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Thread: Need words to encourage 17-yo son... page

  1. #1
    it1958's Avatar
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    Need words to encourage 17-yo son...

    Primal Fuel
    I went virtual primal about a year and a half ago. Have made slow changes for the family over the last 4-5 yrs (removing 'white' foods, for instance, and obvious sugar: koolaid, candy...).

    But this last year, I stepped it up a notch by removing grains, which had been the foundation for the family meals, and increasing fat.

    I've got a dear 17-yo son who has played football two of his last 3 high school years and i got him bit by the IRON bug (weight training). He is a chick magnet and is very strong; a jock, if you will.

    He started out 2 yrs ago at a size 38 waist and has reduced that down to a comfortable 35 (if they made such a thing) but can get in to some 34s (he's at least 6 foot). He's real proud of that but still wants to lose that 'baby fat' on his abs.

    Late last week, he told me he's gained 12 lbs on my 'high fat' diet and was going to 'stop eating' (my meals). He is still weight training and this statement caused me great concern. So he would refuse to eat what i cooked (fried eggs, bacon, sausage, hamburgers, you know...all that bad stuff), yet he continued to eat crap: school lunches, Doritos, "lemon aid" (you know it's not made with real lemon juice and has lots of a form of sugar in it), bags of candy (he's desperate to feed his carb addiction in this house since most easy access carbs are gone, but he found marshmallows the other night when friends were over for a 'burn' outside).

    Yesterday, he tells me he's now lost the 12 lbs, his pants are loose on him again and he beat his Max for Cleans yesterday at school (195 for 7 reps; woot!)...all this, he informs me, on eating CARBS.

    I try to explain how his body needs the protein in the foods i prepare and the damage he is doing internally but he says, right now, he doesnt care. He wants to be lean and strong and he thinks eating his way is getting him to that goal.

    I've got Mark's book (well, actually I've loaned it out!), but what can i say to him when this is his way of thinking?

    I'm open to any and all feedback!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Regardless of methods, no one can say much in the face of anecdotal success.

    Besides, if he's extremely active, he needs the carbs. It's just a recipe for disaster to combine high fat + high carb (which is where his 12 lb gain came from). If he's balancing those two and doing well and is healthy, let him continue. Again, he's an athlete. He's not in the same boat you are.
    "Oh, you wanted answers...yeah, sorry, I'm not so good with those. Uh, probably something to do with science or something..." -- canio6

    August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

    Sometimes blogging as The Primal Mind. (My unorthodox and filthy-mouthed journal is semi-retired at this point)

  3. #3
    it1958's Avatar
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    Thank you, Patrick. Yes, I understand the weight gain came from consuming high carbs and high fat.

    Now how do I balance this? I fix tons of meat, just for him, usually, and now he's not eating it.

    So he's not getting the protein he needs (or does he??).

  4. #4
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Hmmm... so he's not eating any of the foods you prepare for him? That's not unheard of for him to be fine. Hell, I ate like shit through university, yet still had no issues doing 8-km rucksack marches in 36-degree heat while smoking. That was when I was doing Infantry Officer training at the age of 19. His age + hormonal changes allow him to get away with things most adults can't. It doesn't make them healthy, necessarily, but like I said: he's seeing the results he wants, so you have no leg to stand on to argue with him (yet).

    I honestly don't know enough about physiology to say how his teenage body is different than an adult's. His hormones are still changing, so that could be a strong contributor. I certainly don't want to guess, though, especially when it comes to health. I'd rather let people more in the know weigh in.
    "Oh, you wanted answers...yeah, sorry, I'm not so good with those. Uh, probably something to do with science or something..." -- canio6

    August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

    Sometimes blogging as The Primal Mind. (My unorthodox and filthy-mouthed journal is semi-retired at this point)

  5. #5
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    I think giving your son the Primal Blueprint book to read would help. Leaving it around the bathroom, on the couch etc. At 17 kids will no longer "follow best advice" of their parents just for the sake of trusting what they say is true. For him to adopt the same lifestyle you have chosen to he will need to understand the benefits the way you have. Unfortunately (well not really!) he hasn't made bad decisions (yet) through which to compare the PB. He isn't obese, he doesn't have autoimmune/grain deficiencies. To him the benefits you advocate are invisible.

    If it was possible I would imagine that Primal Con would be the ideal way. I know it might not be possible - but talk about a kick ass mom and son weekend. Would be pretty hard for any teenage boy to not dig the primal food that will be served, as well as the southern california, ultimate frisbee lifestyle. You could let Mark and Co do all the "pitching" to

    on a separate note your son is strong - 196 7 rep cleans (squat?) is pretty great for a 17 year old. I wouldn't pull your hair out about him being unhealthy. By comparison he's well above his peers marshmallows or not.

    additionally - why don't you play the Paleo Crossfit card. Show him some videos of Paleo athletes:







    the 17 year old testosterone in your son might respond to that ^^ as a good reason to adopt a paleo/primal diet. These athletes are dialed in on their paleo nutrition.
    Last edited by TheFastCat; 03-01-2011 at 10:41 AM.
    ad astra per aspera

  6. #6
    it1958's Avatar
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    Thanks again, Patrick. Yea, he's got blinders on to me, esp after a course in 'nutrition' last year at the public school...totally makes ME look like an idiot...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFastCat View Post
    I think giving your son the Primal Blueprint book to read would help. Leaving it around the bathroom, on the couch etc.
    meh. he won't read it. I took it with to us to a JROTC drill meet and while all the boys were amazed to see Mark's photo and hear his stats, they werent buying it...

    At 17 kids will no longer "follow best advice" of their parents just for the sake of trusting what they say is true. ... To him the benefits you advocate are invisible.
    yep, so true! That's why I want to "HURRY UP" and get my own act together so he can see the benefits I am gaining! One month down! Woot!

    If it was possible I would imagine that Primal Con would be the ideal way. ...You could let Mark and Co do all the "pitching" to
    zoiks! wouldn't that be fab? i've got a Marine son who is in Camp Pendleton and I told them Mark was going to be near them and to see if they (he and bride) might get to see him... drool...

    on a separate note your son is strong - 196 7 rep cleans (squat?) is pretty great for a 17 year old.
    Cleans are where you pull the weight up from the floor, get underneath it and hold it at chest level. Aside from that, he is very strong and i am so proud of him and his love of the iron (mommy taught him that!).

    I wouldn't pull your hair out about him being unhealthy. By comparison he's well above his peers marshmallows or not.
    Yes, this is true, too. I just want something better for him. I don't want him to do damage to his body when there is no need, whether he is above his peers or not. They won't have to live in his body... :-}}

  7. #7
    MichaelScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    Regardless of methods, no one can say much in the face of anecdotal success.
    I completely agree with this. You're also never going to be able to convince anyone of anything unless you've got the goods yourself. Are you in the best shape of your life and an amazing physical specimen? People in general, and especially young adults, won't listen to anyone unless they have already proven themselves.

  8. #8
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    Maybe you could start providing some healthy starches like potatoes and sweet potatoes. Martin Berkhan (Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health) advocates a pretty high carb diet at least for post-workout meals and has amazing results with himself and his clients. I've added about 100g/day of starch from potatoes or sweet potatoes in addition to a primal diet (still get most of my calories from fat and plenty of protein) and I think my body composition has improved.

  9. #9
    it1958's Avatar
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    @ The Fast Cat - great clips! I'll certainly show them to him soon!

    @ MichaelScott ("that's what SHE said"?) - I used to be a 'specimen'... But I've lost it all in the last 2 years; so very sad... I've got arthritis in my hip so my squatting has ceased. I tore something in my shoulder so my benching has ceased. And as I've had trial and error on low fat, high carb eating, i've gained unwanted fat (but it's coming off and i've adjusted my workouts accordingly). But still... no longer a specimen... *sigh* Not that I've given up, tho!

    @ Yodiewan - actually, that is something we do have: in fact, we fried up fries last night (in our homemade lard and tallow along with homemade chicken nuggets); he ate 'a few'... Trouble with that, tho, is that his weight training is currently at school, so in the middle of the day, and the food he chooses to eat is served at the school. But we're back to original problem in that he wants to eat chips and candy (high carb) and the foods i fix at home are high fat (bacon, eggs, sausage, burgers, roasts, etc) so he gains weight... :-((

  10. #10
    MichaelScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it1958 View Post
    @ MichaelScott ("that's what SHE said"?) - I used to be a 'specimen'... But I've lost it all in the last 2 years; so very sad... I've got arthritis in my hip so my squatting has ceased. I tore something in my shoulder so my benching has ceased. And as I've had trial and error on low fat, high carb eating, i've gained unwanted fat (but it's coming off and i've adjusted my workouts accordingly). But still... no longer a specimen... *sigh* Not that I've given up, tho!
    So if you really want your son to listen to you you're going to need to be in a position of strength. What you are showing him now is "Do what I say not what I do." and it won't work with anyone of any intelligence, especially a teenage boy.

    You need to be doing the diet up to the correct standards, exercising properly, and setting the correct example. Then when he comes to you and says "Wow Mom. You are seriously kicking ass! How do you get so healthy?" you can talk to him about the diet and the philosophy. Any discussion before that will be ineffective and could do damage to your relationship.

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