One of our Wildcats parents, Anita Crant, tells us about her observations from a mum’s perspective of the positive changes she saw in her son, Luke Crant, from being involved in the Highland Wildcats and physical activity. She talks about not only the health benefits but also the lifestyle changes and improvement in confidence. The following is a series of entries writen by Anita in a diary / blog format:
22nd June 2011
Its Luke’s 16th birthday, and its just dawned on me, he’s put on quite a bit of weight since last year, he’s looking quite chunky. Think I’ll have a wee word with him.
Luke seems to be putting on even more weight, Im getting a bit worried now. He keeps telling me its fine, and he’s not bothered, but I have to admit, Im bothered for him!
He’s just not interested in anything, except sitting in his room in front of the computer. He’s developed this horrible habit of turning night into day at the weekends and during the school holidays, using the excuse he’s playing games with other kids who live abroad. Let them turn their night into day then I say to him!
I take the computer off him, hoping that will work, a week at a time, once even for a month. But he just goes back to his old ways as soon as he gets it back, Im at a loss.
He’s become so lerthargic, and even after dinner, he’s still apparently hungry.
Ive tried encouraging him to go to the gym with me, Ive even paid for him to go to a personal trainer, but its just not motivating him.
22nd June 2012
Its Luke’s 17th birthday, and hes a lot bigger than even last year! I dont understand it, I dont buy sweets or biscuits, at least 75% of our meals are made freshly from scratch, I never fry food, and take-aways are treats, not the norm, where am I going wrong?
I decide to tidy his room, I cant stand it any longer, and what do I find? Twelve, yes twelve empty two litre bottles of various drinks, and none of them of the diet variety. There’s also lots of empty packets lying around. I want to say something, but at the same time, I dont want to nag, or make him feel bad. Ive got to try to approach this the right way, but what is the right way?
He’s telling me it dosnt bother him, but he insists on wearing dark, baggy clothes, and is always pulling at them uncomfortably.
My handsome son looks so bloated and uncomfortable in his own skin, and I just dont know how to help him.
I dont want to go on at him too much and make him feel bad, but Ive got to do something, I just dont know what. I honestly think he looks unhappy, but he tells me otherwise.
Something strange is going on. Its cold and dark outside, and Luke insists he’s going out for a walk every night. A walk?! But Luke never goes out, except to school, Im suspicious.
I check his pockets for cigarettes, drink, God forbid drugs! It must be something like that, no 17yr old boy goes out alone walking in the dark, do they?
He’s still walking. Sometimes his friends join him, please God let this new found determination continue.
Wow, Luke has lost a stone! Im delighted, even over Christmas he maintains his weight loss, Im so proud.
His friend Johnny has started to go to American football, he’s asking Luke to go along with him, he’s adamant he’s not going. He’s not one for mixing with people he dosnt know.
Johnny’s persistance pays off, he’s NOT going to American football, but he will go to the strength and conditioning in the gym, just this once!
Wow, its like Ive got a new son, he’s just back from the strength and conditioning, full of enthusiasm, and brimming with excitement about joining the American football team. Is this the same boy who went out half hearted a few hours ago?
He’s telling me all about the other boys he’s met, how they were so welcoming and friendly. He overheard some of them talking about him, how they really hope he will join. He tells me its the first time he’s felt popular being big and fat! There, a clue that maybe he wasnt as happy as he claimed to be about being so overweight.
I really hope he sticks at it, as existing in a bedroom in front of a computer is no life.
Well, as unbelievable as it is to me, and the rest of the family, it seems Luke has not only at last found a sport he enjoys, but also one he could become good at, as he seems to of become obsessed with it.
When he’s on his computer now, its not to play games or be on Facebook, its You Tube, watching exerts from various American football games, or tutorials on correct weight lifting techniques for power!
He tells me he really enjoying the outdoors training, although to begin with he found it exhausting, and had to stop frequently to catch his breath.
He’s training six days a week, whether its outdoor training with the coaches, strength and conditioning twice a week in the gym with the rest of the team, or just doing his own thing.
He’s started going out for a run, I nearly fainted the first time he told me he was going to go out running.
One incident that did make us laugh, although we didnt let Luke know, is when I’d grounded him for a few days due to the fact I was sick fed up of having to remind him every day to feed and change the tray of water for his Chinese Water Dragon.
I was shocked to find that on the first night he’d snuck out. One thing about Luke, he never answers me back or disobeys me, so this was so out of character.
By midnight he’d arrived home, red faced explaining that he just “had” to go for a run. I gave him a row, reminding him that being grounded means no exceptions, but inside I was secretly proud of him, and did laugh to myself.
The weight is falling off him, and he’s naturally started eating so much healthier too. Gone are the days he’d walk down the back of the house to Lidls and come home with a secret stash of rubbish to eat in front of the computer. No more two litres bottles of fizzy drinks either, unbelievably, these have been swapped for a much lower carb diet, along with protein shakes.
Luke’s last school dance has come around, and he’s excited for going. Previous school functions were never attended, he just wasnt interested in going.
Now, six stones lighter and full of energy, he’s having great fun selecting some smart, fitted clothes to wear.
Its a few days before the Blitz awards, and me and Luke are again shopping for some smart clothes for him. Its wonderful for him to be able to choose what he likes, now that he is a size 34 inch waist in trousers, instead of just picking whatever fits. The last time we were shopping for school trousers, they were in a size 40 inch waist. I can see he’s finally getting a buzz out of clothes shopping. He hadnt cared what he wore before, as long as it fitted him, now its a different story. He’s actually interested in fashion, and discovering he’s got likes and dislikes.
10th November 2013
Oh my God, Luke has just won not one, not two, but three awards at the Blitz awards. Rookie of the season, players choice, and dedication and commitment. I am just so proud, I could burst, I mustnt cry!
He looks so happy and proud, and just so delighted to be part of it all.
If someone had told me a couple of years ago that Luke would be winning awards in a sport, I wouldnt of believed them.
I am so happy for him, and the most important thing to come out of all this, is that he’s got his health and self worth back, and has become a much more sociable boy.
His future’s bright now, I just cannot wait to see where it takes him next on life’s journey.