Most of you have not met me in person. Those who have, know I struggle with my weight. It is something I’ve fought my whole life, especially when I was a kid, and so I have worked hard to not pass it on to my kids. As a result, my kids eat healthy. We’re not vegetarians but our diet has a high percentage vegetables and fruits.
My son loves veggies, and will even order salads at restaurants. He rarely gets soda, chips, ice cream, or other junk food. He runs and bikes around all day with the energy of a nuclear reactor, sweat pouring off of him. He loves sports. He gets maybe a half hour of TV or video games in any given day (and often none at all). And yet he’s pretty chunky, heavier than other kids. Not fat, but not skinny, and it’s enough that other kids occasionally insult him about it.
Compare that with another boy we know, of almost the exact same age. He practically inhales carbs and junk food and sugary drinks, and has spent most of his summer sitting on his butt in front of the TV, staring at his handheld video game system, or riding an electric sports car around his yard. He doesn’t like sports at all. He’s skinny as a rail.
In short: my boy eats healthy and gets a lot of exercise, and yet he fights his weight. Another boy eats poorly and barely exercises, and looks almost emaciated.
To me, the contrast is astounding, and makes me think: maybe genetics plays a bigger role than I thought. Maybe it hasn’t been [only] my fault for all these years. Sure, I’ve made some bad eating decisions in my life, but here’s a kid making all the right decisions and still struggling. I’m not going to tell him what I was told as a child: that his struggle is all his own fault. Instead: he can make it better or worse but it’s going to be there, to some extent, through no fault of his own. I wish someone had told me that.
So, parents: has there been anything about your children that made you examine your own childhood in a new light?