Monday, July 23, 2007

Thank you and Best Wishes Nicole

My daughter is 7 now. You write you went on your first diet when you were 7. I realize the current assumption when one says diet is to loose weight. So I’ll take you to mean that. Were you dieting to loose weight at such a young age? While you had lots of growing to do? Were you compelled to loose weight by social situations, the media, friends, parents or doctors?

I got both inside and outside influence with regards to my weight.

As a child I was, forced by most baby sitters, to eat. I’m still a picky eater. So is my daughter. And I make sure no one forces her to eat anything. Well, doctor prescribed medication for the occasional aliment aside.

My Father, my mom left when I was 3, never forced anything. But when he caught sight of my actual size, or lack there of, he’d threaten to take me to the doctor to put me on a weight gaining diet. I got good at dressing loosely.

The first time I had any extra, as in perhaps too much, weight I had lived in Austin Texas. Where the cheap Mexican food and most excellent Texas bar-b-que is well worth changing your clothing size! Besides both the ice skating and swimming was cheap too!

I returned to New Jersey about a size 12, or perhaps it was 14 or 16. I did not care. Sadly I had the return of a stomach problem within a year of returning. I lost both lots of stomach lining and weight. I racked up loads of time writhing around in pain. If I ever hate anyone, I won’t be able to wish my stomach problem on them. One of the many non-recommended kinds of weight loss. It comes from simple stress, in my case.

After that, my take on food was and remains, if I can digest it, it’s good food! But I do endeavor to get my daughter and I to try to eat a few more vegetables a week…Maybe will get back around to the fruit food group someday too!

I feel real lucky my daughter is into ice hockey. Lots of padding! She selected this as a line of ice skating to pursue when I suggested skating lessons. If she selected figure skating courses, I’d be even more frightened than I am now at her “Am I fat?” queries!

I try to protect her from created food issues that all picky eaters face. In her case: other parents, even adults in her life with out children and her school all really try to force the eat this, eat that issue. I do not believe it helps.

I have even had to listen to another, non-parent adults, tell her she can’t have desert unless she cleans her dinner plate. I assured her it was not true. And, as quite often, she didn’t like the desert anyway. And she has also asked me if she is a bad person because she does not like fruit and very few vegetables!

One of the many things I like about the 2 Afraid to Eat books I keep links to in my right column is that they are filled with livable suggestions to healthy eating even a pair of picky eaters like my daughter and I can appreciate. Based on these books suggestions, I figure it’s my job to keep a variety of foods in front of us to try, or not. It’s also my job to keep the stressors away from her! Both those books have info on some of that. My experience as a life long picky eater supplies me with the rest!

If your child is a picky eater, and you are concerned, here is what I have found. Get them to play with their food! Have you child help you in the kitchen, and in the garden. Mud is a wonderful thing! Seeing plants grow is too! And cooking is basically fun!

I was never afraid of weight gain as I child. I was afraid of being forced to eat. I figure I ended up overweight due to lack of exercise.

I also consider if it took several years to get this overweight. It should take no less than a year or two to get back in shape. And I’ve been a sickly 95 pounds as an adult. As well as a robust, strong and healthy 130 pounds. I figure if I gradually work more exercise, and perhaps vegetables, in to a life long aim to feel great, the results will likely look pretty good too. I guess that’s a good thing to show a child too. Eat when you are hungry, play when you feel energetic, sleep when you are tired, if you can. The aim is to feel great.


  1. My experience mirrors many.

    I have 4 adopted children.

    My 8 year old daughter is double the volume of many of the kids in her classes at school (height and weight).

    My 5 year old son is in the 25th percentile for height & weight- meaning he's small and thin.

    We feed them the same foods- but she's the veggie meister. If you ask her, broccoli and spinach are her favorite foods. My son wakes up in the morning wondering when he can get something sweet, like a donut.

    Genetics are everything- and if you are here already, there is not a thing to do.

  2. I think 7 is a pretty common age for one's first diet - that seems to be the case among the people I've talked to and my own experience, at least.

    Because at 7 years old, when my body was starting to gear up for puberty, I got fat. And then I got put on a diet to lose weight.

    It didn't work, of course. Nor did any of the other diets I was put on. All they did was further destroy my metabolism and self-image.

    I think 7-year-olds have enough to worry about without throwing dieting in there.