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11 year old DS upset about his large belly!

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Bonnie151, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Bonnie151

    Bonnie151 DIS Veteran

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    Over the past couple of months DS has become increasingly conscious of his weight, specifically his podgy tummy. He swims competitively and compared to the other members of his team his belly does stick out. However, he's not considered overweight so I'm not sure whether to encourage him to do a greater mix of exercise or whether this is just a prepuberty podge that will go as he gets taller?

    He turned 11 in May and is 5' 1/2". He weighs 99lbs which according to his school nurse and various charts that I've used is a healthy weight for him. He has very skinny arms and legs (knobbly knees) but his belly is big - his school trousers are age 12 with a 26 3/4" adjustable waist- they *just* fit him. On top of the general running around at play he swims 4 times per week for 1.5 hours each time, plus 1 hour land training plus 2 hours school PE (currently gymnastics) and 2 hours school games (currently run a mile warm up then basketball) and a swim competition every 2-3 weeks. He eats well - very little junk food and no soda.

    When he's clothed he doesn't look overweight but if I'm being objective, in his swimming trunks his belly is quite a bit out of proportion and I can see why it's bothering him so much. I just don't know whether to sort of ride it out and see what happens as he gets taller or whether it is something he should worry about (the school nurse doesn't think so)? He's always been built this way - he was premature and I swear he looked just like ET as a newborn! However, while he really didn't care before, he's now getting very self conscious.
     
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  3. Mkrop

    Mkrop <font color=coral>I just cant go on demand<br><fon

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    DS16 had that and as he hit puberty his belly disappeared. Football and all the conditioning helped as well. I commented about it to my neighbor when the kids were in the pool and she said her DD got "the belly' right before growth spurts.
     
  4. Poohbug

    Poohbug Sherlocked

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    My son had a big belly at that age also. He went from slim fit jeans to husky in a year. I was a little concerned but I kind of figured he would grow out of it. He did, he grew 6 inches and the big belly was gone. Now he is starting to get a belly again but I figure he is just getting ready for a another growth spurt.

    Your son seems healthy and active. I think his body is just getting ready to grow and it is going to need that weight.
     
  5. skatalite

    skatalite DIS Veteran

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    If he keeps up his activity the belly will shed. He has no need to worry. By the time he's 13 I bet he'll be six inches taller and as lean as Michael Phelps.

    If he's truly concerned, introduce him to ab exercises, like the abdominal hold. I bet he'd even find that fun.
     
  6. dchi

    dchi Mouseketeer

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    My son had a tummy like that at that age. I had to buy him husky pants. ( I used to cut the tag out so he did not know. ) He got a flat tummy around the age of 17 and now at age 22 he's pretty much the same. I would not worry.
     
  7. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

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    If HE is self conscious then I would look into strength training for him. Toning his mid section would help him with his activities.

    What about constipation? Or not being hydrated enough? Sounds like he does a lot of active things and "keeping his system flowing" so to speak could make him bloated looking?

    What is he eating? Any chance he may be over/under fibering it causing the bloat? Or have an intolerance to certain foods?

    Perhaps do a food journal on MY FITNESS PAL to calorie count and see what he is eating and playing around with different things to figure out his hydration, calories, etc...

    I would not be concerned with the weight just his overall health and attempt to help him since he is self conscious.
     
  8. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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    11 is normal for this.

    I had a son that got chunky when I had my daughter and I would breast feed her then fall asleep and he would get into the snacks. He was 10.

    Fat Free Fudgsicles :thumbsup2 I bought these and nothing else. He could eat 4, 5, 6 a day. I don't know, I was napping when she napped. {oh, those precious 20 minutes...lol} But I knew he could only eat fat free popsicles.

    They grow out of it. :thumbsup2 Everyone has given you very good advice.
     
  9. Bonnie151

    Bonnie151 DIS Veteran

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    Oh, you know I hadn't thought about that but yes, I think both of those could definitely be contributing! He does not drink enough. He does get constipated regularly and so we start a cycle where I'm constantly telling him to drink more then I gradually forget, he stops drinking enough, gets constipated then I start again. I really do need to not stop reminding him.

    I think the reason he has become self conscious is because he started at a new school in August and joined their swim team. Up until then he just swam with the local club and he didn't seem to notice how thin everyone else was. Now he's in two teams where there's lots of skinny boys and then him. It is really getting him down. I'll keep telling him that between his swimming and growing it should all even out but I'll also see if DH can get him doing some ab exercises if DS is up for it. DS LOVES land training, so he probably would be.
     
  10. Bonnie151

    Bonnie151 DIS Veteran

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    Oh and thanks for all the feedback everyone. :goodvibes It's a bit strange- I've been too stereotypical and somehow didn't think DS would be the child to get very body self conscious!
     
  11. USMelinUK

    USMelinUK Mouseketeer

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    It's such a tough line to walk when they are young and they have any sort of weight concern, be it over or under. Especially when like in his case his weight is healthy to begin with. It's great you are taking such a careful attitude to it, the wrong idea put forward by someone can start a life long attitude about weight control. I love the idea about hydration! I wish you good luck and hope that things just sort themselves out naturally soon. pixiedust:

    Mel
     
  12. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    Focus on healthy habits and reassure him that the rest will follow. We all have different body types, different growth curves, and different ideal weights, but good nutrition and regular exercise are constants.

    That's an age where a lot of kids seem to develop a pre-growth-spurt pudge. My son, who is a big kid (at 15, 5'10" 200lb linebacker) and my daughter who is teeny-tiny (at 12, 5'0" and needs a belt with size 0 jeans) both went through a chubby phase at 10/11. Then both grew about 4" in a year without gaining any more, and they were back to their normal look/body type.
     
  13. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    I remember when my son was about that age, his stomach also looked big and he was getting a bit pudgy looking. Someone told me that kids get like that just before big growth spurts. Sure enough, before I knew it he gained a couple inches and all that belly and pudgy look were gone.

    Let your son know this is a normal bit of growing up and to keep up what he's been doing with sports and good meals and it will all work out.
     
  14. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    Ds15 had a belly in later elementary school (started with slim pants!). He was, at the most, at risk on the BMI scale, and his pediatrician said he was fine (90 - 95th %, height and weight, every year). However, he was very self conscious of his belly (especially having very skinny siblings). He played on 3 teams every season, and did swim team over the summer.

    When he was in 6th grade, he decided he wasn't gaining any more weight - just going to grow into it (he weighed 120). And he did! He went 3 years without gaining a pound, and that belly was gone. It was really portion control - instead of four slices of pizza :-)scared:), he's have 2. He read labels.

    He is now about 5'11", and about 160, I'd guess? He wears a size 32 x 32. He plays varsity soccer, and goes to the gym.

    Not all kids just hit puberty, and grow out of chubby. As it turned out, he was a late bloomer - all of the kids who were a head shorter than him outgrew him in middle school. He really didn't start sprouting up until HS, last year. I'm sure he was glad not to have that belly for another three years.
     
  15. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    Lol - my 12 1/2 year old is 4'8", 71 pounds, wears a size 10 slim girls, and would LOVE to be able to wear anything in the juniors department! She's in the 6th % for weight, and has never had a chubby phase (or even a normal weight phase).
     
  16. The Mystery Machine

    The Mystery Machine Sunrise at my house. :+)

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    Well there you have it. Constipation & dehydration will bloat you out.

    If he is THAT active he has to stay hydrated and I would work on what fiber he is taking in and whether or not it is actually good for him. Sometimes people have food intolerances and that will bloat you further.

    So my vote is that it is constipation, hydration and food related.

    You could have his doctor XRAY his gut to see how much stool is in his colon. That would give you a quick answer. (I know gross, sorry!)

    ETA...I am taking a Philips Colon Health pill everyday and it really helps. Just throwing that out there for you!
     
  17. Tralliam

    Tralliam Mouseketeer

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    we have the opposite issue so sadly I have no suggestions. My DS 10 1/2 is 4'9" 60 lbs, also a competitive swimmer and triathlete. My DD 8 is 4' flat and 47 lbs, but she's a competitive gymnast always has and always will be on the low end of the averages. I'm not too worried about her as she's consistent in height/weight. My son however is tall-ish for his age but low on the weight. Neither of them eat well at lunch as they're too busy socializing.

    I do have one piece of advice on the constipation issue. My son drinks a ton of milk and has that issue. we just keep small single serving cans of prune juice in the fridge, he knows when it's an issue and will chug one a day for a couple days and is fine.
     
  18. Sabeking

    Sabeking DIS Veteran

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    My DD actually went through the same thing at that age and she as well was and still is on school swim team. I was amazed at her belly even with the constant swimming. Sure enough as others have said she grew a couple inches and there went the stomach. Good luck!
     
  19. LisaR

    LisaR <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg>

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    The only thing that would concern me is that you said this is how he has been since birth (had the ET belly). You mention the school nurse, but have you taken him to a doctor to specifically discuss his bloated stomach? If he has truly had this big of a belly since birth and has always been such an active kid, I'd want to make sure there isn't something else going on. If it is truly just a weight issue, he will get taller in the next few years and the belly should disappear. Just make sure that is really all it is.
     
  20. Poohforyou

    Poohforyou DIS Veteran

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    Check out aeropostle. My 14yo dd is just a hair bigger than your 12 1/2 yo and can fit into aero size 000 jeans.
     
  21. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

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    This seems reasonable. Maybe adding a little bit of Benefiber to one of his beverages daily would help keep things moving in the right direction.
     

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