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AIBU to make dd 13 take some exercise?

(32 Posts)
YellowFern Wed 24-Dec-14 10:01:14

Dd is nearly 13. She likes sedentary activities rather than physical. She is a beautiful sturdy girl with a womanly body at a young age and is heading for being overweight. I can already see it in her face that the Xmas indulgence is starting to make her put on weight. We have quality home cooked food but she wants seconds and bigger portions. And to stay in And watch Xmas films and not even go on a walk with the dog. I have tried to explain in a kind and supportive way about making healthy lifestyle choices. It mostly falls on deaf ears, however sensitive I am. I was the same at her age so I am very aware that I don't want to contribute to ' body issues'.

She is skiing with the school over new year. If she puts on any more weight her ski trousers won't even fit her and that will upset her.

AIBU to make her come on long country walks with us?

26Point2Miles Wed 24-Dec-14 10:02:51


LadySybilLikesSloeGin Wed 24-Dec-14 10:04:38

Nope, it's very wise. Exercise isn't just about losing weight. It changes your frame of mind and you generally feel healthier too.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Dec-14 10:07:33

Yes YWBU. But YWNBU to ask her if she wants to come, or do an activity she enjoys with her.

If she's going skiing then she'll need to be doing some squats and lunges etc in prep. Maybe look up a "ski fit" exercise routine and do it together.

The last thing she wants is to try to ski in too tight trousers and find her thigh muscles just cent cope. But the second last thing she needs is her Mum dragging her out to do things she doesn't enjoy because she's looking a bit chubby. (I speak from experience!)

It sounds like you want to be sensitive, which is great. Be honest ("skiing is really hard work") and decide on what you are going to do together. smile

vitabrits Wed 24-Dec-14 10:09:10

Oh dear I don't know what to advise you but I have a seven year old who hates exercise and I struggle with how much to "enforce" it sad

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 24-Dec-14 10:10:15

Skiing is really hard - surely she would need some long hikes to prepare ?

YellowFern Wed 24-Dec-14 10:10:33

Thanks to you all. Honey, that is wise advice, thanks. At this time of year I would struggle to provide exercise choices other than the dog walks, but I see where you're coming from. We could cycle on Boxing Day though.

Littleturkish Wed 24-Dec-14 10:11:33

Skiing is hard work! How about going to a climbing wall for prep?

honeysucklejasmine Wed 24-Dec-14 10:11:34

My mum was so carefully casual about suggesting exercise etc that it always made me feel self conscious. The best times were when it was for a purpose, usually skiing, and a direct question. Such as "come on chaps, lets see who can do the most squats, or those drag lifts are going to be a nightmare!" and we all got involved.

AuntieStella Wed 24-Dec-14 10:15:46

I read this as two issues, both if which need tackling but which are on different time lines.

The first is being ski fit and the second is generally turning round her activity levels.

I think that being fit enough to ski, as it is a short-term goal-oriented issue can withstand plain nagging/bribery. Can you find a suitable video with ski-readiness exercises?

500Decibels Wed 24-Dec-14 10:20:33

Going for regular walks is the minimum and is a great idea but the weight gain is coming from food.
You need to find a way to stop her from eating so much.
It's not going to be easy to do it in a subtle way but you'll have to if her ski clothes are going to be tight.
Maybe after Xmas you can get everyone eating more fruit and veg (soups are good for this) and drinking more water?

YellowFern Wed 24-Dec-14 10:26:16

Auntie, you are right, there are 2 timelines here. But dd is the only one going skiing ( school trip) so it's hard not to make it feel 'pointed'.

The food issue is not a family issue / wrong type of food. She will over eat and sneak extras at any opportunity. It's part of who she is as an individual, and her own emotional and physical make up. I really feel that the 'solution' lies within her making some attitudinal shifts around food, with guidance and support from her family. I find giving that guidance it just the right way, very challenging as it's so sensitive. Advice appreciated x

springlamb Wed 24-Dec-14 10:30:16

Not being unreasonable at all.
My 13 yr old only weighs 6.5 stone, but she is still under threat of no Xmas pressies unless she joins us on a 'blowing away the cobwebs' walk along the coast his afternoon. Then and only then may she hit the Twiglets.
I cannot justify it on weight grounds (and if you do you'll risk a door-slamming Xmas) but it is totally justifiable on cabin fever grounds. Move more and you can eat more!

YellowFern Wed 24-Dec-14 10:32:41

Spring lamb, you're right. It's about general health too but as dd has this food issue, she sees anything like this as 'pointed'.

mommy2ash Wed 24-Dec-14 10:45:23

I think you really need to work on the food issues. all the exercise in the world won't help if she is simply eating too much. don't make enough food for large portions and seconds. be firm. my dd could eat all day if I left her but I had to start enforcing one snack a day rule.

WorraLiberty Wed 24-Dec-14 10:45:28

I think sometimes it's ok to point out that if we eat too much we can gain too much weight, and it can be difficult to lose.

My kids have known this since they were very young, and therefore it's just a normal subject like anything else in life.

There's a fine line between making someone feel awkward because they're gaining too much weight, and being so subtle about it that you're actually enabling it to happen.

People rightly worry about giving their kids body issues but at the same time, obesity is rising steadily and there are tons of overweight kids who now have body issues because of it.

SpringBreaker Wed 24-Dec-14 10:52:44

As worra says, pussyfooting around is futile. It's better to be honest and point it out clearly, because if she carries on putting weight on, you can be damn sure her peers will point it out, and they are not likely to be as kind with their words.

13Saren Wed 24-Dec-14 11:00:51

YANBU. My 14 year old is only 6 stone and a size 6 but I also worry about her inactivity. It's hard to get her to anything as she feels that she isn't good at sport so why bother. Personally I would try and be subtle about getting her to lose weight and increase her activity and you don't want to damage her self esteem at this vulnerable age. At the moment you have the perfect reason for making her get more fit as she needs to increase her stamina for the skiing trip.

Jewels234 Wed 24-Dec-14 11:03:01

There are so many different forms of exercise, she couldn't possibly hate them all. Can you encourage her to try different types? I think you definitely aren't unreasonable to push her into it. Being overweight isn't pleasant.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 24-Dec-14 11:03:04

Hmm. How about things like not giving her lifts, make her walk to school the shops, activities. Walk with her

Get her a bike?

What about getting everyone in the family to choose an extra curricular physical activity? Give her a choice of activities, allow her to chop and change at the end if every term if she's not that into it until she find one she loves.

Yy to not cooking enough for seconds.

500Decibels Wed 24-Dec-14 11:08:22

Sometimes having seconds is a psychological thing. Get smaller plates and give her a smaller first serving? Get her to drink water before every meal too and she'll start to eat less.
Though i do agree it's best to try to get used to no seconds/no snacking for a healthy life.

Leeds2 Wed 24-Dec-14 11:11:52

Have school not given her an exercise plan, in readiness for the ski trip? From what I see with friends' children, most do and I don't think YWBU to get her to do those exercises. It will also increase her enjoyment of her trip.

You might also get her to try her ski clothes on, so that she herself will realise if they are tight.

Theoretician Wed 24-Dec-14 11:11:57

I don't think you can nag someone into exercising. You have to somehow convince them to want to do it. An enjoyable sport is one possibility.

If that doesn't work try bribery? Spend several hundred pounds on a Concept 2 rower and make pocket money dependent on daily Calories clocked up on the computer monitor? smile

canweseethebunnies Wed 24-Dec-14 11:12:22

YANBU but it's very tricky. My little sister has the same issues and my mum has tried all sorts, whilst also trying to be sensitive. Enforcing snacking rules and trying to encourage her to go the gym with her dad etc have all resulted in upset and arguments. She's 15 now and quite overweight and my mum has decided to lay off as she felt it was doing more harm than good. I'm really sure what the solution is.

fredfredgeorgejnr Wed 24-Dec-14 11:18:11

Exercise is about so much more than weight, encouraging people to eat less might help a bit with health, but encouraging people to move more will do so much more.


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