(Closed) I've been working out since I was a kid!

posted 6 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee

No, I perfectly agree with you on this. People are really not aware of how much of an effect this can have on a person even at a young age.

When my brother and I were little, members of my own family would tell us we were fat and needed to lose weight. (I was 10 and he was 9 years old!) It got to the point where my grandfather had a screaming match with my mother about how she was a terrible provider becuase her children were overweight. Other family members would try to ‘help’ by basically throwing us outside to ‘play’ when they really just wanted us to burn off some of whatever we ate.

My brother had it pretty bad. He was diagnosed with a slow thyroid, and eventually shot up and lost some weight, but people still bring up his childhood obesity like ‘oh haha, we never thought you would be so skinny’, and when he lost a little too much weight ‘hahah i bet you never thought your doctor would be telling you to eat MORE right?’

I mean seriously? Yes, people love to be reminded of their tormented childhood.

My family is just full of food-pushers, food-shamers, and a really skewed perception of body image. It is really not the healthiest environment for a kid to grow up in. I don’t blame them for developing an ED, but they sure as hell didn’t help.

Post # 5
Member
9057 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

Yeah, I dunno… I think it’s importatnt to educate kids about healthy food choices and the relationship between diet and exercise, but its a fine line between education and shaming.

I struggled with disordered eating.  It was never to the point that I reached a terribly unhealthy weight, and it sounds terrible, but it was mostly because I figure skated competitively, and it seemed like all the girls at least dabbled in starving, or binging/purging.  I still remember our coach used to pinch our “rolls” (5’4″ and 112 pounds of muscle, quite honestly) and yell “there’s a reason cows don’t jump!”

Post # 6
Member
746 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Oy, I’m so sorry to hear that — but so happy that you’re finally happy with your weight! My mom has been on a diet and exercise plan ever since I can remember. I’ve always been naturally underweight, but in the past few years my metabolism has been slowing down and I have caught myself doing a lot of the things my mom did on her ‘diets’ — namely, cheating and eating too much junk food and then feeling bad. :/

Post # 7
Member
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1999

@Dell79:  Thank you for sharing something so personal.  I wouldn’t doubt if your childhood played a role in your eating disorder.  Repeated messages that children hear are often instilled in their minds.  I can recall my older brother’s calling me names, such as “fats”, “lard ass”, “crusher”, etc. when I was a child and teenager.  It surprised me that my Mom never put an end to the name calling because it ended up scarring me a bit.  It had the opposite effect on me, as I’ve always struggled with my weight (been chubby) and seemed to think it was my destiny.  Thankfully, we have matured and have recognized what being healthy means and I always use encouraging words with children. 

Post # 8
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Thank you for sharing this; I can relate somewhat.  While my parents never put pressure on me to be thin, I put a lot of pressure on myself. 

I was always a bit chubbier than other girls and was acutely aware of my body size/shape from a young age.  I started regularly putting my body in a state of ketosis around age 11 or 12, by low-carbing and self-monitoring with urine tests (you pee on the stick and hope to God it turns purple). 

That was 20 years ago and I’m still struggling with my weight and have a lot of ups and downs with it.  I can only imagine how much additional pressure is on kids now – I didn’t have the internet to blast me with images of thinness and beauty – seems kids now can hardly escape it.  🙁

Post # 9
Member
1677 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

It’s important to educate children about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, and the answer to that is not always thinner. I think parents should be more aware and involved in preventing their children from becoming under or overweight (at least to the point where it negatively affects their mental/physical health).

Your post caught my eye because of how similar your story sounds to mine. I’m in a healthy range now (almost 5’3″ and ~120). My lowest was about 92lbs a few years ago. I know this was very unhealthy, but I’d be lying if I said my first thought wouldn’t be to jump at the opportunity to be that small again if it was given (it’s that thinner=better mentality). The only way I was able to maintain that weight was to have next to no muscle. My workouts are much healthier now, I’m stronger, but that also comes with the “price” of a higher number on the scale (at least for me). I know this is better for me, but I hate to think about how much I’ve gained (even though most of the of the gain is positive).

I know exactly where my problems with food originated. I was a cheerleader for years, and I was a flyer. I was tall for a flyer at just under 5’3″ (many girls are 5’0″ and under), so I naturally weighed more. This lead to me being passed over for many of the main flying spots even though I was able to do it (and sometimes even better able than the smaller person that was chosen). The coaches (at least most) don’t put pressure on you to be extremely thin, but many (including me) feel the pressure indirectly because you lose opportunities. I decided I was done losing these parts just because I’m taller and thus a little heavier, so I lost the weight to make us even (I didn’t stop at even though). 5-10lbs of difference doesn’t matter that much in the air, but it will make the difference in being chosen in many cases. This solved my problem of being passed over, but it started the cycle of an unhealthy outlook on my weight and food that I still struggle with today. 

I’m currently trying to lose 5-10lbs, and I feel the obsessive behavior resurfacing strongly and quickly. I’m better at out of sight out of mind in that, if I just completely ignore my weight, I worry about it less (I feel guilty about weight gain, but some chocolate will distract me). I’m awful about using food as a comfort, which leads to weight gain, which leads to guilt. I “fix” the problem (the gain) by going on a crash/starvation diet and exercising like a crazy person. Shockingly (not), this isn’t sustainable, so I gain the weight back, feel guilty, and repeat the process. This cycle repeats over and over for me. I’m trying to break it this time by adjusting my goals (hence the 10lbs goal rather than 30lbs), losing weight in a more sustainable, healthy way through MFP and running (unfortunately, this is slower so it’s hard for the impatient, obsessive part of me), and trying to change my outlook on food (i.e. breaking the emotional attachment). 

My mother didn’t like it when I lost so much weight for cheerleading and tried to discourage it, but it was never dealt with in a straightforward extreme way (which I don’t fault her for because hindsight is always 20×20). I honestly believe I should have been made to stop cheering because the pressure (though self-inflicted) wasn’t healthy. I wish more parents would be active in preventing their children from developing unhealthy outlooks on food and weight. 

I didn’t realize how long this was until I submitted it. Sorry for being so long winded. 

Post # 11
Member
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think having my son has me more focused on eating healthy and being active than ever. I have been losing weight to get to a healthier weight that I can maintain long term since having my son. I’m also running more consistently, and am trying to get outside as a family now that the weather is nice.

I battled with eating disorder from about 14 to 26. My dad used to make comments about my weight, especially when I would come home on break from college, and I don’t think he had any idea the lasting impact it made on me. I lived with him as a single father from 13 until I graduated from high school, and due to his long work hours we almost always ate take out and junk food. Those habits have been so hard to break as I have gotten older and tried to be healthier.

With my son and any future children, we are trying to focus on being active and healthy. Right now he’s only 1, but as he gets older we will ask him to try foods, but I don’t want to make him eat everything on his plate. I want to try to instill in him taking smaller portions that he can finish and getting more if he is still hungry. We are also trying to limit our soda intake and we don’t plan to give him juice for a few more years. He likes milk and water and I want him to keep that up before we have to deal with sugary drinks. I’ve also been keeping chips and crackers out of the house, and trying to keep more produce in the fridge so we snack less and eat better.

Post # 12
Member
6512 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Dell79:  Thank you so much for sharing your story hun – it really shows how receptive kids can be to thingd we might not realize.  I will keep this in mind when I eventually have children of my own. 

Post # 13
Member
802 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

This is very true, and people don’t think that what they’re telling an 8 year old will affect her.

My dad walked up to me one day and said “I thought you were always going to be skin and bones, hmph. I guess not..” and walked away- simple as that, like he had said “Oh you’re folding laundry”  That was the first time I ever purged- I was 10. Looking back now, it wasn’t that rude, he was probably noticing that I was filling out, becoming an adult and all that fun stuff. Either way, he said it and I acted on it. 

Looking back even further than that, I was never a fan of water once I became aware of my body, and I still to this day cringe when someone says “Lets go to the pool!” Because pool=bathing suit. I found a journal that I wrote hidden in the back of a closet at my parents when I moved out, and I was 7 when I wrote it. I wrote about how fat I was, and what I wore that day to hide it, and cut out pictures of girls from my moms magazines in bathing suits and circled “fat” areas on them. I felt sick looking at it. 

Right now I am the fattest I have ever been and I cannot stand myself. DH loves me but I go to extremes to avoid him seeing me with a shirt on, and that is pathetic. Right now i’m facing the decision if I want to lose the weight, or get pregnant. I know if I lose the weight, i’ll go to far and be unhealthy- but I know if I get pregnant i’ll be huge, and repeat the cycle after delivery. I don’t even know anymore. 

 

ETA- Sorry for the weird-o vent, I just don’t know anyone IRL that can relate to me lol

Post # 14
Member
6249 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

@Dell79:  I’m not sure how old you are but I was a “90s child” (born in the 80s, grew up in the 90s) and to be honest, I don’t think eating disorders were as openly discussed as they are now.  I’m not saying they didn’t exist, because obviously they did.  I can see how back in the day (lol) our parents didn’t really think much about seeing their daughter (or son) “burn off the calories” after a big meal because they probably didn’t ever connect it to future eating disorders.  Not saying that’s a good or bad thing, just commenting about how we now discuss eating disorders more openly (which isn’t a bad thing).  I guess it’s something we will have to watch for in our children that our parents probably never gave much thought to.  Thank you for sharing your story.

Post # 15
Member
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

  I have always struggled with my weight. I remember it when I was about 8 years old, we would have a summer baby-sitter on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We had this freezer downstairs that used to be stocked with Little Debbie snacks. I used to sneak snacks out of there and eat them. My parents would then lock the freezer…but leave the key on the top. It didn’t take me long to figure out that one.

  My grandma (on my dad’s side) was really tough on all of us. You never knew what she was going to say. Even a compliment would be twisted. She could say, “That outfit looks really good on you, not like the one you wore last week when it made you look so fat.” Or, she would just bluntly say that we were getting too fat (she wasn’t really the trimmest person, either). I remember my grandpa yelling at her. It wasn’t just me that she targeted. She got my little sister, my dad, my uncle, my cousin…so at least I wasn’t singled out. However, to this day (I’m 28 now), I still am nervous to talk to her, because I know she’s going to say something to me.

  Right now, I’m at the heaviest I’ve been in my life. I’m disappointed in myself, because my wedding day is right around the corner and I didn’t work harder to lose weight (in fact, I’m getting my dress tomorrow and PRAYING that it will fit). My FI eats well. I know that I will eat a little more well-balanced meals, so that will definitely be helpful. He’ll also encourage me to get exercise, or we’ll go together.

 

Post # 16
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@KKaattii:  i’m gonna PM you.  🙂

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