My son is getting into this whole weight-loss thing. He doesn’t quite understand what weight loss means, but he understands that it means that daddy goes for a lot of walks, and that he gets to go. And he is entirely in favor of this.
I have mixed feelings about this.
On the positive side, he knows I’m exercising and he really tries to support me in it – in a five-year-old way. “Can we go walking?” he’ll ask. “Have you made your goal? You need to make your goal!” he’ll say. We’ll be out walking, and I’ll want to go one way and he’ll want to go another, and he’ll tell me we need to go his way so that I can make my goal. And then he’ll throw himself down on a small hill and roll down it, and encourage me to do the same. Because, goals or not, he’s five and rolling down hills and flinging yourself back on the grass to look at the clouds is a whole world of fun at age five (or at my significantly-above-five age, for that matter).
On the negative side, he’s told me once or twice that he needs to lose weight. I don’t honestly think he knows what that means, and he’s simply repeating the things I’m doing because he wants to do them as well. But he really doesn’t need to, and I don’t want him to get body image issues. Which has led me to change the focus of what I say, away from “losing weight” and onto “making my walking goals”. Because I need to keep this positive, not just for my sake but for his.
Mostly, though, it’s been positive. He focuses on the fun of getting to go for walks with mom and dad and our crazy barking dog, and on getting to stomp in puddles and roll down grassy hills, and on running until he falls over and then getting back up and running some more. And it keeps me positive, and remembering that my family is why I do all this. Even when I’m tired and think I don’t want to.