Couples and Families
Watching the program X Weighted, a family was highlighted in regards to their obesity. The highlight was that of the teenage daughter as she was listed in the 99 percentile for obesity for her age. What was particularly of interest was the relationship between the mother and the daughter. The father had had lower back surgery so he couldn't move very well and he seemed to be of regular weight. Because of his back issues he could not participate in the exercise so therefore was not highlighted in the show. Shockingly the teenage son who was under the radar in regards to his weight and as such was surprised to find out when he stepped on the scale that he was obese, at obesity level one. The mother was shocked and surprised to find out her weight at 187 pounds, was obesity level 2.
The daughter was more the height of the father and held a lot of her weight around her middle, and so her obesity was highly noticeable. The mother on the other hand because she was much shorter than the daughter and held her weight mostly in the legs was able to get away with a thinner look because her weight was hidden under her pants. Pretty much right away what was highlighted in the relationship between mother and daughter was that it was a competitive relationship. The mother would make jokes about the daughters inabilities, the mother would roll her eyes when the daughter would try to explain herself, and the mother would make undermining comments describing her as having tree trunk legs.
The show took them shopping and the mother kept handing the daughter in the change room smaller and smaller sized pants, which obviously would never fit. Eventually what was identified was the mothers unconscious agenda that if the daughter was kept fat she would never be promiscuous. This is a classic case of projection, the mother was projecting herself and her own insecurities on her daughter, locking the two in an unhealthy relationship which was resulting in the entire family becoming ill.
The answer to the question of how do we get children to participate in healthy nutritional and behaviour changes, as seen in this family dynamic is actually really not so easy to answer. Dynamics are powerful and when the family is caught in the dynamic it can be near impossible to change. When it is the relationship that is ill then it is the relationship that has to change. It is the relationship that has to have the education that it needs in order to put the skills in place once the dynamic is identified, to be able to over come the dynamic. It takes two or more people wanting to change a group dynamic in order to be able to do so. One person is not able to change it on their own.
Before the dynamic was identified the mothers subconscious projections were powerful forces that everyone in the family was agreeing to, without even knowing that that is what they were doing. By bringing in an outside ‘mirror’ so the family could see themselves and their dynamics, there then became the two or more needed to be able to change the dynamic from illness to health not only in nutrition but behaviour. Both go hand in hand.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.