Dear Our Lady of Weight Loss,
My daughter is fat and it is breaking my heart. Please help me to help her lose weight.
- Parent of Fat Child
Warning : My head is spinning, and it may well explode. Not pretty!
Our Lady of Weight Loss and I have this month (and we are only 3/4 of the way through it) received a record number of emails from readers seeking advice on how to 'fix' their child. Actually, now that I think about it, they were asking advice on how to 'fix' their daughters. Not a fat son amongst us? Anyway -- that's another topic, hey? ... I do digress.
All those missives gave me a headache, as I flashed-back to my troubled 'fat' youth and the memory of my mother, on one particularly trying day, saying to me through tear-stained eyes, "It's such a shame that you have such a big behind."
Shame delivered, picked-up and packed-on!
And so, to those who are thinking, "Wow, my child is fat. How can I fix her?" I'd like to give you a Kick in the Tush, and serve up a few choice words Our Lady of Weight Loss style!
Our Lady of Weight Loss's Eight Honest, Straight and Digestible Points of "LITE" for You and Your Child
1. Knock it off! I could be wrong (rarely :), but it sounds to me like you are more concerned about your broken heart than the health and happiness of your child. Get over yourself. Remove yourself from the equation. This isn't about you!
2. Punishment from God? A 'weight loss' reduction program/conversation is more than likely going to be perceived by your child as a form of punishment. And why wouldn't it be? Don't you think of 'dieting' as one of the great injustices and punishments in your life?
3. Get Moving. Are you (and the family) gathering around the boob-tube each and every night, snacking together as you watch "The Biggest Loser?" Or are you setting up a game of badminton or horseshoes in your backyard? How about joining or creating a family bowling league? For you apartment dwellers, how about a game of twister?
4. Eat Healthy. Are you eating healthfully? What foods are you serving? What kind of snacks do you have in your home? Do not even think about telling me that you 'have to' buy chips, chocolate and cookies for your husband or son -- or for the matter for the other skinny sister.
5. Educate Yourself and Your Child. Rather than harping on the negative, i.e. your child's big behind, why not learn about nutrition and talk up the health benefits of watermelon? And definitely learn the art of reading a food label! Teach yourself and your child!
6. Happy Mealtime. Make mealtime a happy family time. Sit down and discuss the highlights of your day over a plethora of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and organic foods a plenty.
7. Shop Together. Ask for your child's input. Sit down and create a list of high-nutrient foods. If your child says, "I'd really like a chocolate donut." See if you can figure in one sweet (perhaps, a one-oz. square of dark chocolate) along with a fruit salad. And if your child still wants the donut, buy one tiny pack of pre-portioned mini-donuts. Remember God's 10 Commandments and the forbidden fruit!
8. Love Trumps Fat. Love yourself and your child just as you are. There is nothing 'wrong' with your child. She does not need to be 'fixed.' Open your eyes. Witness the true beauty of the person who is standing before you.
Be aware of the message that you are putting down for your child to pick up. Lead by example. Create a happy and healthy home.
Spread the word ... Not the icing!