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From Andy, child's age 16
Ike very worried about my three boys’ weight gain since March. Their mother’s cancer went into remission in January of 2020, which is obviously great news, but also means that we have to be very careful with COVID as she still has a weakened immune system. Our boys have all been very understanding and we have worked hard to make sure they can keep in touch with friends and family (through zoom and select very socially distanced meetups) as we go to school and work online and limit trips out of the home.
My older two (ages 16 and 15) have always been a few pounds overweight, last January the 16 year old was 5 foot 11 and around 180lbs, and the 15 year old was around 5 foot 9 and 165lbs, but were active and mostly healthy kids and the doctor wasn’t all that concerned. My 12 year old was always our skinny kid, and was 5 foot tall and around 90lbs.
Now, parents out there know that having three kids at home most of the day at these ages means they will eat you out of house and home, and that definitely has been the case here. It is like they are endless pits of hunger, and while we have tried to moderate it to the best of our ability it has snuck up to us.
A week ago we took all three boys in for a check up. We knew they all had put on some weight (and I was particularly worried about the 15 year old, though my wife didn’t agree), but I think we all assumed they had just put on 5-10lbs of quarantine pudge and it wasn’t a big deal. They hadn’t needed new clothes, though admittedly they always liked athletic style pants and baggier t-shirts, both of which were getting quite tight, and with lockdown had very few reasons to wear anything with a button, so I guess the lesson is that elastic works wonders.
I think we all were surprised to see how big they had actually gotten weight wise. My 16 year old is the same height and weighs 214lbs now having gained 34lbs in a year, and my skinny boy is now 5 foot 1 and 125lbs, having gained 35lbs, but most shockingly the 15 year old is now 5 foot 10 and 220lbs, gaining a crazy 55lbs. The doctor wanted to run some tests for diabetes, and it came back that the 12 year old has diabetes and the 15 year old has pre-diabetes, which is terrifying for me as I’ve never dealt with it before so we are now learning all about that subject.
I’m just shocked and scared and feeling guilty that I didn’t see this coming. I brought out some of their jeans, and only the 12 year old could button his, and that took a lot of sucking in his stomach, and the 15 year old couldn’t even pull them completely up. I knew they had put on weight, but I would have guessed 20lbs maximum, and I really don’t know what to do.
They really don’t seem to care at all, and don’t want to change their habits, but I know if we don’t get this under control and find some safe ways to prioritize health, this is only going to get worse. Anyone have suggestions as to how to get more active safely during quarentine?