Overweight son

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  • Baxie23
    Baxie23 Posts: 34 Member
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    When I was in high school I was playing elite level basketball (6 days a week, 4 hours a day) and eating like crazy to keep up with what I was burning. Then when I turned 15 I tore my ACL and was off for 9 months. I gained 25 pounds during that time. All I can say is that your son likely knows that he is overweight. High school is not a nice place(granted I am female) but teenagers are cruel and pressure to be thin/muscular is high. I knew I was overweight and didn't need my parents to point it out. Instead my parents made sure I had access to all the healthy foods I needed, allowed me to take a yoga class and get a membership to the pool (while I was rehabbing). They also made the focus of their concern on being healthy (eating well, sleeping enough, drinking water etc) not being overweight.
  • vczK2t
    vczK2t Posts: 309 Member
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    tmn2016 wrote: »
    ...He weights 220lbs and is 5'10". He is very active, plays basketball, baseball and football so he's always on the move; however, i know he eats way more than what I give him (probably buys from the mini mart near school)....

    I am not a mother or parent to a human, but..............you need to leave him alone about his weight. If he wasn't active at all, that might be more of a concern FROM HIS DOCTOR!. You are his mother and despite your best intentions, he WILL get a complex about his weight because of you. I speak from experience with my own mother. He is 16 years old, VERY active, and still growing. LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!!!!!!!

  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
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    tmn2016 wrote: »
    @zorander6 he is under a lot of stress lately. It's his junior year and between a challenging school schedule he just took the PSAT and is getting ready for the sat. He is having to be tutor in physics as well. Lots of pressure so I'm sure he's turning to eating. He won't talk about it which makes it harder to help him.

    After reading all the comments I think the best thing to do is cook healthy meals and talks about nutrition and portion sizes. Let things take its course. He needs to want more than me. As much as the doctor told him that he needs to lose weight and I'm so afraid of him developing diabetes, I need to walk the talk and ensure that at least at home he is getting a healthy and a balanced meal

    All good ideas. Just a thought, 16 is around the time some kids start experimenting with beer, which of course would add to his calorie intake that I assume you would not be aware of.
  • not_my_first_rodeo
    not_my_first_rodeo Posts: 311 Member
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    Is he making his own meals? Buying his own food?

    What kinds of food do you make? Maybe incorporating more lower calorie options would help? Or making smaller portions for the whole family? Something like that?
  • JaiDessaT
    JaiDessaT Posts: 74 Member
    edited December 2016
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    tmn2016 wrote: »
    Thank you all so much for your opinions and advice. His doctor mentioned that he is obese and should lose weight (especially because of the hereditary issues in the family like diabetes). His coaches however don't say a word to him! They don't really care from what I see. I do have one young coach that I could talk to and see if he can talk to my son about "hey if you lose some weight you will get faster on the court", less injuries, etc.

    You are right that the desire to lose weight needs to come from him. I guess the only thing that I can do as a parent is keep promoting the healthy eating at home and hopefully by sitting on the bench a few times he will get the message.....he is really slow now (slower than last winter when he played basketball) and I can't help but think it's because of the weight.

    The best way to do this is to get the coach to talk with him in a relaxed manner. What your son needs from you is 100% knowledge that you love & accept him & aren't judging him. You are safe harbor. I understand your worry for his health, because of your family history.
    He is still growing, very active, sounds cardiovascularly fit. It's very possible he's heading into a growth spurt. My kids always purge (edit* pudge) up the year before a massive spurt.

    I would prepare healthy meals, based around healthy fats, protein & veggies with fruit desserts. He'll gain knowledge on healthy eating, and you're doing what you can to support healthy growth. If he's still overweight at 21, then I'd have a heart to heart about your deep worry.

  • rosebarnalice
    rosebarnalice Posts: 3,488 Member
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    I have no doubt that your son knows he's overweight.

    And, as many others have shared, I was a fat kid, and my parents' comments about my weight never motivated me.

    My parents both separately tried the bribery route. Before my freshman year in high school, Dad promised me platform shoes and Gloria Vanderbilt black jeans if I could fit into a certain size by the first day of school ( it was the 70s. . . those jeans were a thing) . . . and when I was accepted into an ambassador choir to spend a month in Europe, Mom offered me a whole suitcase of new clothes if I could lose weight in the 6 months before the trip.

    Both failed miserably and only compounded my already quite negative body image.

    And I got the new suitcase of clothes any way-- because I GAINED two sizes and couldn't fit into my clothes any more.
  • newheavensearth
    newheavensearth Posts: 870 Member
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    My 12 year old gained weight very rapidly despite implementing the lifestyle changes I made that led to my weight loss. He's been at the 95th percentile for size for his entire life, so I know he'll never be reed thin. He is also active in basketball, rides bikes, and likes dancing around the house when he's bored. So I took him to his dr, and turns out he has thyroid issues that need further evaluation by endocrinology.

    So in other words, get him checked out along with lifestyle changes.

    Btw, someone suggested removing privileges until OP son lost weight. IMHO, no. It just seems like punishing a child for their weight, and that in itself can lead to a lifetime of self esteem issues.
  • sbrandt37
    sbrandt37 Posts: 403 Member
    edited December 2016
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    My advice is to leave him alone. If he is very active, he is burning a ton of calories, probably way more than you can imagine. I am 5' 10". At 16, I played two sports and during football season I weighed about 210 and was in fantastic shape. Your son is fine. Don't screw up his self-esteem by pushing him to lose weight, like my mother did. It will not help and he will resent it and you.

    He is at the age where he needs to start learning to care for himself. The more you try to manage his eating, the less space there is for him to learn to do it himself. Give him that space.
  • tracykreczmer
    tracykreczmer Posts: 88 Member
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    My take.. Why do We all overeat? Being 16 is hard.. Both my kids had issues with body image were not even overweight. But thought they were. I have eaten my whole life either because I was stressed or lonely. My son told me later that it was his hardest year. And I thought he was happy. All those sports plus school work is incredibly stressful. Any change in eating is something u should look at. Men suffer from eating issues too. If he is going out and buying bad food that's a red flag. If he is doing it at home don't stock any bad food. Stock items that are healthy yet tasty.. Like flavored hummus with high fiber chips. Stuff that will fill him up.

    Don't point it out yet.. Every social outing for teens involves food. I mean if we don't eat at a party people are like why aren't u eating!!!!

    keep a private account of when he eats.. After sports.. After homework? Does he eat alone? Times and how he does it tell u exactly why. Comes home says he's starving mom make me something vs. A bit secretive eating. Also.. Maybe a doctor's visit.. Diabetes can cause both weight gain and needing certain foods.

    My last thought too.. He may be going through his last growth spurt too.

    You are coming from a place of love.

    If u were sixteen and gained weight how would you have wanted someone to talk to you.

    Hugs.. It hurts when we want to fix it and we don't know how
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
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    Bit of a long shot, but can you afford a family vacation down south somewhere this winter? Perhaps the prospect of a week on the beach in February might spur him to take action.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 2,385 Member
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    we have 3 sons & a daughter. 2 of my boys got overweight starting in middle school. Our youngest got 350 lbs! When he was a senior, my hubby took the computer away from him, he had nothing to do so he started walking, going to the gym & eating less. We didn't make him do it. It was his choice. He got down to size medium. This was 13yrs ago & he never gained it back. Our middle son is tall & over weight. He'll lose weight then gain it back. He's married with a son. We don't tell him what to do., he knows it's not good for him, we just accept him & pray he'll take better care of himself. He won't listen anyway
  • savithny
    savithny Posts: 1,200 Member
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    Big changes in activity level without parallel changes in eating can result in weight gain - that's a given, and it's how I gained weight during several times when I gained rather than maintained. That's something that you can probably talk about in general terms.

    But I'm with many others: shaming and lecturing aren't going to help. There's no evidence that they result in real positive behavior change around eating and weight, and a lot of evidence that they result in *negative* behaviors.
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,750 Member
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    He will probably tackle it himself sooner or later, the key is making sure he has access to good information so he doesn't try to lose weight in an unhealthy way. If he's aware that you can help him with information, and getting a good example from you about eating well at home, then that plus unconditional acceptance is probably as far as parental help can go at that age.
  • tmn2016
    tmn2016 Posts: 159 Member
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    i know that he needs to lose weight when he's ready; the issue that i have is that, as a parent, I take the blame for creating the unhealthy habits as i had it myself in the past. As a parent we want what is best for them and I have a hard time watching him gain weight and then developing diabetes, etc. because i did not do something about it. The doctor has spoke with him about it and we have mentioned to him about diabetes being in our family but he still doesn't get it. Very hard as a parent to watch your kid gaining weight when he plays 3 sports. But come to find out, he has been going to dunkin donuts, getting sports drink, etc. All of the stuff that i don't have in the house. Again, yes he needs to make the decision to stop doing those things and i cannot control what he does outside the home. But it's so hard to watch and not do something about if if you know what i mean!
    I thought about making another drs appt. to get blood work, etc done to make sure his thyroids and sugar are in acceptable levels then have another talk to him. The problem is that he is a procrastinator and i can just see it now. Unless it happens to him, he will not make the move and lose weight to prevent it from happening. That's what i'm afraid is going to get down to
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,113 Member
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    tmn2016 wrote: »
    i know that he needs to lose weight when he's ready; the issue that i have is that, as a parent, I take the blame for creating the unhealthy habits as i had it myself in the past. As a parent we want what is best for them and I have a hard time watching him gain weight and then developing diabetes, etc. because i did not do something about it. The doctor has spoke with him about it and we have mentioned to him about diabetes being in our family but he still doesn't get it. Very hard as a parent to watch your kid gaining weight when he plays 3 sports. But come to find out, he has been going to dunkin donuts, getting sports drink, etc. All of the stuff that i don't have in the house. Again, yes he needs to make the decision to stop doing those things and i cannot control what he does outside the home. But it's so hard to watch and not do something about if if you know what i mean!
    I thought about making another drs appt. to get blood work, etc done to make sure his thyroids and sugar are in acceptable levels then have another talk to him. The problem is that he is a procrastinator and i can just see it now. Unless it happens to him, he will not make the move and lose weight to prevent it from happening. That's what i'm afraid is going to get down to

    Some of this is just normal teenage boy immaturity. Guide gently, resist the urge to nag constantly, and hopefully he'll eventually grow out of it. I know--easier said than done, but I'm right there with you.

    This week's struggle at my house? Constant streaming of stupid youtube videos (even when he's supposed to be doing homework), PSAT scores coming in lower than expected, a lengthy talk about the test scores he needs to get into the university he wants to attend, and I turn around and he's streaming videos again. Arrrrrrgh!
  • tmn2016
    tmn2016 Posts: 159 Member
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    @mitch16 this sounds so much like my son! sorry to hear that, but at the same time, sort of glad that it's not just him! I guess part of being a parent is hoping that our children will not make the same mistakes we made; but sometimes we must let them fall so that they figure it out. But when it comes to health, that scares me!
  • Mary_Anastasia
    Mary_Anastasia Posts: 267 Member
    edited December 2016
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    Go momma for caring about your kid's nutrition! Here's my perspective: My parents never had any kind of talk with me about nutrition or physical fitness- I was homeschooled and my "gym" time was walking the dog or playing outside. I was 180lbs and a womens size 18 by age 12.

    With this in mind, I would encourage you bring nutrition and physical fitness into your home as a general guideline for you both to follow. When he walks by ask him what he thinks about substituting fruit for dessert, or lean turkey over ground beef; tell him you're going to start serving salad with dinner every night, or wanting to spend quality time with him in the evenings with a stroll around the block. Ask him if he'll help YOU be healthier, and I bet he will learn a lot about his own body and lifestyle.

    PS I also second getting him tested for thyroid problems. Not just TSH, but T3 and T4 and Thyroid antibodies (there are 2 types) I developed thyroid disease by college and it tremendously affects your ability to lose weight if untreated.
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,750 Member
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    With this in mind, I would encourage you bring nutrition and physical fitness into your home as a general guideline for you both to follow. When he walks by ask him what he thinks about substituting fruit for dessert, or lean turkey over ground beef; tell him you're going to start serving salad with dinner every night, or wanting to spend quality time with him in the evenings with a stroll around the block. Ask him if he'll help YOU be healthier, and I bet he will learn a lot about his own body and lifestyle.

    This seems like a good idea. I think if you're all following the same guidelines then it maybe seems less like nagging? I don't know, though, it seems like you might be doing this already.

    The other thing is that if he is a procrastinator, he's likely to be demand-resistant, and the more you talk about it, the less likely he becomes to do it. I know this because I am a procrastinator, and the more people (especially my mother!) push me to do a thing, the more anxious and resistant I become. I have to find my way to it myself.

    That doesn't mean you should never mention it, a serious heart-to-heart couldn't hurt, but repeating it may be counterproductive. Say it once, then model it, would be my advice.

  • everher
    everher Posts: 909 Member
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    I have no advice, OP, but I sympathize immensely.

    I started gaining weight in middle school and by the end of middle school I was obese. My mother, for the most part, never said anything. She had to be hospitalized for an ED before I came along and always struggled a bit I think with her body image. I think she just didn't want the same thing for me so she said nothing.

    I think this is one of those situations where as a parent you are *kitten* if you do *kitten* if you don't. I can't imagine anything you could say being received well by him, but at the same time you don't want to sit and watch your child eat himself into oblivion.

    In my case, one day I woke up and decided I didn't want to be fat anymore and put myself on a diet. I lost a tremendous amount of weight and was back at a healthy BMI. The problem came in because that's exactly what I did. I put myself on a "diet". I didn't make healthy, sustainable changes and choices. I just lost the weight and slowly went back to my old habits of overeating.

    When he's ready to lose the weight I think you would be in more of a position to help him and make sure he's making healthy, sustainable changes.