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Y7 DD and weight

(30 Posts)
Foxesandsquirrels Sun 10-Nov-19 23:37:50

I have a Y7 DD who used to be very slim up until age 8. She did lots of sport and at age 8 her brother died and we kind of let go of all the sports and things went down hill in terms of diet. We pretty much let her have whatever she wanted. This led to a lot of weight gain but mainly by her stomach. Since age 10 she has got back into sport, mainly street dance. At one point her belly got huge, she looked pregnant. It is still very big and she says it doesn't hurt or anything otherwise we'd test for gluten etc.

At the moment she does: 1hr theatre on Tuesday for which she walks up a huge hill to after school and takes 30 mins, 1hr of basketball on Wednesday, 2,5 hrs of dance on Thursday (same walk up the hill as Tuesday) and 2 hrs of PE as normal. Her school takes PE very seriously so she always complains they have to run loads. She is sore every week. This has been the routine for a year now and she is slowly losing weight but it doesn't seem to be proportionate to now much she does. She now weighs 56kg and is 148cm tall. When they did her height and weight in Y6 (this Jan) she was nearly obese and weighed more than now but was about 6cm shorter.

Reason I'm posting this is she's never really cared about it till now. She's joined a new school with no one from primary and her new friends are all slim and sporty. Her friends in primary were 2 tiny girls but she didn't seem to care. She's starting to really hate her stomach and is becoming obsessed with comparing her body. It is so hard because she is doing so much exercise, eating healthily and it's still not working. We have never told her to lose weight, but to make healthier choices and to get fitter. We have had bad eating disorders in my family so I have always been very wary about this. It is breaking my heart a little that she is feeling this way though, as weirdly it is just her belly that's so big. We went jeans shopping and she just sobbed in the fitting rooms because everything that fit around her waist was huge on her legs. Her legs are very toned from all the dancing but her upper body is complete opposite, she can't even do a plank.

Does anyone have any experience of this? I'm sure if she keeps up a good diet and all this exercise it'll even out as she grows but in the meantime I feel I'm walking on egg shells and don't want to say anything that will make it worse. For context, she is 11 (12 in April) and not showing any signs of developing yet.

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1Micem0use Sun 10-Nov-19 23:53:15

Can she swim? Swimming uses every muscle in the body, so it would help with the weight around her middle.

Strawberryshortcake28 Mon 11-Nov-19 00:14:55

Your poor dd reassure her how beautiful she is every day I was nine when my sister died and I gained three stone I was bullied and then ended up with an eating disorder and a weight battle my entire life ! It's bound to be so tough on her

Have you tried smaller portions and plenty of water less starchy carbs to fight bloat

Foxesandsquirrels Mon 11-Nov-19 06:05:10

@1Micem0use yes she's actually very good but quit the squad in January in favour of dance.
@Strawberryshortcake28 I'm so sorry sad I want to try the smaller portions but I just don't know how to approach it. I have tried giving her less and she will say she's still hungry. What do I say at that point, wait till later?

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Purpledragon40 Mon 11-Nov-19 10:16:44

That's heartbreaking but unfortunately weight concerns amongst Year 7 girls isn't new. Part of the problem is just losing weight might not help if she has body confidence issues and another part is some people have much slower or faster metabolism than others. I also tend to see little correlation between girls weight and their problems with their weight.

Yet I also think she might feel better if she did even out more, to lose weight I wouldn't focus on less calories but on less carbohydrates having longer periods between dinner and breakfast because your body only loses weight when it's insulin levels drop and your insulin levels spike after eating.

I only eat food from 12am to 8pm but I wouldn't recommend that for a child who is self- conscious about weight. You could try just giving her dinner earlier and cutting out eating after dinner and removing some of the carbohydrates from her meals.

If she has strong leg muscles but weaker stomach muscles well she needs to exercise her core. Sit ups go a long way but your might find it hard to recommend them gently.

habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 10:20:19

You mention her exercise but not her diet. Food is the main factor in weight loss. What is she eating?

habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 10:20:59

Sorry just realised your mentioned keeping up a good diet at the end

Ignore my post above

TwoRedShoes Mon 11-Nov-19 10:28:50

I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. flowers

We have found veggie soups before lunch and dinner help with feeling full. Unlimited cooked vegetables at both meals too. Loads of vegetables. Raw too. But cooked seems to be more satisfying. All the things like brocolli, cauliflower, brussells, beans, peas, carrots, turnips, cabbage. We eat them all year round. We always have a separate side of veggies no matter what else we are eating. And it works.

It sounds like she's doing plenty of lower body work out - but upper body needs help if she can't do a plank. She needs core strengthening.

I agree with PP that swimming - or running - would create the kind of toning to the tummy she may be looking for.

Please do remind her how far she's come and that this takes time. it's not overnight to get the body you want but you really can have anything you set your mind to. It's just a matter of doing a little bit every day and it seems like she is very motivated.

Keep up the good work Mum. You sound fantastic.

Mintjulia Mon 11-Nov-19 10:29:10

Why not point out to her that she is already losing weight at a steady pace and that she just needs to keep on doing what she is doing.
Emphasise that she is being SUCCESSFUL at her current rate of weight loss and that she doesn’t need to do more if she doesn’t want to.
Suggest she draws it on a graph including the last couple of years, so she can see a comforting downward line. Put in a sensible, achievable target and tell her she’s lovely as she is.

TwoRedShoes Mon 11-Nov-19 10:32:14

These sports are great that she's doing but if she wants to burn fat it has to be cardio - that's why running and swimming are good. It's difficult to tell from dance and basketball how much is really going on. Walking is great too. All of these are good for maintenance of a body weight and for losing weight long-term - but it's the cardio that will shift it faster and also give core strength around the middle. She may also want to do pilates or something like that too - but not sure if they do it for children! You could do some YouTube vids together at home for core strength in the abs/lower tummy area? I love doing 10 mins with my DD some days. It's a lot of fun. And keep it light and fun - not too serious.

Foxesandsquirrels Mon 11-Nov-19 10:34:20

@Purpledragon40 that's really interesting what you say about the correlation with weight and being self conscious. I didn't think of that but you are very right, plenty of slim girls that are insecure.
With regards to her diet she is a sweet monster but has cut down massively in the last two months. She has breakfast, school dinners, a snack before activities and than dinner when she gets home. She has recently started buying food at break too as she's been waking up too late for breakfast. I know she is overweight but I am honestly not worried about the weight part as I can see she does plenty of exercise and it'll even out. Even if it doesn't, not everyone is skinny and I just keep telling her what's important is having a healthy heart and you can only do that by being fit. I am just concerned about her self confidence.
From observing other kids her age she has one of the healthier diets.
I think I will keep trying to improve her confidence and keep reminding her she is right the way she is. Maybe if it doesn't even out in the next year or two we will get some blood work done to check thyroid as that is a big problem on the girls side of our family. I just don't want to drag her to a Dr now for him to say everything is fine and she is just overweight. That would crush her.

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Foxesandsquirrels Mon 11-Nov-19 10:37:57

Those suggestions are great! Thanks so much. I'm trying not to get too caught up with numbers and weight loss so I'd rather her not monitor that. I've told her as you get fitter your clothes will get looser and you will be more energetic, I'm paranoid about eating disorders and don't want her becoming focused on numbers being lost.
The 10min videos idea is very helpful and I will try to do it myself and invite her along. She hates any running or upper body so I do agree that maybe those sports aren't as cardio focused as she should have, although she does come out quite sweaty.

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summerflower2 Mon 11-Nov-19 12:12:07

I would suggest doing some extra exercise for slimming tummy, like the slowly sit up and the hula-hoop movement.

Foxesandsquirrels Mon 11-Nov-19 12:22:26

@summerflower2 Thanks! That's a great idea. She is on a waiting list for a circus club where they do aerial and silks. I'm sure they have hula hoops too so I chat to her to maybe her a weighted one.

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SJane48S Mon 11-Nov-19 22:29:50

Your DD is a month older than my youngest and unfortunately this does seem to be the age that the concern about weight and not looking like others kicks in - youngest DD isn't overweight at all but has broad shoulders and is developing curves. She's said a number of times she feels fat which is nonsense and upsetting to hear. What a lot your DD and you have gone through and from everything you have said, she is a fit and healthy child who isn't obese. Having had an eating disorder myself (extended fasting on 500 calories a day, fainting fits and anaemia) and eldest DD (25) does/did please do be really careful how you address this. I'm not sure I did properly with eldest DD who basically binge eats when down and has been significantly overweight. What I wish I'd done is get her to see her body differently and a lot more positively - I tried but could have done more. Her Aunt (Ex partners sister) is of a very similar build to eldest DD and is a plus size model and has an absolutely brilliant attitude to being bigger than the 'norm' but embracing that and seeing how she is as being beautiful - which she is and one of the most confident go getting women I know. My eldest DD is still getting there in terms of liking her body but as parents there is a lot we can do to reinforce that we come in all shapes and sizes. Try swimming but I'd try and make it all a non issue as possible and keep telling her how great she looks and how proud you are of her. She just needs to see herself in a different way - perhaps you could look at getting support on this, there are some great books out there she could read. Mighty Girl might be able to help with some age appropriate material. Speaking as someone who has been significantly underweight but still seen myself as fat in changing rooms, these mindsets need tackling and can take life time holds.

Foxesandsquirrels Mon 11-Nov-19 22:46:58

@sjane48S thank you so much for your message. My sister too had a horrible ED and spent ages 15-19 in inpatient units. I hated visiting her and she still struggles and sometimes comments about DDs appearance. This is a huge reason why I am so nervous when DD makes comments about her weight. Just today we were sitting and she asked me how she can get rid of her double chin. I had to explain to her that most people have one when they look down or even smile. She said her friends don't. I had to be frank and said well you're not your friends and your face is great the way it is, you have nothing to worry about. How boring would it be if we all had the same shape face.

I think you are right, she eats healthily, gets plenty of exercise so as far as I'm concerned she's healthy. It is so hard for them especially when she constantly has assemblies about the importance of not being obese etc. The only reason we know her weight is because she's going on a skiing trip and had to be weighed and measured for the skis. She came home saying I weigh 56 thingy's is that normal? It broke my heart. She also has a language disorder and spends a lot of time in learning support so I guess she just doesn't want another thing to make her look different. I will keep telling her I'm proud of her and maybe try to find a nice book or film we can watch.

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Tvstar Tue 12-Nov-19 11:49:59

I know at my dcs school, skipping meals and over exercising is rife among the girls. I would tread very carefully

SJane48S Tue 12-Nov-19 12:33:11

These are from the US but you can usually find them on Amazon. My youngest DD (also 11) has a couple of the American girl books and really likes them - much prefers reading them than asking me questions!

SJane48S Tue 12-Nov-19 12:35:23

SJane48S Tue 12-Nov-19 12:38:20>rck=Z0NHTmZTMEtleE1QbWt2QXQrMUxNbU9DS2lIVkFHVnJKZ3M4eXVDQkZuY3o2T2xnRENaSHF4OVIxbjgrcWo1Sk91VG1mTWprRG5vb3krd1BCenN2Y1E9PQ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI04iBl9jk5QIV0tDeCh3yvQDmEAQYASABEgKG0fD_BwE

SJane48S Tue 12-Nov-19 12:44:17

Scratch the last one - this one might be better as she is 11 -

Foxesandsquirrels Tue 12-Nov-19 13:07:27

@sjane48s you're a gem! I've order is this normal? As this is over the question that comes out her mouth! I've also ordered the junkyard wonders which I saw on their website as she struggles with accepting that she has to go to learning support and a book called rules. She's not big on reading but I think she will secretly like the is this normal book. Thank you so much

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TeddTess Tue 12-Nov-19 17:32:31

If she is constantly hungry try to reduce her sugar intake including white pasta, bread etc.
Replace with protein, eg omelette for breakfast.
Soups as a starter etc..

such a tricky age! 56kg at 148cm is nowhere near obese - she is very likely to grow into her weight with her growth spurt.

Teachermaths Tue 12-Nov-19 17:35:43

Sounds simple but make sure she is drinking enough water. Lots of people often think they need to eat whereas really they need to drink water.

Foxesandsquirrels Tue 12-Nov-19 18:09:44

Thank you. She had a drop down day today about health. She's come home with a booklet about healthy eating and exercise. Its so annoying because it is so important for kids to know about healthy eating but I just feel like she's had this at least 4 times this year. In the bit where they ask why should you exercise she wrote: to make you strong and active and everyone wants to be skinny and you'll fit into all the nice clothes. Urgh.

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