Hi, I'm not sure where to post this question so I thought I'd start here. I have a 13 year old nephew (only child) who is very overweight and doesn't exercise or play like other kids. (Although his parents are very nice, they aren't any help, they're very heavy too. High 200's) I've checked out some sites/search engines (most are commercial) but can't find any info on how many calories they should have and how many he should have to lose weight. I know I can't do it for him but I want to be prepared for any questions when and if the time comes. He stayed at my house last week end and I swear he has a one tract mind. I feel like doing a family intervention. (Any opinions?) I can almost see why some people think it's a form of abuse. He's in danger of failing classes at school too. Any suggestions or sites would be appreciated.
Cyberdiet.com, which is now a paying site, used to have a forum for teens. They also have some neat tools for figuring out calories needed, etc., and several sites have this information. But really an obese 13-year-old needs one-on-one advice from a physician and maybe a nutritionist. Possibly there is a Weight Watchers nearby that could also provide support. Some of them have teen members. Their website has all sorts of things about their programs and locations.
Since you ask: My opinion is that your nephew is lucky to have so caring an uncle/aunt. Losing weight, though, is a personal decision (we hear the click that says we're gonna do this) and it's honestly hard to say when the time is right or wrong to offer help. Intervention can often have the opposite effect than the one intended. But it couldn't hurt to spend lots of time with your nephew on long walks (assuming he doesn't have health problems that preclude exercise), shooting some baskets, bike rides (buy him one if he doesn't have one). And you could ask him to help you prepare a meal, showing him ways to make healthy choices. You could ask for his help in caring for your own health, ask him to join you in a gym membership so you can get a discount or something. There are all sorts of ways to help without pointing out to someone that they need to lose weight. They know this.
As for telling the parents what they should do, I wouldn't go there if I were you!
Thanks crone for all of your advice. (I have no kids You are right of course. I'm just hoping his "click" comes sooner rather than later. Overweight or not, being a teen is hard. He's in good health, except for his weight. I had thought of WW but he wouldn't get any help from his parents. Example and exercise is the way to go at this time, and I will spend more time with him too. Great idea about the gym. I don't know why I didn't think of it, maybe because I still think of him as a kid, lol. Thanks again!
This story hits home for me.
I was 13 when my mom took me to a "diet doctor" to get me skinny.
I must have taken 13 diet pills a day.
I have had hangups ever since that I am not "good enough" UNLESS I lose this weight.
It is a fine line we ALL walk. Loving unconditionally / getting someone to change.
I knew it was for my own good... but I still needed that unconditional acceptance.
I am now a mother of overweight grown children.
I have that same thin line to walk with them now.
To love them unconditionally/ encourage them to lose weight.
WORDS are not enough. Words hurt me time and time again.
"I love you BUT....." it is for your own good.
I don't know the answer.. I wish I did.
But my suggestion is to get involved in his life and exercise with him... walks, gym, hoops, etc etc. But....let HIM ask you for help.
Be patient with him... it is HARD to change even when you want to.
I was once an overweight teenager, unfortunately I'm still overweight, but that's another issue. When I was about 14 my aunt asked me to join weight watchers with her. I did. I knew I was overweight and I didn't like how I looked or felt. I lost all but about 10 pounds of my weight and then I quit WW because I moved to another state to a small town that did not have any meetings that I knew of. Regardless of the fact that I did not reach my goal weight, WW was the best thing that happened to me at the time. I kept the weight off for several years, but it finally crept back. Although my situation did not turn out perfect I'll never forget what my aunt did for me. I know you said WW is not an option, but do like the others suggested and try to gently and encouragingly persuade your nephew to eat better and to exercise more. He'll be glad you did one day.
Hi cute, I agree with you also. I made up my mind years ago that I would never talk about diets, How much I ate, I wish I could lose weight, etc. Because it always seems pointless. That doesn't sound right but maybe you know what I mean. (I'm glad I found this board, now I can vent, lol) So that's one thing I haven't done with him, although it's hard. My sister really gets on him. (his grandmother) Makes him weigh when he comes over, bugs him about what he eats, (she's very over weight too). Kind of like do as I say and not as I do. Over the holidays my nephew's stomach hurt. (he had eaten to much) and she actually made him go in to the bathroom and try to throw up. Unbelievable. Naturally I threw a fit. If you haven't guessed by now my whole family has eating probs,, Anyway like I said I'm going to try the exercise approach and spending more time with him.
You did help, thanks for reminding me of "unconditional love."
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