I Don’t Want My Sons to Inherit My Weight Issues

When my twins were born, they were itty-bitty little things, all skinny limbs and tiny faces. After about a month or two though, they filled out and became entirely different babies–roly-poly, delicious babies that you kind of wanted to nibble on. That juicy marshmallow chub stuck around until they started crawling and, inevitably, slimmed down. Now that they're approaching three years old, they've sort of settled into stocky, little boy frames. Solid, but not chubby.

Despite the fact that they're identical, one is almost two pounds smaller than his brother. He eats a lot more, actually clears his plate, and yet, he's always been the leaner twin. For the most part, I think it's just that his metabolism is a little faster–he probably eats more because he's hungrier and his body may work a little more efficiently. Meanwhile, my stockier little boy, with his round cheeks and full thighs, will just move his dinner around on his plate, take a bite and spit it out, then throw bits of broccoli to the dog. Give him a cupcake or a bag of pretzels though, and he will go to town.

For the most part, I give my kids really healthy foods, and make sure they get a ton of exercise. They do occasionally eat junk foods and empty carbs, but usually as a special treat…or in case of emergency. They're a normal weight, but still, I worry about my bigger boy, especially because his catchphrase seems to be, "My want more snack!" He's really easy-going, but will stomp his feet and fake-cry if I don't agree to give him chocolate from his Easter basket, or if I dare to offer him blueberries instead of Goldfish. He'll literally beg for sweets, emphasizing his desire by licking his lips and going, "Yum, yum, my like chocolate. Yummy in my tummy." It's almost like he's not sure I know about this heavenly chocolate stuff and its magical effects. He's also a first-class mooch. Attempt to eat anything in front of him and you'll likely hear, "What's dat? My have some?" The kid just really loves snack foods, especially the sweet, crunchy, salty stuff.

I shouldn't be surprised. He's my kid, through and through. I was the child at the birthday party who refused to return to the fun until I'd finished my slice of cake. I have his same eagerness and enthusiasm over "treats." I have no "off" switch when it comes to things like pretzels or chips. I have a slower metabolism too. It's all so familiar. While I wasn't a heavy kid, I became an overweight adult. As I've gotten older, my love of food has made it hard for me to keep weight off. I can't help but wonder if it'll happen to my boys too. Although I try to encourage healthy eating habits in my boys, they might still struggle with their weight someday. It might just be how they're built…like their Mommy.

As adults though, I don't want my boys to feel guilty when they indulge. I don't want them to constantly feel like they're on a diet. I don't want them to feel badly about who they see in the mirror. Those are my issues, and I don't want them to become theirs. At the risk of sounding sexist, I'll say that I think the fact that they're male makes it easier. The standards put on young girls and women are much worse than those put on men. That doesn't mean little boys and grown men never feel self-conscious about their bodies though. We all know they do. 

All I really want is for my boys to be happy and to feel good about themselves. They are healthy right now, and for that, I am grateful. Also, if I'm being honest, I love watching my boys gleefully dig into a bowl of ice cream or smear French fries through a big heap of ketchup. Food is fun. Food makes us happy. Memories are built around our enjoyment of food. The last thing I want is for my issues to rob my kids of the pleasure in a good meal…or a delicious snack. It's not so bad to have a little more to love.

Do you worry about your child's (or children's) weight?