100 lb. Club - My 13YO daughter wants to lose some weight...




LaurieDawn
08-20-2007, 10:37 AM
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.


sidhe
08-20-2007, 10:58 AM
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. :hug:

hellokitty81668
08-20-2007, 11:00 AM
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.
cheryl


Pita09
08-20-2007, 11:04 AM
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.

LaurieDawn
08-20-2007, 11:19 AM
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. :hug:

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. :D 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?

LaurieDawn
08-20-2007, 11:21 AM
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.

Robin41
08-20-2007, 11:53 AM
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.

GirlyGirlSebas
08-20-2007, 12:58 PM
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.

freeqeegrl
08-20-2007, 01:17 PM
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

dek6
08-20-2007, 01:29 PM
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

TempleBody
08-20-2007, 01:35 PM
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!

hellokitty81668
08-20-2007, 02:02 PM
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.

Steelslady
08-20-2007, 02:13 PM
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.

Mom2QJandT
08-20-2007, 02:15 PM
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.

royalsfan1
08-20-2007, 04:22 PM
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!

Lifeguard
08-20-2007, 05:34 PM
This is an issue I spend a lot of time thinking about as this is the age group I work with in Girl Guides. Definitely keep the lines of communication open.

Try going to the Dove website. They have a pretty good program right now that you can download that has activities that are geared pretty specifically to your situation. They are things you can do together, they're actually meant for mother-daughters to do together.

An idea I have been passing around my head lately that you could try (& let me know how it works!) is to gather a group of girls/women together. Talk about the idea that what we perceive as our worst part is not necessarily so. Then have each girl/woman state what they don't like about themselves (not necessarily weight related). I think this would showcase how these things are very personal & not based on reality. Just to give a little bit of perspective.

You wouldn't have to make it a formal meeting approach but rather work it in to a conversation.

traci in training
08-20-2007, 05:53 PM
I have two daughters - 18 & almost 15 - and we've been down this road lots of times. Freegeegrl is right. You can't hide things from them or they'll get their information elsewhere - just like they do if you beat around the bush about sex or drugs or anything else. And I want them to come to ME, not go to some other 15 year old chicky who doesn't know what the heck she's talking about. 13 used to be a kid, but in today's society, kids grow up SO much faster than they used to.

Now - please don't think I want my girls on a scale every morning obsessing over every pound. Not true. But we do have discussions about eating versus activity, healthy BMI's, etc. Someone has to teach you how to drive a car, balance a checkbook, AND take care of you body. There is no "magic" involved, it's all calories. The sooner kids understand the idea, the more in control they are and the less likely they are to do stupid things like binge & purge, take "diet" pills, or whatever.

BattleAx
08-20-2007, 06:13 PM
To add to the great advice already given, it may be that her body will be one with a little pooch in the front. No matter how thin I get, I am one of these people, and so is my mother. We can't help the body shapes we are given, we can only make choices to treat our bodies well with nutrition and exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. Whatever shape her body is now while it is changing, and whatever shape she ends up with, she needs to learn to love it. Beauty isn't only what Hollywood is telling us it is. Most of us will never have perfectly proportioned bodies or be rail-thin.

Jen
08-23-2007, 10:18 AM
My son is 5 and already concerned about what he is eating and his weight. And no he has definately not gotten it from me. I have never, ever said anything about myself being fat, losing weight, being on a diet, that he was fat or needed to lose weight or that he was going to be fat or whatever. Absolutely NO negative talk about food or weight in this house. My son is at a good weight for his height, if anything he is on the skinny side. I am careful to balance his diet so that he is eating a variety of foods and that includes some treats and junk food. He is learning moderation from me. Okay so why am I bringing this up? He is not learning this stuff at home so obviously he is being affected outside the home. Last year in Kindergarten they were starting to teach the kids about nutrition and what was healthy and not healthy. I get a lot of questions along those lines. I feel that it is good that they are teaching kids about nutrition but I worry that it may lead to weight issues.

I understand your fear that your daughter may start gaining weight, I have the same fears for my son but I have been extremely careful in not projecting my own problems onto him. Still there are so many outside influences that you are going to have to fight against. I can just imagine what a 13 year old thinks her body should look like. I think taking her to a trainer is an excellent idea. A person like that would have tons of positive influence and I think she would probably believe it when she is told that she doesn't need to lose weight. I mean you can say it to her and show her all the height/weight charts that you want but if someone like a fitness professional that looks super buff tells her that and maybe starts her on a fitness regime suitable for a 13 year old then I think it would sink in better.

Best wishes with this and keep us updated!

BTW kudos on starting a running program with her so that the 2 of you could spend more time together, you're a great mom!

LaurieDawn
08-23-2007, 12:41 PM
Thank you so much to everyone for your thoughtful responses. I've thought so much about what everyone has said. I have found the comments from the younger group particularly enlightening, as I hadn't really been thinking in those terms prior to posting. It's finally getting through to me that she is not a child, and it's a bittersweet realization. I did try to share with her the message that not everyone is destined to be a size 2, but she definitely did not want to hear that. So, I've just begun to compliment her on her clothes and different features. Hopefully, she'll get the message that way...

It is a complicated issue. I really believe that obesity and anorexia are two sides of the same coin, and I don't want her (or her four siblings) dealing with either one of them. And, thank you, Jen, for the compliment. It is so hard to do the right thing, and I need all of the encouragement I can get!

Steelslady
08-23-2007, 02:46 PM
Some folks may disagree with me on this, but sometimes I think some kids are raised too "PC". By the time they become teens, they can't cope with small things like weight gains and other things because they've been so overly coddled earlier in their lives.

If we keep fearing that our children are going to be anorexic/obese and don't talk to them honestly about it when they want to, they will learn the wrong ways to lose weight and end up hurting themselves further than if we just sit down, explain to them what we know about weight loss and show them the proper way to lose weight.

My oldest daughter and I were talking about this yesterday, as a matter of fact. We asked her doctor at her physical the best amount of calories for her to lose, while playing sports. She told her no lower than 1500 calories per day, then she got nervous and asked my daughter why she wanted to lose weight. She told the doctor she was about 20 pounds overweight, and the doctor got more nervous until I explained that we were following a good diet with calorie counting and exercise. She then relaxed a bit and said so long as she didn't go any lower than 1500 calories per day, but no higher than 2000, she would lose it gradually, but to be careful not to lose too much.

My daughter and I were in the car after the visit, and she said "Mom, do you think she thought I had anorexia?" I told her that I thought perhaps she was concerned, only because she probably sees a lot of girls who don't talk things over with their Moms or Dad's about weight loss and therefore, they try to lose it themselves the wrong way. She then told me about girls in school throwing up in the bathrooms after lunch- one of her friends did it, and she convinced her to stop, as it wasn't healthy and it would cause her more harm than good losing weight this way. My daughter then laughed and said "I could never be anorexic, as I love food too much!".


So, what's better? Discussing this honestly, openly, but in a caring fashion at home with your children so they learn the right way to lose, or leave them to find other ways to do it, which are unhealthy? Build up their confidence in other areas of their lives so that weight control is a part of their lives, but not the main focus, or be quiet about it hoping it goes away on it's own?

We have to talk to our children, folks. Being honest, in a loving and caring fashion, will help them avoid such problems. Closing the door to them hoping they just forget about what hurts them sets them up for more anguish, and sets them up to search for poor choices to achieve what they desire.

Vanessa M.
08-23-2007, 04:23 PM
My daughter and I were in the car after the visit, and she said "Mom, do you think she thought I had anorexia?" I told her that I thought perhaps she was concerned, only because she probably sees a lot of girls who don't talk things over with their Moms or Dad's about weight loss and therefore, they try to lose it themselves the wrong way. She then told me about girls in school throwing up in the bathrooms after lunch- one of her friends did it, and she convinced her to stop, as it wasn't healthy and it would cause her more harm than good losing weight this way. My daughter then laughed and said "I could never be anorexic, as I love food too much!".

I had a similar experience when I was about 15 or 16. I was weighed at the doctor's office and at that point wasn't even overweight. I didn't even care about my weight reall, I was pretty happy with my body. But they made a huge deal over the height/weight chart not applying to me because of my muscular build and they went on and on about how I should NOT lose any weight.
I thought it was pretty weird at the moment but it didn't take long for me to put it together. I guess they treat all teenage girls like ticking time bombs... Probably because most of them are, lol!