Health, Heartbreak, and Weight Management Clinic

Weight Management Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital

I would give anything to be fat again. You know, as fat as I once was when I thought I was fat. I’d love to be that fat again. I’ve been thinking about my weight a lot lately and I’ve gained a LOT of it in the past 5 years. I am the heaviest I have ever been and it doesn’t feel good.

I used to think this was fat
I used to think this was fat.

I don’t have many clothes that fit me. And by fit, I mean wearable in general. I literally have 3 pairs of jeans that will button and a handful of shirts that fit. None of my clothes are flattering, but I refuse to buy “fat” clothes.

I keep telling myself that once I get down a few sizes I will buy myself some new clothes, but so far that hasn’t happened. I don’t feel great about myself, but I don’t feel completely unattractive either. What I do feel is unhealthy. And that concerns me.

Health

Not only am I concerned about my own health, I am concerned about my children’s health too. My daughter recently had some lab work done and the results were not what I expected. Her fasting labs indicated out of control diabetes, but a more recent check showed everything to be just fine. While we try to figure out exactly what is going on and why such big discrepancies, we started seeing a weight management clinic.

Weight Management Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital

I feel like this is the equivalent to fat camp. Just how overweight do you have to be to get sent to a weight management clinic? For my daughter it is 42 pounds. With a birth weight of only 1 pound and 9 ounces, many would find this alarming. Her doctor has been monitoring her since birth and we have discussed her weight and other markers previously. Her doctor told me that because of her low birth weight, her body was probably shocked and thus holding onto every bit of weight it can.

Heartbreak…

That brings me to the heartbreak part of this post. I’ve always made it a point to tell my children positive things about themselves. I know firsthand how devastating comments can be, especially regarding your physical appearance and things that can’t be changed within 10 seconds.

We’ve discussed healthy habits and what we need to do to be healthy, but we have never actually discussed losing weight. I never want to make my kids feel like they aren’t good enough or that they are flawed in any way. I tell them they are perfect exactly how they are.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

It breaks my heart that I have to tell my daughter that she has to change. I know that she understands it is to be healthy, but the mom part of me feels like I am telling my daughter she isn’t good enough as she is. And it isn’t even her fault. I feel like I have failed as a parent. But, she isn’t going to be making the changes alone. The weight management clinic will help our whole family.

Weight Management Clinic

So, this weight management clinic hosts kids with all sorts of issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to metabolic concerns. The kids go for the length of a program which lasts 6 or more visits depending on the needs of the kids. Aybra is expected to go for 6 visits, but it all depends on her future lab work and how well she does in the program.

We had our first visit this week where we met with a doctor and talked about some of our concerns. They wanted me to start restricting her calories, so I’ve begun tracking what she eats which has lead me to tracking my own. I don’t know about y’all but I always do better when I track what I eat. We will meet with a nutritionist at the next visit and discuss things like portion control and the five food groups. (Yeah, I’m not kidding!)

While I’m thankful that clinics like this exist to help, I almost feel like I am being treated as if I’m uneducated or just letting her sit around eating Cheetos and drinking Coke all day. I feel like asking for help with my concerns leads me to being treated like a bad parent at times.

Do you know how many overweight children have parents who have NEVER asked for help?

I know that we don’t always make the healthiest of choices and I know that there are things we need to change, but with the help of this weight management clinic, we will get to where we need to be to get healthy together, because it really is all about getting healthy. And while I wish for myself to no longer be as fat as I am now, I wish to be as fat as I once was.

What is your favorite way to track calories? 

Author: Aduke Schulist

Aduke Schulist is a 30 something content creator living in the heart of Arkansas. She enjoys blogging, vlogging, and spending way too much time on social media. Aduke is a big fan of true crime documentaries and advocating for people with special needs. You can find Aduke on social media as @AdukeSchulist.

26 thoughts on “Health, Heartbreak, and Weight Management Clinic”

  1. I am with you! I used to think I was fat when I was actually FINE and I mean fine in the sense of guys would look at me and think I was F I N E – LOL if only I could have those days back again!
    Now that I have gained weight – and lost weight – I am still not where I was back when … back when I thought I was fat!
    Thank you for this. I will check out the link!

  2. Awww. I understand how it would hurt to have to tell your daughter that she needs to change. It really is for her health, though. And as long as you’re also working to be healthier, she’ll know that you’re in it together.

  3. I’m sure it is really tough on her and on you! I think you’re doing the best thing for her health. My daughter has thyroid issues so her doctor told her exercise is like a prescription for her. She does it faithfully too! AND she does Jillian Michaels DVDs which are insanely hard. We all do need to take better care of our health for sure.

  4. Overall health is so important and it definitely sounds like you are taking the right approach. Going on this journey and learning together as a family is a great way to strengthen your overall bond too.

  5. My favorite way to track calories is using my Fit Bit Flex. It’s a great device that makes keeping track of all things health related quick and easy. Thanks for sharing your story, weight is definitely not an easy thing to talk about!

  6. I know exactly what you mean! When I was in high school and a size 10, I thought I was fat. And I am about 75 pounds heavier now. It is a cycle I cannot or will not break. Now I see my daughter steadily gaining weight.

  7. I think it is great to do this as a family. It is so important to teach or kids about nutrition and portion control. I use my Fitbit app to log everything I eat and how many calories I consume. It also has a water tracker.

  8. It’s good that you are doing this as a family. It’s easier that way and your child won’t think that she’s alone in this journey.

  9. Thanks to a friend who invited me to check out a Zumba class, I now get to dance Zumba at least once a week—burning a lot of calories while getting fit, making new friends, and having fun.

  10. I understand the emotional torment, it’s like telling your daughter or your son that they’re not good the way they are and that they need to change. But we also have to consider their health. If it’s not helping them anymore health-wise then we definitely should start making that change.

  11. I have not tracked calories since I was in high school. My son had been a little over weight when he was a tween but lost it after he started maturing. It is a hard thing to talk to your child about and I am so glad there are weight clinics for kids. We were not told of any clinic when he was younger. Thanks for sharing the your story and the information.

  12. I love that you consider your daughter’s emotion in taking up this steps. Thanks for the information, it is really a big help to those who are going through this situation too.

  13. My son has always been bigger. When he was born, he was already in the 97th percentile and that continued to this day. He’s tall (at 11 he’s already 5’4″) and “solid” (schools are already asking if he’ll be playing football) – we maintain his weight by creating dinners we can all have that are healthy, but tasty. We also got him involved in activities for exercise. I refuse to tell him to change, or to make him think something is wrong (my mom did that to me as a child and it was difficult)

    I love the idea of a center to help kids with everything. While my child is “solid” (I prefer that term) he doesn’t have any health issues right now.

    1. I was always thin growing up, but my older sister wasn’t. I remember my family telling her some pretty nasty things and it affecting her badly. I can’t imagine a parent doing that, and I guess that’s part of why I am so cautious going about this with my own daughter. I don’t want her to think she is flawed in anyway.

  14. As someone who has always been overweight, I know how you and your daughter feel. Its hard. I have tried to lose weight many, many times, but have had no luck!

  15. I can understand how it is hard for you to tell your daughter to change, but I think if you present it in a positive way it could be helpful. I hope the weight management clinic works out for you both.

  16. I record everything I eat with My Fitness Pal, and track exercise calories with Strava and RunKeeper. If I don’t keep track then the weight just piles on – I’ve been known to put on two stone (30 lbs!) in just as little as four months! Nuts!

  17. My weight has always been a bit of a problem. Even though I am not necessarily overweight now, I have been, and I am still trying to recover from a massive weight gain, and working on it every day – this is often an uphill battle. Wishing you success in your journey!

  18. I can be so bad with tracking my food intake, I will forget and then not do it. But I wish you all a healthy outcome <3

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