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Old 02-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #1  
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I just received a call today from my mom. It seems that my 12 year old cousin is 5'4" tall and weighs 220 pounds!!! I couldn't believe it. She is an inch shorter than me and only 8 pounds lighter than I am. The only excuse that she has is that her mom doesn't care what she eats. I never got that big because of an eating problem, but because of the Depo shot, so I really don't know how to tell her to stop eating all the junk and start eating healthy?! How can a mother allow her child to become that big on purpose. This little girl eats a bulk sized box of ding dongs in one sitting and she HATES veggies and fruits! How am I suppose to talk to a 12 year old about controlling her weight if I know nothing about over-eating? Do any of you out there have any advice?
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:42 PM   #2  
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aw. poor girl!

Well if this helps you at all, I don't think that cutting it cold turkey is going to help her. Is she involved in any type of athletic activity? My friend's daughter was having a weight problem and she was enrolled in a dance class with some friends; she's having so much fun and socializing and burning calories! Maybe just associating excercise with fun can help.

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Old 02-20-2008, 08:40 PM   #3  
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I have been over weight my whole life. When I was 12 I had extra weight. It wasnt that much but I didnt even try to change until I wanted to. She will end up in a lot of hurt but she is not going to change until she wants to. Iwish you luck though. Maybe you can trigger something. Maybe tell her your story. I know my story goes like this.....I gained alot of weight. Then my life started getting active and I could not keep up. If she wants to lose weight offer to be her accountability buddy.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:23 PM   #4  
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I told my mom all I could do is to tell her the cold hard truth about being morbidly obese, but she's so young that that may scare the dickens out of her, and if we get her eating healthy and working out with us, she's just going to jump back into her old habits when she moves back home.

Thank you everyone for your help. I hope she figures it out on her own and it saves me a little headache
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:21 PM   #5  
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There was a big thing on Oprah about this. I watched it a few weeks ago. You need to talk to her mom. Seriously, being that overweight, that young, could kill the poor kid. Don't be mean about it. Just tell her about your concern. Explain to her that maybe it is time to make her kid eat healthy, by maybe just bringing healthy foods in the home. I know someone who did that. You gotta eat, and if there is nothing but healthy foods well then you are going to have to eat the healthy food. Just an idea.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:36 PM   #6  
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navywife- I know in a certain way your mom was complimenting you by thinking you could talk to the girl, but it is o.k. to tell her you are not qualified. I agree that getting her involved with a fun physical activity would help, but a girl that age at that weight is not just a "little inactive". Seems like she has a problem that probably requires professional assistance. Telling someone who has an eating disorder that what they are doing will massively impact their lives is like telling an alcoholic that drinking is not a good idea. They may even be able to intellectually understand it, but the compulsion to do the behavior overrides that. Good luck. Post back.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:59 PM   #7  
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I really think that scaring the girl isn't going to do anything but activate the rebellious teenager in her. Is there anyway to have her just learn about calories and what's in food without it being in the context of asking her to lose weight? For me, it was shocking to leanr how many calories a day I was eating, and that was all the motivation I needed - just realizing that I WASN'T eating a normal amount. Just a thought, and good luck!
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:13 AM   #8  
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I have a 10 year old niece who is probably about 140lbs and has the same kind of home environment. Her mother, (my ex-SIL), NEVER cooks food so they live exclusively on pre-packaged processed food or fast food. The only cooked food she ever gets is when she goes to my parents a couple of times a week and then she will eat the meat and carbs but not touch the vegetables.

At their age I truly believe its the mother you need to be educating not the child. The mother needs to be making healthy food available to the child and teaching her control with the unhealty stuff. Its very hard for these kids to know better when their role models are inadequate.

I also agree about exercise and doing something she enjoys.

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Old 02-28-2008, 08:21 AM   #9  
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Is it really your job to tell this girl? I mean, you're obviously very concerned for her well-being and health. But, she's still young... maybe it's best to try to hang out with her more, and by hang out, I mean be active... take some walks or something.

Because I don't think saying "You're fat, and you'll die" is the way to come across to a 12 year old First of all, I remember that at this age, long term affects were NOT on my mind. Secondly, I would be thinking "Who the **** do you think you are talking to me? You don't even know me!" And all that good pre-teen stuff.

Approaching her parents could pose to be tricky. On one hand, you're deeply concerned, on the other, they could see it as you trying to tell them how to raise their child. (And insulting them by saying they haven't taken care of her health.)

Still... perhaps approaching them is best, because the only way a 12 year old is eating entire boxes of pastries is if their parents bring the boxes home, and then allow the child to eat them all. If you approach with true concern in your voice, and do not put blame on them (even if they are at "fault"), they may listen.

The last option is the "Is it really any of your business" option. How well do you know these people? If your mom gave you a call to tell you about it, I'm not sure that you're in regular contact with them. Can you imagine them approaching you about a delicate subject like this if your child were overweight? It may come down to a "noneuvmybizness" thing in the end. And if you have to, you can tell your mother that as well.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:54 AM   #10  
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Maybe you can find out what she likes to do other than eating. Doing something else like a hobby may keep her busy and stop her from eating all the time.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:39 PM   #11  
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Our niece and nephews, although far from fat, have -- in our opinion, having no children of our own -- far too much control over what they eat and absolutely no inclination to try anything new. We just try to set a good example and to expose them to new, healthier things whenever possible. It's hard for us to not butt in, but I don't think that criticizing their mother's choices or trying to force them to eat things is going to change anything for the positive and may, in fact, diminish our sway. Are you close enough, physically, to be able to take your cousin out for a special meal? I was a vegetarian (not a really healthy one, I must say) before I met my husband, and just seeing over and over again how much he enjoyed the foods he was eating, while I was sticking to the tried and true time after time, made me completely switch my eating habits. We both still eat too much, but we also have much more varied and interesting diets than I ever had as a veggie. In other words, if you're obviously loving what you're eating, and maybe even offering to share a taste of your food, and letting her make her own decisions about what she eats and why she eats it, then that may be one thing you can do.

Sorry, I kind of lost my train of thought there, but I hope I made at least a little sense!
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