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When my youngest son was born, he was chunky. The type of chunky we like in our babies. Rolly pollie, folds that fold into more folds. Biteable thighs. Oh were those thighs yummy.
Then, he started walking. And by walking, I mean he never stopped moving. Ever. Even in his sleep. Suffice to say, he thinned out quite a bit. He was a 3 year old sporting a serious six-pack. Not to mention white blonde hair. He looked like a little surfer boy. I almost expected him to start talking like Keanu Reeves from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
He never did. Phew.
As he got older, he started filling out. Which was to be expected, I suppose.
He filled out.
He filled out some more.
Until, he was carrying around a little too much, to the point that it was starting to make him uncomfortable. His clothes didn’t fit him right. He began getting insecure in how he looked when he was in short sleeves and shorts.
My once foot loose and fancy free boy became insecure. Hyper aware of his body. He began worrying about what other people saw when they looked at him.
Mind you, I don’t believe his is majorly overweight. He is in the 100% for height and teetering on that for weight, too. Yes, he’s chubby. Do I think he’s offensively fat? No. But I’m not the one who has to walk around being him. I’ll love him no matter what.
He’s 10. He’s miserably miserable being the chunky kid. Despite his mommy telling him how wonderful she thinks he is. Yeah, guilty here. I want him to know that there is way more to life than having a perfect figure. Even for boys.
Over Winter Break (which doesn’t seem to be ending due to constant yucky weather), he went on a mission to better himself.
He decided he was going to start walking on the treadmill, the one that has been folded up and used as a purse/coat hanger for a couple year.
Yeah. That treadmill.
He was consistent for a couple weeks and he lost seven pounds! That thrilled him to no end. Seven pounds on a ten year old isn’t something to turn your nose up at, right? I mean heck, I’d be happy to lose seven pounds. Times 3.
Back to my 10 year old.
While he hasn’t been as consistent as he had been, he’s still walking on the treadmill a few times a week. But, not only that, he’s watching what he eats. No one is pushing him, this is all him. We, his family, have been encouraging him because we know how important this goal is to him and his self esteem.
To me, it’s so much more than appearance, though. In my family, there is a major history of heart disease. Most recently, it claimed the life of my mother who was 68. That’s so young, by today’s standards.
I don’t want that for my kids.
Staying active. Keeping fit. It really needs to be a way of life. A boat I need to get on. I should follow my son’s example.
For my children and myself, it’s more about preventative measures.
While my son is on a mission to lose weight, he is also creating a lifestyle change, whether he realizes it or not. And, with the genetics he’s coming from, that’s so important.
But, just as important…is feeling good within your own skin.
Healthy and happy. Isn’t that what we want for our children anyway?
He’s walking his way toward that. One step at a time.