Moms: watch the message you send to your children about dieting

by Fleur 5 Replies latest social physical

  • Fleur

    This should be obvious but I wonder sometimes if we moms realize how much influence we have directly over our children no matter what we say because of our own body image and our own food issues.

    Recently I have been losing weight after discontinuing several medications known to add weight to you. My daughter picked up on the fact I have also eliminated a lot of the sugar (most of it) from my diet and has begun wondering if she needed to go on a diet. She is very athletic and has not a bit of body fat, so I sat her down straight away and explained to her that the weight I gained was unhealthy for me and that the medication was the main reason, that it has nothing to do with her or her body.

    I am so worried about navigating the coming teen years with body issues for her because I had such bad problems with this in my own teens and adult life too. So I thought I'd pass this article from CNN on here to parents (dads too) and just remind you, talk to your kids about healthy diet and weight issues, and be hypervigilent about their eating habits changing. If you see any signs of an eating disorder, get them help right away.



  • skeeter1

    Kids mirror what the parents say & do. They also mirror what other people around them say & do

    My 2 year old LOVED Dunkin Donuts. We limited consumption to one donut a week, expalining it was "healthy" only if you ate one a week. We reinforced the words "healthy" and "unhealthy" throughout the day.

    So, one day we were dining with this 2 year old child at a Steak & Shake (ok, not the most healthy). A very "unhealthy" man stood up to leave. He was BIG. The child yelled (at mega decibals), "Look ma, he ate too many donuts!" I've never been more embarrassed in my life.

    Moral: Watch what you say, your spouse says, the tv/magazines, day care providers, teachers. The "world" is a hard place. Whether you use the word "FAT" or "unhealthy", they get the picture.


  • Nowman

    I had an eating disorder for 6 years. It all started when my parents discovered this diet called "Fit for Life", it basically told you of what foods not to mix together so that they digest properly. I was always a chunky kid up until we went on this diet. I am 5-1", got down to 103 lbs. Well, my parents started to notice the wieght I had lost. Keep in mind, I was going to school, working part time, and aux pioneering, I was a very busy kid. My parents started wieghing me every day, they told me I had to be 105 and no less. They also did not care about flucutuation. So, every morning, dad had me get on the scale, if I was under 105, they would force me to eat about 5-10 cookies with a glass of milk, at about 10:00 oclock at night. It did not work, I wouldn't gain an ounce, I was too active, I was not trying to lose weight. Then they forbid me to take my walks that I liked to take. After some time, I became very distraguht about my wieght. I walked on "tip toes" at my house, worried that my parents were going to put me on that scale, they would get so mad if I was under 105. I was stressed. So, eventually, my parents also found out that my best friend had anorexica, and her mom suggested to my mom, that we not associate anymore because of the influence. After awhile, I was tired of my parents having this control over me, so I decided to take control. I started throwing up by force...when I left home and the org, I kept it up. It was my way of having control. Possibly, it was my way of getting back at my parents too, I don't know.

    Eventually, when I was 23, and weighed 87 lbs (believe me, I remember feeling so excited about this weight), I got pregnant with my daughter. I never did it again, but I won't say ti did not cross my mind...

    Eating disorders kill, I am so thankful I did not kill myself. My parents were so out of control with what they did, if anything, it made me go the other way, it led to an eating disorder. These days, you gotta be thin thin thin to be in. Its sad. You've got to be involved with your children and educate them about this, eating disorders are so easy to hide too, communicate!


  • skeeter1

    I was very underweight when I was a child. So much so, that I stopped growing and my parents put me in a children's hospital to see what was wrong. I weighed 30 pounds as an 8 year old. The doctors found nothing wrong. When I was a teenager, I made Ms. Hilton look fat. I was a bag of bones, a literal graveyard. But, I ate everything in site. Partly, I wanted to look bigger so the opposite sex would find me attractive. It did not work. It was so stressed over my lack of weight - nothing looked good on and I was not "attractive" to the opposite sex. In my early/mid 20s, the pounds finally started to come on. Unfortunately, my learned eating habits were not "good". I had to learn how to eat and stay healthy.

    One thing that my JW parents were good at, is that they did not "harp" on me about my lack of weight. They took me to the doctors to confirm I was healthy, and they left me alone after that. They did one thing right.

  • serendipity

    With my daughter, I always emphasized healthy food choices and didn't talk about diets and didn't complain about my weight , but she overheard caregivers at the day care talk about dieting, etc. She started saying she had fat thighs at a young age. I told her she was the perfect size and needed powerful legs to run, play and climb. Over the years, she's made a few comments about being pudgy (which she isn't) and I've always told her she was beatiful and just the right size.

    Recently, I talked about getting liposuction and she was shocked. "Mom, you're beautiful just the way you are." I taught her well. I hope her self-talk is as accepting.

  • Fleur

    Sorry I couldn't reply before, had that 'can't log in and stay logged in" for the past 12 hours! grr!!!

    I didn't mean that parents' should be the ones to 'help' the kids if there are issues...that's usually the worst thing. I just meant professionals.

    I wonder if anyone grows up without being screwed up over food in some way :(



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