I have been “thick” all of my life. There are pictures of me around 3 years old with cute chubby thighs. When I got to high school, I played sports–soccer and tennis. I didn’t get thin; I got strong. My mom would say my legs were like tree trunks when I was playing soccer.
I was so proud of my legs then. They were strong, powerful and mostly lean. My thighs and calves were solid.
Losing or maintaining weight has been a part of my lifestyle forever; for me it also resulted in me developing an eating disorder my second year of undergrad. That spun into its own struggle for more than a decade.
I’ve worked out my entire adult life. I can’t say I love working out, but I do love moving my body. My mood is better, it’s easier to maintain my weight and as I get older, moving ensures that I *keep* moving. At a minimum, I get a walk everyday either outside, by YT video or on the treadmill.
When Hope came into my life, I made it a point to invite her to workout or at least move with me.
My daughter loathes exercise. She does not want to move. Hope can legit stay in bed for 24 hours if relieving herself and food weren’t issues. There have been times when she will go for a walk with me, but with the bug phobia, the conditions have to be just right or she becomes an epic pain in the arse because she’s running around and will even run into traffic to avoid a gnat.
Her year at boarding school and semester at college gave her some freedom to order food and to develop new habits. Military school enforced workouts; but college did not. Then the pandemic hit and well…yeah.
Last year, Hope gained quite a bit of weight. Enough such that the medical team has been a bit concerned. She’s got a family history of some not so great thing (we are fortunate to have some of that info about her family history), so they strongly encouraged her to adjust her eating habits and get some exercise. She’s largely ignored that guidance. In fact, she’s doubled down on the eating and has gained more weight.
What I love about Hope, especially during this time, is how much she loves her body. She delights in the size of her bottom and her boobs. She has repeatedly stated she only wants to lose weight in her belly, a notion I often remind her is not really how weight loss works. I don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes her love of her body–Lord knows I don’t want to make her feel towards her body the way I used to feel towards mine.
Recently we were chatting about food and exercise. I noted that a few changes and a little exercise might be a healthy addition to her life. Maybe a 15 minute cardio video and ditching the daily Dr. Pepper could be a start, or you know one of those. I rarely drink soda, but I drink a lot of seltzer, sometimes adding a little bit of juice to get a soda fix.
She scrunched her nose.
Ok, how about weening…switch to diet Dr. Pepper?
As for the videos or a little time on the treadmill?
I hate cardio.
I mean, I don’t always love it, but my body and mood are better for it.
Ok. I drop it. It’s hard for me to figure out where the line is between nurturing and harassing. I don’t bring it up often; and I am cautious never to be negative. I just want to encourage some healthier habits. I want her to always love her body, but a part of love is taking care of it.
So, 2022 will involve me inviting her to walk with me, do some workouts with me and finding new recipes to try. It’s all fun and games in your 20s when your body can absorb a lot of foolish choices; but then one day you’re 35 and you’re body is like…”Yeah, this metabolism? We’re going to slow that rate to half.”
Oh, just me?
How are you imparting healthy habits to your kiddos?
February 6th, 2022 at 12:21 pm
Circus school (includes trapeze and silks), horse riding, friends who did exercise, family who did hiking and camping, swimming and scuba …. Dance. 1 who was hyper movement made it easy because they loved movement. Outside the box of public school PE which was always hated.
February 10th, 2022 at 2:59 pm
This one is so hard. I remember at that age, I forbid my parents from commenting on my weight AT ALL, because even their kindest input was just sooo embarrassing and painful. I remember food is especially fraught for her, too, so I think you are very wise to focus on encouraging exercise rather than eating.
If she’s been enjoying her Switch, I wonder if she would like one of the movement games like Ring Fit or Just Dance 2022? I have Ring Fit and it’s pretty light-hearted.
March 10th, 2022 at 2:00 am
I hate cardio. I’ve settled for walking around with a heavy backpack: “rucking”, as it’s called. That’s my cardio haha.