From Teresa, Child's Age 16 - 05/16/04 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
My 16 year old step son is extremely over weight. I would say at least 75lbs. I brought up his food choices today and asked him how he felt about how he looked. He says he does not care. I really think that that is a farce. He has no self-confidence, walks slouched over looking at the ground. Does not face people when he is in front of them.He lives with me and his father. Every time he goes to his mother's for a week or more he put on more weight. He has gone through two pant sizes this school year.At home we have healthy food and buy diet drinks but he has a problem with his portion sizes and on his own he chooses sugared colas. At his mom's he basicly eats all he wants and sits in front of the tv all the time.His mother also has a weight problem. They make fat jokes about their problem. I commented that I did not think it was all that funny to do that and he replied that they do so because they "accept their bodies"When I talked to him today I tried to talk to him about health problems, he won't listen because right now he doesn't have diabeties, or heart disease or the like.What do we do????
Reply from Dan's mom, Child's Age 13 - 05/20/04  - IP#:
Of course your stepson will say he accepts it. Otherwise he would have to do something about it. No doubt he is being teased or rejected at school because of his weight. There's more motivation there than you can give him, whether he admits it or not. My son never had a weight problem until the divorce. Going from house to house makes it tougher, and I know they don't eat well at his dad's. I've tried to get the other parents to cooperate, but they just get insulted, so I gave that up. I started eating right and exercising about a month ago, and cleaned out the junk in the kitchen. Instead of chips and crackers, we have pretzels and lofat popcorn. Instead of ice cream, frozen yogurt and fruit pops.
My son was open to losing, because he gets picked on. I was quite surprised how little he knew about nutrition and healthy choices. (How did I think he would get it? Osmosis?) Anyway, tracking his eating got cumbersome, so I just printed out the food pyramid, and stuck it on the fridge. He has 3 each of meat, dairy, fruit, and veggies, and 6 breads daily. I think he's getting at least 1800 calories a day, but the weight is just dropping off! This way, he can do it by himself at dad's too, without them even realizing, and making it an issue. He lost 7 pounds the first two weeks. Hasn't weighed this week, but I know he's lost more.
You can't do it for him, but don't believe for a second he is happy with his weight. Try not to dwell on it with him. Talking about it too much just makes him feel worse about it. He may even eat more just to get back at you. Teenagers are like that.
For now, just get the junk out of your house, and wait for an opening when it appears he might be willing to listen. If he tried it for just a week, the loss would keep him motivated.