Isolde41

Success stories for overweight children?

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My 11-year-old daughter, who is about 20 lbs overweight (114 lbs on a 4'7" frame) has joined me on Whole30 because she is desperate for change. I've been very gentle with her because I don't want her to become too food-obsessed, but 5 days in she's doing a fantastic job. However, last night she looked at me and said, "Mommy, what if this doesn't work?" I'd love to be able to give her some examples of kids who've seen changes with Whole30 but I can't find ANY on this site except the 16-year-old girl in success stories (she really loved that one!) Does anyone have a story to share?

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Eating whole, healthy, nutritious foods will never not work. You both might want to redefine "working" though as improved health, energy, mood, focus rather than just the laser-focus on weight. She's so young, as her hormones kick in she is going to likely experience some fluctuation of weight and body comp. Learning and continuing to eat nourishing food and staying away from garbage is her ticket to a balanced, healthy adulthood. :)

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Thanks @ladyshanny. I should have added that I have not been presenting this as a weight loss plan to her, just that we are all eating healthier and trying to feel better.  We've been focusing on NSV like increased energy (she dances 8 hours a week and needs all she can get!) and improved focus in school.  She's really on board with all of that. She doesn't even want to lose weight for weight loss's sake - she thinks it will help her dancing and her ballet lines. Because no one seems to be talking about overweight children and the benefits of this plan to them, I was hoping someone had some success stories.  The grown-up ones inspire me, but I know she'd appreciate hearing about other kids in the same boat. Because she goes to a school where every child is an athlete or performing artist, almost all of them are quite thin and she has no one to identify with.

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I would also work on embracing the body she has right now - as it is.

Basically along the lines of "It's not perfect - but it's mine - and I need to respect it" - Respect means no negative self talk and basically eating good nourishing food and just working with what's she's got for now.  It learning to appreciate what her body is capable of as opposed to what it looks like.

This is something I wish I had very much while growing up.

Best of luck to the both of you!

 

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I see I need to give some background. I have a degree in psychology and specialized in eating disorders in school because of my own history. Because of that I have gone overboard to make my daughters feel good about themselves. I've never been on a diet in front of them. We talk about healthy foods but don't label anything good or bad. When she complains about her figure (not often) we talk about loving our body and taking care of it. My line has always been "Your body is growing and changing and you just need to be patient."  When I decided my health issues had gotten too much and decided to do Whole30, she voluntarily asked if she could do it. And she wanted to do it "perfectly". She said, "Mom, I know I'm supposed to love my body. And I DO. . . I just would like it to be a little slimmer and healthier."

This is not an easy plan to follow. I get through some days by finding inspiration from people like me who have done it and come out on the other side. I would like the same for her, that's all. If someone has some kind of stories about how their own children responded to this plan I would appreciate that.

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Parents can participate in less sedentary activity with their children. Homework is necessary but limiting vids, computer games can be a good place to start. 

Dancing,hiking,camping,biking, fishing, swimming, soccer, basketball, volleyball...strengthens bones and reduces stress and anxiety. Sports and activites increases the self-esteem of children. Consistency is the key. Children thrive on positive routines especially while having fun with their parents.

Consistently eating 3 good meals at regular intervals and activity. Homework, playtime and social interaction with other kids.  Success will follow a young body in motion. Everything else will fall into place. 

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I appreciate everyone trying to help, but as I've explained we do all those things already. What I'm really looking for is actual experiences with children on Whole30. If no one has any that's fine, but nothing else will answer my question. Thanks!

 

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@MeadowLily this isn't what the OP is asking about. I think it's safe to say everyone on this thread is concerned about making sure when people do whole30 with their kids that it doesn't go off the rails and result in the kids having the kind of messed up relationship with food many of us have struggled with, but it sounds like @Isolde41 is aware of this danger and is doing what she can to help her daughter be healthy and focus on things other than just weight. Robin's response in that linked thread was about someone trying to switch her children to this way of eating when they weren't completely on board with it. Isolde's daughter sounds like she is choosing to do this, not fighting it.

Unfortunately, @Isolde41, I can't recall seeing specific posts about children and weight loss success. Most of the stories are from parents focused on mood, behavior, skin conditions, or other non-weight-related issues. Just reassure her that eating healthy foods and exercise like dance will make her healthier, and when we are healthy, our bodies tend to find a healthy weight. 

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Thanks @MeadowLily and @ShannonM816! Yes, that's exactly it. My mother put me on the Scarsdale Diet (anyone remember that one?) when I was 10 years old and it was awful. 600-800 calories a day, very low carb and almost no fat. Just what a pre-pubescent child needs, right? I'm not angry with her because she didn't know better. She was constantly dieting herself and lived on Dexatrim for many years. I ended up hospitalized at 16 with anorexia and bulimia. I've done everything I can to prevent that in my girls, to the point where my oldest may be suffering from our "no food is bad" policy in the opposite way.

She has been doing SO well so far. She loves the food, her lunches are coming back empty, and other than a couple of dinners where she's balked at the veggies she's been great. Her mood and energy are so much better. Except last night she had a birthday sleepover. I told her "You're 11 years old, you get to have birthday party food, you don't have to be perfect." She chose smaller portions and enjoyed them. (The only thing I absolutely insisted on was no soda with the meals. The mom has done Whole30 too and she stocked LaCroix so she was able to do that). 

When I picked her up today, though, I noticed she was once again moody and fatigued. (Some of that is sleepover, but the moodiness is bad). It made me realize how much sugar affects her. My goal with her is about 95% compliance - I still think that will make a huge difference. Looking forward to her being the first success story!

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@Isolde41

I am not sure if you will see this post as your last reply was over a month ago, but I just wanted to share that I understand the desire to support a child through the whole30. I have a 10 year old daughter who is also slightly overweight, however she is NOT active and sadly that is because she already lacks energy at her young age. I know her lack of energy is from her poor diet.  I would love to help her change her eating habits as it would help her to just get out and enjoy the world a little more. The weight loss, should it happen would simply be an added bonus.

The worst part, I know her poor diet to begin with is my fault. She has lived her whole life with me giving her processed foods and not encouraging healthy from the start. So its a huge change for her. I would love to be able to show her that there our kids out there who survived without chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

I hope your daughter had success!

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@MizRik - I want you to know that it can be done. And that it is WORTH IT. My daughter stuck with the Whole30 through the entire month and we're still doing it (she had a "planned cheat" of a birthday party and Halloween and then got right back on track. She lost 8 lbs in 30 days and she says she wants to eat this way forever. Before and afters are below. I need to write a success post for her, because I think it would be very helpful for others. 

IMG_0340.JPG

IMG_0341.JPG

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Late to the conversation, but going to add this.  We did our first Whole 30 a year ago.  My then 10 y/o lost 8 pounds.  I noticed a huge change, but the growth charts still showed her at the 95% height & 95% weight, so we got the low-fat bs from the doctor.  Both of us just nodded and waited for it to be over.  Slipped off the wagon and ended up doing another one in September of this year.  No idea how much/if she lost weight, but it appeared she had trimmed down and she seemed happier with how her clothes fit.  Please understand, the entire time I've been telling her that if we focus on making healthier choices, we'd feel better and the rest would sort itself out. 

Fast-forward to the next annual visit.  95% percentile in height, 84% in weight.  She had gained 12 pounds over the year before, but also grew nearly 4".  They also ran some basic bloodwork and the dr came in and said it was obvious she was eating her veggies.  And she's maintaining it.  I try to cook better than I used to, but even if we're out, I notice her making choices.  Leaving off the bread (because she doesn't really like it), ordering veggies over fries.  Stuff like that.  So for anyone reading this thread, it really can help.

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Thank you Isolde41 and Riya for sharing your experience! Yesterday my 9 yr old daughter broke down crying (she's the heaviest in her class, doesn't like how her clothes fit her, etc.). I need to do something for the health of our family. Maybe this is it!

MizRik, I am curious if you had any success with your daughter?

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@AMG101 I'm so sorry. My daughter managed not to dwell on it too much, but she definitely felt it (she's in a special school where everyone does performing arts or athletics, so the normal curve of body types is absent - EVERYONE is thin! - and she was the heaviest, too). I don't know if showing her the photos of my daughter will help. I will say that my daughter broke down a few times during the first W30, saying, "This is HARD". But when we went off it for a couple of months (we were still doing it about 90%, but with special occasion foods coming in) she begged ME to go back on. She said, "I just don't feel good when we eat this way. I want to stay on W30". So as of Jan 2nd that's where we are!

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On 10/16/2016 at 0:04 PM, Isolde41 said:

Thanks @MeadowLily and @ShannonM816! Yes, that's exactly it. My mother put me on the Scarsdale Diet (anyone remember that one?) when I was 10 years old and it was awful. 600-800 calories a day, very low carb and almost no fat. Just what a pre-pubescent child needs, right? I'm not angry with her because she didn't know better. She was constantly dieting herself and lived on Dexatrim for many years. I ended up hospitalized at 16 with anorexia and bulimia. I've done everything I can to prevent that in my girls, to the point where my oldest may be suffering from our "no food is bad" policy in the opposite way.

She has been doing SO well so far. She loves the food, her lunches are coming back empty, and other than a couple of dinners where she's balked at the veggies she's been great. Her mood and energy are so much better. Except last night she had a birthday sleepover. I told her "You're 11 years old, you get to have birthday party food, you don't have to be perfect." She chose smaller portions and enjoyed them. (The only thing I absolutely insisted on was no soda with the meals. The mom has done Whole30 too and she stocked LaCroix so she was able to do that). 

When I picked her up today, though, I noticed she was once again moody and fatigued. (Some of that is sleepover, but the moodiness is bad). It made me realize how much sugar affects her. My goal with her is about 95% compliance - I still think that will make a huge difference. Looking forward to her being the first success story!

I am am on pins and needles following your thread. I am doing this with my 12 year old daughter. I'm on day 14 and she's on day 1; having decided to join me in this. She doesn't sleep well, she's moody, lethargic and not happy with how she feels over all. She also suffers from ADD. I hope I get to see how this turned out for you daughter, Thanks for posting all of this. I hope I can show her motivational stuff from all of this. 

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