Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Tough To Be Twelve And Overweight, But Things Will Get Better!

Dear Tazi:

 I am 12 years old and fat. Not just overweight or chubby or “carrying some extra baby fat” like my Mom says; I am FAT! I am 4’11” and weigh 150 pounds. I want to go on a diet but my Mom won’t let me. She expects me to eat all of my lunch every day, plus an after school snack and a “healthy sized” dinner. If I don’t eat, she gets mad at me.  I know you are on a diet. Can you tell me how to lose weight and keep my Mom happy?

Joey Fat One

 Dear Joey Fat One:

 The original Joey Fat One lost weight through exercise when he appeared on Dancing with the Stars and is now better known by his real name, Joe Fatone. As for me, I am not on a diet by choice; the hand that feeds me – aka Mommie – has put me on this cruel regiment until I lose my extra chub chubs. Oh, the humanity! I am down 1.6 pounds, though; 3.3 to go!

 At 4’11” you are what health care providers would call “morbidly obese”, a nasty sounding term that means your future long-term health is in danger due to your weight. On the flip side of this coin, I can see your mother’s reluctance to put you on a diet. At your age, your body is preparing to go through a major growth spurt as you hit puberty; your mother is probably afraid that if you lose weight now the natural weight loss you would go through will slim you down too much. Moms tend to wear blinders when it comes to their children; they see only perfection!

I love you, too, Mommie!

The first thing your Mom needs to do is make an appointment for a complete physical with your pediatrician to rule out any glandular problems. If you do not have health coverage, your doctor may be willing to work with your Mom regarding payment – especially if you are a long-term patient. No doctor wishes to see a patient go without care due to an inability to pay, and many are willing to work out a payment plan or sliding fee based upon ability to pay.

The next thing you need to do is start to exercise. Nothing takes off unwanted pounds quicker than physical movement. If you can, go for a walk or a bike ride after school, or just play outdoors with your friends. If you cannot do any of these activities, try doing old-fashioned calisthenics – your gym teacher can show you some moves, so don’t be afraid to ask him or her for help. Like doctors, gym teachers are all about physical health and education; they are there to help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

The third thing you can do is review your menu. What kinds of food are you eating? Is your Mom providing you with healthy meals, complete with fresh fruits and vegetables and low amounts of sugar? Are your snacks nutritious or are they junk food? What you eat is just as important as how much you eat. This is something you can discuss with your doctor or your gym teacher; either one will be able to guide you onto the right track.

Last of all, you can be patient and wait. Permanent weight loss is a process that takes time, and when you are twelve years old time can seem to take forever, but a year from now you will have grown several inches and most likely slimmed down quite a bit if you choose to follow the tips I have given you. 


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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