From Janis, Child's Age 12 - 06/06/17 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
After only a week of football practice, my son Paul was injured last Saturday. He ended up with a broken knee and other injuries. He was operated on and will have to remain off his leg for 8 weeks. Heʻs very depressed and discouraged. Iʻm unhappy for him and sad because he actually lost a couple of pounds during his first week of practice (the first time heʻs lost weight---two years ago he gained 33 pounds in 2 months and went from thin to obese and developed a huge appetite and itʻs been a struggle for me to keep his weight under control ever since). My sister-in-law and nephew spend all day with Paul while Iʻm at work. Heʻs supposed to use crutches but heʻs having a tough time getting used to them.
Reply from Hahn, Child's Age 8 - 03/04/18  - IP#:
My son Akamu is obese. He is 204 pounds but he is only 8. He was born in Hawaii, but his mother, may God rest her soul,died while giving birth, so I've raised him as a single father in Illinois and watched what he's been eating for all his life. unfortunately, he has gained weight no matter how much I do to stop him and all he does is eat. Recently, I've gone through my YouTube channel history, to find a video I had accidentally left, and to my surprise I had found a video titled "tight fit in the tub" in my history. Knowing that only me and my son had access to the iPad and the account, I had looked through it and found a lot of this "gainer" material. I'm now working if this is what is influencing my so. To gain weight. Any help?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 01/11/18  - IP#:
Thanks for your interest, Samuel. Paul's wrestling season started the week before last and so far he's won one match and lost one. He's very enthusiastic. At 225 pounds, he's the second heaviest boy in middle school wrestling in the league and he's told me that the coaches want him to put on some weight so he's the heaviest (he lost to the boy who's the heaviest at 253 pounds on points last week)> I've told Paul I think this is a "long-term goal" and that I don't think it's healthy for him to try to gain almost 30 pounds by the end of the season at the end of February. Paul just gives me that "what do you know about it, Mom?" look. How I wish he had started wrestling practice last fall at a lighter weight, in the 100's, so there would be some incentive to keep his weight down, like the other boys and girls in wrestling.
Reply from Samuel, Child's Age 17 - 01/09/18  - IP#:
Hey Janis, how are you and Paul doing after christmas?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 12/05/17  - IP#:
Thanks for asking, Barbara. Paul continues in middle school wrestling and really likes it. Competition starts in January and continues for eight weeks. Paul currently weighs 219 pounds. Because he's active in wrestling I'm not making his eating an issue. He's just ravenous. During the Thanksgiving vacation he and his cousin Luke were eating continuously (no wrestling practice those four days, either).
Reply from Barbara, Child's Age 13 - 11/30/17  - IP#:
Any updates on Paul?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 11/14/17  - IP#:
Steven your son sounds just like my son Paul. He idolizes his cousin Luke, who is 2 years older and more than 140 pounds heavier. My brother and sister-in-law are both fat (not as much as their son) and they don't think there's a problem. To both you and Lucille, have you noticed how many chubby/heavy/obese kids there are these days? I'm 37 and I don't think there were so many overweight/obese kids (age 0 to 18) back when I was in elementary high school. My son Paul has a few slender friends, but the rest are chubby to fat. Paul takes physical education in school (7th grade) but it has no effect on his weight, and I think, on the weight of most of his friends. Steven, I've just accepted the fact that Paul will be fat for the near future. I don't want to constantly nag him about how much he eats---I want to keep a good relationship with him because in the next few years he'll be facing issues like girls, sex, drugs, driving and I want him to be able to talk with me about whatever is affecting him.
Reply from Lucille, Child's Age 17 - 11/13/17  - IP#:
Steven - Your response really made me think, thank you! I posted about two weeks ago about my boys Spencer and Benny and two years ago we moved back into our old community - where they grew up - and family is in abundance. Now since I think about it, quite a few of my nieces and nephews have put on some since we moved here - not sure why, maybe the abundance of food accessibility. Every so often I will bring up their weight and the response I get is sort of a nonchalant “that isn’t me” attitude. My husband and I are quite active but my husband eats like a pig (has a physical job so he burns it right off) and the boys eat as much as him with no activity and our family nearby is also large.
Steven, Janis and everyone else, have you all found a solution to this or a way to somewhat rectify the issue of a “bad influence” for lack of a better term? Best of luck to all!
Reply from Steven, Child's Age 17 - 11/13/17  - IP#:
Hey - Just saw your last reply and I think it may point to some of the issue.
I've been dealing with a lot of the same issues, my oldest (17 year old male) is 5 foot 11 and 211 pounds, and something I've only realized recently is how much I think who he surrounds himself with. Me and my wife are both average sized, but my inlaws tend to be larger and more sedentary. My 17 year old has also always been real close to my sister-in-law's son, who was born literally ten days after my own (and lives right down the street).
Now I love my SIL and her family to bits, and have always been happy my son has had a friend who was so accessible, but their entire family (SIL, her current husband, her ex, and my nephews age 17 and 12) have always been very overweight/obese. I think because my son is so close to the family, I think he has got it in his mind that as long as he isn't as fat as his cousin its not really a problem, even if his weight has slowly started to reach the point that me and my wife are seriously worried about the health risks to him.
What saddens me the most is that until he was around 12 he was a fairly lanky kid, and after that his weight has trended upwards. Whenever we try and have a conversation about it he will actually point out that he isn't as big as Jack (his cousin). Furthermore, my inlaws often blow us off when we tell them we are trying to watch his weight (probably not helped by the fact that with a shirt on he holds his weight better then most - he looks chubby, but not really 'obese' as one would picture it) and continue to feed him junk, or call him the 'skinny' cousin and build it up in his mind that he is healthy and normal. This makes it hard for us to actually have a discussion or make suggestions about his diet as he still very much views himself as skinny, or at the very worst, average despite the facts that the numbers make it clear he is obese.
Reply from Samuel, Child's Age 17 - 11/03/17  - IP#:
So he'll be tall at 6ft3. Just try to stop him to gain anymore weight, at 215 lbs with 6ft3 he won't be overweight anymore.
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 10/31/17  - IP#:
Yes, Dave, your family sounds normal to me. As I told you, Paul is an only child. We're close to my brother and sister-in-law and their son Luke, who is 14. We actually share a two-family house. My brother Glen is the closest thing Paul has to a dad. Glen is about 6'0", was always on the heavy side, and is now over 300 pounds. Linda (sister-in-law) was my best friend in high school. She has always been heavy. Luke is my son's Paul best friend, which is great, and they're like brothers. The only thing is that he is VERY overweight, more than 350 pounds. (he's about 5'7"). Glen and Linda are in total denial about their son's extreme obesity. Linda and I both cook healthy, with veggies and salad, but Luke will pour most a bottle of salad dressing over the salad and the rest over his veggies, which defeats the purpose of course. Glen and Linda are in total denial about their son's weight and let him eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants. This makes it very hard for me to keep the amount of food available to Paul in check. Paul thinks Luke is totally "cool". Luke is very sedentary...likes watching sports but totally non-involved physically ( in contrast to my son.)
Reply from Dave, Child's Age 14 - 10/29/17  - IP#:
Hey and thank you! I am 6'3, my 16 year old is 6'1 and my 14 year old is 5'8. Their mother is also 5"8. Relatively normal, the whole bunch of us, I would say. Sounds like a normal appetite to me! It is a lot like my sons - I can hardly ever remember any of them having anything from the kids menu when they were younger, so both always were "big eaters". We always have something to eat at home, but like I said, keep the empty, worthless candy and junk away. If they want that, they have to buy it themselves, but I know none of them are very fond of it and rather prefer real food, fruits, dried fruits and such. We have also always encouraged walking/biking instead of driving when possible, and despite the climate here being cold and snowy, trying to be outside and active as much as possible, at least in the summer. Nevertheless, food has always been plentiful here, and seconds and thirds more the standard than the exception for all of us. Being somewhat overweight isn't a health problem alone, but if it comes from eating pure junk and being too sedentary, it's not good. It sounds like your son is perfectly normal to me, eating mostly good things and being active. How is the rest of the closest family - skinny, normal or overweight?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 10/27/17  - IP#:
Thanks, Dave and Samuel for your concern for my son and advice. Dave, how tall are your sons? Paul is presently 5'6" and the pediatrician has told me he's on track to being at least 6'3". I'm 5'8" and his father (who has no contact with us) is 6'2". Paul is an only child. He receives a very generous allowance from his paternal grandmother (I have no control over this but try to closely monitor how he spends it), so he already has the money to buy food on the way to school, after school, and after practice. He's always been a good eater and loves vegetables and fruit in addition to carbohydrates and protein. He has a huge appetite and can eat 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches washed down with 2 classes of milk as a snack and be looking for more food a couple hours later. I realize this is normal for a boy his age going through puberty (or so I've been told) but it's just such a change compared to when he was younger. He always ate well but was tall and slender for his age. The, two summers ago he suddenly put on a lot of weight and he's been getting fatter and fatter ever since. I do appreciate your advice. Thanks again.
Reply from Dave, Child's Age 14 - 10/26/17  - IP#:
Wrestling sounds like a great activity for your son! I have two sons, aged 14 and 16. None of them ever found much fun in "traditional" sports, as they have both always been somewhat chubby. After trying and quitting a lot of sports, they found wrestling (the youngest) and rugby (the oldest) to be activities where being bigger wasn't a drawback at all - in wrestling that means you meet other people your own size, and in rugby some mass is needed for most positions.
Your son is soon old enough to be able to eat at any time outside home - which means that if you try being strict, he will eat other places without you knowing. I agree with your thought of not nagging him more about his eating, it won't work at all, it will just make it a problem. In the long run, the wrestling will at help him maintain a certain weight - my youngest has been stable at around 230-240 lbs now, while earlier before he did any sports, he seemed to gain weight slowly, but surely. It makes no sense being too big at wrestling either - you need to be a bit quick and agile, and it is a great sport for strengthening the core muscles, which are even more important for posture and health when being somewhat overweight.
Go for it! And don't think too much about his weight - it will even out at some point. Just try to make sure what he eats at home is not junk and sugary stuff, but real food.
Reply from Samuel, Child's Age 17 - 10/25/17  - IP#:
Hmmm, I don't know exactly, as I've never wrestled myself. But I think Wrestling is better than doing nothing. If he likes wrestling, then he should do it. But if I were you, I'd encourage him not to gain anymore weight, and maybe you try to explain him that he'd be a good wrestler while being a bit "lighter". And with more training, he should loose weight anyway.
I think you should try to keep his weight at the current rate, so no more gaining. I'm sure he's gonna grow any taller, which will level the weight out (if he's not gaining anympre). How tall are you as his parents? Does he have any siblings? How tall are they?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 10/24/17  - IP#:
Samuel, the football season ended 2 weeks ago and now Paul is interested in wrestling. The 7th grade P.E. teachers have been encouraging the boys and girls to go out for wrestling and Paul is enthusiastic. I went to a parent meeting and it sounds like a good activity for him. The only concern I have is that the coaches want Paul to wrestle in the "heavyweight division". I talked to the coaches afterwards and they told me they don't encourage participating kids to lose weight, rather they encourage skill development and conditioning. Paul has taken this to mean that he can eat all he wants because the minimum weight for "heavyweight" is 215 pounds. He's currently at 214 pounds (5'6" tall). When it comes to how much he eats, there is no talking to Paul. He's a good student and has many friends and everyone tells me what a nice boy he is, so basically I've decided not to nag him about his eating habits. He has a huge appetite and is proud of his size. Do you know if wrestling will be a good activity for helping my son lose weight in the long run?
Reply from Samuel, Child's Age 17 - 10/24/17  - IP#:
How is your boy doing at the moment? Did he grow (both in height and weight)?
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 10/03/17  - IP#:
Thanks for asking, Barbara. Paul was inactive for 9 weeks after he broke his leg and then could only do "light activity" for 2 more weeks. He gained a LOT of weight during that time and now weighs 211 pounds. He played the last 2 games. He's the second heaviest boy on the team and is proud of it! When I inputted his numbers on the height-weight page here, it shows he's almost 80 pounds overweight. None of the coaches thinks he has a problem. They've told me he's "just a big boy" and has a great future in football because he's so tall and heavy for his age. I'd rather have Paul lose 75 pounds and play quarterback than be his current size and play on the offensive line. But, I'm the only person in his life who seems to feel that way. It's very frustrating to see my formerly slender son now wearing men's size 42 pants at age 12!
Reply from Barbara, Child's Age 14 - 09/29/17  - IP#:
How is Paul?
Reply from Gordon, Child's Age 22 - 07/30/17  - IP#:
Most boys, just before they go into their growth spurt which could last several years, just beef up. Their body is getting ready for a lot of fast growth, mostly height and muscle growth. If you talk to Paul about building a big, strong body on healthy food, like grilled chicken breast with a dash of BBQ sauce, scrambled eggs with a dash of grated cheese, protein drinks made with 1% milk, any fruits (I cut mine up for "pop in your mouth" convenience), some nuts are low sodium and very healthy, etc. etc. The idea is to make snacks handy and healthy, and main courses loaded with nutriment and not high in fat, and convince Paul that the body he builds during this next five years will be the "structure" he lives in for the rest of his life. Building a strong body for sports is easier if not loaded down with unnecessary weight but he may be too young to buy that now. He might buy creating a powerful body with healthy foods. A celebration may include lots of sweets, on occasion, but not as a building block food. Use spices. Make healthy food really tasty. Hope it works for both of you :)
Reply from Janis, Child's Age 12 - 07/18/17  - IP#:
Thanks for your interest, Gordon. A week and a half ago I noticed that Paul's foot didn't look right, so we took him back to the specialist. He needed to have the entire cast replaced. At first we thought that the leg was swollen but then the doctor realized that Paul had gained weight and the cast too tight. The doctor told us he thought Paul had put in 20 pounds or so during the 6 weeks since his injury. Imaging showed the breaks are healing, but Paul's leg was recasted and if all goes well, the new cast will be removed in 3 weeks. I am very frustrated because I'm the only person who feels that Paul should watch what he eats. Everyone else in the family feels sorry for him and constantly gives him food---pizza, ice cream, whatever he wants. Last week, 2 of his football coaches stopped by to see him and they brought him a big bag of food from McDonald's (without asking me in advance). I spoke with one of the coaches a few days later and shared my concern about Paul's weight gain, and he assured me that Paul doesn't have a problem, that he's tall for his age, and once he starts lifting weights all the fat will turn to muscle. I don't know about that. I've seen in he media about obese football players and their long-term health problems. My concern is with my 12-year-old son who has a problem with food which nobody but me recognizes. I'm at a loss about what to do. Any advice?
Reply from Gordon, Child's Age 22 - 07/16/17  - IP#:
How is Paul doing now? Recovered? Playing again? Weight controlled? Attitude? Hope all is well.
Reply from Bryan, Child's Age 17 - 06/09/17  - IP#:
So sorry to hear that! I wish that Paul has a speedy recovery (when you get a free moment check your email - I'll send some tips soon)). To be blunt he probably will gain weight during this period as there is no exercise but it will come off when he is right as rain.