. Having been raised with the principles of "eat all of your food before you can have dessert" and unzipping your pants at the dinner table so you can fit more in; I swore to myself that I wouldn't expect my kids to finish all of the food before them AND they could have dessert as well. I always believed that my weight gain was attributed to being told that finishing my food would somehow help the starving children in India and the fact that my mother would heap lumber-jack sized helpings on my plate and expect a small child to consume the entire portion.

My daughter was kept active as a little girl. She ran around, took gymnastics, played a year of buddy basketball, took dance class. She was always the biggest girl in comparison to the tiny waifs around her and no matter how active she was, she was the chunkiest. As she grew older, we both realized that she was not an athlete waiting to be discovered by a scout and that she really didn't enjoy physical activity. She even enrolled in karate for a year but fought me every day when it came time to go to the dojo.

Before long, I noticed that she had rolls. Rolls on her sides and rolls on her stomach. She is in middle school now and wears plus sizes, is taller than me and has double D knockers. She hates her body. I can relate. I also feel guilty, responsible and helpless in assisting her with this journey she is taking.

trying to follow this example and hoping she will follow this to better health
trying to follow this example and hoping she will follow this to better health

When doctors disagree...

Years ago, when my daughter hit 112 at 9 years old, I sought out a nutritionist and a doctor's help. When you are a fat mother, people often look at you as if you have given your child IV's of fat each night and they somehow have morphed from your fat cells into little, chubby offspring.

I cook healthy recipes. We have bowls of fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. Everything I cook has vegetables and lean meat in it. I began to cook many foods organically to improve the health of my family. I allow for treats occasionally. I say no to buying processed and high fat/sugary foods.

I have received many suggestions from different doctors. None of them match. Her pediatrician; of whom I fully disagree with suggested a high fat/low carb diet. He feels that fat doesn't make you fat and that eating lots of animal fat and foods high in fat will keep her fuller and she will lose weight. I disagree. Our family has a propensity to heart disease on both sides. I cannot believe that eating lots of fat and mind you, these foods are loaded with cholesterol; will make you thin. I am looking for a new doctor for her.

Another doctor said that high protein/low carbohydrate diets often work. They however want fruits which are a natural carb to be lessened in my daughter's diet. My child loves fruit and if she wants to eat fruit over the skin on a piece of chicken or a candy bar, I am going to let her eat fruit.

A third doctor suggested counting calories, fat and carbs on a daily basis. Well, if you've ever had a 12 year old that thinks everything in life is stressful, try getting her to be disciplined enough to follow this. I even when as far as preparing everything for her but that didn't last very long.

I look at my beautiful daughter and see myself in her. Insecure, nervous, anxious. She bites her nails and picks at her skin. She has OCD. I was so much like her emotionally when I was her age but I didn't have the weight problem which for her, exacerbates her issues. She has become a hoarder of food and I find rotting containers of yogurt, apple cores and empty cheese wrappers hidden in her room. She dresses like a grunge and doesn't care about how she looks; even though I know she truly does. It is very frustrating to watch her sabotage her efforts and triumphs. When she loses a little weight, she begins to eat a lot again.

I am trying to get her to eat a high protein/dairy/fruit/veggies diet with healthier carbs and less sweets and candy. I'm trying to teach her portion control and trying to get her to have at least 15-20 minutes of activity in each day. I'm trying to talk to her more and I am discussing her issues with a counselor that she will be seeing soon.

I am wondering what other people have done to assist young people in controlling their weight and taking control of their lives. I would appreciate any suggestions.

More by this Author

Comments 11 comments

Parksie profile image

Parksie 4 years ago from St. Peters, Missouri

I am not sure where in the United Stated you live, but this is a camp here in Missouri where I live and it is very reputable and I have heard really good things about it. Take a look! http://www.campjumpstart.com/

Also, can you as a family maybe take walks every night or figure out an excercise activity that you enjoy together as a family? I am sorry to hear this about your daughter. It's hard to see a child, especially your own with low self esteem.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I know your worried about your daughter but I would not keep on her about her weight. Our daughter also had weight problems by the time she was out of high school she was thin. It's kind of like bed wetting they say don't make a big deal out of bed wetting. Maybe that also should go for eating. As long as you keep the right foods around for her that is all she will have to eat just good food. Maybe sweets only on the week-end.

Nothing wrong with hoarding yogurt, apples and a piece of cheese. She was hungry and she didn't pick bad food.

I wish you all the luck in the world with your daughter.

Voted up and interesting.

ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

thanks moonlake; so, what did you do with your daughter? Did you ever talk about it with her? I have tried ignoring but that's when she really ballooned up in her weight. I feel helpless in this situation.

ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

thanks Parksie; I have tried getting her to take walks with me and she did for a while but has once again stopped. We would walk the dogs, take them to a park and play with them. She enjoyed it at first but then stopped. We are in Michigan so a camp in Missouri wouldn't be possible.

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hi ljrc, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's weight problem.

My daughter was a chubby kid and when all her friends lost their baby fat, she never did. She continued gaining weight through high school. She won't exercise and dressed in plus sizes and, like your daughter, didn't care about how she looked at all.

After high school, she wanted to take a year off before going to college. She found a job stocking Gap, where she was surrounded by beautiful clothes she couldn't wear.

Then one day, she thought of walking to and from work (about an hour walk each way), to save money. She was surprised to lose 6 lbs. after a month without dieting. That motivated her. She started reading books about calorie count and bought a little calorie book. In six months, she lost almost 50 lbs and went from size 16 to size 6. She has always been beautiful, but now she glows. She loves her new look and is now a health nut.

It is very difficult to get anyone, more so a child, on a diet and exercise program. Walking is a great exercise because you can do it anywhere. It is easy and anyone can do it. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Why don't you get start by getting your daughter a really cool pair of walking shoes? Get yourself a nice pair too. And, you and your daughter start walking one hour a day, and go from there.

I hope this helps a little.


ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

thanks for sharing your story Rosie and your ideas!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

No I did not talk with her. I was worried about her going the other way if I said anything. I had a mother that called me fat when I was 95 lbs. and wore a size 0. I just didn't want to be like that to my daughter. I know you haven't done that but to much talk can make her eat more and more and think you don't love her.

ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

moonlake, I just pray that by trying to get closer to her, she will see that she is loved and try to begin to get on a path that will make her feel better about herself.

Harper 4 years ago

I think the only thing one CAN do is accept that people come in all shapes and sizes. There are very thin people who eat like horses, very fat people who don't eat much, and everything in between. I believe 95% of this is genetics. I have 3 children and they all have different body shapes and sizes, despite sharing the same food and lifestyle. I don't believe you can force a naturally thin child to become fat anymore than you can force a naturally fat child to become thin. I think at some point we just need to accept that this is the lot we have been given in life, and learn to love yourself as you are. There are plenty of skinny people out there hating themselves because people call them "anorexic" and tell them to go "eat a sandwich". The fact is society doesn't like people who are different. Maybe it's society's view of people that needs changing, and not the people themselves.

ljrc1961 profile image

ljrc1961 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Harper, I agree. I have always fought my own weight and have such guilt thinking that because I am very overweight, that I have somehow influenced my daughter. My worry is that she has developed type 2 diabetes due to her obesity. I don't want her to be plagued with health issues her entire life.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article