From Thelma, Child's Age 13 - 01/20/01  Click here to reply  
My daughter is really getting overweight. She eats almost constantly,, nibbling on any food in sight. But when I try to talk to her about it she gets furious at me. Anybody know how to talk to your teen about being overweight? Thanks a lot.
Reply from Terrie, Child's Age 14 - 02/15/01 
Hi - my daughter weighed in almost 3 weeks ago at 188 - I had NO idea! And the battle began. "I" went on a diet and kept trying to entice her to join me with no luck - just kept getting those nasty looks.
Looking at the situation, she's gained 25 lbs in about 9 months - when she quit softball and basketball and all her free time went into reading.
I've eaten all the sweets in the house to get rid of them - shear torture :-) and we're eating salads and tuna or boiled chicken for supper every night with tons of veggies and brown rice. I have a fruit bowl sitting on the table with apples, oranges and bananas. I've tried to get her to walk with me and to drink water with me, but just get that familiar go-to-hmm look. I was getting EXTREMELY frustrated that she was fighting me so hard and finally sat her down and talked to her about heart disease (which her grandmother died from in her 50s), diabetes (which her grandfather has), stroke (the second of which is what took my grandmother in her 50s) - I explained that her genes suck and I'm concerned about her health, that I don't want her having a stroke at 20 - I'm trying to help her, not hurt her. That did it - the next morning she dug around and found an aerobics tape my mom had given her a few years ago (she's always been big) and has worked out every day this past week.
After 2 weeks of having no choice but to eat healthy and the first 2 days of aerobics, she lost 7 lbs - we're both THRILLED. Only 43 more to go :-)
Still no luck with getting her to drink water or go walking with me, but these things take time :-)
Reply from Sue, Child's Age 12 - 01/20/01 
13 is a very sensitive age, especially for girls but you do have to persevere even if it means more arguments. It is probably better to teach her good eating habits at this age than when she is a little older and you can't control at all what she eats. You don't say how much she weighs but if she is getting to the stage where clothes for teens of her age don't fit her then she may come to the conclusion herself that she is eating too much and then come to you for advice instead of you having a battle with her. On the teens bulletin board there are some really sad messages from overweight teens who are desperately unhappy and miserable about their weight. Maybe use one of those as a warning to her of what could happen. I put my 12 year old on a diet because she was about 20 pounds overweight. She has now lost seven pounds in two weeks and her self-esteem has changed totally. It has been hard but it is probably easier for me because she really wanted to be thinner. But she is a terrible nosher, especially in the evenings. The first thing I did was take all tempting fattening foods out of the house so no chocolate, cakes etc. I then made an effort to always have the non-fattening food like fruit, carrots etc that she likes in the house. We have a rule that she can just help herself to fruit. Plus we have low calorie soups that are very filling and nutritious. Believe it or not there are also low calorie ice lollies and lollipops so we have those in the house. It sounds like your daughter's attitude won't change overnight and you are going to have to keep on at her because if you let it go then she will just carry on putting on the weight. I think to bring a third party in like a doctor or a nurse would be a mistake because she would see that as a betrayal of trust and a total embarrassment. For my daughter I worked out a diet plan which contains all the foods she loves but lower calorie. She says she hasn't yet felt hungry. Also, I have noticed that her skin and her general energy levels have improved. Maybe you could sit down with your daughter and write down all the foods that she cannot do without and then buy the low calorie versions. Is she eating because she really is very hungry or is it habit or is it boredom? If she is really hungry then make sure she drinks more water in between meals, more fruit and soups. If it is habit then the habit has to be broken or just provide non fattening nibbles like carrots or fruit. I think food can be an addiction but if it is an addiction with her then, like any addiction, it can be broken. Unless she wants to help herself then you are going to find it much harder. For the diet to work then you have to co-operate together. Only you will know how to 'win' your daughter round to your way of thinking. Present her with the facts i.e. the long term harm she can be doing to her body and she may well come round. Good luck.
Reply from Wendy, Child's Age 13 - 01/20/01 
Hi../My daughter is the same! It's like she's in denial. I know she's unhappy about herself but I can't get through to her on this weight thing. Let me know if you get any ideas...