Stepdaughter weight!(24 Posts)
Hi all, advice needed (have posted this in teens too). My DSD has a sweet tooth that is out of control. In the last 12 months she has put on about a stone and a half and we think is eating a big chocolate bar a day along with lots of other sugary stuff. She is hiding alot of it in her room. Her dad found more yesterday (she had asked him to help her look for something). We don't know what to do! We don't want to make her feel bad about how much weight she is putting on but she is obviously aware of it (she has stretch marks she hates). She has joined the gym but goes occasionally. She is beautiful and has gone from a size 8 to a 12 since the summer. What do we do? We can't stop her eating can we? Do we just leave it? My DP asked me to post... she is 17 and works on sats and gets pocket money from DP...
Do you think se might be depressed? I'm only asking from my own experience, because at 17 I felt like the whole world was on top of me and looking back now I think I may have had depression. But I kept myself in a little bubble and never spoke to anyone about it- I even ate in secret upstairs and especially when people where out. Food was a comfort for me. Your dsd might be feeling the same.
I would have been mortified if someone had pulled me up on the eating though, so I really don't know what to suggest. At 17 she has her own mind and only she can do anything about it. With her working as well she will have her own money to buy her own food.
Do you think it's likely that she is over-eating because she's unhappy? Issues with food are more often than not the symptom of something internal. Does anyone else she knows go to the gym? It's always better/more motivating going with someone else.
I can honestly say that she is not unhappy.. always chatting etc, but she's always had a fondness for chocolate and now she is old enought to buy what she likes...
Sugar can be very addictive for some people. How is her diet in general? Try to focus on plenty of good fats and protein, that will satiate her. Stay clear of "bad carbs", ie. bread, pasta etc, focus on potatoes and rice for carbs.
When she visits why don't you suggest going for a swim and she chum you or could you join the gym and go to a few classes together or just do a work out.
I would also try and keep snack foods to a minimum at your house. Try to get her involved in stuff to keep her mind off eating. Also maybe she is having a final growth spurt.
As the saying goes- you can take a horse to water bit can't make it drink.
If you are comfortable enough then have a chat with her about the hidden food or get dp to do it. Ask her why she is hiding it and not keeping it in the cupboards. Maybe there is an underlying issue. Stress of exams and school work etc.
Speak to her about school and work. see if anything is bothering her but maybe don't address her weight as the starting point.
I agree it's really hard to talk to her about but you can plan active family events, like a bike ride at the weekend etc.
Hiding food is a bad sign I think. Could you ask her if she is happy and see where that takes you?
In theory we don't allow food upstairs so if you have that rule you could start by reinforcing that. dss takes food to his room and it annoys me for several reasons - 1) the wrappers don't get brought down so the places ends up a mess, 2) the food is often also left, rotting, crumbling, moulding, spreading itself around, 3) we don't know what he's eating and he doesn't eat his meals. So, we have this rule (which he doesn't always follow to be fair) and if we had any issues it could be reverted to more strongly.
At least that way you would start to get to the point where she is less likely to be able to hide stuff.
Keep all unhealthy food out of the house but at 17, there's a limit to what you can do about this. She will prob get interested in male attention soon enough and want to stay slimmish for that. A size 12 is not huge.
As a former overweight child and teenager who also are in secret as a way to cope with unhappy feelings, I'd say not to mention it to her.
My parents focused on my weight and it made me feel worthless and imperfect, which only led to more secret eating and 10 years of bulimia.
Focus on a very healthy, active lifestyle as a family but I wouldn't make this a huge issue.
She is still 'beautiful', remember that
You are worried she's a size 12? Maybe have a look at your own issues with image, weight etc. before you impose them on someone else? Fair enough if she'd ballooned to a size 20 from a size 8, but a size 12?
Fedup, I think she means she worried how quickly she's gone to a 12 (not being a 12 in itself) and if continues at that rate it wouldn't be healthy
Fedupbutfine that is unnecessary you don't know anything about her build etc - it is not normal to go from an 8 to a 12 in 12 months ! I don't have any issues about body image etc I am concerned about her diet.. there's always once isnt there...
This has brought back memories - i used to buy chocolate from the age of about 11 with my pocket money and eat it secretly in my room. I'm not sure if my parents knew or not, but they didn't stop me.
I'm not sure why I did it either - I loved the sweet taste ( still do) and looking back my parents were quite controlling so perhaps it was my way of taking back control, or getting some comfort - I don't know.
She's almost an adult so there's a limit to what you can do. Maybe have a chat with her and ask if she's happy, mention the wrappers, but not the weight.
Fedup She is worried about the pace her SD has gained weight. She's not saying size 12 is bad or looks bad, she's concerned about her gaining this weight in such a short space of time.
And you know what, it could keep increasing. This time next year she could be a size 16, then a year after that a 20, etc... A big chocolate bar a day will help make that happen!
has she gone on the pill? I went on the pill at 18 (and never told any one), piled on a couple of stone (got the stretch marks) very quickly.
Yes size 8 to size 12 is a big jump in a year, just because it's still within the bounds of normal doesn't mean it's not something to be concerned about, and far better to address it now where she just needs to stop gaining, rather than waiting until she is actually significantly overweight.
I have the same issue here at the moment with my 15yr old. It's not the size 12 that is the issue, as others said, It's the speed of gain I have worried about.
I have decided to not say anything. I'm not destroying my tricky teen relationship because of weight. They are too old to be 'controlled' (food wise) anyway and it's not like they will be unaware. It's only weight, it can be lost. I'd rather she knew I think she is amazing at any size. It's hard though, as someone who has struggled, I wish I had nipped it in the bud at a size 12.....
I don't think it should be ignored, it's a lot easier to stop the weight gain or loose a little weight now rather than later. And I know everyone says big is beautiful, but the reality is isn't not healthy and can cause major issues later in life. Better to learn to make the right food choices now.
But saying something and acting negatively could spiral her into an eating disorder. I think you should focus on good food choices as a family, exercise etc. She is 17. She knows she has put on weight. It's a massively sensitive time in her life, so many life choices to make etc. it's very easy to make somebody feel worse, especially if the source of her eating is due to things going on in her life. Probe those areas, keep her close
And for the record, in a slim size 10/12 now and eat really healthily. I wish my parents had backed off. This is only my story, obviously
Is she into exercise? I'm not an expert but I think a lot of gyms run teen programmes and Cross Fit also has a youth section. Maybe encouraging her to get involved with something like that might help?
Funnily enough I've had my sis-in-law staying for the last couple of weeks. She's 22 and has ballooned from a 10 to a 16 in the last couple of years. I did have a bit of a chat with her about it and it turned out she's been having the contraception injections (I'm not very clued up on this) to help manage heavy periods and she seemed to think that had contributed to her weight gain. Any chance your DSD could have recently started the pill or anything?
Is she into cooking? Getting her interested in cooking healthy meals might help her take control of her diet in a healthier manner. And having healthy food (eg fruit) that's freely available for snacking whenever she wants might appease a sweet tooth.
My DSD is quite similar and her weight does bother her at times I think. If you're not very tall, a size 12 can come out as overweight, though her BMI would be a better measure.
I do not exercise because I just can't get into it (love swimming but the faff about going puts me off). I put on weight when I was younger because me and my mate would go and spend all our money on fizzy pop and sweets then sit on our bums watching movies. Thing is my mom and some of her friends went on about my rapid increase in weight and it is something I have struggled to control in later years. I wanted to be thin, I wanted to look great and buy size 8 or 10 without having to try it on but it as well meaning as my mom was it didn't help and her idea of a healthy diet was not really right.
I had to re-educate myself but if you really want to help her then help her get her sugar fix with cheats, do some research for ideas on the slimming sites. Things like do pudding but look at healthier options - I am not one for buy branded low fat or sugar crap but if you do the research then there are helpful alternatives that feel naughty - an example of one of my faves is banana peel off one section of skin and slot in curly wurly. Can be baked or BBQ and turns into gooey chocolatey banoffe desert - much more filling than just a chocolate bar, bit sickly so don't want anything after. If you find a few faves of hers like this then it may help over the long term.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.