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Difficult to hold my tongue


Scarlett
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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I have more of an idea than you do since the doctor said that is the reason.  

Any doctor who says that is the only reason would be fired from ever caring for me or my kids.  That is up there with saying that if any diabetic gave up sugar, they be fine.  Unless your doctor had a crystal ball on all the genetic lines going back generations.  Especially, with all your step sons symptoms that you post, genetics really play more than just lose weight.

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Just now, maize said:

It is difficult to understand things that are outside our experience. Acknowledging that is a good first step.

You don't understand. Based on your experience you can't understand. There for you need to let go of all your assumptions because they are coming from a place of ignorance.

I know something of how this feels. You may know from other posts on these boards that I am married to someone who struggles with chronic mental illness. My personal experience of life and moods gives me no reference point for dealing with this; I'm laid back and cheerful by nature 99% of the time. It feels to me like a person should be able to just choose to not be anxious or grouchy or depressed--such unhelpful moods! Can't they see life is good? Just decide to smile.

Obviously my experience is not in any way relevant to that of a person experiencing clinical depression. So...I can't rely on my experience. I read and study and try as best I can to understand what it is that my Dh is experiencing and what I can or can't do to support him. Mostly that has meant helping him access professional help and just continuing to love him.

I think you can do these things for your step son.

I do try.  I know I fail on this board every few months but I haven't said anything to SS for months.  

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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I have more of an idea than you do since the doctor said that is the reason.  

Since your son is not a healthy weight, I don't see how the doctor could possibly know that. But, go ahead and judge people who make decisions that could save their lives. Like I said, when the choice is medication or death, it's fairly straightforward. It's pretty clear that you see his weight and any other health issues he has as being a moral issue ("At least he's not on blood pressure medication" - as if that should actually be a life goal).  Is it a moral issue for my husband as well? If not, then why not?

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3 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

Re: Context: Your post was very short so I didn't include the subject of her anger, however I don't think that's important.

Food is important to her (obviously) as is weight. Scarlett is associating being 100 lbs overweight at 17, which is indeed a problem, with an important health issue. I think she's conflating his everyday eating with the reason he eats in the first place, but to her this is a big issue.

We all have hang-ups. Anyway, I accept the anger... I don't accept the faux concern trolling when it's not about his health, it's about control and cultural association and family bonds.

So you don't think I worry about his health?

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1 minute ago, TechWife said:

Since your son is not a healthy weight, I don't see how the doctor could possibly know that. But, go ahead and judge people who make decisions that could save their lives. Like I said, when the choice is medication or death, it's fairly straightforward. It's pretty clear that you see his weight and any other health issues he has as being a moral issue ("At least he's not on blood pressure medication" - as if that should actually be a life goal).  Is it a moral issue for my husband as well? If not, then why not?

What?  I don't know what you are saying.  My son is a very healthy weight.  But the doctor was talking about my SS who developed high blood pressure when he gained so much weight.  The doctor said it is almost 100% certain brought on by obesity.

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10 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Really it is just a side annoyance. I am sure everyone with teen boys finds missing ingredients when it comes time to cook. 

Is this where I can complain that once kids know how to reach the top shelf WE NEVER HAVE CHOCOLATE CHIPS EVER!!! ? Good. Because that's my whine right now.

13 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I have more of an idea than you do since the doctor said that is the reason.  

See my thread on Diagnosis: Female. I wouldn't trust a doctor with a fat person as far as I could throw them... or the fat person. 

Doctors judge. They're irrational. The standard of care is nonexistent apparently.

16 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

You think I don't know I love my own son?  

No, I think you can't see how much more you love your bio son than your step son, so I think you are missing what people are trying to tell you in this thread.

They are telling you you need to accept your step son and his weight and his struggle wholesale. Just like you do with your own son and his foibles. And you are not seeing that because you just keep saying "well my son doesn't have this severe of a problem". Okay well lucky him. YOUR SON, your stepson, has a problem. And a lot of it is outside of your control. And it's outside his control. It's happening to him as much as it's happening to you.

If you could see how biased you are, you could see how unfair your assessment is. I've been slim my whole life, I'm a skinny paradox. I don't know why. All I know is that I'm on the extreme end of the bell curve with respect to weight gain / caloric needs. I could either say "well you all should be like me" or I could take this information and say "I don't think the doctors are right; they were wrong about what I need to eat and how my body works, so they are probably wrong about fat people too. I don't believe them. I believe the thousands of people I see online, and the scores of people in real life, who eat less than me and gain more, and I am going to believe the studies on this that suggest willpower and shaming just don't work. Because you know what? That doesn't work for me either." I choose the latter. I choose empathy and believing people and not listening to people who literally could not figure their way out of the relationship between a dripping ceiling and wet paper bag. 

"Maybe if you weren't so fat the paper bag wouldn't be wet?"

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6 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

Any doctor who says that is the only reason would be fired from ever caring for me or my kids.  That is up there with saying that if any diabetic gave up sugar, they be fine.  Unless your doctor had a crystal ball on all the genetic lines going back generations.  

I don't even know what to say to this.  You do know that there are some diabetics who can control their diabetes by diet right?  Not all of course, but some.  

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Just now, Scarlett said:

What?  I don't know what you are saying.  My son is a very healthy weight.  But the doctor was talking about my SS who developed high blood pressure when he gained so much weight.  The doctor said it is almost 100% certain brought on by obesity.

Again - there is no way the doctor could know that. The only way to determine that would be for your SS to maintain an healthy weight and have his blood pressure drop into a normal range and maintain it over time.  I'd honestly be worried that the doctor was overlooking something.

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3 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

Is this where I can complain that once kids know how to reach the top shelf WE NEVER HAVE CHOCOLATE CHIPS EVER!!! ? Good. Because that's my whine right now.

See my thread on Diagnosis: Female. I wouldn't trust a doctor with a fat person as far as I could throw them... or the fat person. 

Doctors judge. They're irrational. The standard of care is nonexistent apparently.

No, I think you can't see how much more you love your bio son than your step son, so I think you are missing what people are trying to tell you in this thread.

They are telling you you need to accept your step son and his weight and his struggle wholesale. Just like you do with your own son and his foibles. And you are not seeing that because you just keep saying "well my son doesn't have this severe of a problem". Okay well lucky him. YOUR SON, your stepson, has a problem. And a lot of it is outside of your control. And it's outside his control. It's happening to him as much as it's happening to you.

If you could see how biased you are, you could see how unfair your assessment is. I've been slim my whole life, I'm a skinny paradox. I don't know why. All I know is that I'm on the extreme end of the bell curve with respect to weight gain / caloric needs. I could either say "well you all should be like me" or I could take this information and say "I don't think the doctors are right; they were wrong about what I need to eat and how my body works, so they are probably wrong about fat people too. I don't believe them. I believe the thousands of people I see online, and the scores of people in real life, who eat less than me and gain more, and I am going to believe the studies on this that suggest willpower and shaming just don't work. Because you know what? That doesn't work for me either." I choose the latter. I choose empathy and believing people and not listening to people who literally could not figure their way out of the relationship between a dripping ceiling and wet paper bag. 

"Maybe if you weren't so fat the paper bag wouldn't be wet?"

i am tying to accept he has real problems that he is apparently unable to fix. 

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1 minute ago, TechWife said:

Again - there is no way the doctor could know that. The only way to determine that would be for your SS to maintain an healthy weight and have his blood pressure drop into a normal range and maintain it over time.  I'd honestly be worried that the doctor was overlooking something.

The doctor isnt overlooking anything.  He examined him, did all kinds of tests.....the kid had normal BP until he became obese and then it was high.  The doctor is a DO who lost 100 pounds and kept it off for 7 years so far.  

 

Is is ireally so hard to admit obesity can and sometimes does cause high blood pressure?

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

i am tying to accept he has real problems that he is apparently unable to fix. 

Have you ever read the book "Boundaries?" It's a great book and really helped me learn where my responsibility for various situations and people begins and ends. It is a Christian book, although I have heard that people who are not Christians do find it helpful.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

i am tying to accept he has real problems that he is apparently unable to fix. 

He's 17! How is it hard to accept that he is unable to fix a public health crisis of unprecedented proportions or the fact that he has been in an unstable home for the last decade +????

It just seems so obvious to me that this is something that is happening to him and that you need to love him through, not in spite of. Like I get the milk thing, that's annoying but... Jesus.

 

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1 minute ago, Tsuga said:

He's 17! How is it hard to accept that he is unable to fix a public health crisis of unprecedented proportions or the fact that he has been in an unstable home for the last decade +????

It just seems so obvious to me that this is something that is happening to him and that you need to love him through, not in spite of. Like I get the milk thing, that's annoying but... Jesus.

 

So it is hopeless for him? 

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5 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

So it is hopeless for him? 

Just because you can't control it? (edit: him?)

No.

Who knows what he will grow into. What I'm saying is, it's hopeless for you to create love out of a desire to shape this person into what you think he should be. I struggle with that a lot myself so I know how hard it is to let go. But you have to let go. That's where you will find love and maybe he can take comfort in acceptance.

There is hope for love. 

The weight is a whole other issue. Far less important.

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9 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

The doctor isnt overlooking anything.  He examined him, did all kinds of tests.....the kid had normal BP until he became obese and then it was high.  The doctor is a DO who lost 100 pounds and kept it off for 7 years so far.  

 

Is is ireally so hard to admit obesity can and sometimes does cause high blood pressure?

When people say I lost whatever the number is and kept it off for whatever years, well good for them.  Glad it worked for you that way. Each person is an individual and not everything works perfectly for everyone.  And honestly, it sounds like the doctor doesn’t get it.  Genetic testing, counseling and a specialist in weight issues are what he needs.  And stop comparing him to your son.

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Hey Scarlett,

It’s so hard when our kids, even step kids have health issues.  The milk doesn’t concern me because my two guys go through 5 gallons a week.  It’s all they drink. No soda, no juice. Just healthy one percent and two percent milk.  I’ve seen my hubby drink two glasses at a time to fill himself up rather than stop to eat lunch.  They have to make it last until my next weekly shopping trip so they have to monitor.  Also, if there are foods I don’t want them to eat, I just don’t buy it.  Given that, the best way to help your stepson, it to either you or he monitor what he eats and drinks in a week to figure out how many calories he is consuming.  Plus check the sodium intake because that will prevent weight loss and contribute to his high blood pressure.  Once you have the data, you both can come up with a plan that will best help him.  What is his diet like now?   Is he willing to work with you to come up with a healthy eating plan?  He is the one who has to be willing to adjust his drinking and eating habits but make it easy. Baby steps, one step at a time.  But imho, milk is a lot more healthier than anything else, besides water.  I don’t drink milk but probably drink just  as much water  as my guys do milk.  

Hugs, dearheart!

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26 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

i am tying to accept he has real problems that he is apparently unable to fix. 

He likely needs help from trained professionals that he is not getting. Maybe when he is an adult, he will be able to access that help.

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Someone who is thinner is thinner not because they choose to eat less but because their system is set up in a way that they don't feel the need to eat more.  You son hasn't taught himself to forget to eat has he? It is just how he is.  I have been fat and thin and quite frankly for me staying thin requires a degree of dedication and obsessiveness that interferes with the rest of my life.  It is possible your stepson simply doesn't have that energy at this point in his life and is also frequently hungry for both physical and mental reasons.  You can say 2 glasses a day but make sure there is chiller water or it may backfire.

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My father is naturally active - he actually cannot sit still for more than 30 minutes-  and has been slim his entire life. He eats healthy balanced meals that stepmom prepares, but also cake or donuts and chocolate every day (no exageration) and has an after dinner snack of a packet of peanuts, crisps or biltong with his drink every evening.  He has the good habit of always sitting down at a table when he eats or drinks and he usually does not consume anything while distracted by TV or computer. He also follows very regular mealtimes and coffee breaks every day. If you arrive at 3pm, he and stepmom will be sitting down for their afternoon coffee and cake. You can bank on it.

For most of his life he has seen people that are overweight as lacking in willpower - they should just move more and eat less...because when he feels his pants are tight he cuts the peanuts for a week and the weight drops again. He is critical of what they are doing to their health and how they should know better and he does call them lazy or slobs.

I have never been skinny - even as a very active child. Despite very strict dieting and exercise regimes that I have followed for months at a time, it takes ages to loose and effort to maintain a constant weight. I have been overweight for most of my adult life. My step siblings are tall and slim. They fall in the forget to eat camp, especially when stressed.  Bio siblings are at least a foot shorter on average. My sisters work hard at maintaining their weight and are in normal range, but are curvy.  We are in the comfort eating camp.  

They have been married since I was 18 (both their spouses passed away, so only one family home) and stepmom has never said anything to me directly although their was a phase when she mentioned her healthy food choices quite a lot. After I called him out on his insensitive comments to me many years ago, my father has bit his tongue, but I still felt judged for my weight.  

I am 50 this year and a few weeks ago,  I was staying over and declined the cake once again, and he actually commented on how hard that must be to do every time!  He also made a comment about some people having fast metabolisms and others slow. Then later we were dressed for my cousin's funeral and waiting at the door, and my father called me 'a beautiful woman'.  Spontaneously. For the second time in my life (he may have said so at my wedding)!

I dont think he realises it, but it has meant so much to me to finally feel that he acknowledges that I do make an effort and that it is hard. I feel that my accomplishments are accepted as part of the "whole me" package and not, "in spite of her weight". 

I wish that acceptance for your stepson. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hannah said:

My father is naturally active - he actually cannot sit still for more than 30 minutes-  and has been slim his entire life. He eats healthy balanced meals that stepmom prepares, but also cake or donuts and chocolate every day (no exageration) and has an after dinner snack of a packet of peanuts, crisps or biltong with his drink every evening.  He has the good habit of always sitting down at a table when he eats or drinks and he usually does not consume anything while distracted by TV or computer. He also follows very regular mealtimes and coffee breaks every day. If you arrive at 3pm, he and stepmom will be sitting down for their afternoon coffee and cake. You can bank on it.

For most of his life he has seen people that are overweight as lacking in willpower - they should just move more and eat less...because when he feels his pants are tight he cuts the peanuts for a week and the weight drops again. He is critical of what they are doing to their health and how they should know better and he does call them lazy or slobs.

I have never been skinny - even as a very active child. Despite very strict dieting and exercise regimes that I have followed for months at a time, it takes ages to loose and effort to maintain a constant weight. I have been overweight for most of my adult life. My step siblings are tall and slim. They fall in the forget to eat camp, especially when stressed.  Bio siblings are at least a foot shorter on average. My sisters work hard at maintaining their weight and are in normal range, but are curvy.  We are in the comfort eating camp.  

They have been married since I was 18 (both their spouses passed away, so only one family home) and stepmom has never said anything to me directly although their was a phase when she mentioned her healthy food choices quite a lot. After I called him out on his insensitive comments to me many years ago, my father has bit his tongue, but I still felt judged for my weight.  

I am 50 this year and a few weeks ago,  I was staying over and declined the cake once again, and he actually commented on how hard that must be to do every time!  He also made a comment about some people having fast metabolisms and others slow. Then later we were dressed for my cousin's funeral and waiting at the door, and my father called me 'a beautiful woman'.  Spontaneously. For the second time in my life (he may have said so at my wedding)!

I dont think he realises it, but it has meant so much to me to finally feel that he acknowledges that I do make an effort and that it is hard. I feel that my accomplishments are accepted as part of the "whole me" package and not, "in spite of her weight". 

I wish that acceptance for your stepson. 

 

 

Thank you for sharing that.  No one here probably believes it but I do try very very hard to accept him.   I guess at this point I should never say anything about what he eats or drinks. I work hard to keep unhealthy foods  out of the house. We don't keep soda or juice in the house. I don't know what he does at his moms or elsewhere.  He is working a lot this summer, at a restaurant.  They feed him dinner there every night.....a nice perk....and it is a resort type place so they have some decent choices he has told me.  

I said nothing about the milk to him....just to all of you because I knew I could count on some kind reminders like the above post even though I also knew I would get some harsh words from a few.  

Thanks everyone who tries to help.

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6 hours ago, Frances said:

He likely needs help from trained professionals that he is not getting. Maybe when he is an adult, he will be able to access that help.

I have researched the options until I am weary and shared with Dh what I have found.  dh believes that until Ds is ready none of those options would help.  Counseling.......I am trying to think how that would go to suggest that to him.....dss we think you need counseling to help with your weight.  

We are still waiting on a program Dss's Doctor is suppose to be getting together for weight control.  He is a good doctor.....very kind and encouraging.....he showed dss his path to losing 100 pounds and how it is not a straight line to get there.....

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6 hours ago, Tsuga said:

Just because you can't control it? (edit: him?)

No.

Who knows what he will grow into. What I'm saying is, it's hopeless for you to create love out of a desire to shape this person into what you think he should be. I struggle with that a lot myself so I know how hard it is to let go. But you have to let go. That's where you will find love and maybe he can take comfort in acceptance.

There is hope for love. 

The weight is a whole other issue. Far less important.

I  Have just tried to help him.  I really don't feel like I am trying to control him.  

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4 minutes ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

 My biggest child is still only in the 33rd percentile for weight.  My oldest is 8 and weighs 42 pounds.  They are just naturally skinny, exactly how I was as a child.

And my kids, the three of them, go through a gallon and a half of milk a day(I hate milk, so I don’t drink it).  I fully expect when i have two teenage boys that we’ll be flying through gallons of milk a day.  Hopefully we can have a cow because I’m sure in ten years milk prices will be hugely expensive.

So I don’t necessarily see the correlation between low fat milk and obesity.  Obesity has SO MANY factors, and it’s just not as simple as calories in-calories out. I wish it was.

I barely weighed 115 pounds all my life. When I was 27, my PCOS exploded and I gained sixty pounds in three months.  I changed NOTHING about my eating habits or my exercise. If anything I ate less and exercised more.  I have never been able to lose that weight, either, though I stopped gaining once I went on meds for insulin resistance.  It had nothing do with calories or exercise.  Before that happened, I was rather judgemental of heavy people. Now I understand it’s just not that simple.

by the way, insulin resistance is almost 100% in obese people, and it makes many crave carbs and food all the time. Has your stepson been checked?

I am not sure.  I know they did a lot of blood work on him and everything came back normal. 

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7 hours ago, Scarlett said:

You think I don't know I love my own son?  I was 35 when he was born....I endured a mostly bad 16 year marriage before he was born and my son has been the joy of my life.  

I do care deeply for my step son.  I am good to him. I do a lot for him. I advocated HARD for him to come  live with us because I thought it was the best place for him.  The weight issue is HARD for me.  I DONTunderstand it.  From a far I can get it......some people have a hard time....but when I am living it and seeing the amount of food and drink he puts away and the weight he needs to lose and the high blood pressure that scares me.....I go weeks, months at a time just pushing it out of my mind, but sometimes I am just confronted by the absurdity of something like a gallon of milk in a day and I come here to vent.  

So shoot me. 

Nobody wants to shoot you. But you keep coming here and saying you don't understand and people try to help you understand and you just won't even consider what they are saying. Is your SS's mother or father overweight? There's a genetic component. Also, what starts as too many calories in (from too much milk or too much whatever else) quickly becomes a biochemical problem that takes medical intervention. Your SS is at that point. He is not going to be able to do this on his own and you can't help him. Only specially trained medical professionals can. The average MD is not going to be able to handle this. He needs special ongoing clinical help for this. If you really want to help him, you all should get that help. Family support, working with the trained professionals, is crucial. If he had a substance abuse problem, would you get him into rehab? I bet you would in a heartbeat, even if it were far away and took. a lot of time to drive back and forth. He needs rehab for this. 

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Yes.  It is completely and utterly hopeless to think that ANY degree of shame or commentary from you is going to change anything about his weight. Let go of his weight. Let it go.  Let it go. If at some point in the future he considers doing anything, be supportive but don't comment on food choices. Ever again. Just don't.

This isn't a moral issue. It's completely driven by biological urges that are beyond his control.  The ONLY thing that has ever been shown to work from a permanent weight loss situation is surgery.  Really.  That's probably because it shifts hormones and gut bacteria to the point that it shuts down the urge to eat.  But even that has issues.  You are much more likely to develop an alcohol addiction after weight loss surgery, for example.

You said he bought the milk because you didn't go to the store.  So he owned it, it was his, and he had every right to drink it. 1450 calories in a gallon of skim might seem like a lot to a small woman, but to a large teen boy it probably wasn't even a third of his maintenance calories!  It definitely wasn't as many calories as the soda he used to drink, and at least it contained nutrition instead of empty calories.  Relatively speaking, it was a healthy choice.  He could have grabbed ice cream or candy or fast food and eaten 4000 calories of them before he came home.  So just stop.

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4 minutes ago, scholastica said:

Nobody wants to shoot you. But you keep coming here and saying you don't understand and people try to help you understand and you just won't even consider what they are saying. Is your SS's mother or father overweight? There's a genetic component. Also, what starts as too many calories in (from too much milk or too much whatever else) quickly becomes a biochemical problem that takes medical intervention. Your SS is at that point. He is not going to be able to do this on his own and you can't help him. Only specially trained medical professionals can. The average MD is not going to be able to handle this. He needs special ongoing clinical help for this. If you really want to help him, you all should get that help. Family support, working with the trained professionals, is crucial. If he had a substance abuse problem, would you get him into rehab? I bet you would in a heartbeat, even if it were far away and took. a lot of time to drive back and forth. He needs rehab for this. 

His mom and dad are not over weight. He has an aunt who is, but she is close to 40 and was not over weight at 17.  

There is really not some sort of rehab available like so many of you keep thinking we should get him in to.  I mean really some of the suggestions are just not realistic.  

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Saying all this in a gentle spirit:

As I told a friend who came to me for advice when he was considering proposing to a girl: when you marry someone, you marry not just the person, but a whole package. Their background, their childhood, their biases, their friends, their family, their children and exes, their attitudes toward money, their experience in a functional or dysfunctional family, etc. 

I think you need to start viewing your step son, his bio mom, his attitudes toward food, his emotional issues, as part of the package you signed up for when you got married. You didn't just marry your husband, you got a package deal, and that includes a whole lot of issues you didn't see in the fine print.

(Gently) I read a lot of control in your posts. Especially the ones where you try to talk to him about feelings and end up suggesting he should feel certain ways. My point is that you married into this "package deal" and he didn't have a say in it, and I hope you'll examine where you're being controlling (or have controlling attitudes), and make a conscious decision to be no more controlling toward him that you would a spouse. Because poor kid is just along for the ride.

I also recommend the book Boundaries. I can't recommend it highly enough for your situation and relationships.

To answer the original question: oh yeah, teen boys can eat and drink a crazy amount! It can be hard for older, slimmer women to understand. I remember when I was a teen going through a growth spurt, my family ate at the mall and got the new Market Fresh sandwiches at Arby's. They're packed with meat and already cut in half, and my parents knew from experience that they could split one, so they made me and my sister split one too! I was still famished, like hangry famished, and they didn't get it at all. I had a good laugh about it yesterday because all I wanted for lunch was a half sandwich (split with DH) and a cup of light soup, and wasn't hungry again until dinner 6 hours later. That was a small salad topped with a little chicken breast!

And finally, I have to join the chorus here: stop comparing the boys!

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5 minutes ago, Katy said:

Yes.  It is completely and utterly hopeless to think that ANY degree of shame or commentary from you is going to change anything about his weight. Let go of his weight. Let it go.  Let it go. If at some point in the future he considers doing anything, be supportive but don't comment on food choices. Ever again. Just don't.

This isn't a moral issue. It's completely driven by biological urges that are beyond his control.  The ONLY thing that has ever been shown to work from a permanent weight loss situation is surgery.  Really.  That's probably because it shifts hormones and gut bacteria to the point that it shuts down the urge to eat.  But even that has issues.  You are much more likely to develop an alcohol addiction after weight loss surgery, for example.

You said he bought the milk because you didn't go to the store.  So he owned it, it was his, and he had every right to drink it. 1450 calories in a gallon of skim might seem like a lot to a small woman, but to a large teen boy it probably wasn't even a third of his maintenance calories!  It definitely wasn't as many calories as the soda he used to drink, and at least it contained nutrition instead of empty calories.  Relatively speaking, it was a healthy choice.  He could have grabbed ice cream or candy or fast food and eaten 4000 calories of them before he came home.  So just stop.

wait....are you saying he won't be able to lose weight without surgery? I know 3 people off the top of my head who had the sugary and gained the weight back.  And I also know more than that who have lost a lot of weight without surgery and kept it off for years.  Of course no weight loss is guaranteed permanent because it requires maintaining. 

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3 minutes ago, lavender's green said:

Saying all this in a gentle spirit:

As I told a friend who came to me for advice when he was considering proposing to a girl: when you marry someone, you marry not just the person, but a whole package. Their background, their childhood, their biases, their friends, their family, their children and exes, their attitudes toward money, their experience in a functional or dysfunctional family, etc. 

I think you need to start viewing your step son, his bio mom, his attitudes toward food, his emotional issues, as part of the package you signed up for when you got married. You didn't just marry your husband, you got a package deal, and that includes a whole lot of issues you didn't see in the fine print.

(Gently) I read a lot of control in your posts. Especially the ones where you try to talk to him about feelings and end up suggesting he should feel certain ways. My point is that you married into this "package deal" and he didn't have a say in it, and I hope you'll examine where you're being controlling (or have controlling attitudes), and make a conscious decision to be no more controlling toward him that you would a spouse. Because poor kid is just along for the ride.

I also recommend the book Boundaries. I can't recommend it highly enough for your situation and relationships.

To answer the original question: oh yeah, teen boys can eat and drink a crazy amount! It can be hard for older, slimmer women to understand. I remember when I was a teen going through a growth spurt, my family ate at the mall and got the new Market Fresh sandwiches at Arby's. They're packed with meat and already cut in half, and my parents knew from experience that they could split one, so they made me and my sister split one too! I was still famished, like hangry famished, and they didn't get it at all. I had a good laugh about it yesterday because all I wanted for lunch was a half sandwich (split with DH) and a cup of light soup, and wasn't hungry again until dinner 6 hours later. That was a small salad topped with a little chicken breast!

And finally, I have to join the chorus here: stop comparing the boys!

Ok, I will work on it.  I really do already work on it......I hope people realize I come HERE because I know I shouldn't comment to him.  But it probably just keeps it stirred up in my mind.  I should probably just stop thinking about it all together. 

I disagree I have ever told him how to feel.  I have only ever tried to get him to articulate HOW he does feel.  And to let him know he isnt responsible for other people's emotions. 

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Ok, I will work on it.  I really do already work on it......I hope people realize I come HERE because I know I shouldn't comment to him.  But it probably just keeps it stirred up in my mind.  I should probably just stop thinking about it all together. 

I disagree I have ever told him how to feel.  I have only ever tried to get him to articulate HOW he does feel.  And to let him know he isnt responsible for other people's emotions. 

Awesome.

It must be really hard to jump into a whole new family dynamic. 

I just remember those posts about feelings because I used to do things like that and learned that people REALLY don't appreciate it after a while, even if it's cool at first. It's far better to just be the friend/wife/mom and let a counselor work with them to teach them to identify and articulate feelings.

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7 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

wait....are you saying he won't be able to lose weight without surgery? I know 3 people off the top of my head who had the sugary and gained the weight back.  And I also know more than that who have lost a lot of weight without surgery and kept it off for years.  Of course no weight loss is guaranteed permanent because it requires maintaining. 

 

More than 90% of people who lose weight without surgery cannot keep it off for 10 years.  So yes, that is what I am saying. Accept that he will never lose weight in a permanent way.  And even if he does, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with you. If anything it will be in SPITE of how awful you are to him.  I know you say you don't express this to him, but you are deluding yourself if you think he can't feel your condescension. You are dripping with it.  It will have to do with him growing up enough to make the rational choice to permanently be uncomfortably hungry for the rest of his life.  It isn't a moral issue, so let it go.

If you must focus on a moral issue, take the plank out of your own eye before you take the speck out of your stepson's.  You are being angry, mean, and judgmental in your heart, and that is MUCH worse than a teen boy buying a gallon of milk and drinking it.  The ONLY person you can control is YOU. And many people in this thread are in agreement that YOU are doing a very poor job at that with this issue. YOUR issue of being judgmental.  In my opinion you need to repent.

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Scarlett, I'm going to refrain from assuming I know anything about how you treat your SS based on your posts here. I know that it's difficult/impossible to "know" what someone is doing 24/7 in real life based on a few things they post on a message board. And I hate pile ons and this thread is obviously one of those!

But I want to make this general comment--As someone who used to be obese (probably well into morbidly obese range, I didn't know anything about BMI back then), lost weight and has kept it off for three decades--I can vouch for what others have said that there is absolutely nothing positive you will gain by making any comments about his weight or his eating habits. That's 100 percent something he has to want to fix for himself. The only thing comments from others do is make things worse. There's one exception to that--If he says something about weight/healthy eating/exercising and you can chime in in a very general way, w/o referencing his own circumstances and w/o being judgmental at all, then go ahead. I mean like if he says "I'm trying to decide what would be a better choice, a cookie or an apple" and you can bring yourself to say "The apple--it has more nutrients and the fiber is really good for us. Plus I had one yesterday and those apples are SO good" in a neutral tone of voice and w/o judging (with words or body language) if he chooses the cookie, then go for it. Otherwise--nope. Nothing you say will do anything but make the situation worse. Both in terms of him wanting to help himself and in your relationship.

Weight is a very, very complex issue. Both in terms of emotional/psychological issues and biological ones.

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Let me admit that I have not read all the replies, but I thInk I see this issue in a slightly different light. (And do forgive me if this has already been said.) I think there are two different issues at play here. One is Scarlett's frustration at being unable to direct her stepson toward behaviors that she honestly believes- right or wrong- would help him control his weight. Scarlett honey, on this one, you're just going to have to make like Elsa. Let it go, girl. You can.not.do.this.for.him. The other issue, which seems perfectly reasonable to me, is basic etiquette. Think of others before you think of yourself. For example, if there is only one apple left in the bowl, my daughter will ask if I need it for dh's lunch. I always ask if anyone wants any more ______ before eating or drinking the last of something. And because we are on a grocery budget, if I have purchased only enough ingredients for something I plan to prepare later in the week, I let both dh and dd know that those ingredients are off limits, and they are just fine with that. Maybe Scarlett could write down a basic weekly menu plan, and ask the whole family to leave enough of x,y,and z to make those items. Give daily reminders as necessary. (Hey guys, we are having casserole for dinner tonight. Don’t forget to leave me a few slices of bread for crumbs, ok?) As for what the young man purchases and consumes with his own money? Let it go. 

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Let me guess? This is the stepson you really can't stand. His eating habits and general size disgust you. There have been hundreds (thousands?) of posts about this. 

It's really not that unusual for a teenage boy to do that - truly. Your focus on what he eats and drinks is bizarre and wrong. Focus on your own son and let your husband worry about his own child. You're not coming from a place of love and that is what this child needs. 

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2 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

Let me guess? This is the stepson you really can't stand. His eating habits and general size disgust you. There have been hundreds (thousands?) of posts about this. 

It's really not that unusual for a teenage boy to do that - truly. Your focus on what he eats and drinks is bizarre and wrong. Focus on your own son and let your husband worry about his own child. You're not coming from a place of love and that is what this child needs. 

This is absolutely NOT true that I can't stand him.  

Some of you people are much more judgmental of me than I am him. 

I am letting Dh focus on his own son.  I came here to vent because I did indeed bite my tongue and said nothing to dss. He was not even home when I noticed it so he absolutely isn't feeling any judgment from me.  

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16 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Scarlett, I'm going to refrain from assuming I know anything about how you treat your SS based on your posts here. I know that it's difficult/impossible to "know" what someone is doing 24/7 in real life based on a few things they post on a message board. And I hate pile ons and this thread is obviously one of those!

But I want to make this general comment--As someone who used to be obese (probably well into morbidly obese range, I didn't know anything about BMI back then), lost weight and has kept it off for three decades--I can vouch for what others have said that there is absolutely nothing positive you will gain by making any comments about his weight or his eating habits. That's 100 percent something he has to want to fix for himself. The only thing comments from others do is make things worse. There's one exception to that--If he says something about weight/healthy eating/exercising and you can chime in in a very general way, w/o referencing his own circumstances and w/o being judgmental at all, then go ahead. I mean like if he says "I'm trying to decide what would be a better choice, a cookie or an apple" and you can bring yourself to say "The apple--it has more nutrients and the fiber is really good for us. Plus I had one yesterday and those apples are SO good" in a neutral tone of voice and w/o judging (with words or body language) if he chooses the cookie, then go for it. Otherwise--nope. Nothing you say will do anything but make the situation worse. Both in terms of him wanting to help himself and in your relationship.

Weight is a very, very complex issue. Both in terms of emotional/psychological issues and biological ones.

Thank you. That is what I have been trying to do....no discussion on weight at all......he does weigh every few weeks and comes to tell me if he has lost weight.  I praise him and tell him to keep up the good work  and that is all.  I buy as healthy if food as I can afford.  I make menus and inform everyone if the plan.....but he is eating at work 4 or 5 weeks a night now.  

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Are there other doctors you could see? Maybe your SS isn’t connecting very well with this doctor. Does the doctor give him/your family strategies, or are you just on your own with orders to eat less/exercise? Because that sounds tough.

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FWIW, I don't see you as not loving your stepson.  Of course you are worried about a 17-year-old who is 100 pounds overweight.  People would call you a neglectful stepmom if you weren't worried and doing what you can to help him.  Though of course there isn't much you can do, and it seems you recognize that.  I get wanting to have a place to let off a little steam; people do it here all the time. 

 

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Scarlett, here's a thought: 

Based on your posts, you worry a lot and experience a fair amount of anxiety. Anxiety is a beast of a condition, and is a major risk factor for many other health problems including heart disease.

Just like your step son's weight is a risk factor for other health problems.

He may not be any more at risk than you. He may not have any easier path to addressing his issues than you do.

He doesn't need negative judgment anymore than you do. Can you imagine how you would feel if, say, your husband was constantly worried about you and your anxiety and the health implications of it and stressing over the fact that you didn't seem to be doing anything to address it?

(I'm not actually trying to diagnose you with anything, just trying to present an analogy that might help you reshape your thinking.)

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38 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

More than 90% of people who lose weight without surgery cannot keep it off for 10 years.  So yes, that is what I am saying. Accept that he will never lose weight in a permanent way.  And even if he does, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with you. If anything it will be in SPITE of how awful you are to him.  I know you say you don't express this to him, but you are deluding yourself if you think he can't feel your condescension. You are dripping with it.  It will have to do with him growing up enough to make the rational choice to permanently be uncomfortably hungry for the rest of his life.  It isn't a moral issue, so let it go.

If you must focus on a moral issue, take the plank out of your own eye before you take the speck out of your stepson's.  You are being angry, mean, and judgmental in your heart, and that is MUCH worse than a teen boy buying a gallon of milk and drinking it.  The ONLY person you can control is YOU. And many people in this thread are in agreement that YOU are doing a very poor job at that with this issue. YOUR issue of being judgmental.  In my opinion you need to repent.

Wow.  You are being very harsh and assuming you know how I treat my SS.  And assuming I believe this is some moral issue.  I am not perfect and I don't claim to be the perfect step mom but I am not awful to him.  

Wow.  Seriously I can't get over how mean some of you are to me because I said I was having to bite my tongue to keep from commenting about a gallon of milk being drank in a day.  

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4 minutes ago, Mainer said:

Are there other doctors you could see? Maybe your SS isn’t connecting very well with this doctor. Does the doctor give him/your family strategies, or are you just on your own with orders to eat less/exercise? Because that sounds tough.

It feels to me like he connected.  He talks to him a long time....he gave him a plan to follow, he goes back periodically for BP checks and they always weigh him.  He isn't high pressure but encourages dss to think about a life long way of thinking. 

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46 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

I’m wondering if Scarlet is also so concerned and annoyed by his obesity because of her faith’s views  on gluttony? 

Gluttony?  I have never even thought if that word in connection with him.  Contrary to what many of you people are implying I do not think he is morally inferior because he is overweight.  

 

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6 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Wow.  You are being very harsh and assuming you know how I treat my SS.  And assuming I believe this is some moral issue.  I am not perfect and I don't claim to be the perfect step mom but I am not awful to him.  

Wow.  Seriously I can't get over how mean some of you are to me because I said I was having to bite my tongue to keep from commenting about a gallon of milk being drank in a day.  

 

You clearly don't understand the degree of animosity you are expressing towards your stepson here, so it is easy for all of us to extrapolate that he can feel some degree of your animosity towards him in person even if you think you hide it from him.  My own stepmother never said anything obviously abusive, but she clearly resented our existence, even when she was trying to act loving. Feelings are a more difficult thing to hide than you think, and the fact that you are feeling this way AT ALL will make is quite clear to him whether you intend it to be or not.

Again, you said it was his gallon of milk.  His. He bought and paid for it. This affected you in zero ways except that you didn't get to use the milk he bought.

It is not mean for us to comment on your behavior when you ask us to comment on your behavior. It IS mean for you to comment on your stepson's behavior.  The fact that you cannot see the hypocrisy in that is unbelievable.

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Gluttony?  I have never even thought if that word in connection with him.  Contrary to what many of you people are implying I do not think he is morally inferior because he is overweight. 

 

The harsh tone of your rants about his weight specifically and overweight people's moral failings generally in the past makes it seem that you are lying to yourself about this. If you really want I'm sure someone could take the time to go back and quote your past moral judgments about these topics on earlier threads about your DSS & your friends weights.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

His mom and dad are not over weight. He has an aunt who is, but she is close to 40 and was not over weight at 17.  

There is really not some sort of rehab available like so many of you keep thinking we should get him in to.  I mean really some of the suggestions are just not realistic.  

 

Ugh.  Stop comparing. Have you never heard of recessive genes? Have you never heard of environmental factors?

Comparing to other people and turning it into a character issue to argue and be angry over isn't going to change anything except to make something difficult even harder to manage .

 

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4 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

 

Ugh.  Stop comparing. Have you never heard of recessive genes? Have you never heard of environmental factors?

Comparing to other people and turning it into a character issue to argue and be angry over isn't going to change anything except to make something difficult even harder to manage .

 

Wait.  What you quoted above was me answering someone's question about his bio family.  Good grief.  

And I am not arguing or being angry and neither do I belive it is a character issue.  

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This has escalated a bit, but if my child was drinking a gallon of milk a day, I'd be mad too. We don't have the budget for that and water is free! Since they were toddlers, my kids have only had water for free drinking. Actually, now that they are older, they can have as much tea (from bags or loose leaf) or coffee that they want since it's also cheap and made easily at home with water. Since moving, my DS claims to hate water in this city, so we struggle with this because we really don't want to budget for endless drinks and since he's the only one who hates water, he could easily take more than his fair share. We talk about fair share with him often- we have 7 people in our family and the intent is for the treats to be distributed equitably and there's not an endless supply. Perhaps your stepson would work with you on keeping things equitable. He could have his share of however much milk (or whatever) you budget for the month whether it's all at once or spread out over the month and if he wants more, he could buy it himself and know that nobody else would be sharing it. 

Objectively, I don't think drinking a gallon of milk a day is terrible if you want to pay for it- it's better than the same quantity of soda which many people drink- but it's not free and money is not endless, so for us, it's really not something I'd allow. 

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

I have researched the options until I am weary and shared with Dh what I have found.  dh believes that until Ds is ready none of those options would help.  Counseling.......I am trying to think how that would go to suggest that to him.....dss we think you need counseling to help with your weight.  

We are still waiting on a program Dss's Doctor is suppose to be getting together for weight control.  He is a good doctor.....very kind and encouraging.....he showed dss his path to losing 100 pounds and how it is not a straight line to get there.....

 

This has been said many times in your other threads, but the recommendation for counseling is not to help the young man with his weight.

He has endured family instability as a minor child and carries difficult baggage handed to him by every adult and parental figure in his life. You have explained this many times - we know how you treat him, we know you think that you are more nurturing than his mother, we know less about his dad but we do know that he is not insisting on therapy for his son. And then he also has a stepbrother to whom he is constantly compared and there are other issues with that relationship.

A qualified therapist does not serve just to fix someone's outsides so he will be socially acceptable and his stepmother will stop shaming and judging him. The therapist wouldn't care about making the young man good enough for you. The only way it would be about you would be to help him cope with you as needed, and maybe get some more tools for communicating with his many parents. The therapy would be entirely for the young man, to give him a place to discuss his past and hopefully make peace with it, process his present times, and work toward hope for the future.

Study ACE - Adverse Childhood Experiences- he probably scores rather high, and studies have shown that intervention at the beginning of young adulthood can make a lifetime difference. If you want him to have a better chance of NOT having to deal with his childhood crap all of his life, and remain at risk of health problems related to having had a horrible childhood, then acceptance, therapy, and support now, at this precise moment, are crucial to protecting his future! The world is full of people who were horribly damaged as kids and who have to process it all, be triggered by it all, internalize and suffer, fir their entire adult lives. Your child is about to join us damaged adults. It could be different for him, if he could get help for his whole picture, right now..

But you, your dh, and probably your son, should be in counseling, too. Step families do not receive the same training and support as foster or adoptive parents, but they should, when the child coming into their home has been abused and neglected. You are frustrated by the burden of this young person, you are critical of him, you begrudge anything he takes from your child whether a glass of milk or the possible sharing of a friendship, and you are ashamed of him because he is fat. Yet you feel you are the most warm, loving, and accepting adult in his life! 

To everyone else this screams an urgent need for help for the whole family, but you are still over there saying, "We are great parents so why is he still fat? Ugh!" 

 

 

 

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