Weight Debate: Nature vs. Nurture

weight: Nature vs. NurtureI have two boys. One is 16, 5’10.5″ and 125 pounds soaking wet. The other is a third grader, born chubby, and still is. Now if you look at mom and dad, you see the difference as well. Dad is all muscle, without an ounce of fat. He has to try to stay at 150, but often dips below (fucker). Me…lets just say I weigh a lot more.

My husband and oldest son LOVE junk food, and my teen eats it non-stop. My husband just forgets to eat. (WTF? Who forgets to eat?) My little guy is not a big eater. He eats regular portion sizes. But he loves his sweets. Mr. Ana and my little guy are also the pickiest eaters ever (Mr. Ana is ridiculous, he eats like 5 things), so finding healthier choices isn’t easy.

It was one thing when my youngest was 5 and 6. He has a big mop of curly hair and is adorable. He still looks OK in clothes. But I saw him at a pool party yesterday and realized he was by far, the fattest kid there. With his hair wet, he wasn’t cute, he was fat. The problem is, so am I.

So I’m going to try to get in shape with him. Maybe doing it for HIM will motivate me more than anything else. My problem? I don’t know where to start. My husband does the shopping and he buys white butterbreads, and full fat everything. He wouldn’t touch whole-grain with a 10 ft. pole. So how do I convince my son to do something dad won’t do? Mr. Ana also refuses to acknowledge the issue, thinking he’ll grow out of it. He’s growing out alright…

I need to start doing little things I guess. More fruit, less sweets. We will ride a bike or play wii or basketball together every day. Any change is a good change. My parents are coming back to Florida for the season next month. Which means that now I’ll get nagged for my weight, and even more for his, because they won’t hold back.

Honestly, the boy really doesn’t eat a lot, I can’t believe he can be so big from the small amounts he eats. His friends eat double his amount and stay skinny. I don’t want to be all over him about it. His brother has called him chubby baby for so long, he’s used to having that image. He loves ‘Gibby’ from iCarly and wants to be like him…he thinks it makes him funnier. He doesn’t seem to care on the outside, but I’m sure he’s worried too.

So here is the nature vs. nurture issue. My two boys eat the same foods, have the same activity level. How can one be so skinny and one be so squeezable? In this case, no question, they were born that way. My teen takes after dad, who was always a string bean, little one takes after his mom (me), who always had a tendency towards fluffiness. (If my mom wasn’t all over me as a kid, and I didn’t dance and ice skate daily, I’m sure I would have been a fat kid too).

Now, I need to stop the outward growth. Any tips? Advice? I’d love some input! I don’t really cook much, so simple solutions are necessary! Share your thoughts on nature vs. nurture here as well.



  1. I know exactly what that’s like! My daughter, who is 5, has always been on the “bigger” side…she came out over 9 lbs. I still get talked to by the doctor’s to cut out sweets, less juice, all that jazz, but honestly? She’s a sturdy built little girl. Now, I have twin boys who are almost 4, and they are complete opposites, like I get asked if I do daycare because they don’t even look like they both came from me. They have also always been big boys, but one is built exactly like his dad (this defensive line-man in college football), and the other is built like my dad’s side, tall and lanky. My big eater is the smaller of the two, and the bigger little guy hardly eats at all! Go, figure. It’s crazy, but I think some of it is our genes, and there’s not much you can do about that.

    On that note, I am also trying to lose weight, and it’s not even that I feel I need to lose a ton, but about 15-20 pounds would be nice. Because of this, I have started keeping healthier stuff around, and my kids have been forced to eat it 🙂 Sometimes their treats are frozen yogurt instead of ice cream (you wouldn’t believe how far that stuff has come in the taste department), and we do apples w/caramel instead of candy, or even graham crackers with melted marshmallows instead of cookies. Is it completely healthy? No! But, they’re kids, and they get a sweet tooth just like we do. Do they have poptarts for breakfast, or spaghetti-o’s for lunch? Absolutely. It’s tough! Anyway, sorry for my rant…I got on a little soap box. I just feel like there’s so much pressure for kids to be perfectly normal, and unfortunately, we can’t control every little thing about our bodies.

  2. Megan Wickland says

    Great topic. I’m not gonna lie, I may have teared up a bit while reading this. I too have 2 kiddos with differing body types. And they are still really little, but I worry nonetheless. My oldest is a tall string bean, my baby (who is only 18 months) is chunkier than her sister was at this point but she is also tall. Growing up, I never struggled with my weight (I always thought I was fat, but what teenage girl doesn’t have a warped sense of their self image). It wasn’t until college that I started to pack on the pounds. My husband struggled with being chunky as a kid, leaned out as a teen and packed a bit of weight back on as an adult. Our girls are replicas of us. My oldest, just like me and my youngest is just like my hubbs. They look nothing like each other….one is blonde with blue eyes and the other is brunette with brown eyes. Both are incredibly beautiful, inside and out (of course I’d say that, I’m their mom!! But it’s true too!)
    I constantly worry about raising them right and teaching them healthy habits. I struggle with healthy choices for myself and feel a bit like a hypocrite sometimes. And I hope to teach them the importance of a positive body image, something I also struggle with myself. Just the thought of someone picking on them (which I know will happen) makes me feel sick. Ugh, kids can be so mean to each other, I just want to curl my babies into me and protect them forever! I know that this is not possible (or healthy for that matter) but it is how I feel.
    I try to prepare relatively healthy and rounded meals, which is difficult because my oldest is like your husband and eats like 5 things. And my husband is allergic (figuratively) to all things vegetable.
    Therefore, I hope that people respond to this with suggestions, because I need them too! ♥

    • My whole family is “allergic” too! Even lettuce in tacos is a no-no. Knowing your kid might get teased is awful. My big one gets picked on because he is so skinny and has huge long hair (hey, he’s a rock star!), and the kids used to accuse him of wearing eyeliner because he has lashes that any woman would die for. My little one hasn’t experienced it yet, but I think has developed a tough skin because big bro dishes it out. But boys won’t get it as bad as girls.

      Girls are another matter. Girls are so freaking mean, I can’t get over it. In this day and age with social media, it’s so much worse. My heart goes out to you, because a young girl struggling with weight issues has to be hard.

      I also have the issue of having two skinny sisters, it’s so hard being the fat one.

      • Megan Wickland says

        Funny, lettuce on tacos is a no-no at our house too! 🙂

        I know I can’t control how others raise their children but I currently do and will continue to teach my girls about respect for other’s feelings. They will understand how harmful words can be and how they can damage a person’s spirit. I have been on the receiving end of hurtful jabs, and honestly before I was old enough to understand the damage it inflicts, I did my fair share of joining in on teasing as a kid. But seeing now how out of control and down right ugly it gets just makes my heart hurt. I will do my part to raise compassionate daughters!

  3. I think first you need to let him know that this is going to be a health thing, not because he is fat so he doesn’t feel like” oh healthy because I’m super fat”that can depress him maybe, but f he knows just for his health and future he might be better with that.
    Eat healthy is hard with my mom she do the shopping so nothing is healthy, I start going with her to do the shopping and that way I will eat what I want and what I like because as she doesn’t eat healthy she doesn’t know how to pick or what.
    I recommend if you are a had eater you should look for the stuffs you like and find different ways to eat them so you don’t get tired of eating the same, about the sweets start buying fruits with natural sweet flavors and decorate your plate, if you can ALWAYS decorate the plate, in my cause is so much better, it’s fun and it looks cute if you are going fast, those choices about frozen food can be good just sometimes, those low calories and carb food can be helpful. This issue with the food might be hard because to eat healthy you need to cook the food so yes you gotta put time on that.
    and I think last two stuffs can be using smaller plates, it can help you eat less but not to much that you can be all hungry, is hard but only the first few weeks then you can get use to it and about sports I think with your younger kid is good what you want to do, you just gotta be active and work out 3 times a week as a minimum.

    OMG this is so long but I’m eating healthy since the beginning of the year and you feel good, of course every now and then is ok to cheat because if you don’t at some point you will want to eat all at once which is worst, and don’t cut everything fast

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