View Full Version : Shapedown for children
05-05-2003, 11:57 AM
I was reading an article in an old issue of Family Circle (I think) about a weight reduction program for children called Shapedown.
I looked at the website and before I order anything I was wondering if anybody has used it before or knows anything about it.
Both of my sons are overweight and while the younger could potential grow into his weight...the oldest needs to just loose weight (since at almost 6'2" I don't think he has much growing left to do!)
I will check it out with my peditrician as well...
05-06-2003, 02:11 PM
My sister was on this program several years ago (she's now 27 and she was in high school when she did it). It did help her start to understand nutrition, and also got her exercising, which she had never done before. She still struggles with her weight, but she hasn't stopped exercising. She did it at a local hospital.
08-12-2003, 03:41 PM
I'm bumping this up because I did decide to enroll my children. Their first appointment with the RD will be on Thursday Sep 4. Since there were so many people who looked at the thread before...I'm curious if people want to know my reactions/kids reactions to the program? If so, I'll be happy to keep everyone updated....
08-12-2003, 03:51 PM
Tyra, I am very interested to hear about your sons' progress, and I wish them the best of luck.
One question I have for you - how did they feel about you signing them up to do this? Is this something they want to do?
08-12-2003, 04:18 PM
The oldest is very non-committal on the whole thing (but he is 14 and pretty much non-committal on EVERYTHING). I did tell the RD this and she said to have him come to the first meeting and then see if he is on board with the program or not. If he isn't willing...it won't work. My youngest has agreed that he will be more receptive to someone other then me telling him things. I think he really needs to hear it from someone who can give him concrete ideas and plans. At 11, almost 4'10" and 140 he can't stay in denial much longer :-) He also carries almost all of the weight in his stomach...so he looks as heavy as he is. My oldest is just over 6ft and just over 240...but the weight is spread out evenly so he doesn't look that heavy.
I would think that he would like to get it together before he has a girlfriend since he is self-conscious when swimming, etc.
I'll keep you posted....
08-13-2003, 08:29 AM
Tyra, best of luck with that. I will be interested to hear about their progress. It is so hard to be an overweight teen... I was not as overweight as I thought I was :rolleyes: but my brother was, and still is. If they have some success now, it will really help them later into adulthood.
Thanks for keeping us posted, and your boys will be in my thoughts.
08-13-2003, 09:03 AM
Its a new experience for me...I was naturally thin/average until I met my ex-husband and changed my eating habits. My brother also was thin but I worry about the health issues as well as the self-esteem. That's part of the reason I looked into Shapedown...it deals with all aspects (including my emotional issues).
09-05-2003, 03:22 PM
Results of first appointment:
My older son is resistant to the idea and does not want to partake at this point. We decided if he doesn't want to do it...it won't work, so we will wait and see if he changes his mind.
Younger son wants to just meet with the RD and not do the books for now. We are all willing to do that, so he has an appointment in 2 weeks. In the meantime he needs to keep a food diary.
I saw the books and I was very impressed with the program. Hopefully Alex will want to do it the whole way since I think it would be helpful to both he and I. I assume since the RD is familiar with the program, aspects of it will creep into their discussions even if he isn't following the books.
09-05-2003, 05:04 PM
Tyra, thanks for the update. Good luck to both of your boys (and you!) - but like you said, I don't think it will work if your son is not interested or a willing participant.
10-08-2003, 02:19 PM
Alex has been meeting with the nutritionist now for 2 more sessions (4 weeks total). He has been willing to listen to her and incorporate some of what she is saying. Unfortunately, just keeping a food log isn't enough to have him stabilize his weight. Therefore, if he doesn't maintain or lose weight by 10/16 he will need to follow the Shapedown program.
I will meet with her again next week as well and we will see where we go from here.
10-10-2003, 04:11 AM
Tyra, this is the first time I saw this post. Isn't parenting tough?? I'm glad you and Alex have been keeping up with the nutritionist appointments. It will be interesting to see what's next. One of my nieces is 8 years old (almost 9), 5 feet tall, 120lbs! But her mother keeps saying, if only she would increase her physical activity, she'd drop a few pounds. I'm not sure if she's too young for something like Shapedown. I wonder if it's different for a boy vs. a girl to go through this process. Keep us posted.
10-10-2003, 10:05 AM
They have different books for different ages (I don't remember the youngest group, but I think its 8). I tried staying in denial for awhile with Alex myself, thinking...well he will grow into his weight. If he would stop GAINING that would happen, unfortunately, this isn't happening, and its unrealistic to expect an 4'10" 11-year-old to not gain ANY weight for the next 5 years or so that it would take him to grow into his weight. At least your niece is only 20 or so pounds overweight, Alex is at least 50 pounds (approx 140 pounds). Fortunately he is EXTREMELY self-motivated, so when he wants to do something, he does do it :)
The website is www.shapedown.com
10-11-2003, 11:03 PM
I am 17 years old and have been battling with my weight since I was about 12. I understand. I have been through Weight Watchers, Zone, Atkins... I realize now that these are DIETS. What we need to lose weight is not to diet, but to change the way we eat. Diets give you the foods you can eat, when you can eat them and therefore you lose the weight. For me, a nutritionist helped to explain the right foods to eat for my body and WHY.
I just thought you may want to know a teenagers view on things. I also have a number of health issues (PCOS for one) which alter the way I should be eating. You may want to visit an endocrynologist to make sure your kids don't have any problems with insulin...
Best of luck,
10-12-2003, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the information. Alex did take a blood test to see if he had diabetes last year (came back negative). Right now I know it is a combination of poor choices, large portions, lack of exercise (for both my sons).
10-17-2003, 02:49 PM
Well, Alex and I had an appointment yesterday. He finally lost a little weight (1/2 pound) but since he had been gaining in the previous weeks, the RD and I decided that Alex needs to do the 'official program'. I bought the books last night and while they are private books, Alex wanted to share his with me and he wanted to read mine as well.
His book starts off with a story about 3 eight-graders (1 boy, 2 girls) who are overweight. One of them are recommended to the Shapedown program and they all decide to go. Then there are exercises for Alex to do...what parts of your body do you like, how do you feel about being overweight (choose from a list of positive and negative words), why do you want to loose weight, etc.
I didn't get to my book's exercises because it was already 11pm by the time I finished my reading :( We did have to set a contract of how much tv a week we would each watch, how much exercise, how many family dinners. If we BOTH make the goal, we BOTH get a reward (Alex: small Coldstone with two mix-ins, me: manicure/pedicure) I did point out that a food reward probably wasn't the best, and Alex agreed in the future he would have to come up with something else :D
Alex did set a goal weight of 100 pounds. I said you realize that could take a year or more, right? and he said yes. We go back in two more weeks.
11-03-2003, 11:27 AM
Alex and I went for our meeting last Thursday. He lost 1 1/2 pounds in two weeks :D and we both met our goals so I bought him his Coldstone Ice Cream last night and I'm still trying to get my manicure/pedicure scheduled. Maybe I'll have time this weekend.
The goal for the next two weeks are to do the next two chapters. Chapter 2 revolves around keeping the food log (both of us) and noting whether the food is free, light, heavy or junk. After 8 months on Atkins, my diet is not terribly 'light'. Shapedown definetly follows the ADA guidelines (pasta is light, red beef is heavy, chicken without skin...light, with skin heavy, bread light, etc) So, my light foods will need to be picked VERY carefully if I don't want to regain my weight loss.
We did pick new rewards, Alex will get a video game of his choice rented and I get to see a movie of my choice :) We did NOT make our exercise goals last week and they have increased this week....we have our work cut out for us.
I really do like this plan. It seems to have a healthy outlook on food and exercise. Alex is still excited about it. We go back again on the 13th.
11-03-2003, 11:33 AM
Congratulations Tyra and Alex! I think it is wonderful thing for both of you.
11-03-2003, 11:54 AM
Tyra, that sounds great! What a wonderful thing to do together. I know that Alex will appreciate your support and the fact that you are in this together!
11-03-2003, 02:07 PM
Sounds like you and your son are making positive progress towards your goals. I know that when I was growing up despite very healthy eating habbits I kept packing on the pounds and in retrospect would have loved to have had a program like this. Currently I'm working on trying to keep my food log, trying to find a format that works well for me currently.
11-03-2003, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Inzeos
Currently I'm working on trying to keep my food log, trying to find a format that works well for me currently.
If you haven't checked out www.fitday.com you might want to see if that fits your needs. I used it while I was losing my weight and still log occasionally to see how I'm doing.
11-03-2003, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the link I will check it out shortly. I think one of the things I've found difficult about using a food log is trying to figure out how many calories that hot lunch at the corproate cafateria actually is or how many calories that take out salad was etc. So I write things down, but don't nesc. know what to fill in number wise for them. Thankfully I have begun to try and phase out the work cafateria, mainly because the food prices have risen ~$7.00 dollars for a meal that would have your kids readily wanting to go back to brown bags or their schools cafateria food.
11-14-2003, 09:08 PM
Chapter 3 focused mainly on exercise and the benefits it has for children in trying to lose/maintain their weight loss. The ultimate goal is for Alex to be exercising for an hour a day. That is going to be QUITE a challenge (for both him and me :) ). Even though he gets out of school at 3pm, I don't get home from work until close to 6pm. By the time I cook dinner, eat dinner, clean the kitchen, its close to 7pm and he needs to do his homework. I have suggested that he should exercise for a half hour while I'm cooking which will let me exercise while he is doing his homework. I know exercise is a priority, but one that is going to be hard to get in the habit of!
The book stresses that the guidelines for children's physical activity is: daily, one hour, low intensity, continuous and safe. I'm pushing walking and exercising to the "walk away the pounds" tapes by Leslie Sansome (I have the 1 mile and 2 mile tapes).
The dietician is only in the office every other Thursday afternoon, so because of Thanksgiving, it will be a month before we return. Hopefully by then, we can honestly say, "Yes, we are exercising every day for at least 1/2 hour" and Alex will have either lost or maintained his weight.
This is going to be a LONG, HARD process for both of us but the benefits are worth it.
11-14-2003, 10:05 PM
A few kids at my the gaming cafe type store I help my friend run really enjoy using a game called Dance Dance Revolution. It is a video game that emphasises movement, which can range from slow movement to aerobic movement and could be a good way to motivate more enjoyable excercise for your son. You can try it in an arcade and they also have home versions. Maybe use it as a weekly reward for good habbits on normal excercise options?
11-15-2003, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the idea. He actually owns a home verison of DDR and does it in spurts. The problem occurs when his brother wants to play the PS2 and he wants to do DDR:rolleyes: But it is an option for him and I do tell his brother that DDR is like homework, it takes priority, just like on the computer.
11-17-2003, 07:46 AM
This thread is so inspirational. It's great to see how you and your son are approaching this challenge.
On the exercise point - does your son have any interest in sports? Soccer practice or tennis lessons or karate would make that hour of exercise fly by. Or just playing more together - ie pickup basketball or rollerblading or bike riding? Personally I hate exercise, but "playing" is something to look forward to.
Keep us posted and have a great holiday!
11-17-2003, 10:36 AM
He has done Tae Kwon Do and Karate in the past and he has said that he would like to start again. However, I am a single parent, work full-time, his dad lives 2 hours away, and he takes a role-play game on the Saturday he is home with me. I try not to impose on my parents that much ... so unless he can find a class at nights I don't know when he can fit it in his schedule. :rolleyes:
11-17-2003, 03:57 PM
That sounds tough - your sons are lucky to have a mom like you! And at least he's expressing an interest in becoming more active.
One more suggestion came to mind today. The schools in my neighborhood offer school-based after-class "enrichment" programs that kids can sign up for - stuff like spanish or karate or "fun-n-games". It does cost extra money (and I have no desire to probe into your finances) but it's supervised and a planned activity. Does the school have a similar program? If he's in middle school there might even be organized sports teams he could join even without a lot of experience (wrestling? football?)
Also you might check out your local YMCA. They understand cost issues and even if he only goes 1-2 days a week its a fun place to play and meet other kids.
I truly believe that a love of sports carries over into fitness as an adult. We're rooting for you and your sons! :D
12-11-2003, 09:37 PM
Just came back from a meeting. Alex has been able to maintain his weight for the last three months and has grown 1/2 inch. Therefore, he has lost body fat since he is getting taller :D
I feel that he is getting a much better handle on his food and his choices. Next thing to really work on is EXERCISE. I really need to enforce/reinforce that it is important. I'm thinking an after dinner walk would do us both good and that is my plan starting tomorrow. We will also walk on the weekend.
Last two chapters discussed setting limits, nuturing yourself and child and concrete meal plans. I think I'm pretty good with all of those things already and this board has definetly helped with the meal plans ;)
Because of Christmas, it will be a month before we go back. I will say "Yes, we are exercising regularly" this time!
12-12-2003, 08:21 AM
Tyra, thank you so much for your updates! And way to go DS2! That's great that he maintained his weight. You are helping him learn skills that he will use for the rest of his life.
I know you have already gotten some great suggestions about exercise, and I wanted to wish you the best of luck in getting that going!
01-13-2004, 11:42 AM
This may be the final update. Alex is getting resistant to going to see the dietician and we will be done with the program next month regardless.
I think his resistance last week was a combination of factors: he didn't feel well, found out he gained 2 pounds over the holidays and he was just feeling negative.
We finally found an exercise that he is willing to do :D I bought one of those small trampolines (rebounders) so he can jump while watching television. I brought it home Sunday and so far he has used it both Sunday and Monday. He also rode his bike home from school on Monday. I think he has realized that he can't maintain/lose weight without moving his body :)
The other thing that he is now doing is taking a daily calcium supplement (he doesn't do dairy foods other than ice cream).
Hopefully he will be willing to go back for the last appointment in February. I know that there is an Advanced Shapedown, but truthfully, without a support group (which he does not have, he mets individually with Elaine), I can't see continuing.
I know have the tools to help him and he also has the knowledge. And to be honest, it was expensive ($108 a session and its not covered by insurance). But I still think it is worthwhile and would recommend the program to other people.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.