...to suggest to my DD1 (16) that she should go to the gym?

(53 Posts)
UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 13:43:31

She is not overweight. In fact, she is slightly underweight but has steadily been putting weight on over the last two years, which is a relief.

Her high metabolism means she eats a lot of unhealthy food regularly (crisps, biscuits, chocolates) and never gets fat - lucky sod!

However she has a family history of heart disease from her father's side, so AIBU to suggest to her that she does cardio at the gym a few times a week? She is not very fit either.

Could you get her a personal trainer at the gym too? Just so it seems less bewildering for her.

Squitten Tue 27-Aug-13 13:47:06

Maybe suggest she stops eating crap?

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 13:47:47

ManAlive, yes I think I could. She can meet him at the induction to the gym and he is very friendly. The gym I am suggesting is also familiar to her as it is part of the racquets club where she plays badminton.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Tue 27-Aug-13 13:48:49

If you do suggest it, please go carefully. I ended up having a very dysfunctional relationship with food because my mum and dad were obsessed and commented on my weight all the time even though I wasn't overweight (I am now!).

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 13:49:10

Squitten we are trying to cut down on crap as a family but despite the fact it is unhealthy I'd rather see her eat as her appetite is not big. We are also vegetarian so putting on weight is quite hard.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Tue 27-Aug-13 13:49:40

Definitely agree with Squitten in thinking the focus here should be on her food habits and not just exercise.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 13:49:49

Changing her diet would be my first priority.

If she plays badminton can you not approach it from that angle or encourage her to play more badminton or a different sport.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 13:51:11

Why are you vegetarian? Is she eating crap because she lacks protein and is hungry?

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 13:51:15

Thanks Tiffany - you raise a valid point. I am thinking of joining with her for support. I'll see if I can slip it into a conversation.

By no means do I want to impose a diet on her of any sort - hence not complaining about eating crap.

Nottalotta Tue 27-Aug-13 13:51:59

I find the gym uber boring but LOVE exercise classes - zumba, step, body combat etc. They are more fun and might appeal more to her?

Nottalotta Tue 27-Aug-13 13:52:59

I find the gym uber boring but LOVE exercise classes - zumba, step, body combat etc. They are more fun and might appeal more to her?

Squitten Tue 27-Aug-13 13:53:25

Why does she need to eat junk though? If she's hungry, why can't she eat healthy food?

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 13:54:03

Bonsoir we were initially vegetarian due to religion but I have given DD the option of eating meat now that she is older. She has always refused and is now vegetarian because of her own views on animal rights.

Our diet does not lack protein. We have some form of lentils/pulses daily.

Squitten Tue 27-Aug-13 13:54:13

I wouldn't complain at her for eating junk - just don't buy it!

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 13:57:02

Squitten, this is the issue. I have stopped buying junk and the fridge is stocked with fresh fruit.

I have started making homemade juices in the morning and am pushing healthier snacks like carrot sticks and hummus.

Naturally they seem less appealing than a bar of chocolate however! grin

livinginwonderland Tue 27-Aug-13 14:00:46

Junk is a quick fix when you're hungry. It fills you up quickly, but because it doesn't last, you're hungry again a couple of hours later. I would focus on fixing her diet before you try and push the exercise route.

Seaweedy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:01:08

I think that vegetarians having difficulty putting weight on is a bit of a fallacy, OP (speaking as a fellow vegetarian). You say yourself that she has been gaining weight for some time, and that sounds like a pretty processed carbs-and-cheap-fats diet which is likely to cause weight gain even to a meat-free person.

Agreeing with those who say her diet needs addressing, rather than her activity levels. Whoever made the point about making sure she gets enough protein could well be right, too. Vegetarians who don't get enough protein often end up eating too much carbohydrate, in my experience.

Seaweedy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:02:52

Cheese, or don't you eat dairy products? Eggs?

WorraLiberty Tue 27-Aug-13 14:03:36

If she plays badminton, is she not already quite fit?

Or does she not play often?

eurochick Tue 27-Aug-13 14:05:01

I think diet is the issue here, although being more active is always a good thing.

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 14:13:25

WorraLiberty she plays once a week for 2 hours.

To all others, what are your suggestions to mend her diet? Dairy products are fine but not egg - she is allergic.

lljkk Tue 27-Aug-13 15:55:47

exercise is good for most of us. yanbu on that part.

Have known plenty of fat vegetarians, mind. And junk food is really bad for your teeth, too.

Nottalotta Tue 27-Aug-13 16:52:25

She doesn't need to lose weight but you want her to be active? I can't see an issue with that. I think you are right about not worrying too much about her diet. Shes 16 fgs! You presumably give her healthy meals but she snacks on junk? When i was 16 i ws very very slim, waas provided with plentiful healthy breakfast and a proper evening meal. I usually spent my lunch money on fags and an iced bun!

Better some choclate than 10 B & H!!

UneBelleCerise Tue 27-Aug-13 16:56:47

Nottalotta it is exactly as you describe! Her main meals are very healthy - it's the snacks that aren't. So you think I should encourage her to go to the gym?

I think I was similar to her when I was 16 tbh. I went through a loaf of freshly baked bread at the co-op every day too from 16 to 18 as well as the usual vegetarian junky foods!

Definitely encourage the gym, but do as somebody else said and get her a personal trainer. I flaked out as I went but would have gym-users giving me funny looks and things and it weirded me out as I was on my own. Or ask if she has a friend to go with her too.

Unless there is another hobby she can take up? I started kayaking at 13.5, it was something that I really looked forward to doing every week smile

Also, see if the gym runs a "gym buddy" type thing. Mine does, it pairs you up with someone with similar fitness goals, and who can go at a similar time to you, so you're not on your own. Might be good as you can approach it as a social thing too.

YANBU, I'm fixing my own diet, but have also started adding to the activity I do, diet is a big part, but fitness has a role to play too.

specialsubject Tue 27-Aug-13 18:57:56

exercise and eating less junk, yes.

but there is more to exercise than the gym. It is summer, something outside would be more fun.

whois Tue 27-Aug-13 19:02:09

Don't see the problem with wanting her to be more active. Being active had a major impact on health.

I second those who suggest maybe trying some exercise classes if she hasn't shown interest in just 'going to the gym' although be warned some are better than others.

Turniptwirl Tue 27-Aug-13 19:07:25

If she plays badminton and enjoys it maybe a sport is more to her taste than the gym? You could do something as a family maybe? She won't stick to it unless she enjoys it, so I would give her a choice in it.

The new school year is a good milestone to work change around, make a new family rule that everyone needs to add a physical activity to their week or do x amount of physical activity a day/week

I would definitely make it about the whole family rather than just her, as 16 year old girls can be increasingly sensitive about weight issues, even the skinny ones (especially if she has been gaining weight even though she's still underweight iyswim).

Don't buy junk food but know that she will buy it herself anyway!

Mia4 Tue 27-Aug-13 20:25:35

YWNBU OP but why don't you suggest going together? Or going walking together? I love yoga and zumba and pole exercise (which my best friend does) is a lot of fun too!

Littleen Tue 27-Aug-13 22:32:36

be active with her rather than just say she needs to exercise smile

ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 22:35:06

I would just help her to eat better and maybe try to encourage her to go for walks somewhere nice.

Going to the gym, alone, would probably simply make her crave more crap.

ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 22:42:35

I piled on the weight, when I was vegetarian, btw!

She needs to try snacking on nuts and seeds. I find a handful of peanuts, pistachios or cashews far more satisfying than crisps etc. If she wants a quick fix, I can highly recommend 9-bars - they're made from seeds and are mostly carob coated and, whilst sweet, are packed with protein. Fruitus bars are really satisfying, too - mainly a mix of dried fruit and oats. My carb crazed youngest loves them.

frogspoon Tue 27-Aug-13 22:42:52

She is only 16, so surely up to now she has been doing compulsory PE lessons at school? If she is staying at school, will she still be having PE lessons?

You say she enjoys badminton, the fact that she does any sport outside school already makes her more healthy and fit than average. Why don't you encourage her do do extra badminton which she enjoys.

Or go for a run or to a dance or zumba class etc.

MissDuke Wed 28-Aug-13 08:56:31

I doubt the gym is the way to go, unless she has a friend to go with her. I would be more inclined to suggest swimming, tennis, more badminton, cycling or walking to school as part of her normal day, that kind of thing. It is much better to build activity into your day as a normal thing than to sweat it out in the gym, which will probably fade out after a month or two but you will still be stuck paying the bill! I do go to the gym myself, but I much prefer being outside on my bike or walking/jogging.

You say she has put on weight which she needed. This sounds fine, and is all part of growing up. If her BMI is still healthy for her age, then don't make an issue of her weight please!!!! You can always say that as a family, you need to get out and about more, or that you want to get more fit and ask her to join you?? That kind of thing.

mrsjay Wed 28-Aug-13 09:05:57

she plays a sport for 2 hours a week does she walk anywhere that will keep her fit too, I think joining a gym would bore her rigid dd1 joined with her friend she said GAWD IT IS SO BORING but still goes she has started an exercise class with 2 friends she says she prefers that.

mrsjay Wed 28-Aug-13 09:06:57

dd is 20 she would have rather chewed her arm off than go to a gym at 16 get your dd more active rather than joining a gym

Chopstheduck Wed 28-Aug-13 09:12:31

I think you are being very sensible and caring. My dd is quite a bit younger 13 - but she is now hitting that age where she won't burn everything off that she eats and developing some lovely curves. I don't think high metabolism necessarily lasts for ever - mine quit at 16! I have sat down with my dd and had a chat about that and about healthy choices.

My mum has struggled with her weight all her adult life and it has made her uttterly miserable for long periods of time and caused low self esteem which has really restricted her daily life. I also put on weight really easily, and love junk food, but I've tended to do something about it before getting too big.

I don't want my dd to have that issue too, and I explained that to her, and told her she is beautiful and I want her to stay happy and healthy. I got into exercise about 5 years or so which is what helped massively, so I think encouraging people at a younger age is really important. My dd isn't very fit neither but is now planning to go to the gym once they are back at school, wtih a friend (they are lucky enough to have fantastic council gym on the school site which they have access to) and she also started couch to 5k.

Running is very addictive once you start - I only started this year and I really wish I had done it sooner, and the couch to 5k plan is a very easy way to do it. Exercise classes are also great, and someone mentioned pole fitness, which is brilliant fun and a fabulous workout. I do think the gym might be a bit intimidating and I've personally found that some gyms I've clicked more with than others.

Mandatory school PE is shite in my experience. DD told me she was running the 2500m race at school, so we went for a run, 800m later she stopped. 'Oh, we don't have to run ALL the way!' <thud> They don't seem to push them like we were pushed at kids.

BumgrapesofWrath Wed 28-Aug-13 09:19:17

FFS, am I the only person who thinks "she's only 16"!! Don't all 16 year olds eat crap?

When she's older she will understand the need to be healthy. Let her choose to be healthy herself.

Yonihadtoask Wed 28-Aug-13 09:24:42

Hmm - I don't think as a 16 year old I would have wanted to go to a gym.

DSS is 16 - and never much been into fitness, but he has taken up Thai Boxing- excellent fitness training involved there. It's tough stuff.

Maybe if she had a friend who would be interested in a similar activity you could assist them with lifts to and fro?

How about Parkrun?

Regular lane swimming?

Agree that the junk food won't be doing her any favours , heart health wise - but I think she will learn that in time.

Slipshodsibyl Wed 28-Aug-13 09:25:54

But you can't out-exercise a bad diet and habits are set early. I'd be more inclined to put my time into leaving a bowl of something interesting and healthy in the fridge and not having crisps and too many carbs in the house so that se needs to buy these herself.

nannynick Wed 28-Aug-13 09:55:43

A mum brought her teenage daughter to a bodyconditioning class at the weekend. Teen enjoyed it and it gave some mother child bonding time I suspect.
So going to a class with your daughter I feel would be good but not gym on her own. Softly softly approach to encouraging her to try other things available at the club. Also look at if the club runs anything aimed at teens - some clubs do.

Beastofburden Wed 28-Aug-13 10:12:39

What are her views on fish? Many of the more unpleasant issues around animal rights are less disturbing with fish. I appreciate that if your vegetarianism comes from your faith, it may not be an option for you, but she has different motivation.

Otherwise, I suggest you find her a sport she really enjoys and will do for life, rather than a quick fix artificially in the gym. Then you can sell it to her as a skill for life and not an intervention.

cory Wed 28-Aug-13 10:59:04

I think it's important to make it clear that the gym is only one way to keep fit- especially as it is an environment where many young people (and some older ones) feel either bored or very exposed, or sometimes both.

There are so many things you can do to stay active: I used to go for very long walks in the countryside, ds' fitness levels have gone up since he moved to a school which is further away and started playing football with his mates, dd is keeping fit through drama, dn through playing table tennis every day.

What beastofburden said about a skill for life rather than an artifical quick fix.

If it is only about measuring up to certain fitness levels, she is more likely to give up the moment she has either met those levels or failed to meet them.

Beastofburden Wed 28-Aug-13 13:02:16

Very popular at Uni at the moment- women's football and ultimate frisbee. It might be a discussion with her, about what sport she might fancy doing at Uni that would keep her fit and make her new friends...?

noobieteacher Wed 28-Aug-13 13:06:37

What exactly are her risks of heart disease and what do the doctors say about that?

I think regular sports for fitness is a really good idea, she plays 2 hours a week I would say that, along with maybe a rowing machine or a run or brisk walk every morning, would be enough. I wouldn't go to the trouble of a gym as it commits her in a way that she may not be able to continue with.

Really, advice on this should come from a specialist or a doctor.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 28-Aug-13 13:14:52

I think being active is one of the cornerstones of long term health. It's not just about food and weight.

I think it's great for you to encourage her. I think we should all be encouraging our children to move more, without any reference to weight or dieting.

allthatglittersisnotgold Wed 28-Aug-13 13:39:51

Bless her, I was the same at 16, constantly trouging through sweets, cakes and crisps, yet still being slim. There was nothing my mother could do except make her best efforts to pile me with brocolli and fruit salads when I did sit down for a meal. I think diet would be her major contributing factor to heart disease. Just don't have junk food in the house, so she has to graze healthily.

People change though, I'm more aware of what I eat in my late 20's as it "sticks" now! Could you exercise with her? Probably she'd feel that it was more a bonding exercise that way than a you need to workout more.

justanothernotsoyummymummy Wed 28-Aug-13 14:21:59

Hi all, it's OP. I name changed for another thread. She likes the idea of gym as 3 of her friends already go and they do an hour on Saturday mornings together.

She is also very keen on the couch to 5k running plan. I shall research that.

beastofburden, she refuses to eat fish. Thinks it is still very cruel and is very passionate about animal rights. She won't eat haribo due to gelatin even though I do! Wouldn't dream of hurting a fly.

I go to the gym with my DD and she is the one who wanted to join and she is 15 so I don't see why a 16 wouldn't want to go.
Really glad she is open to it and if she has friends already there then she'll enjoy it with them.

Agree with others, I was the same at 16 - skinny little thing who ate crap all the time.
It soon piles on though the older you get.

justanothernotsoyummymummy Wed 28-Aug-13 15:14:01

hellsbellsmelons she might not though - I was the same at 16 and am still skinny but VERY unfit confused

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