Friday, May 23, 2014

What if you think your child will be fat?

I was a fat kid and am a fat adult. In between, I was a failed dieter.

So, of course, I listened to the audio of Dara-Lynn Weiss's book: The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet--A Memoir.

My sister was the "thin" one--she said, "Don't get that book." I didn't listen. Now that we are over 65, by the way, my sister is not stick-thin anymore and I am a steady sturdy weight. We both have bad joints and gimp around pitifully.

This author's child is age 7 when the author starts to worry about the girl's weight. She is in the 98th percentile of weight. That BMI stuff.

A typical wealthy NY mother, the author loves organic, whole foods, etc. Her husband is large and the girl's brother is underweight and indifferent to food except pasta.

The author wrings her tiny hands (she is a small but thinks she is fat and spent all her life agonizing over the scale) and tries to cut back portions. This does not "work."

Then they go to some nutritionist--as a family--and learn some system designating foods as green lights, yellow, red--and prescribing how many of each the person can have.

I know this mother loves her kid, but you might cringe at her persistence. She calls other mothers and babysitters--don't serve this or that to my child. She rips a half-finished cup of ramen out of her child's hand. She won't let her eat salad because her meal is over. They read menus online and decide ahead what they will order when they eat out.

The "diet" allows unlimited fruit--and the girl eats a lot of it. I would not have liked the sound of that. The idea is to munch moderately.

I went through a lot of similar things as a child. Yes, if someone in your family is large or as we say "has the tendency," don't have empty foods around--sugary treats.

My own child is six inches taller than me--and not thin. Should I have done all this? It wasn't in me.

I remember her late dad looking at her as a toddler and saying, "Is she getting fat?" I was furious.

In the end, in my case, my sister got somewhat larger--my brothers, too. Life--gotta love it.

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