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3 DDs, 2 slim, 1 overweight. How to handle?

(52 Posts)
PianaPot Sun 31-May-15 11:30:20

I have DD's 16, 14, 12. Oldest and youngest have always been superslim and sporty. It's just the way they are. DD2 is less co-ordinated and less interested, so doesn't have a sport she loves. She does school pe (1 hr p/w), and a youth gym session (2x1hr p/w), plus walk to and from school (15-20 mins each way), but other than that she does the usual teenage thing of spending lots of time on phone/screen, so she sits a lot! Her friends are into online stuff, so she doesn't go out with them much either, and when they do, it isn't active kind of things.

She used to be a slim-ish build, but is now carrying weight around her tum, bum etc. She weighs 9.10 (62 kg) and is only 5ft 3 (160cm), which NHS says puts her into the overweight category. She thinks she is fine as she is, didn't realise she was overweight till I showed her the nhs chart.

I have been treading VERY carefully around this, talking about healthy eating, moving more for about the last six months, and while I think she is eating better, and less calories than she was, she is still overweight. You wouldn't know from looking at her in clothes as she has slimish arms and legs and wears loose clothes though.

So, really don't want to get into calorie couting at this age, and I'm not sure where we could fit in more organised sporting activities as as a family we are pretty busy. Frustratingly, DD1 and DD3 can eat whatever they like in whatever quantity but stay superslim - in fact they can veer to being too slim, so we always have full fat cheese, milk available.

DD isn't happy now that she knows she is offically overweight, but I am not sure where to go from here. Words of gentle wisdom welcomed!

CamelHump Sun 31-May-15 11:39:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YodaIAmYo Sun 31-May-15 11:42:58

Wait, so shes 9stone 10?
'she thinks she is fine'
and 'you wouldn't know from looking at her' that she is 'overweight'
according to a bmi chart?

Bloody hell. Leave the girl alone!!

MagentaVitus Sun 31-May-15 11:43:24

I'd cook well and to family physical activities for fun, but not mention is directly to her again. Her confidence has taken a big knock (ignorance previously being bliss) and she needs time to adjust and take control.

Reminding her that she needs to lose weight will end badly - either in completely crushed self esteem or food issues.

specialsubject Sun 31-May-15 11:43:34

agreed. And of course the other two can't 'eat what they like'. I think you'll find they are burning off the calories they eat.

also remember there's more to sport than the 'team' games at school, which can so often become institutionalised bullying. Keep eyes open for other opportunities.

YodaIAmYo Sun 31-May-15 11:44:00

Why on earth did you tell her she was 'officially over weight'?

You sound like you are going to give her body issues!

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 31-May-15 11:46:00

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Nospringflower Sun 31-May-15 11:47:30

62kg does sound a lot for a 14 year old at 5'3 but I agree, probably best just trying to have everyone eating healthily and active with no more focus on DD2.

MagentaVitus Sun 31-May-15 11:47:32

Also, I'm the fattest sister. I'm not overweight, but my youngest sister is very image conscious and competitive diets with her friends. As a result, she is incredibly underweight. Her C cups (same as mine) are now down to just nipples.

And yet, I watch everybody tell her how thin she is, and how good she looks, and i can't help but be jealous. Having it pointed out that by comparison you are worse/less attractive than your sister is very difficult. It is something that I have struggled with since my teens, and it has shaken a very firm friendship with my sister.

PivotPIVOT Sun 31-May-15 11:48:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheAwfulDaughter Sun 31-May-15 11:48:31

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drspouse Sun 31-May-15 11:49:11

It must be hard! I have two young cousins with health issues, one is overweight and one underweight. They have to have two lots of milk, two variants on meals.

Some things that have helped me personally are portion sizes, reading the packets and being a bit geeky about measuring food (if she's into cooking you can make it a bit of a project, not calorie counting but comparing her options in terms of traffic light symbols, getting her 5 a day, making sure there's enough protein, my goodness HOW much sugar in that etc).

Also maybe DofE and volunteering? I wear a Fitbit and take masses of steps during a Guide meeting, you're running around playing games with the girls etc, and the expedition will all be walking practice etc.

RedandYellow24 Sun 31-May-15 11:51:44

BMI does not take into account your build or muscles. I remember a friend of mine was similar height and size 12 same as me yet she was 9 stone I was 10 and a half. You would never tell by looking at us. Muscle weighs more than fat.
I'm still technically overwight on my BMI but I fit into average size 12 so to me that's not over weight

MagentaVitus Sun 31-May-15 11:51:44

I've just put the stats into the NHS calculator.

She is overweight on the child calculator. (Which you shouldn't be using, she no longer has the body of a child.)

She has a normal BMI of 24.2 on the adult calculator.

I think you have made a really large mistake here OP. She isn't overweight at all. I'd have to apologise to my DD and show her why I was wrong. I bet the poor thing is gutted and very confused.

MileyVirus Sun 31-May-15 11:58:39

I would aim to make family activities sporty. So dd gets exercise without feeling as though she is the one that needs it.

PianaPot Sun 31-May-15 13:40:39

Lots of replies! Hmm.

DD2 IS overweight, not two ways about it. Her tum sticks out more than her boobs and there is a big 'tyre' when she sits down. The tops of her arms and legs are big, she has cellulite and stretch marks, and just recently, thigh chafe sad. She can't wear the clothes her peers are wearing because they don't fit her shape and size, hence the loose clothes.

She isn't huge all over, and in clothes she doesn't look fat, but in a swimming costume you can see her shape and she is definitely too big around the middle. The NHS bmi calculator asks for age, so is taking into account she is no longer a child, and says that she is in the overweight category.

There is a lot of parental blindness about their chldren being overweight. I am not blind - I have watched her slowly change from being slim to being too big for her build and height. I am not obsessed about it, but concerned, as I know it is hard to lose weight. She is upset because we have helped her build a good self image thus far, and she was surprised to know she was overweight.

I have no food issues myself, and as a family we have a pretty healthy lifestyle. Hence my request for advice about how to go forwards. She compares herself to her sisters, while we parents trot out the old 'we are all different shapes, it's being healthy that counts...'.

HOW can she lose weight (or grow about 4 inches lol!) without it becoming an issue is what I want to know. I seriously don't feel she is at risk of anorexia/self harm - that is my parental judgement based on her emotional health etc etc and you have to take that as my view. (It is something I might worry about with dd3 though, so you can see why i want to tread very carefully).

lastqueenofscotland Sun 31-May-15 14:22:06

I can't believe you told her she was overweight!!!

I think she sounds like she does quite a lot for just a 14 yo. Thats a fair amount of walking.
3 healthy meals and she'll level out. I was a real chunk at 13 and levelled out after a year or 2 without really changing what I ate how much I moved etc.

IHeartKingThistle Sun 31-May-15 14:24:19

I am DD1 in this scenario. My middle sister was a LOT more overweight than your DD2. She was aware of it. We NEVER talked about it. We didn't care and my parents refused to compare us in any way at all.

It didn't help her weight but it meant we preserved our relationship. It's so fragile, please tread carefully.

PianaPot Sun 31-May-15 15:13:44

Anyone have any useful advice?
I'd love to think she'll level out in a couple of years, but in this day and age, I think it is MUCH harder to achieve a healthy weight than it use to be sad

Mintyy Sun 31-May-15 15:23:48

I am 5'2" was 9 and a half stone in my mid teens and looked and felt quite overweight. I really wanted to weigh 8 stone! That would have put me on a more equal footing with my peers.

Now, in my early 50s, I would be delighted to weigh 9 stone 7! Oh God, how happy that would make me.

It is definitely a little overweight for a 14 year old. I have a 14 year old who is 5 inches taller and weighs quite a bit less but who looks about average build in her group.

She doesn't have a huge weight problem and you are quite right to be really careful about how you tackle it op. I think you really need to encourage her to be more active, preferably in the outdoors. Not just from a weight point of view but for the sake of her mental health too.

MileyVirus Sun 31-May-15 15:35:41

What Mintyy Said

Longtalljosie Sun 31-May-15 15:47:59

Piana - I'm sorry you're not having more support in here. I'm afraid that unless you have two (or more) children with different metabolisms people just refuse to accept that people are different. And I speak as someone who until very recently could eat what l liked. Now I've joined the rest of the human race I'm in awe at how much I used to be able to eat.

It is true that around puberty people do put on a bit of weight - could it be that? Raising girls has a good chapter on weight and weight issues.

But ultimately you do have a responsibility for her physical health as well as her mental health. Someone I'm close to became very overweight as a teen despite being fed healthy food - partly because whenever she went into town shopping she went straight to Burger King. I don't know what the solution is, but I hope someone with knowledge comes along soon and you don't just get roasted for daring to accept you have an overweight child...

purplemurple1 Sun 31-May-15 16:31:57

Would she be interested in doing some volunteer work? It would be good for her cv and get her away from her screen and therefore moving more.

Are there any sneaky calories like juice or pop that can be cut out? If she snacks can you change the types of snacks you buy so baked crisps, flavoured rice cakes type of things so its not all fruit and vegetables.

mumeeee Mon 01-Jun-15 11:44:33

BMI charts are not accurate for under 18s. They are for adults who have stopped growing. Your other 2 DDs don't need full fat milk and butter even if they are very slim. I would just provide healthy meals and snacks and let all your DDs get on with it.

Georgethesecond Mon 01-Jun-15 11:50:29

She has probably put on weight by eating too many carbs. Cutting back on these would do no one any harm - even the slim girls. Can you try to make meals revolve less around carbs, more around protein and veg and have fewer empty carbs in the house? Is she drinking fizzy drinks, these are terrible for weight gain if you are prone to it? Is her breakfast very carb heavy - the traditional ones in this country often are?

I don't think you have done the wrong thing - you know her best and she obviously is overweight.

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