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My 13YO daughter wants to lose some weight...

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Old 08-20-2007, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default My 13YO daughter wants to lose some weight...

and I am not sure how I should guide her. She is very thin (5'2" and 105'), but she's concerned because her belly is a little round. I wouldn't have noticed if she hadn't pointed it out, but it is discernible (barely) when I look for it.

She has been running with me, and she exercises in many other ways as well. I keep most of the junk food out of my house, but she does eat some junk. I have learned to use so many tools that I could share with her, but I am reluctant to have her enter the world of calorie counting and daily weighing. I want her to be young and innocent, and this whole process seems like such a burden for someone who doesn't really need it. As Trazey has said, I want "normal" for her so desperately!

On the other hand, it was at about her age that I started gaining weight. Though I wasn't obese in high school, I was large enough to feel awkward and sincerely convinced that I was fat. I went on a litany of short-term diets that sometimes took off weight (that I quickly regained) and sometimes didn't. My obsession with food began at that point and has continued through my life. Maybe teaching her this early what I have FINALLY learned will help her avoid that roller-coaster of yo-yoing weight. It is a whole lot easier to take off three or four pounds than it is to take off 100.

It all just makes me a little sad. After she was born, I went down to my lowest weight since I was a teenager, and I wanted to ingrain healthy habits into her life so she wouldn't ever have to worry about weight. **SIGH** I have had some success - she eats lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, water is her beverage of choice, and she has always been a consistent exerciser - but I also allowed my vices - cookies, cake, Little Debbie's, etc. - to become a part of her life.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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She sounds like she's a perfect weight for her height right now. She's also 13, so in the next few years the height and weight are going to change. As you say, you don't want to teach her your lifetime obsession with food and weight. So DON'T. Spend your energy on assuring her that she's fine the way she is, and as she grows and changes and her body develops keep telling her she's fine. Encourage her to exercise and to eat healthy foods. For her sake, and your own, curb the vices a bit. Occasionally is fine, everyday is not. Oh, and try to curb your own negative self-talk. She doesn't need to hear about your dieting and your fears about your own body and appearance, okay? Good luck with this.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:00 AM   #3
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Hi,
I have a soon to be 10 yr old DD she is 5'1" and weighs 138, she is a little chubby and last year she started coming home complaining she was fat. I felt really bad for her, and guilty too, because I allowed her to become a little chubby. But at the same time I really was upset that at 9 yrs old kids were talking about being skinny, and fat. I really think as Mom's of daughter's we hold alot of power about body image. I for one want my daughter to understand that being healthy is important but all people come in different sizes, not everyone is going to be a size 2, and personally I wouldn't want to be.
Since loosing some weight, my daughter has gotten more interested in moving with me, we take walks together when it is cooler, and I have gotten all the junk out too, But we also talk that not everyone is going to be like that girl in High School musical( blonde, ashley something or other), we are all different, and as long as you eat healthy food, and exercise you are ok. Treats are ok once in while, but not all the time.
I don't know if you are getting what I am saying out of this, but for me it is important that she accepts who she is on the inside first, and then works on her body.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
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I have the same issues with my 15 year old who thinks she is fat. She is perfectly normal and even on the thin side. I talk a lot about good health and how she has to have a certain amount of calories every day. I don't always tell her the truth on how many calories are in things because she won't eat if I do that. I encourage exercise and she loves to dance.

I also don't let her see all that I do. She doesn't know how strict I am with calorie counting. I don't say I'm on a diet but that I'm working on my weight so I can look and feel healthy.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
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For her sake, and your own, curb the vices a bit. Occasionally is fine, everyday is not. Oh, and try to curb your own negative self-talk. She doesn't need to hear about your dieting and your fears about your own body and appearance, okay? Good luck with this.
Just to clarify - those vices are almost completely gone from our home, and they were never every-day things before. I was mostly a closet binger, and even though I still binge occasionally, it's rarely on junk food. We still have birthday cake because I don't want to take that from them, but other than that, it doesn't really come in the house.

Your thoughts about my "negative self-talk" are interesting. I have to think about that some. I really don't think that I talk about hating my body because I really never have hated it, though I dislike features of it. But, I do talk about my diet and exercise plan with consistency. I try to save most of it for this forum, but she and I walk / run almost every day (and I actually instituted that largely as a way to keep in touch with her) and this is a big part of my life. I actually thought that her experiencing this with me was a good thing, as I wanted her to know that weight is not destiny. Maybe it's not...

And Cheryl - thank you for your thoughts. Ashley Tisdale, by the way. I know my Disney stars! I have tried to reinforce her self-esteem, but I think that the message about different sizes is one that would be beneficial. Now - to think of a way to express it where she doesn't think that I think she's fat... Teenagers are tough, aren't they?
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:21 AM   #6
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Got distracted when posting, so I didn't see your response before I posted, Pita. I do love how you phrased it, though. "look and feel healthy" That helps. Thanks. Glad to know I'm not the only mother trying to work through this issue with her daughter.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:53 AM   #7
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She's a perfectly normal weight and I wouldn't let her within 5 miles of a diet. You seem to be projecting your food issues onto her and that could well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Tell her you'll buy her a few sessions with a trainer who can teach her to properly exercise and tone. That would be a lot more valuable in the long run.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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She is at such a difficult age. Don't beat yourself up about this....its not necessarily from anything you've said or done. They are constantly getting bombarded from all directions with the public's misconception of beauty. It is very likely that many of her friends are "dieting" or saying they're fat. Have you seen what goes on in the lunchroom with some of these kids? Some of these girls will have just a diet coke from lunch after not eating any breakfast. The TV is full of diet commercials....the magazine covers are covered with diet "talk."

What you can do is to show her how to be a confident woman who treats herself well. Don't ever put yourself down in front of her. Don't talk about diets, rather talk about nutrition. Don't talk about fat thighs, talk about your clear complexion from drinking tons of water. Talk about your energy level because you eat right and exercise. Put the scales away....she doesnt need to weigh herself. My scales are hidden away in my bathroom and we discourage my daughter from weighing herself. Show her what it means to create a healthy lifestyle with food and exercise.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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ok im taking from the kids point of view since im 20 and was just there. i remember thinking i was chubby. i wasnt , now that i look back. dont teach her to count calories but help her understand how her body works. knowledge is power. whether or not she needs to lose that pound in a half. from the sound of it she needs to learn how to do excercises to enhance the areas she thinks needs work. find great lower ab workouts you guys can do together. as sad as this sounds dont say " sweetie your fine" because one . no were not, or we wouldnt have brought it up . two , ok next time i wont go to you because your no help, and three what other ways can i lose this weight. you have to protect your children from other children or they ll be in the next stall throwing up too. im telling you because i went to school with hundreds of these cases. if shes asking for help then help her. dont have her lose twenty more pounds just tighten up her tummy so she feels confident. thats it. sorry i know really long
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:29 PM   #10
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she is not by any means "fat" and should not be on a "diet". I think that if you showed her how to count calories then you would be making a big mistake. she sounds like she doesnt need to lose weight.

just show her how to eat healthy and exercise and instead show her how to be positive about her body. help her point of the things that she likes about her body instead of what she doesnt.

of course being at that age all girls have issues with their body. but you dont want her to start "dieting" now and then never know how to stop....

that is just my opinion
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:35 PM   #11
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Hello! I think focusing on staying active is the best. Surround her by positive thoughts and images. Why does she think she's fat? Have people said something? Is she basing her standards on unrealistic images?

Also, during this time its normal for young girls to gain weight as they fill out and become more womanly. Celebrate it. Becoming a woman isn't easy!
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeqeegrl View Post
ok im taking from the kids point of view since im 20 and was just there. i remember thinking i was chubby. i wasnt , now that i look back. dont teach her to count calories but help her understand how her body works. knowledge is power. whether or not she needs to lose that pound in a half. from the sound of it she needs to learn how to do excercises to enhance the areas she thinks needs work. find great lower ab workouts you guys can do together. as sad as this sounds dont say " sweetie your fine" because one . no were not, or we wouldnt have brought it up . two , ok next time i wont go to you because your no help, and three what other ways can i lose this weight. you have to protect your children from other children or they ll be in the next stall throwing up too. im telling you because i went to school with hundreds of these cases. if shes asking for help then help her. dont have her lose twenty more pounds just tighten up her tummy so she feels confident. thats it. sorry i know really long
I am sorry I disagree with you 100% when you say she needs to learn how to enhance her areas that needs work, she is a 13 yr old girl whose body is growing and changing, she doesn't need an ab workout, she needs to know that everyone's body isn't the same , and to love who she is, but at the same time that our body is a temple, and we need to take care of it with good food and health.
Also she brought up the weight issue, because of peer pressure, not because she is having a real problem. Women really have a problem with images about our own bodies. I am struggling with this with my daughter, it is a shame we have to deal with men critizing our bodies and then our own sisters.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeqeegrl View Post
ok im taking from the kids point of view since im 20 and was just there. i remember thinking i was chubby. i wasnt , now that i look back. dont teach her to count calories but help her understand how her body works. knowledge is power. whether or not she needs to lose that pound in a half. from the sound of it she needs to learn how to do excercises to enhance the areas she thinks needs work. find great lower ab workouts you guys can do together. as sad as this sounds dont say " sweetie your fine" because one . no were not, or we wouldnt have brought it up . two , ok next time i wont go to you because your no help, and three what other ways can i lose this weight. you have to protect your children from other children or they ll be in the next stall throwing up too. im telling you because i went to school with hundreds of these cases. if shes asking for help then help her. dont have her lose twenty more pounds just tighten up her tummy so she feels confident. thats it. sorry i know really long
Bravo, freeqeegrl!!!!! Both my oldest and youngest daughters came to me about losing weight for their own reasons. I was honest with them, but gentle about my advice. I am helping them both- one just joined here today to learn more about weight loss and to gain some support.

Both girls are very active in sports, but my oldest daughter has a tendency to not do too much when she's at home. She loves to listen to music- I've been encouraging her to work out on the machines at home with her music or to walk the track with her CD player and headphones. She's gotten more active since she decided to lose weight (other than her sports), and my youngest has always been very active, but ate too much. Both are very different in personality and activity level/food control, so I treat each child differently. My son is also losing weight- he's inbetween the sisters. Slightly more active than my oldest daughter when not participating in sports, and he had a decent appetite for a young man (don't they all, LOL).

Last thing I want is any eating disorders for the kids. I want them to be happy and healthy and not hating themselves.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:15 PM   #14
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Reading all of your posts makes me think of something that I thought of when I first started, and something that I share with my own daughter when she asks me about the choices that I make with food. I worked in a nursing home and I noticed one day (I always knew it, it just hit me differently one day) that EVERYONE is on a diet order. We all have a diet. Now, some diets are healthy and some diets are not. Some promote weight loss, some promote weight gain, some promote kidney function or a healthy heart, but EVERYONE that eats is on a "diet". What we have done is to choose a diet that promotes weight loss. Eventually, we'll move on to a diet that promotes maintenance, and, God forbid, some of us may slide back into an old diet that promotes weight gain. It isn't about "going on a diet", it's about choosing the diet that you wish to live on. I choose to be on a low calorie, low fat, high fiber diet. That is how I eat 95% of the time. That is my diet. I think that it is important to let kids know that they choose their diet and that choice has benefits or consequences accordingly. If she thinks that she needs to lose weight, encourage a healthy diet and let her learn to manage her choices on her own. Just watch over her and make sure that she isn't going to extremes.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:22 PM   #15
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I wouldn't let her near calorie counting. At 13 she is just now at the age that most gyms would even let her into organized exercising.

Instead, I would emphasize that as girls reach puberty they thicken in the middle right before growth spurts (this is absolutely the truth!) and that if she feels like she is bigger than she was (and make sure she knows it isn't noticeable to the general population) that she is probably just getting ready to grow a couple of inches taller. No big deal!
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