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My 14 yr old daughter is over-weight and I need advice

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  • enterdanger
    enterdanger Posts: 2,447 Member
    edited June 2016
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    I was also a chubby 14 year old. I was about 5'3" and probably 150 lbs. But we always had junk in the house. I can remember eating like 4 packs of those tasty cake chocolate cake things in one sitting. My mom never said anything about it. We always had soda in the house and sugary tea and cookies. We had good stuff too, but at 14 I wasn't real interested in fruit over cake.

    I agree, you need a professional opinion here. My kids are 3 and 5 and they've noticed me counting calories and have already asked about it. It was kinda uncomfortable explaining that mommy isn't an optimal weight and I definitely don't need them worrying about their weights. I try to focus on health rather than calories with my boys...but it's not real comparable to a 14 year old girl.

    That is such a tough age. Your all angst ridden and hormonal. She's too old for you to completely control her diet but young enough that you don't want to give her a complex. Good Luck OP.
  • julslenae
    julslenae Posts: 38 Member
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    Thanks everyone. I guess my biggest concern is that no matter what I do, I can't make the decision to get healthy for her and she isn't making that decision herself. She complains about her high weight frequently. She is offered healthy food at home but when she is out of the house she loads up on junk food (raw cookie dough, cookies, chips, pizza, sweet tea, soda). I was thin most of my adult life but gained 20 lbs 3 years ago and have been a junk food natzi since. If it's in the house then I will eat it so it isn't allowed in my house. She has watched me make exercise and good heath a priority and seen me lose the weight. She has been in health classes. We have had multiple conversations over the years about good eating habits, portion control, exercise. I started becoming obsessed with counting calories and had to reign myself back in and I was open and honest with her about that. She knows that is one of the reasons I don't want her to start counting calories either. I honestly think she believes if she finds a way to get enough exercise in then she can keep eating what she wants and I keep telling her that isn't the way it works. Btw, my daughter is very stubborn if you couldn't tell so far.
  • suzan06
    suzan06 Posts: 218 Member
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    A relative recently had weight loss surgery, and her very overweight teenage daughter has lost almost as much as mom.

    When mom started serving small portions of very healthy food at meals, and the daughter followed along, she relearned a lot of bad habits.

    Now the dad and brothers apparently haven't lost a bit- they indulge in fast food, etc out of the house and also eat more at home.

    My point is, you can teach her a lot. You definitely need to acknowledge it with her, and teach her. If you don't want her to count calories, maybe teach her some kind of guidelines - my kids are little but we teach a protein and vegetable at every meal, with a whole grain sometimes. We teach one serving of "snack" food a day, and one sweet. We teach what a serving size is- is o e handful of nuts is your snack, not digging into the nuts over and over. We teach filling up on fruits and vegetables only if it's an hour or less before meals.

    I do agree with others to explore what kind of action e things she might like. Our county parks recently had a "women in the outdoors" day where you could try paddleboarding, archery, hiking, biking, etc all in one fun day with other women. Something like that which would expose her to new fun things might be fun.
  • ShrinkinMel
    ShrinkinMel Posts: 982 Member
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    Yes aside from a physical and lab work to rule out thyroid and other metabolic issues such as insulin resistance make the family walks a priority as close to daily as possible. Make sure she is utilizing the P.E. department at school when it resumes in the fall(many schools have other options like weight training which teaches lifting basic and also involved track running warms ups) but in the meantime for summer maybe get a swim class signed up or something else and be sure to make the walking a priority.

    My weight problems were already in place at 14 as well and I probably was about the same weight as she was but a little taller but definitely in the overweight range. I wish my mom had took honest looks at our food habits in the home. In some ways we ate poorly at times due to budgeting issues but still enjoyed a wide range of fresh produce growing up(because my mom gardened off and on), still other snacking habits came with the environment. I never took sports(other than a basketball season in 5th grade years before) but not so much because I didn't want to, just that my mom could not afford the costs.
  • suzyjane1972
    suzyjane1972 Posts: 612 Member
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    vczK2t wrote: »
    as a fat kid and a fat adult, be aware HOW you say things to your daughter can have an impact. I am NOT saying you are saying the wrong things. i just know that MY mother didn't pay attention to what and how she said things to me as a kid, and still now. so, i have body image and self esteem issues mostly due to that.

    Me too.....she didn't mean to do it but it hurt just as badly to think she was embarrassed by me.
  • BlendaBrenda
    BlendaBrenda Posts: 75 Member
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    Where is she going that she has so much access to junk food?
    She's too young to drive so how's she getting around?
    I'd buy her a bike to get to her friends houses and around town.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    Where is she going that she has so much access to junk food?
    She's too young to drive so how's she getting around?
    I'd buy her a bike to get to her friends houses and around town.

    We don't know that junk food is the problem. And not everyone lives in an area where bikes are a safe form of transportation.
  • Char231023
    Char231023 Posts: 700 Member
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    I think now is the right time to teach her portion control and what and actual serving of food looks like. I sure would have paid a lot more attention to the amount of calories I consumed, instead of assuming everything low and fat free was good for me (90's diet mentality).
  • julslenae
    julslenae Posts: 38 Member
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    Char231023 wrote: »
    I think now is the right time to teach her portion control and what and actual serving of food looks like. I sure would have paid a lot more attention to the amount of calories I consumed, instead of assuming everything low and fat free was good for me (90's diet mentality).

    I think you are correct.
  • eskimohugger
    eskimohugger Posts: 80 Member
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    I was never obese but my grandmother was, so my mom was always scared I would end up like my grandmother and also develop diabetes. Her fear of me gaining weight rubbed off on me so I struggled with my body image for years, slowly gaining weight until I was at my heaviest: 176 pounds at 5'4. It was the worst feeling in the world. I also was hypersensitive to anything my mom would say. If she even looked at my stomach I would wallow in self pity, even though she never meant to hurt me. I realize that now but she's finally gotten around to where she doesnt ever bring up my weight or how I look in clothes, instead she will ask me to hang out with her and walk around the mall for a few hours or go swimming (physical activity that is fun and burns calories) and we would get a smoothie or something small and sweet as a treat to reinforce that food is okay and it is not an enemy. Try to teach her that you dont exercise to lose weight, you exercise to feel good. That really helped me and many people. When healthy lifestyles become a positive way to keep my hormone levels good and happy instead of calories ina and calories out, my relationship with food got better.

    One awesome way to lose weight is food substitutions. Instead of mashed potatoes, puree some cauliflower. Instead of regular icecream, buy Arctic Zero (they only are 150 calories per pint) but they are a bit bland because they dont have much sugar so I always get the Salted Caramel Brownie Protein bar (brand: Zone Perfect) and cut it into bote size pieces and throw it in the icecream pint! 1/2 a pint + the protein bites= 275 calories! Its filling and cures the sweet tooth!
  • FabianMommy
    FabianMommy Posts: 78 Member
    edited June 2016
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    julslenae wrote: »
    Thanks everyone. I guess my biggest concern is that no matter what I do, I can't make the decision to get healthy for her and she isn't making that decision herself. She complains about her high weight frequently. She is offered healthy food at home but when she is out of the house she loads up on junk food (raw cookie dough, cookies, chips, pizza, sweet tea, soda). I was thin most of my adult life but gained 20 lbs 3 years ago and have been a junk food natzi since. If it's in the house then I will eat it so it isn't allowed in my house. She has watched me make exercise and good heath a priority and seen me lose the weight. She has been in health classes. We have had multiple conversations over the years about good eating habits, portion control, exercise. I started becoming obsessed with counting calories and had to reign myself back in and I was open and honest with her about that. She knows that is one of the reasons I don't want her to start counting calories either. I honestly think she believes if she finds a way to get enough exercise in then she can keep eating what she wants and I keep telling her that isn't the way it works. Btw, my daughter is very stubborn if you couldn't tell so far.

    I hear you, typical teenager! As a PP mentioned, do you think she wants to lose the weight badly? I can see this from both sides of the coin so to speak, I was a plump child and young teen, things levelled out when I was about 16 as I was so busy with work, college, dancing and walking everywhere but once I passed my driving test and hit my late teens, the weight came on and then some till I was about 42 pounds overweight.

    I then got so sick of not being able to wear cute clothes and the cruel remarks, I decided I wanted to be slim far more than remain how I was and I was successful. Even now in my middle years it's still a struggle, but like the rest of us I'm a work in progress, trying to be slim and healthy is like writing a novel you never finish! Your DD is very lucky to have a Mom that wants to help her, I didn't have that and I know it could have helped me.

    Definitely encourage her to be more active too, if she's not keen on school sports things like dancing, tennis, gym work, Pilates, anything that gets her moving will help. It's so true if you find a sport you enjoy that you'll stick with it.
  • julslenae
    julslenae Posts: 38 Member
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    snikkins wrote: »
    No one has addressed this yet, but you've said that you've become a "junk food nazi" and that she is choosing to get junk food outside the house.

    It's possible that your attitude about junk food has given it a special status in her mind - perhaps a form of rebellion because teenagers will be teenagers.

    Maybe, if you take the power of junk food out of the equation, your daughter may be more successful.

    I've thought about that also in the past and the best decision I've come to so far is to be honest with my daughter and also value my health. I've told her the truth that it is hard for me to resist sugary treats and therefore I don't keep them in the house. It's a decision I've made for my health. Outside of our house is a different matter. We will sometimes go out for ice cream as a treat. She'll order a double chocolate cookie dough blizzard, beg for a large, only be allowed a medium (just like her sister) and I'll choose a hot fudge sundae because that's only 350 calories and much less calories than most blizzards. We were at a birthday party last weekend. I ate a piece of birthday cake and a small scoop of ice cream. She ate 2 pieces of cake along with ice cream. I don't ever to make her feel bad for eating what she does. I was a chunky, self-conscious kid growing up watching my own mother struggle with weight loss and I would love to break the cycle with my daughter.
  • peleroja
    peleroja Posts: 3,979 Member
    edited June 2016
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    julslenae wrote: »
    snikkins wrote: »
    No one has addressed this yet, but you've said that you've become a "junk food nazi" and that she is choosing to get junk food outside the house.

    It's possible that your attitude about junk food has given it a special status in her mind - perhaps a form of rebellion because teenagers will be teenagers.

    Maybe, if you take the power of junk food out of the equation, your daughter may be more successful.

    I've thought about that also in the past and the best decision I've come to so far is to be honest with my daughter and also value my health. I've told her the truth that it is hard for me to resist sugary treats and therefore I don't keep them in the house. It's a decision I've made for my health. Outside of our house is a different matter. We will sometimes go out for ice cream as a treat. She'll order a double chocolate cookie dough blizzard, beg for a large, only be allowed a medium (just like her sister) and I'll choose a hot fudge sundae because that's only 350 calories and much less calories than most blizzards. We were at a birthday party last weekend. I ate a piece of birthday cake and a small scoop of ice cream. She ate 2 pieces of cake along with ice cream. I don't ever to make her feel bad for eating what she does. I was a chunky, self-conscious kid growing up watching my own mother struggle with weight loss and I would love to break the cycle with my daughter.

    I don't want to be harsh here, but if that's how she's eating, she probably should feel bad for eating it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with treats in moderation but that kind of quantity is not moderation and it's setting her up for a lifetime as a obese adult. You don't have to be cruel about it but I think it's vital that you make her aware that eating like that is not appropriate or healthy. Downing two pieces of cake with ice cream or a huge blizzard on the regular isn't a good thing. It's fine to indulge once in a while and everyone overeats sometimes, but it's thinking that those kind of portions are acceptable and typical that is a problem.