I had a difficult conversation with my eldest son yesterday. He's 12, and almost as tall as me (5'8''). Before his dad and I split, he was a skinny thing, a good runner, fairly fit. But since the split he has piled on the pounds and this was brought starkly into focus when I saw him next to one of his peers yesterday.
My son is fat.
How did that happen? Has he turned to food for comfort? Probably. Have I let him? Certainly. Added to which, he started secondary school last September so is eating a shedload of rubbish for lunch, rather than the carefully monitored healthy primary school meals. AND he is constantly finding ways of avoiding PE. Firstly because he was lazy, and now, I suspect, because he is ashamed of his body.
I lost three stone about three years ago through WeightWatchers and, by and large, have managed to keep it off. I understand about feeling fat, eating for comfort, struggling with discipline - all of that. But I also understand how AMAZING it feels when you start to lose the weight, how proud of yourself you are that you can fit into those jeans, run for 20 minutes without feeling like you're having a stroke, wear SHORTS... I was trying to explain this to him but he was flatly denying, at every point, that he was overweight.
When I went to bed, I realised that I was approaching this all wrong. I was treating him like an adult, whereas in fact he has just 12 short years under his slowly expanding belt. I just need to limit what he eats. Buy the right food. Stop allowing him to snack. It is actually a test of discipline for me, and not so much him.
So that's what I shall do. The difficulty will be getting my dear ex husband to play along too. But I have to try, for my son's sake.