There’s a stigma attached to clean eating. If you’re a “true” healthy eater, you should be slim and fit, correct? If you’re eating clean foods, wouldn’t the pounds just melt away and leave you with a svelte figure?
We have quite the different body types in our house: skinny, hefty and average.
Not long ago, I took our 2nd oldest, Josh to the doctor. While we were there, the doctor told Josh he needed to watch his weight, eat less junk food, and that he was bordering on the “unhealthy” level. Now, he did it in the kindest way possible, but I looked at Josh and then said to the doc: “You don’t understand. We eat clean! Josh eats the same foods as his brother right next to him, but he weighs FORTY pounds more! Yes, he eats 2nds and sometimes 3rds, but he’s just built differently than Caleb.” The doctor said that may be the case, but that Josh needed to make sure he was careful because he is setting himself up for a future of overeating.
Ok, let me interject here to say this: A couple years ago, our whole family had DNA testing done through 23andme.com (which is awesome, by the way!) and the results tell you your top health risks. According to his DNA test, Josh has a 57% chance of heart disease. Because of this, I take his diet very seriously. That being said, I do believe there is a huge genetic component to our body type.
I think no matter how hard Josh were to try, he would never be as skinny as Caleb. Even Naomi, who is almost 4 years younger than Caleb, weighs about the same amount as him. Now, am I concerned that Caleb is underweight? Not really. Sometimes I wish he would gain weight at a higher rate just because he’s so small for his age. However, his dad, Superman was only about 5′ tall and 80 pounds going into high school. And I’m definitely not built big, so I think Caleb just has skinnier genes, and is going to be a late bloomer.
Does that mean our kids who are heavier need to eat less? I don’t believe so.
I do believe that they need to know what they’re putting into their bodies and to think before they eat. I think everyone should do that. Josh has a propensity to eat junk food, and if I had it in the house, he would be all over it. Wouldn’t we all, though? We’ve gone over his test results with him, so he knows his health risks. It’s up to him to take care of his body as he gets older.
I want to show you what clean eating looks like in our house. It’s not the same for everyone:
Caleb: 11 years old 68 lbs, 4’6″ tall
Josh: 10 years old, 102 lbs, 4’7″ tall
Michael: 9 years old, 57 lbs, 4’4″ tall
Naomi: 7 years old, 63 lbs, 4’3″ tall
Grace: 5 years old, 39 lbs, 3’7″ tall
Chris: 35 years old, 155 lbs, 6′ tall
Note: Superman gained 25 pounds as a result of eating clean. Just a few years ago, he was emaciated at 130 pounds. Cutting out grains for him was key to his health improvement. You can read his story HERE.
Shanti: 35 years old, 105 lbs, 5’2″ tall
Ultimately, I want our kids to be comfortable in their own skin. I want them to be confident in their food choices, eat junk food sparingly, and have a healthy, balanced diet. I don’t want them looking in the mirror thinking they’re fat or ugly or out of shape because that’s what the world is telling them. Again, most importantly, I want them to be comfortable in their own skin.
There is no “perfect weight.” Each of us is built differently and has different caloric needs. I want my kids to know they are great just the way they are.
I often tell them the cliché “We only get one body, so we better take care of it!” My hope is that my words sink in and as they grow up and have more freedom in food choices, they’ll remember that and be motivated to take the best care of their body possible.