Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dieting with Daughter

At Niagara Falls in August 2009
Thing One, my first born, will be sixteen soon and she's at that... age... you know the one—self-conscious, full of comparisons against impossible others... But she also had the misfortune to inherit some of my unfortunate features... We did not spring from pixies.

We live in a place with a high rate of overweight, and as much as I hate to think it, I'm very thankful for that. There have been moments of concern, but she hasn't felt she was fat from age 11 as I did (when honestly, I wan't overweight until I was 14 or 15, but I was tall, so I felt significantly LARGER).

Daughter expressed it for the first time in 8th grade (“mom, am I chubby?”)

A parent dies a little when that happens. I think I did okay with my response though. “I think you look really good when you are swimming regularly.” And it's true. A fit form can hold whatever size it is well, and besides that, swim season always saw about a ten pound drop.

After that she stayed active. Her freshman year she did 3 water sports—more overlap than down time. This year though, she thought to give up one... and then felt our family's financial pinch and started thinking about a JOB so she didn't do another too...

So there was some gain.



My Own Sordid Weight Tale

I've always struggled. The only time in my life it was ever easy was college, as someone else allotted my meals and I ran 6 days a week. My weight has gone up and down since I was about 14 with my more recent successes at 50, 60, and 40 pound losses... You can see if I'd kept all that off I'd weigh nearly nothing... No. The sad fact is when I weighed in last Tuesday I was only 6 pounds shy of my highest weight ever. My attempt at the New Year didn't even remotely get off the ground.


Teaming It

I feared I might hate this, but it's actually really good. When daughter first suggested it, she said her science teacher had lost 30 pounds on the South Beach Diet and did I think dad would let her eat something different for dinner. (he is our cook--anything he doesn't condone, doesn't really work)

I (CAREFULLY) went into the danger of extreme diets and the SANITY of Weight Watchers—real food—whatever you want—but in accountable combos and portions... splurging is okay if you PLAN for it—have to eat your minimum (the thing with a teen I knew I had to be very clear on—no starving). I talked her through planning the day around 'not sure what dinner is'--he is willing to warn us when it is something BAD,  like pizza, but really there is no NEED to cook special--most meals fall between 8 and 12 points... if we leave 12 open, we are fine... if it is 8 points, there is room for a snack.

She's been funny—she's called me a few times every day to ask how many points this or that is. She doesn't like how much I ballpark it—she wants me to look stuff up, but honestly... I've done this weight watchers thing successfully about 5 times—if I am working the program, I can WORK the program. It's when I stop working the program that I have trouble. (for instance telling myself wine doesn't count is a problem... perhaps a habit)

And you know what? Doing this together makes me feel more accountable. Cheating makes me feel like I'm cheating on her. I've done better this round than I have for a while... granted... today is just one week, but I have that 'I CAN' feeling, and the scale is edging... There is only the faintest envy of youth, as dear daughter has dropped 13 pounds to my 3...


Drabbles:  My writing group, the Burrow, has our spring feature posted.  We Drabble to images and would love it if you wanted to check us out.  http://www.the-burrow.org/


As for my D blogs to share...


Daily Dodo Laura is one of my new buddies—we just connected through the Blogger Crusade, but her sense of whimsy is a ton of fun.

Donna Hole shares daytime AND writing interests with me—she is a social worker by day and brings a lot of heart to her stuff (even if it can be dark disturbing stuff) (see... social science by day, dark disturbing at night... LOOK at that overlap *teehee*)

41 comments:

Niki said...

What a great idea working together. Besty luck Tart XXX

Christine Murray said...

'We did not spring from pixies'- love it! I am so going to use this line about myself.

I'm on a diet too now, I'm thankful that it's nearly summer. It's always so much easier to eat healthy when the sun is shining!

Kal said...

Good for both of you. You don't know how many girls I wished had mothers like you who tried to bring perspective to the whole weight = value issue. The voices in a teen girls head can overwelm them sometimes. It took a diagnosis of diabetes, which runs in my family for me to get smart about my weight and health. I am sure that the sugar withdrawl I am having now has made me stupider and less creative but I might live a week or two longer so that is worth it, right?

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You handled her question about weight with a lot of sensitivity. It makes so much sense to work on losing weight together--for support and encouragement! Good luck.

Siv Maria said...

When I quit working I gained alot of weight but thanks to my daughters encouragement I lost it again. We joined a gym together. Daughters are great :)

Sylvia Colette Branch said...

"we did not spring from pixies" classic. My 16 year old and I recently had this conversation, love how you handled it. You're right, that accountability of "cheating" really goes up when there are young eyes watching.

sue said...

Damn, I don't think I've ever regretted reading one of your posts, expect this one. I know I need to dust off the new WW stuff (the pro points program) but that'd mean giving up the beer, well cutting back anyway, but I know I need to. Maybe if I just walk more? Good on you for doing it together.
Sue@JumpingAground

damyantiwrites said...

I envy your daughter her mom :)

I keep hovering at 6-8 pounds above my ideal weight, but this year I'm determined to lose the extra!

All the best for the diet and the A-Z!

Jessica Bell said...

Good luck to both of you!!! XOXO

Jessica @ The Alliterative Allomporph

Jan Morrison said...

Deario Tartlette, perhaps a name that wasn't a dessert would be good, now I want a tart! I think this is great - tag team dieting. That approach has worked for me on a number of DISCIPLINE thingys. I was a skinny skinny kid. I weighed a 121 (at nearly 6') when I got married AND I was pregnant. I wasn't anorexic, we didn't have that back in the day, just Twiggy-like and I ate like a horse. Now I'm pudging out. I know which diet works for me but it is a total change of lifestyle - no wheat no sugar - and I live with a mad cooking and baking man! You've inspired me, though. I do like it when I drop about ten pounds. Good on you and your daughter.
see you at the party.
Jan Morrison

Old Kitty said...

Awwww!!! I think doing the eating healthy together with your daughter is such a lovely lovely thing to do. That's a great support network there already - makes things more fun too!!!

Great NAKEDness all round!! Take care
x

Mark P Sadler said...

It is a struggle we all maintain. I don't think I have lost/gained 10lbs either way for years now but at 55 (in May) it gets harder to keep the weight at bay. Portion control works best.
Hart, here is another D blg!
http://damnedinsatiablethirsteternallanguor.blogspot.com/

Cold As Heaven said...

Don't worry. You both look great >:)

Cold As Heaven

iZombie said...

strength comes within and sharing it makes it better!
"D" is the Word...
A to Z Blog Challenge Participant
Jeremy [iZombie]
izombielover.blogspot.com

Hart Johnson said...

Thanks so much everyone! The support really helps--though Sue, you are cracking me up!

Sorry I don't have time for individualized responses, everyone! I am reading and appreciating, but work is a little nuts.

Ellie said...

I'm sure you both look great - we can't all conform to the impossible images of waif-thin models and finely toned actresses. But good on you both for doing it together!

Until I reached 38, I was lucky to never have a problem with my weight. I really did feel blessed. But in the last 12 months all that has changed - suddenely I find the lbs slowly creeping on and less food does not take them away. So three weeks agom I decided to start running and when an old friend from school asked me to be her tennis partner again I said yes (rather loudly).

Ellie Garratt

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

13lbs is awesome! I wish i could get my family on board with weight watchers. I excercise 5 days a week, so i know it's my eating that keeps me fat, and clearly what we're doing isn't working.
sigh

Ju Dimello said...

I am getting into my first time "gym" experience after my husband's prodding ! Feels nervous as heck :)

Thanks for sharing yours and a great idea to participate along with her !

Following you from A-Z challenge!

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Dieting is really hard, but if you have someone to share it seems to work better. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books
http://sherriesbooks.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-z-blogging-challenge_05.html

kathy stemke said...

We can walk on the moon. Why can't scientists find an easy and healthy way to lose weight AND KEEP IT OFF. I've lost thousands of pounds over the years. If only they would stay lost! But, I look at it this way, if I never went on a diet, I'd be over a thousand pounds by now.

You can do it!

Heather Kelly said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! And, nice job, teaming up with your daughter. My son just gained his prepubescent weight, which was alarming, since I've always had to try to put weight onto my kids. I'm changing gears quickly. Swimming helps him stay in shape too!

Katie Mills said...

that is so awesome you and and your daughter are doing this together- great bonding and a healthier lifestyle to boot! Right on!

Margaret Hall said...

I am so very glad that your daughter has you as a "diet mentor"..that is so key to have the Mom in her corner! Girls oft times have such a different image of themselves than what is in the mirror...I so enjoy coming by and seeing the next "letter"...Great addition to the Challenge..

Carol Kilgore said...

Good going on your diet. Congrats! I need to badly. I hate dieting. I love food. I'd rather love food than diet. You and daughter are beautiful women.

Susan said...

Great idea to work as a team! I'm doing the same thing slightly differently...I have a friend getting married next year and she and I are both about the same amount overweight so we're working on it together. You're right that a cheat makes it seem like you're doing the other person an injustice too and it's so nice to have some support!

I found you through the A to Z Challenge (and via Twitter) - really enjoying your blog, and added it to my reader so I'll be following along.

Good luck to you and Thing One!

The Yard Bard said...

Going by the picture, I'd say you're both more beautiful than anything else. Sensible, too. Good on you for careful planning!

Marjorie said...

I honestly want to lose weight so badly. My husband continually sabotages my diets by bringing me things he knows I shouldn't have.

Deb and Barbara said...

Hats off to you for being the kind of mom who can support a healthy diet for a teenage girl without tipping the scale for her (no pun intended. really.). I really respect how you've conveyed the whole health and fitness element, while emphasizing the "we're all different sizes" reality. Bravo and good luck!

Talli Roland said...

I think it's fantastic that you're both doing this together -- it sets a great example for your daughter and I'm sure it will bring you both closer.

Myne Whitman said...

This is a great way to bond too! Best of luck to both of you on the weight loss.

LTM said...

"we did not spring from pixies"--*snort* love it. :D Catherine asked me the other day (in her ballet leotard) if I thought she was fat. Me: I think you're a healthy size. Which she is... for EIGHT! Gah! But that satisfied her, "shew!"

She has these little sticks for friends, and I explained that at this time of rapid growth, some people stretch out more than others...

Very cool that you guys are dong WW together--look how cute you are! I look forward to my two joining me on the jogging trail~ :o) <3

atimetoshine said...

Dieting as a team is so much easier than trying to go it alone. It's great when you have someone to share your success with!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Good luck to both of you. Doing it together is a great plan.

Medeia Sharif said...

Good luck to both of you. I'm also trying to get healthier.

Tundiel said...

Good luck with it! Ellie is going to need to watch everything she eats, but I don't want to pressure her as she's still so young. The poor thing inherited my inability to eat anything without gaining weight thingy. She's so tall too, she's up to my shoulders now and she's only nine!!

I've gained 5 pounds since Christmas.*sighs* Need to curb the eating NOW before I gain the other 35 that I lost last year.

You'll both do well, and you'll both look fab no matter what!

Tracy said...

Hart,
Thank you for your honesty and what a great plan for both of you to do it together. I also do weight watchers so now I can call you if I want to know how many points something is? :)

It's a tough road and I wish you and your daughter well in your journey...What I realized is it's not a diet but a way of life!

jennymilch said...

Your daughter is beautiful, Hart (and so are you) but you are such a balanced and real person, I think you can take 1 through this inevitable girl-into-woman stage as few others could. Good luck..and remember that a little dark chocolate goes a long way, and it's even an antioxidant :)

A Beer for the Shower said...

My weight-loss method of choice is Mexican food. Order everything Extra Hot. Cheese and lard isn't all that fattening when it doesn't hang around long enough to be absorbed.

Laura said...

Hi Hart - great post, and THANK YOU for the link and lovely words, yay for us being buddies!!!
Lx

Whitney said...

Good luck! It is great to have a partner for support. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll be posting on Wednesdays about my weight loss progress. Hopefully, we'll all.be successful!

Lisa Potts said...

It's so great that you're working with your daughter.

I had a Twilight Zone moment when I realized that I'm only six pounds away from my highest weight ever. Time to buckle down.