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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD is overweight

(94 Posts)
howtoapproachmydd Sun 23-Jun-13 11:57:52

Can anyone help? 16 year old DD is gorgeous - really beautiful face - but she is overweight.

She was a normal-sized child and in the early part of her adolescence fine - normal BMI, although she's always edged towards the higher end of 'normal' but she's slammed on weight this year (GCSEs) and it's making her unhappy. My mum used to go on at me about my weight so I deliberately haven't mentioned it to DD, although I have supported her in other ways like signing her up for a posh gym.

We don't have cakes or biscuits or crisps in the house but I know she eats copious amounts when she's out with her friends, and goes to places like Macdonalds and KFC which all teenagers do. Yesterday for instance she had:

banana and grapes at breakfast (she doesn't really like breakfast so we've compromised on fruit) cup of tea with s-skimmed milk and one candrel tablet.

She went shopping and to the cinema with her mates in the afternoon and she had a pizza at Pizza Hut for lunch and a packet of crisps on the way back.

Then she had macaroni cheese and a yoghurt for tea. Cup of tea and apple before bed.

She is such a lovely, lovely girl - so cheerful and polite but she's a reader and doesn't enjoy exercise at all, never has. She will come for walks with me but that's it: doesn't like the gym, swimming or dancing. I don't want to go on at her but at the same time she is moving from a chubby but pretty girl to a girl who is properly 'fat' if you see what I mean and I am worried that it will get just too difficult to do anything about it if I leave it any longer.

Please help! I don't know what to do for the best!

HeySoulSister Sun 23-Jun-13 12:00:24

Does she not go to the gym you signed her up for?

Did she request that?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 23-Jun-13 12:01:09

Tha'ts not a lot of food but it's all processed. She needs helping as far as what to eat goes. Canderel is the stuff of the devil in terms of chemicals. She'd be better having a spoon of brown sugar.

Can she not stomach toast or eggs or porrige in the morning?

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 23-Jun-13 12:01:54

Ditch the cheese, it's full of fat. Has she tried other sports, such as pilates or yoga? They are rather cool at the moment and will help to tone and give her a pippa middleton arse (good selling point wink). There's nothing wrong with a pizza or a KFC, just not every day. You need to show her that she can eat healthily and still have treats. I wouldn't encourage her to diet though, she doesn't need to. She just needs to eat a little healthier and find an exercise that she enjoys.

HeySoulSister Sun 23-Jun-13 12:04:14

Nothing wrong with eating cheese or fat for that matter!

Does she actually want to lose weight op?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 23-Jun-13 12:05:30

And Op can I ask what sort of foods you eat?

soverylucky Sun 23-Jun-13 12:07:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 23-Jun-13 12:08:44

I'd say she's probably eating a lot more than you think, or than she's telling you, because if what you described is a typical day then she shouldn't really be getting fat.

The only diet I've ever seen work, long term (and by that I mean keeping the weight off for years, not six months) is slimming world. Maybe get some of the recipes online and start using them for breakfast and evening meals.

It's a difficult one really because she's at the age where it's up to her to do something about her weight if she's not happy about it.

howtoapproachmydd Sun 23-Jun-13 12:10:10

Neo - I try to eat healthily blush I do struggle with food and weight though, largely because I had such a difficult time with it as a kid myself (mother would take food away from me in the middle of eating it) and it's taken a lot to get out of the starve/stuff myself mentality. I manage mostly now but I do have the odd 'blip.'

I take your point about the cheese - we don't have it every day though, just a Saturday treat as the DSs love it.

Strangely she loathes sugar in tea although she likes it elsewhere. She really doesn't like food in the mornings, it's been difficult just getting her to have fruit.

She did request the gym, yes. We were talking about exercise and PE (she doesn't like PE!) and she said she enjoyed it on the odd occasion they got to go in the gym. I asked if she'd like to join a gym and she said she'd love it so I signed her up for a year's membership and she's been about three times! Serves me right for listening to a teenager ...! I do try not to nag.

I think she's about 2/3 stone overweight blush

howtoapproachmydd Sun 23-Jun-13 12:11:23

WhoNicked - do you think? confused A pizza AND macaroni cheese, plus crisps seems quite a lot to me (also she'll have had a drink of Coke or something at lunch.)

TidyDancer Sun 23-Jun-13 12:11:59

I wish someone had tried to help me when I was 16. Maybe then I wouldn't have ended up as a 19stone adult. That's nearly 270 pounds for anyone who thinks in those terms! I have lost the weight now but fuck me I was miserable for a long time.

Has your DD mentioned anything about her weight? Or is it one of those unspoken issues that you both recognise, but no one talks about?

gaggiagirl Sun 23-Jun-13 12:12:26

What's her bmi? She sounds like me when I was her age so she must be awesome!

TravelinColour Sun 23-Jun-13 12:14:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sirzy Sun 23-Jun-13 12:15:50

I think at 16 she is old enough to sit down and talk to sensibly about it. Not to nag but just to say you are worried and if she wants you will help her, encourage her to use the gym or whatever other activity she is willing to commit to. Does the gym have any classes she may enjoy?

is it possible for you to exercise together? so you can encourage each other?

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 12:16:46

I think this is the danger of making weight a taboo subject in families.

Whether a child is at the higher end of BMI or not, it can still be obvious just by using your eyes and honesty, that they need to lose weight or tone up.

I can understand why you didn't want to mention it sooner OP, but it seems hardly anyone wants to talk about the elephant in the room until it's too late.

I'm not sure if it's too late or not, but any determination to lose weight has to come from her now.

All you can do is make sure she eats healthily at home and encourage/support her if she decides she wants to lose weight.

howtoapproachmydd Sun 23-Jun-13 12:18:10

Gaggia - she is awesome! grin Absolutely lovely girl, I don't know how the hell she got so talented or pretty or funny from my genes!

However, yes, she's big and getting bigger sad and I don't want it to change her and I wouldn't care (apart from a health point of view) if she didn't care, but yes, she does. She said yesterday that she wished she was a size 10 so she could buy nice clothes and she hates having her picture taken as well because she says she looks fat. She's also been fussing about our holiday as she doesn't want to wear a bikini or any other bathing suit so she's self conscious.

I don't want to say "yes, you are fat kiddo, now lose it!" as it's not helpful but at the same time I don't want to ignore it completely.

FredFredGeorge Sun 23-Jun-13 12:19:31

When you sleep, hormones are released which suppress appetite, some people take longer for these to disappear than others, and those people probably shouldn't be eating breakfast, especially a sort of "compromise" breakfast that is pure carbs. Of course the problem with this is you need to be able to eat when the hormones have subsided - which can be quite difficult around school or jobs. So I wouldn't push the breakfast thing, to my mind pushing someone to eat when not hungry is not supporting them in a healthy diet.

Exercise, no matter what, is the real thing that will help, many of the reasons for over-eating is very readily addressed by being fitter. Exercise massively improves the bodies ability to regulate blood sugar. So I think you're right to push for that, you just need to find something that will work. Avoiding it being "exercise" may well be the best, any "active" activities she might be in too?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 23-Jun-13 12:19:34

What sort of food do you eat OP? Is it healthy? can you start cooking with DD as a sort of way of spending time with her and educating her at the same time?

peachypips Sun 23-Jun-13 12:21:40

Well done for being a great mum in facing up to not only your daughter's prob with food but your own responsibility. It is so hard to talk about this subject as you are worried about getting slammed for acknowledging your daughter is overweight from both sides of the fence. Good for you.
It sounds like (if you don't mind me saying) you both need to do something together? How about Slimming World together and a walk together every early evening?
It would help both of your health, bond you together and re-educate you.

IrisScentedCandle Sun 23-Jun-13 12:22:44

I think she's already given you her permission to take her in hand. Say to her 'would you like to think about joining ww with me?' that is not cruel or hurtful.

HeySoulSister Sun 23-Jun-13 12:23:56

So a joint project? Approach her from the angle you both need to do something for your hol? When is it?

Personally, me and my overweight 16 year old low carb. I run and dd has seen me drop almost 3 dress sizes in 6 months.... So I know I'm inspiring her. She's learning and seeing my results so knows its doable.... But I have to wait now for her to get pro active and do it!

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 23-Jun-13 12:24:38

Why don't you say I need to lose some weight dd and it's making me unhappy. I think you need some help to get into that 10/12 too. Let's jin weightwatchers or slimming world and do it together.

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 12:24:47

How about if you came at it from a health angle?

Is she aware that she's possibly increasing her risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infertility?

Obviously I don't mean just hit her with a list, but to gently add that into your conversations.

If she was puffing on 20 fags a day, I'm sure you'd spell out the dangers of that too.

peachypips Sun 23-Jun-13 12:24:49

And I agree- it's almost like we are not allowed to confront the 'fat' issue nowadays as we will damage self-esteem. However, it is a problem that needs sorting!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 23-Jun-13 12:25:56

I actually disagree that thats not a lot of food. Pizza hut pizza could easily top 1000 calories. Macaroni cheese could be 600. The rest totals 500. If she's very inactive then she could only need around 1,700 cals per day, so at that rate she's gaining a pound every 10 days. That's how people get fat- it's the drip drip drip of the few hundred calories a day.

However, re teenagers and food it's tricky- I was a a complete junk monster from around that age (first taste of financial freedom- Saturday job) to around 25 when I straightened out. I think you need to make the home meal super healthy to compensate for what she eats outside the home.

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