Help, my daughter is fat

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2012
Help, my daughter is fat
11
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 12:48am

Hello, I'm a 42 year old man and I could use some advice on dealing with my daughters weight problem.

My 18 yr old daughter is about 30 lbs overweight and gaining. We don't talk about it. I know that she wants to lose weight because shes spent hundreds of dollars on diet plans, supplements and gym memberships but shes going about it in the wrong way and anytime I try to point her in the right direction, she feels offended and gets mad which is why we don't talk about it.

I've heard the horror stories of parents making their kids feel humiliated and terrible about themselves but is keeping quiet any better?

I don't know what to do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2004
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 12:07am

You are her parent. Your job is to love and protect her and let her see that she is a valuable and necessary addition to the universe no matter what she looks like, what kind of personality she has, or how intelligent she is. She, like all of us, will take her beatings from the cold cruel world. If she is trying every which way to lose weight, it’s for the teenage boys out there, not for you because you love her just the way she is, right? I can absolutely guarantee what you need to do: Every time you see her, smile and say “hi sweetie/beautiful/pumpkin/other endearment of your choice”. Every chance you get, give her a hug and a kiss, because she’s awesome, right? If she says anything about her looks, say she looks great the way she is. If you’re ever out together and see someone you know, introduce her proudly. THAT’S IT. Nothing else. Give it a year or two. If you can stick with it, you will end up with a sweet beautiful pumpkin who is awesome and proud.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 8:32pm

It's funny the odd things that stick with us. My friend was saying her husband didn't think you should drink milk w/ a meal because it would make you sick. She said it was the one weird diet thing they've passed on to their son.  OTOH, when I was in Germany people were drinking beer w/ their ice cream. I asked for a glass of water and the waiter (a funny older guy) stuck out his tongue and said, "Ohh, that's going to make you sick!"  LOL, but beer and ice cream wouldn't be a problem!






iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 5:17pm
I don't eat fish because whenever we had fish, my mother always warned us to chew it really well so we didn't choke on a bone...although in reality I have never once seen 'cause of death - fish bone'. If I came to your house for dinner and you served fish, I would take the tiniest amount possible and chew like crazy...and I would find a bone...on the other hand,we were forbidden raisins because the dentist said they were bad for our teeth..I love raisins now, my brother will not eat them...so I think it is not possible to avoid warping children...oh, and we were never made to clean our plates, but we had to finish our milk...somewhere in my 30s I knew I was an adult when I told my dad I didn't want milk with dinner, he poured it anyway, and I did not drink it...I can not stand the taste of milk...I drink coffee with cream or black....but I don't feel the need to clean my plate...
Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 10:53am

I didn't start taking control of it all until after I left home. My parents, after all these years, have finally realized how poor their approach was, to some extent, and that it wasn't so much that I was lazy, etc. as much as I have a slow metabolism and it takes constant vigilance to maintain a normal weight. Plus, at home, if you're deprived of something, that makes you crave it more and you end up overeating when you do have it, which makes you feel bad so you deprive yourself, etc. It's a vicious cycle. I tell my clients now that I never tell people to give up their favorite foods.  Having a cookie and appreciating it is far better than not having your favorite food for a few weeks and then binging and feeling bad.   Anyway, that's my soapbox. I hope I didn't scare off the OP.






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 8:19am
On second thought, there is a better way to instill lessons without scarring. My bad...I pressed "post" too soon, without thinking what I wrote through.
Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 8:18am

lol.  dd just told me she gets nervous around geese because when she was little, I told her to stay away from them because they are strong enough to break a person's arm (a mother defending her babies has been known to do this.)  On one hand, I've scarred her for life, on the other hand, she will be safe around geese.

Similar to you, you are hurt about your parents' remarks, but on the other hand, you are the most fit person around...and the healthiest!  With bad comes good, although it can be scarring, too.  :smileysad:

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:28pm

Mty parents were the same w/ vocalizing their disapproval.  Parents words can be damaging. I can't tell you how long it took me to get over eating anything unhealthy in front of others.  The thing my parents didn't do was support me and they kept junk food in the house and everyone else ate it but if I had anything, like added maple syrup to my pancakes, I'd get the, "Are you really going to have that, given how fat you are?" type remarks.  When most adults have will power problems, it's unfair to expect a 15 year old to have completel control.  Yes, I knew I was overweight, yes, I wanted to change and thought every diet was going to help and no, my parents harping on me did nothing but make me feel worst. Had the whole family focused on everyone's health and not harped on my weight, it would have made a big difference.  

I've actually played this out in my head a lot because I wondered how I'd deal w/ it if my kids had a weight problem. It is worrisome because of all the health, mental and physical, problems that can come with it. And, that was my conclusion--it's about the health. Period. As long as they have healthy lifestyles, it doesn't matter what they weigh and people who lose weight for health tend to keep it off more than people who do it for looks.

 






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2004
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:32am

Having been in your daughter's place, I understand.  My father was very frank about his feelings regarding my weight and I strongly believe it played a large part in self esteem issues, lead to binging behavior and hiding food.  As one of the other ladies suggested, she knows she's gaining weight - telling her is just pouring salt in the wound.  

Unfortunately, you are also at a disadvantage because she's at an age where everything you say is stupid.  :smileywink:  

Is there something traumatic going on in her life?  Perhaps there is a reason why she's turning to food for comfort.  Maybe seeing a therapist is in order?   

I think the other suggestions of modeling a healthy lifestyle are wonderful.  Go to the gym.  Don't keep unhealthy food in the house.  If you're really craving pizza but having salad instead, verbalize that.  Let her know that you struggle with healthy choices too.

Kudos to you for being concerned about her and trying to be proactive.   

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 8:49am

Hi and welcome! I have daughters so I understand your dilemma. We try not to talk about weight in our home and instead we try to focus on health. Heart issues run in my family and cancer in my husband's so we stress the need for good eating and weight control. We make a point of not buying soda, junk food, and snacks and they both know why. 

Have you tried going to the gym with your daughter? We have a family membership at ours and my daughters enjoy the group classes. Perhaps you can make it a father/daughter date a couple of nights a week to do an exercise class together. 

Also, take her shopping and read food labels together. It may help her understand that food choices are the biggest part of weight control and maintaining appropriate weight is a great health benefit.  

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 8:03am

I would suggest a good nutritionist and a personal trainer that work together to help her...or weight watchers program.  Teenagers are very touchy, and especially the girls.  Fad diets and "get fix quick schemes" don't work.  It's a permanent lifestylle change that is needed.  Another route my be to start with a doctor.

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and we are seeing it earlier in life.  The bottom line is that the food we eat and the exercise we do, as well as other lifestyle change, is the best fix.  It takes a lot of dedication and persisance and self control to get fit.  It's obvious that she is trying, but she needs better guidance.

Question for you - are you fit? There are things that you might do that she could SEE are healthy choices that you are making - healthy food,and fitness program, etc.  Instead of you talking to her about it, you could just set an example that she could choose (or not choose) to follow.  For example, I do not have junk food in my cabinets.  Instead, I have lots of fruits and vegetables.  I stir fry healthy vegetables at the beginning of the week, and I use this for an egg white scramble, stir fry, etc.  Also, I try to work out 3-5 times a week.  I set the heallthy example for my kids so that they see a role model making healthy choices.

I am sure that others on the board will have other ideas.  You and your daughter have different options.  Goodluck, and let us know how it goes.

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