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Purplecrayons Purplecrayons is offline
 
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Son’s weight gain
Old 07-03-2020, 06:15 AM
  #1

Hi,
This is a bit long , so please bear with me. Needing some opinions, my son just turned 11 last week .He will go to Middle school next year.He used to have tennis, swimming and acting classes that have all been shut down since Covid. He has also been snacking more . As a result, he has gained 9 lbs since Covid. He is still within a healthy BMI but is creeping up to overweight category( would be overweight if he gains 5 more lbs) . He wears a youth 10/12.
This morning he came to me and said he had an idea that he was going to run the subdivision everyday because ( he then patted his stomach ) and called himself “ fluffy”. He alsO said he tried to do a sit-up and curl -up and couldn’t do one and he was able to pre- Covid. I want to encourage healthy habits but at the same time don’t want him to develop a complex. ( I started developing an eating disorder that in middle school).
This is further complicated because within these past two weeks I have diagnosed with Celiac’s and with LADA diabetes ( type 1 adult onset).
I could really use some advice. Thank you in advance!


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Old 07-03-2020, 06:30 AM
  #2

I would just make snacks more fruits and vegetables. Encourage walking, running, bike riding daily (maybe together?), and not make a big deal about it. If the only food around is healthy, then he can still snack without feeling deprived. It's tough for kids not to be able to participate in their activities right now, so I feel for him.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:30 AM
  #3

Based on your description

1. It seems that he is cognizant of healthy activities because he was athletic prior to COVID.

2. It seems that he wants to get back to being active in a healthy way when he mentioned running daily.

3. His discussion with you indicates he is looking for healthy ways & options
most times when people have a disorder it is more secretive.

4. He initiated the healthy dialogue which is awesome

5. You can support his healthy quest by walking & exercising with him & buying & making creative healthy snacks options with him.

Last edited by Dr. A; 07-03-2020 at 07:11 AM..
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:33 AM
  #4

Does he like to run? If so, let him. Does he have a bike? Do you? Maybe you could start some rides together. Encourage healthy habits for fun, and work on the snacking. Not to diet but for health. Are his snacks mostly healthy?
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:35 AM
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Don't project your issues on him.

He has a good plan. You even said he used to be active an now is not because of COVID. He sees the impact of not exercising and is looking for an acceptable way to address his missed exercise routine. Good for him. Nothing he suggests indicates any type of disorder.


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Support him
Old 07-03-2020, 06:55 AM
  #6

I would tell him that we all have fluffy times in our lives. He's smart to have healthy habits, and that you love him whether he's fluffy or flat. Then make sure that snacks are all healthy or pre-measured into acceptable amounts. Encourage him to run, since that's what he mentioned he wants to do, and have a snack ready for him when he gets home.
It's also important to note that a lot of kids have a weight surge around that age that makes them seem a little fluffy, but then they lose it as they usually have a height surge too. If he has healthy habits, he'll be fine.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:56 AM
  #7

Sounds similar to what my son went through at around that age. He decided to stop eating dessert everyday and began eating healthier. It was all his idea. I supported it with healthier shopping on my end. Within a couple months he went through a huge growth spurt and his “fluff” stretched out with his new gains in height.

It’s really common for kids to pudge up a little before a growth spurt. However, I’d always encourage healthy eating habits and exercise. Sounds like you have a smart son.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:59 AM
  #8

Here are some ideas. Side note... Do you work with a counselor for your eating disorder? It may help you to have some support for yourself while dealing with all of this.

I'd focus on doing stuff as a family. I wouldn't make drastic changes all at once or it will be hard to sustain. You may already do these

Don't bring junk food into the house is a big one for us. I usually buy one treat a week, sometimes two. Snacks are fruits or veggies, sometimes nuts. So I don't limit snacks, but they are not usually junk food. We do bake sometimes as a family activity.

Walk as a family once or twice a day. After dinner is a great one, if possible.

Eating while not distracted is a good habit. So model no screens while eating with a few exceptions like movie night.

We have Ring Fit for the Switch. That has been great for the kids. I bought it for me but I haven't used it much.

Hikes have been great for us too. I'd love to start kayaking, but need to figure out logistics.

I am not sure how best to talk to kids about this, but my DD is the same age. If she said that to me, I'd probably tell her it's normal to have some body changes when your level of activity changes and you eat more calories. It's important to focus on healthy choices and feeling good about yourself. Let's work on making sure we make healthy choices together. Not sure if this is the best response.

Last edited by love_to_learn; 07-03-2020 at 10:25 AM..
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Yep
Old 07-03-2020, 07:24 AM
  #9

We’re in the same boat at my house with one of our daughters. Pre-lockdown, she had activities and school. She eats pretty healthily, but I have a severe weight problem and genetics are working against her. We had a very frank discussion that has morphed into learning how to read nutrition labels and being cognizant of calories in/calories out. I really hope we can get back to school in the fall and back to some semblance of reasonable life. It sounds like you son is aware of the problem and taking healthy steps to fix it. It’s good that he’s getting control of it now.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:24 AM
  #10

The same thing happened with my nephew when he was 11 and 12. He got a bit chunky in his stomach. Then one day he decided to get healthy. He started eating fruit, yogurt, etc, and started running. By age 13 he looked amazing. Growth spurt and slimmed down. Now at 14 he is a bit skinny, but starting to develop some muscle, and still eating healthy most of the time.


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Old 07-03-2020, 09:05 AM
  #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Englishish
It sounds like you son is aware of the problem and taking healthy steps to fix it. It’s good that he’s getting control of it now.
Brilliant observation. And how wise you are to ask.

As another who has been “weight conscious” practically my whole life, I applaud you for contemplating his concern. I agree with others that it’s great he recognizes a potential problem and has a plan to fix it. You know your job is to quietly encourage him (without acting like weight defines us), provide healthy food, recognize the importance of daily sustainable exercise, and be a good role model for him. He can easily do his part. You have the hard job. Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:11 AM
  #12

I would let him run if he wants to and tell him you think many people got a little fluffy during this covid time! I know I did! That should help him understand it's normal.

As he goes through puberty he should lose some naturally.
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:41 AM
  #13

My sons put on weight at that age. And then they grew taller and it evened out. It was just like when they were babies: put on weight and then height. It's like they can't grow in both directions at the same time!

I understand why this is tricky for you, not wanting to pass on disordered eating/exercise habits. But he has a plan and just needs some support from you. Focus on healthful foods and appropriate amounts of exercise, not weight. Foods aren't "bad" they are "sometimes" foods. We talked alot about how food is fuel for the body and that you want high octane fuel for your high performance engine! Putting it in car terms helped them relate--they are obsessed with muscle/sport cars.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:32 PM
  #14

Is there a form of exercise you would both enjoy? Perhaps you could mention that want to develop more healthy habits and suggest running, riding bikes, swimming, etc. together.

Nancy
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:55 PM
  #15

That's terrific that he came to you. Encourage his plan, talk with him about what kind of healthy snacks he'd like to have available, talk to him about monitoring his sedentary activities. I always think it's about being open and having dialogues, especially with tweens/teens, not controlling what they are doing or eating.


My youngest definitely put on some weight during all of this as well (he can spend all day gaming if it's an option). He hasn't said anything, but now that we are in the mountains he is outside biking and hiking every day. I hope that he notices how much better he feels after this month.
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