There’s No Such Thing as Overweight and Heart Healthy

by Lisa Rosen on March 29, 2010

That’s the title of an article in the March issue of the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart Advisor newsletter.  The headline jumped out at me, and has lingered in the back of my head since I first saw it.  Specifically, it worried at me late at night, thinking about Delaney.  She is, to put it bluntly, overweight.  Her blood pressure is creeping up.  Her last bloodwork showed worrisome signs of pre-diabetes.  Combine all that with the giant genetic risk factor coming from Lee, and I think I’m justified in being concerned.

We’ve tried every subtle technique we can think of to help her get it under control, to no avail.  We’ve increased her activity level.  We’ve encouraged sports.  We’ve stocked the house with healthy foods.  We even went through the Healthy Lifestyles Program with her, over at Duke Hospital.  Nothing has helped her figure it out.  I know she’s concerned, and starting to be self-conscious.  And the weight is impacting her daily life–she doesn’t have the energy or stamina of a normal 12 year old.

So several weeks ago, I did something sort of risky:  I floated the idea of a diet.  Together.  The two of us.

Last weekend, when we were in Asheville, she decided she wanted to give it a try.  So we ordered a month’s worth of Nutrisystem food for each of us, and got started last Thursday.

These first few days have been . . . hard.  Lee was out of town, I was tired and cranky from calorie-deprivation, and trying to hold myself together so that I could support Delaney.  BUT–she’s an amazing (and determined) kid, and after hitting a few hurdles in the first couple of days, she’s on track and already seeing results.  Having Lee home has made a huge difference; he’s joining us in the effort (except he’s going to eat Lean Cuisines instead of the Nutrisystem stuff–he’s been down this path before, and knows exactly how to make it work).  We give different pep talks, and can support her in complementary ways, so (hopefully) she feels like she has a real team in her corner.

Toby is, of course, 16, and not particularly interested in family meals anyway, so the whole endeavor doesn’t even seem to be that much of a disruption to our dinner-time routine.  That first afternoon, when we were both hungry (and Delaney was a little shell-shocked), he tried tormenting us a little with talk of pizza and ice cream, but he seems to have gotten the message since then, and is, if not being openly supportive, at least not trying to undermine our effort.

It’s an adjustment.  I’ll keep you posted.

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