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Old 10-25-2006, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Daughter gaining weight, what to say?

Hi all. As I've been dropping pounds since January, it seems like my younger daughter is putting them on. She's just turned 16, and has had a gorgeous figure since she hit puberty. Big busted, slim body- and dresses to make guys eyes pop out.

I haven't said anything at all about it. She used to call herself fat when she wasn't, and we'd vehemently deny it- and now she's got a definite gut on her and had to buy bigger clothes. I don't want her to have to lose a bunch of weight --we all know how hard that is-- but I also don't want to damage her self esteem by breaking her state of denial and forcing her to confront the fact that she's inching up there in pounds.

I don't know what to say, or if I should just continue to ignore the matter. She's a completely different physique than me- a true hourglass figure- the kind that gets really fat, pretty fast. I was the small busted, big hipped type before I got fat- and it went on really slowly. She's going to balloon out to an unhealthy weight fairly quickly, if she doesn't watch it. But I feel like I can't warn her.

I point out when she's eating something that's bad for her -- the same sort of food nagging I've been doing all her life. When she was younger, I had more control over junk food- but now that she's in high school and got a job, she can buy herself whatever she wants without consulting me.

Should I just watch and wait? Surely she'll ask me for advice before things get too bad- since she knows I'm successfully losing weight for the first time.

I just don't know. Advice would be appreciated.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:38 PM   #2
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I know when I was younger I hate when my mom, gramma, whatever told me I was fat... HATED IT!

But it would of been nice to hear from another young person that had been fat and lost weight. When I was 16 if someone told me that when I got older I was going to have strech marks and loose skin... I might of done something differently.....

is there anyone else that can talk to her?

someone needs to, but dont tell her she is fat... just say you notice she is getting bigger and tell her what can happen to her body for the rest of her life even if she does lose it!
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:45 PM   #3
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I really don't have any advice, but will say that I'm in the same position with my 14 yr. old daughter. It is very difficult. I don't want to push her and make her feel bad about herself, but I also hate to watch it getting so out of hand. My DD comes home heartbroken when kids at school tease her and call her fat. She is thin everywhere but through the tummy and is very self-conscious of it. I do my best to just encourage her to exercise with me and provide her with healthy foods.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:47 PM   #4
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I think it DEFINATLY makes a difference with what is happening at home.

I could never lose weight at home because my family didnt eat that healthy. As soon as I moved out on my own I had my own choices and started losing weight no problem

Make sure their are healthy meals, with an approtiate portiion size on the plate (my mom was bad for giving me too much food and our rule was eat what is put in front of you).
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:49 PM   #5
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say nothing tastes as good as thing feels... and ask her why shes eating.. because im guessing as we all know.. When we start packing on the pounds its not about food tasteing good, its always about something more.
tell her if she wants to get really ->healthy<- that you will do it with her and it can be a mother daughter thing and you guys can talk about your weight and what you ate that day, be careful of compition but its more encourageing to have someone doing it with you .. and mother daughter team will be great for both of you
im 21 years old 225 and 5"5 ... my mother on the other hand is 5"3 100 pounds and well.. haha older then 40 .. She looks great has a great body and loves to nag on me about my weight and how fat ive gotten,.. and how can i eat so much blah blah blah.. I would love to have a mom that understands and supports...
Good luck to you.. and be patient with her and yourself
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:12 PM   #6
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When I was your daughter's age, my mother and I shared our clothes - about a size 10 - until she went on a big diet, lost a bunch of weight and dropped in size to about a 6. At that point, she signed me up for Diet Center (like Jenny Craig) and comments regarding what I ate started to fly at me. I wasn't even that big - maybe 15 pounds too heavy.

Suddenly my wardrobe had shrunk and shame from my mother's comments - and shame and frustration from trying on her clothes that wouldn't fit me anymore - started to pile on and I gained more weight. It was awful.

I've been extremely careful to keep my comments to myself with my two daughters and so far - at 17 and 11 - they have had no food or weight issues. They're both slim and fit.

My advice is to leave her alone and stop commenting on what she's eating. Maybe even apologize for doing it.

Also, I wouldn't offer to help unless she asks. To a child's ears, coming from a mother, that sounds like "you're not good enough as you are" and it usually backfires and makes things worse.

Just my opinion...
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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Don't comment on what she's eating! My parents used to do that (I was never overweight as a child, and didn't start gaining weight until after I left home, so there wasn't even a reason for them to do that) and it completely ticked me off - mostly it made me want to eat more junk food, rather than less. I think the best thing you can do is cook healthy meals, have healthy foods in the house, and maybe encourage her to exercise. Maybe you could get her a gym membership, and suggest that you two go to the gym together a few times a week, or see if she wants to sign up for an exercise class with you - the key is to make it seem more like something you'd like to do with her, rather than trying to tell her she needs to change her habits. Hopefully she'll realize how much better she feels once she's started eating better and exercising, and it'll stick - without any hard feelings between you two.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaOfColumbia View Post
- the kind that gets really fat, pretty fast.
Just please don't ever say that to her! She's a teenager, she doesn't need to hear (from her Mother, of all people!) that having an hourglass figure means she's gonna get "really fat" somehow faster than someone else. I'm not even sure what that means or how you came to that conclusion!

Anyway, I suggest taking a good look at everyone's comments here, especially BeezKnees and sierra_ttw. Good advice, IMO.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:39 PM   #9
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Tell her you love her, no matter what, and that IF SHE ever wants to talk about her weight (or anything else!) you will BE THERE to listen, offer advice WHEN ASKED, and DO NOT JUDGE HER.

Like most everyone, weight issues are personal. Even if she IS your daughter. I'm sure it IS very personal TO HER. Just remember - nothing you can say or do will make her lose the weight. It can only come from her; inside her. When people lose weight for someone else (spouse, parent, etc.) it doesn't last & usually piles on more. Just let her know that YOU ARE THERE FOR HER.

No matter what.
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:24 PM   #10
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My advice is to empower her. She needs to know that she is strong and capable of being whoever she wants to be. At the age she is, what she looks like and eats like is mostly up to her (although you do still have some input and control for a couple more years). If you will just empower her to feel good about herself and to know that she can do whatever she wants to do with her life, she will eventually want to make good nutrition choices and she will do that. You are setting a good example by the choices you've made for yourself, so she must know it is possible!

I also think there are three things that are never really adequately taught to children these days: finances, good manners, and NUTRITION. Make sure that she is armed with the info she needs (not by nagging, though!) for when she wants to make good nutritional choices.

And I can't emphasize enough--BELIEVE IN HER ABILITY TO SUCCEED. I am SURE she does not want to be fat. All teenagers go through stages of testing out their food freedom. She will figure this out if you just encourage her that she is capable and powerful and give her the information to make good choices for herself when she is ready.

My daughters (12 and 6 yrs old) find nutrition fascinating and talk about which foods have more fiber or protein, what fruit has potassium, etc. The older daughter knows how to read nutrition labels and has an understanding of how much her body needs to fuel itself. She understands food is nourishment and fuel, and also knows it can be fun and social. She knows that she can pig out and eat junk but that it affects her body. Even at 12 she knows if she eats lots of pizza one evening, she'll eat lighter for breakfast the next day, for example. Both my kids are also very active and athletic. Someday, they will probably struggle with some food issues because I think all women go through this at some point. But I will know that I armed them with as much information as possible and that I was an imperfect but hard-working example of fitness and health.

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:25 PM   #11
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It is sooo very hard to keep your mouth shut while you see your daughter's weight gain occuring - but you absolutely must! I know it is so difficult because you just want to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. I have 3 teenage daughters myself. My oldest has actually told me that "the more you mention my weight the more I wanna eat". The best thing you can do is have healthy food at home and make healthy meals. And everyone has pretty much said all the right things already. Good luck.
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:34 PM   #12
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I have friends whose moms criticized them over their weight and it really really damaged their relationship. Weightloss is something you have to decide you are going to do for yourself, no one can force you into it. This rule applies no matter how old you are. So I think you should continue to leave her alone about it unless she asks you for assistance. As much as you want to protect your children, sometimes they have to figure things out for themselves. I also agree with a few others here that commenting about what she is eating probably isn't helping. It most likely just makes her feel guilty and resent you. In fact, her eating and weight gain could be a rebellion against you.

You can serve as a good example by continuing to eat right and exercise yourself. You can also make sure that there are healthy foods in the house (for the entire family, you can't buy bad food for other family members and expect her not to eat it) and prepare healthy meals for the family, also maybe encourage the entire family (not just her) to exercise together. I think singling her out for exercise might feel like a punishment (it definitely would have felt that way for me when I was her age). The last thing you want is for her to associate exercise with punishment. But if it's something the whole family is doing, it might not feel that way (and it would probably be good for the whole family). But it has to be a family activity, you can't tell the family that your doing it for your daughter. If you can somehow make it special mother-daughter time that might also work but I think it could be hard to do this without making her feel singled out.
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:41 PM   #13
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I know that you know you need to be. My Mom would say things about my appearance, even when I was 135.

My Mother decided to bring up weight loss by taking me out to a steakhouse. (texas roadhouse) Keep in mind, this is when I was 22. I was overweight at the time, but maybe 170 on my 5'7" frame. Anyway, when the waiter came with the basket of rolls, she made him take them away. I thought she had just wanted to take me out to lunch, so I was a bit flustered at first. But then, we started looking at the menu. I decided to order the smallest sirloin they had. I was going to get it with a salad and a sweet potato. She REFUSED to let me order a sweet potato. Then she said I had to get vegetables, stating, "I'm buying, so you have to order what I say." The whole event was humiliating and as you may be able to tell, I still feel resentful over it.

A couple months later, my Mother took my brother and I to Disney World. During the ride to Florida, Mom let me eat nothing but low-carb bars. She would stop and get my brother Whoppers. (not like I would have even wanted a whopper, but those low carb bars were just yuck) In the park, she decided to go on a big rant about how I couldn't even wear the shorts I was wearing, since my legs rubbed together so badly. She went on a long rant about how fat I was and needed to lose weight. THe three of us sat, on a bench in the middle of Disney World, as my mother berated me.

I do love my Mom, but I think that she is horrible about trying to approach me with this. Even now, when I have chosen that I want to eat more healthily, I do my best to just avoid her as far as the subject is concerned. It might have been neat to exchange tips with her, etc, but right now I just have too much resentment about the whole thing.
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:53 PM   #14
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I'm happy to say my Mom never ranted about my weight, but she was never subtle. Always when growing up and we were shopping, I'd pick out something that all the girls were wearing and her comment was "you'd have to be skinny to be able to wear that." It hurt. Plain and simple.
So, now, 30+ years later and my second round of losing weight and feeling really good about myself, does she comment? Sometimes, but NEVER says that I look good. In fact, she boasted that she weighs only 127, as if to say, "see, I still weigh less than you do."
It was the same with my hair. She always wanted me to wear it short. I liked it long, but a few years ago I did cut it short and go MANY, MANY compliments, even from complete strangers, but not from her. I'm growing it longer again.
And this is all very weird because she is not a negative person. She's survived breast cancer (didn't even want to tell friends about it because she didn't want them feeling sorry for her) and survived two open heart surgeries.
My own DD is trying to lose weight along with me. She joined a gym on her own and worked with a trainer. She has stopped going because of her school and work schedules, but she still wants to get down to 135 like me. She has perhaps 10 pounds to go (she was not as heavy as I was, but is a bit shorter). She still wants to, but has some troubles eating the right foods, so I try to offer only healthy foods for meals and keep the snack foods out of the house. That way, she has to buy it herself and she's saving for a car and college, so she ends up not buying junk to eat (most of the time).
My advice to you is to serve healthy food. Do you serve meals family style or do you give everyone their plates pre-loaded? If you do it pre-loaded, you can be sure she doesn't eat too much at meals.
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:08 PM   #15
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I agree completely with Beez. It doesn't matter what you say. Your daughter will hear, "You are fat and I'll love you more if you'd lose weight". It would be especially annoying to me to hear preaching from you considering you obviously haven't engaged healthy eating habits for very long.

My mother didn't know anything about nutrition and just tried provide economical and filling meals. Most of it was fried in Crisco. There were few green vegetables and lots of white bread. I didn't start learning about nutrition until I started feeding my own children. If you didn't teach her nutrition when she was younger, she'll hear your attempts now as more ridicule.

I agree with "leave her alone". You decided what you needed to do about your weight. She deserves that same opportunity.

Or, did your mother describe your body style to you and warn you that you would fatten up really fast if you weren't careful?
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