A note of encouragement from Breanna's mom.
We hope her message inspires you to start a journey to health with your child today!
Looking back, I wonder how I could have been so blind. How could I have let things get so out of control? Why didn’t I understand sooner that as her parents, we were responsible for Breanna’s weight? The reality that we could have spared her from the suffering that she experienced torments me to this day.
The truth is that I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why Breanna was gaining so much weight, and so fast. She averaged twenty pounds a year. When she was a toddler, her doctor had me convinced that she would just grow out of it. As she got into her school years, I thought that there had to be something medically wrong. Denial is a very powerful thing. My heart wanted a different life for her but I just didn’t have the knowledge or tools to make it happen. Had we fed Breanna the healthy foods she eats today and made activity a priority, she would have avoided years of obesity and the suffering that comes with it.
For every parent out there struggling with similar issues, living with the same fears, I want to reassure you that there is hope. And change can happen quicker than you might think. Our son Nathan was heading down the same path as Breanna, but because he exercised with us, he trimmed up in only three months and healthy habits are now engrained in him. He was 76 pounds at age five, and dropped 13 pounds just walking (and jogging to keep up) with us an hour a day, four days a week. His transformation was purely from increased activity as our diet had not changed much at this point. Nathan is a perfect example of early intervention. Now seven years old, Nathan is healthy, energetic, and health conscious.
While Breanna’s journey to health started later (age 9), it is never too late to intervene. It took only 14 months for Breanna to conquer obesity, losing 76 pounds and ending that chapter in her life. Being an obese child is like being a prisoner in your own body, and our children are looking to us, depending on us, to show them the way out. Whether your child is five, nine, or seventeen, the time to start is now. It will take dedication and lots of hard work for both child and parent, but in the end it is worth every moment, every sacrifice. Just start.
If your battle is anything like ours, you have tried everything imaginable to help your child lose weight. As adults we try fad diets, lose a little weight only to gain it all back, plus a few more; go to the gym now and again, only to fail over and over again. Why do we expect better results trying the same failed experiments on our children? The reality is that success will only come with true lifestyle change, support from family, and consistency.
Let’s start with the bad news first:
- Nearly one in three American children is overweight or obese.
- Obesity is America’s second biggest cause of premature death.
- 80% of obese children become obese adults.
- Experts predict that children today will be the first generation to die at a younger age than their parents due to weight related issues.
There is good news. There is hope. Childhood obesity is 100% reversible. Children are not born to be overweight. If our family can beat obesity, so can yours.
Obesity affects everybody in some way. We all have family, friends, co-workers, or someone in our lives who suffers from the harsh effects of being overweight or obese. It’s an issue that few talk about because we don’t know what to say or how to say it. The subject gets swept under the rug for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Our mission is to bring awareness and inspiration to the issues surrounding childhood obesity. We owe it to our kids and the next generation to turn the ship of childhood obesity around.