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What message should we offer the next generation?

 
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Larkspur



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 186
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:44 pm    Post subject: What message should we offer the next generation? Reply with quote

So-- I'm a mom. A 25 year old son and two daughters, 21 and 15. I was commenting on some health aspect of some lunch item and I caught my daughters rolling their eyes at each other. I'm guessing it was because mom was gassing on about the nutritive/weight control properties of food, and they were finding that not a good thing to do. My older daughter, who's brought some extra weight back from her year at Oxford, was talking to me about Health at Every Size. And while I am all for HAES, mostly, I am worried that she believes any attempt to lose weight is doomed and that overweight does not affect health short of the mobility problems which occur at 100 more pounds plus. I'm not convinced either of those things are true. But is it so very fraught as a subject I am afraid to say anything. I believe in not scarring the younger generation, if possible, but I also believe in not shrinking from difficult conversations when they are warranted. What do other people tell their kids about food, weight, health? My younger daughter maintains slenderness on what most people would consider a reprehensible diet-- pasta and Cheerios. But she's healthy, 5'11", fit, active and trim. What's a parent to do? What messages do you feel comfortable passing on?
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 7933
Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At meals, be a good "slim culture" role model: offer good quality food, enjoy every bite, speak only of how wonderful the food is, don't imply that food is morally bad or that you can't eat it because it's bad or that it's a terrible burden to control yourself, but also don't encourage overeating just because something is delicious, and pleasantly change the subject if anyone else starts in on any versions of the above. Ditto on any body focus. The next generation needs practice in lively, wide-ranging, thoughtful topics.

Privately, occasionally ask your children if they would like to talk about any food or eating issues they feel they may have. Let them know that you want to be a good influence without burdening them, and that you're willing to let them experiment and observe the consequences.

IMHO.

I support some of the notions of HAES, as you can see from above, but have come to doubt some of Webb's conclusions about the health of it, especially since I believe I read that the author made changes and became quite thin. I also don't believe it should be used as a defense for overweight/obese people who claim that their "intuitive sense" tells them to eat large amounts of refined, industrially manufactured foods. Just look at what's happening to the rest of the world as they get their hands on more and more of these foods. There's nothing healthy about what it's doing to their populations.

But I think you may have to trust that your daughter's okay for now. Id be more worried about her going to college and being around too many other diet-obsessed, body-hating girls. But even that, you can't control. Isn't THAT what you wanted to hear!
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 7 years & counting
Age 63 SBMI Jan/10-30.8 Jan/12-26.8 Mar/13-24.9 Dec/15 24.8 held steady +/- 8-lb. for two years Mar/17 22.8

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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Larkspur



Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 186
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent advice, Oolala!
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Merry



Joined: 22 Sep 2008
Posts: 1454

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think with regard to hoping that our adult children might lose weight, actions will speak louder than words at this point. This generation has been surrounded by diet ads and all kinds of weird messages (air-brushed models and the backlash afterwards...). Be active, enjoy each other, and as you stick with No-S and maintain losses over time, that will stand out as different from most of what they hear and see. I think sometimes we have to watch for the right time to talk about things, but in the meantime, know you are still communicating.

LOVE the expression "gassing on" though--hadn't heard that one! And honestly, if you like talking about healthy foods, do it. Adult kids may roll their eyes at some things. Oh well!
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Homeschool Mom and No S returnee as of 11-30-15.

28.5 lbs. down, 34.5 to go. Slow and steady wins the race.

"...slim cultures...value not overeating. They don't eat more of a food just because it's good. They enjoy the food more."--Oolala
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ironchef



Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 1509
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always liked the saying about parenting "They may not do what you say, but inevitably will do what you do".

A big part of my motivation for taking up No S was becoming a mother. I want to be that role model for my kids - so they can see me each day eating satisfying, nourishing meals and having occasional treats as part of enjoyable social events and celebrations.

I rarely comment on the "health" properties of food, because apart from a few simple things (e.g. remember some veggies, don't overdo highly processed sweets) the research is usually quite complex and could well be reversed in the next 10 years. Depending on who I ask, raw honey is either a superfood, or just a way to pour simple sugars onto my plate, or I'm some kind of cruel bee-killer. When my kids are older, I hope to help them be scientifically literate and media savvy enough to avoid blatant snake oil and sales pitches, in nutrition and other areas. Beyond that, I guess it'll be up to them.
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Seluxes



Joined: 03 Dec 2015
Posts: 28
Location: Pacific Northwest

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larkspur wrote:
Excellent advice, Oolala!


Seconded! Brava, Oolala!
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38 F 5'8 275/228/150
ODAT with customized No S.
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Bluebell



Joined: 29 Sep 2016
Posts: 435
Location: Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am trying very hard with my boys (aged 8 and 13) to raise them without any knowledge of what it means to go on a diet. I am talking about diets in the traditional sense (counting, weighing, cutting out food groups etc etc), not NoS. I want them to know how to enjoy healthy and delicious food without agonising over whether they should or should not be eating a certain thing at a certain time. I want them to enjoy treats in moderation and to know that it is just that, a treat to savour and enjoy.
I have encouraged them to find a form of exercise that they love, so that they do it naturally as part of their routine rather than something they resent and feel they have to do. I want them to be strong and fit and proud of what their bodies can do.
I don't want food to become a battle ground, or a list of dos and don'ts, or a reward, or a punishment.
Who knows if I will achieve this? I have to give it my best shot. It is the exact opposite of how I was raised around food and exercise and I want them to be free of all the issues I have had for so many years and am only just undoing now in my 40s.
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"You'll know where the North Star is ⭐️" - Oolala
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Elyssa



Joined: 04 Jun 2017
Posts: 52
Location: Eastern USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Larkspur...
Sigh, that hit a nerve for me. My son, aged 11, was a normal weight for most of his life. Since I put on 30 lbs fairly quickly late last year and early this year, HIS weight also went up. I do feel that children quickly follow the lead, at least mine does, and now it's been less than favorable for him. I struggle with what to say, whether to say something, how to say it... then tell myself I just need to be a consistently good role model around food for him (which I'm CURRENTLY having trouble with again).

My mother was basically anorexic and hardly ever ate anything. She wouldn't say much except "don't blame me if you grow up to be fat" (I didn't.) My aunt once said: "I cannot believe such an elephant emerged from such a tiny thing." (Meaning how could my skinny mother have birthed big old me.) I mention this only because casual remarks can stick in a bad way when it comes to body image. I do think health is important when it comes to food, but there is no point in obsessing about it.
Anyway... your thread caught my eye, that's for sure. Wink
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Ahh... relief!

"No S" has become the life-changing answer to my agonizing questions around food...

Trust in the wisdom of structure.
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 7933
Location: San Diego, CA USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that your mom should say that because it's been found that girls who grow up with moms with poor body image are definitely more likely to overeat. But it's too late to change her or anyone's past behavior. Good thing the present is where it can be fixed.

I would say calling you an elephant is not just a casual remark. I find it hard to believe she wasn't aware of the fragility of girls' body image. Yet she must have actually thought it could help. Honestly, I have known of people who were determined because of comments like that and turned things around. But most of us are just deflated. (Brother called me big cow for years. The media helped me do it to myself for much longer.)

Anyway, you've got a good chance for sanity now.
_________________
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 7 years & counting
Age 63 SBMI Jan/10-30.8 Jan/12-26.8 Mar/13-24.9 Dec/15 24.8 held steady +/- 8-lb. for two years Mar/17 22.8

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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