This post is very personal to me and it was very hard to write….
The reason it was hard to write?……with every word I type I feel major guilt…….guilt about letting down one of my children….guilt I am trying to overcome every day since my painful realization.
Few weeks ago I came to painful realization that my 8 year old son is starting to have weight issues and is addicted to JUNK FOOD.
See…..my teenage son is type 1 diabetic and I’ve been paying very close attention to his eating habits and lifestyle ever since he was diagnosed on December 2005.
At that time my youngest was only 3 years old and not much of an eater….loved vegetables….ate little and whatever I gave him…didn’t take food and snacks anytime he wanted…..had lots of exercise.
Somewhere in between while taking care of his brother’s needs I forgot that my little boy is getting older….eating more…..
I figured….he’s still very active….we do a lot as a family….he’s in many sports…..
….., but I overlooked him….getting his own snacks and food anytime he feels hungry or bored.
Having assortment of treats at the house wasn’t problem before he got old enough to help himself….
I thought playing hockey….baseball….golf….swimming…..running around the house with dog is enough exercise to keep him healthy.
I forgot one important thing…..overeating…..and eating unhealthy foods was killing my son’s metabolism and turning my little healthy boy into very unhealthy child with weight issues and risk of ending up with another diabetic child….this time type 2.
The reality set in….I got scared….I cried….I talked to my teenage son and I asked him for help to turn his little brother into my healthy boy again.
….One of the worst days of my life….
It’s been a week since then I couldn’t be prouder of both of my boys working hard towards new healthy lifestyle.
The worst part of the whole family-get-healthy challenge was talking to my little boy about turning into unhealthy child with food additions….
How do you talk to your 8 year old about you thinking that he has weight issues and that his lifestyle needs to change….right now before it gets worse?
Well, his big brother and I explained to him how much we love him and how no matter how he looks we’ll always love him….., BUT……
…..we noticed he is not eating healthy and he’s eating too much of the bad foods….
…..eating lots of bad food is stopping his body from working properly so no matter how much exercise he gets he is still gaining weight….
After a good talk and of course many tears we assured him that he still gets to enjoy the treats he loves, but in moderation and with combination of good foods so his body can do it’s job and help him to lose weight and keep him healthy.
Then we brought out most of our pantry and showed him the difference between different cereals….granola bars….treats…breads….
We let him to organize them from The Best to The Worst.
After learning about healthy and unhealthy foods…..learning about portion control……I made a commitment to my children to participate in a healthy activity with them every single day for at least 1 hours.
Next day as a part of our new healthy lifestyle I took my son grocery shopping for our camping trip….I wanted to see if he learned anything about healthy foods.
I was so proud….he was reading all labels….making educated choices (portion vs. calories)….asking for my opinion…
It was the longest grocery shopping trip…..ever, but I was in heaven….right there and then I knew that few months from now my child will be once again happy and healthy child.
We also bought new vitamins…..fiber supplement…..and new outdoor game……
It’s been a week and I am happy to report that:
- my boys are taking their daily vitamins
- my little boy is excited about mixing his daily fiber supplement into his low calorie juice
- I let my kids let me plan meals for the day
- my little boy asks me for food and drinks (no more sneaking around)
- we are having fun exercising daily as a family (I love this special time)
Both of my boys are finally leading healthy lifestyle and my unhealthy boy with food addiction is on his way to become…..perhaps….a fitness guru…you never know.
Please, learn from my mistakes……TEACH YOUR CHILDREN about HEALTHY LIFESTYLE early in their life…..