February 18, 2005

No, You Can't Have Candy

Gluttony Posted by Hello

I'm paranoid my boys will get fat.

Well, not fat, but chunky. They don't get any exercise other than the little they get from gym class. They are couch potatoes and we're doing something about it.

Summer is not a problem. My family likes to go for bike rides and the kids and I go swimming virtually everyday. So by the time school starts back up in the fall, the boys are lean, tan and energetic.

But once school starts and worse, cold weather sets in, things are different. It's hard to do anything outside because it's so darn cold (who has fun playing basketball when your fingers are numb? Wear gloves? C'mon...to play basketball??) So any form of exercise consists of leaving the comfy chair, walking to the kitchen for meals and walking back to the comfy chair.

For the first time, I've noticed Blake's metabolism is slowing down. He's getting a belly on him and he becomes winded whenever we walk around Wal-Mart or the mall.

This is unacceptable.

This was brought to my attention the other day when we went to Office Max to get him a new binder (he totally annihilated his other one).

"Mom, can you slow down?"

"Slow down? We're not going that fast." Well, actually, maybe I was. I'm used to walking fast anyway from my episodes on the treadmill and we were in a hurry because we needed to get the binder and head out to pick up Brandon.

I turned around to address him and he's breathing hard. I was shocked. Since when did my skinny first born get so out of shape? Two words: Video Games.

Ah. Of course.

Now, after dinner, he has to walk/jog the treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on how much time we have, how tired he is, how much he did in gym, etc.) It's working. The double chin that was starting to make an appearance is beginning to recede and his steps are livelier. I'm glad I noticed.

Obese children have hard lives. Other children are CRUEL and relentless in their teasing. Though I didn't start him on the treadmill solely to avoid the teasing, I worried about his heart as well, the reaction from the other kids at school was a factor. I'm not sure Blake would have allowed himself to get to that point - he's becoming more aware of girls, but then again, he really doesn't seem to care much about his appearance. I have yet to hear a complaint about his clothes, though he did say the popular school "hoodie" that all the kids were wearing looked gay on guys and no, he didn't want one. That self-awareness is starting to emerge.

I wonder how far it would have gone if I hadn't taken things into my own hands? I hate to be the drill sergeant but Blake has my genes - he's going to have to work to keep the pounds off. Not to mention, both boys are so weak, they have no muscles to speak of. Now is a good time to start developing those muscles.

Now Brandon on the other hand is the complete opposite. (Surprise, they are complete opposites in nearly EVERY aspect). He has to eat to GAIN weight. Yeah, I know. A foreign concept for us "normal" people. *grin* He's so skinny he doesn't look healthy. Instead of the treadmill, I have to concentrate on making him eat all of his dinner (even though he still gets the smallest portions) and we have recently started working with dumbbells to strengthen his arm and chest muscles. When a person doesn't have enough strength to open a carton of milk, it's time to take matters seriously.

Though I understand how obese kids get that way, I don't understand why the parents don't step in and do something about it. Yes, they may be overweight themselves and yes, some people are more susceptible to becoming overweight, but wouldn't that make a person more conscientious about watching one's weight? I guess I honestly don't understand how people can let themselves get in such bad shape, so bad they can't stand without some assistance, so bad they can't sit in a booth but have to have a chair, so bad that their end of the car dramatically sinks when they get in. It doesn't happen overnight.

But I suppose that's not really any of my business. My business is keeping my own family healthy and by setting good examples.

After all, you can't preach if you don't practice it.

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