Once Upon a Fat Girl

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tri-ing with Kids

Adrienne brought her weight up again yesterday. I guess it's normal, with me being so focused on working out and my weight.

She said that she wants to loose weight. I asked what she thought she should weigh.

"I think between 115 and 120."

She's 5'5" tall. My heart sank. "No Baby. That's not enough."

"Well how much do you think I should weigh?"

Damn. What a slippery slope. "I don't think you need to lose weight at all. But if you want to exercise with me, and start eating healthier food...I don't think you should weigh less than 130."

Drama-queen-thirteen-year-old eyeroll. "Mom! I'll still be fat."

"You aren't fat now."


"Okay. We'll look up a weight chart when we get home."

Mostly, I hate weight charts. I think they're silly. BUT I knew that Adrienne would trust one, and that it would side with me.

We found one online. She weighs 160 now...the very top of the "large frame" range. We measured her wrist and figured out she has a small to medium build. Range: 127 to 141. Nice. I win.

It's so...hard. I look at my daughter and just see this gorgeous, perfect person. If I squint I can see past my Mama-glasses and realize that losing twenty--or even thirty-- pounds wouldn't hurt her. And being more athletic would build character and self-esteem, right? Competitive sports were such a huge part of my life at her age. But damn it's a fine line between encouraging her toward a healthier lifestyle, and risking sending her spiraling into an eating disorder.

Haven't you seen Oprah? Teenage girls who go on diets end up anorexic. Or bulimic.

"You are not to diet, Adrienne. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Mama."

"You can eat healthier foods, give up junk food if you want to. But you are not to start counting carbs or skipping meals. You eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full."

"Yes, Mama. Can I go to TOPS with you this summer?"

Shit. Is she testing me? Does she want me to say, "Don't be ridiculous, Baby. You don't need TOPS." If I tell her she can come and weigh-in with me, am I encouraging dieting behavior that could spiral out of control? Am I starting a chain-reaction of behavior that could land her twenty years from now weighing 323 and crying into her Little Debbies?

ARGHHH! Seriously, this is going to give me an ulcer.

I told her she could come if she wanted to, but that I didn't think she needed to. And reminded her that she is 100 percent not to go on a diet. I think that she wants to spend some time alone with me--a commodity in short supply since Ruby was born.

We found out yesterday that there is a kids' triathlon that a city park is holding in September. Adrienne's age group, she'll be 14 then, will have to swim 100 yards, bike two miles and run one mile. Maybe its all my triathlon talk, but she's excited about it. Nick, too.

The triathlon I'm aiming for, the Pumpkin Man in October 2007, has a 19 and under age group. I'm assuming that 14 and 15 year olds will be allowed. Both Adrienne and Nick are wanting to do it with me. How fun is that?

We're going to the YMCA today so that she can take the manditory "fitness orientation" and have someone explain all the machines to her. Then we're going to walk a mile and swim a few laps.

The Y still has the same swim lessons that I did as a kid...you know, Guppy, Poliwog, Shark...Nick's level is Fish. He's still young enough to participate, until December. And the Fish lesson happens to be at the same time as the Water Baby lesson for Ruby. He'll learn to swim 100 yards and do the butterfly, and then move on to Flying Fish. The session starts Saturday, so we'll sign up. See how it goes.

Swimming is Adrienne's weak suit. She doesn't like to get her face wet. Even as a newborn, she hated it. She knows how to swim, but mainly does a sort of modified doggy paddle. I think she'll need the teen-and-adult swimming lessons, so that she can get used to the water and learn a proper freestyle. We'll look into that today.

The challenge is going to be when school starts. If she's still interested, we won't be able to get to the Y as often. Or we'll have to go right after school. And it'll still be too hot to workout outside. By October or so, my goal is to have bikes for me and Nick (Adrienne has a nice one already), so that we can all go on outdoor rides together. Maybe get a little seat for the back of mine so that Ruby can come along.

I'm getting myself all excited! Tri-training--brings a family together! Should we take a group before picture? Oprah might want to see one...you know after I write my bestselling "Tri with your Kids" book. HAHAHA!


Blogger Sara said...

Your post is very touching. My ten year old son is constantly wanting to lose weight. It does not help that his father calls him fat all of the time. He is not fat. He looks great! It really is hard to know what to do sometimes. Him and I are doing a 5 or 10K run in Feb. So we are training together. It is wonderful for both of us.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Amazon Alanna said...

Maybe if she gets involved in tri traiing she'll see just what her sonderful body can do for her. She'll probably start to feel better about herself and she'll start to appreciate the muscles she has, and the ones she develops. Definitly try to get her to focus less on what she's eating and more on how active she is.

9:55 AM  

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