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Overweight Teenager and we just don't know what to do(14 Posts)
My step-daughter has been increasingly putting on weight over the last year. She was large before but according to her mother she has put on more than two stones, and now she has reached the point where she can't wear normal teenager clothes.
We are really concerned about her health but we can't talk to her about it. It has become such as sensitive subject. We took her to see a specialist on advice of the doctor but when we did she clammed up and her school work went downhill, and she refused to go.
What can we do? She doesn't live with us (she comes to stay alternate weekends). We give her healthy food when she comes and go on long walks but this is not going to solve the problem. We feel like we have our hands tied behind our backs. It is such a sensitive subject, but we want to take positive steps.
The summer holidays are coming up and we are wondering if there may be something positive that we can do with time to try to make things more positive. Any thoughts or help really appreciated.
Watching this as my 13yo DSD is also overweight. It is difficult when they don't live with you isn't it. Her mum refuses to change anything.
I am quite overweight myself but starting (now I've had my own babies) to tackle it... Unfortunately I can't make too big a deal out of it because my other DSD (they are twins) is very underweight and very paranoid about being fat!
I was an overweight teenager. Really, the most important thing is for her to want to change. Without that, I don't think anything will work.
Is her mother concerned too? As she spends most of her time with her mother it's likely that she should be the driver behind her possible weight loss. Does your DSD cook her meals? Could you teach her a couple of healthy, low fat meals and encourage her to cook them at home? Could you take her swimming/out to play some sport and encourage her to join a club at home? How about signing up for the Race for Life - running is an excellent way of loosing weight however simply you do it (if she have a granny/aunty or close family member who has suffered from breast cancer then that is brilliant inspiration) - you could do the "Couch to 5K" together and blog about it?
But she does have to want to loose weight. Nagging will only put her off.
As a normal-to chunky size adult, my experience is that it is much easier to loose weight as a teenager than as a 40 year old (pg sickness excepting ).
I lost my teenage weight through swimming, cycling (freedom without relying on lifts!), diet and bloodymindedness.
What happened there?
I think you need to find out why she is putting weight on, first. You don't just pile on weight out of the blue without a reason, do you?
Bullying? She doesn't want to talk about it, so it seems she's embarrassed about something...
Does she enjoy any sports? Trampolining is good for losing weight and you don't realise that you're exercising, and it's fun even for teenagers.
She has to want it for herself unfortunately,
Hi. I agree with PP who say DSD has to want change for it to happen. My skids live with us and both are large and getting larger. DH is large too but has stayed the same weight for 10 years, though I've said repeatedly that if he lost weight it might jolt them into it as well, but he just isn't that bothered for himself - but he is for them
I know my skids have problems because of the habits their mother instilled in them, which mean that they snack continually between meals (on food they buy, I hasten to add). I am the complete reverse but have had to mellow a bit for the sake of family harmony. I want my kids growing up happy and healthy and with a good relationship with food, which so far is the case.
We've made huge efforts with both of them to improve matters, and at 14 SS had lost weight and was so much happier, but it all went downhill from there. Their problem is they are both sedentary and buy and eat junk continually. They're 17 and 18 so there's little we can do, but it's sad to see - SD is clearing out size 16 clothing that she can't fit into any more and I have to explain to my children why they can't have the crap that sometimes finds its way into the fridge and cupboards. Very difficult for family relations sometimes, the whole thing. But there's litte you can do, esp when they're with you only part-time. Perhaps instead of trying to rectify it (I was guilty of this for years) you could try to be an ear or a shoulder for her, so that she feels she has someone to talk to, which would be a help. It may well not happen though, my SD won't discuss anything remotely personal with anyone, even her mother.
Let us know how things go.
Nothing you can do that you're not already doing. Eat well and healthily together, take lots of exercise as a family.
Could she be eating rubbish in secret ? I did this as a child and my Mum sadly didn't have a clue. I would stop off at the shop on my way home from school, stuff myself with crisps, sweets, chocolate then come home to a lovely home cooked dinner and eat that too. I did this from the age of 9 to 15 and I gained a lot of weight because of it. I only stopped when I started to notice boys. I lost the excess weight by going on a (sensible) diet, i.e. cutting out the crap and eating 3 meals and day and I finally found a sport I loved in school - badminton, which I began to play all the time.
I did this on my own, without the help of my parents, doctors or any professional because (as the others have said) I wanted to do it for myself. If I didn't want to do it, I probably would have kept on eating.
Its important to try to be vigilant without nagging. I remember silently screaming when anyone mentioned my weight, I didn't want to know, it probably sent my running for the comfort of food even more. Maybe try to expand her interests and horizons because the world of an overeater is very small - it gets to the stage that the only enjoyment they get from life is when they are eating, and that is very sad.
Once I lost weight I began to get pleasure from other things in life i.e. making new friends, shopping, clothes, discos, sports, going to the beach .... I avoided all these things when I was overweight. I hope you can help her but remember to tread carefully.
I work for the Institute of Child Health and we are running a free weight management program with the idea of motivating young people to live a healthier lifestyle. Have a look at www.helptrial.org.uk for more information. Ideally you would need to be in the Greater London area to take part....
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