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It’s Your Turn To Help Me Out

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The other day when I got out of the shower, I saw my 9 yr old looking at herself in the mirror. She was standing there, holding her shirt up and looking at her stomach. This horrified me. My daughter is not overweight. She was chubby when she was little (around 2 yrs old) and I was told by the nurse at the WIC office that she was going to be obese. That made me SO angry. Then, the woman had the nerve to say, “You’re the mom. It’s your fault.” What a b*%$h. Even though I knew she was right.

We made a lot of changes to what she was drinking (she had been drinking non-stop juice and chocolate milk and hardly any water at all). We watered down her juice and used the 25% less sugar Nestle Quik powder instead of buying already mixed chocolate milk or using syrup. We also sometimes substituted with chocolate soymilk and she never even noticed. She got involved in gymnastics and all the weight just fell off within a year. She has been fit, trim and in great health ever since.

She has never worried about her weight. But you could see how this could happen with Mom making this huge lifestyle overhaul. I won’t eat the same things that everyone else in the family eats (and they won’t eat what I’m eating). I weigh myself pretty often and the kids are aware that I’m away from the house a lot more now so I can get my runs and workouts in. In their eyes, I must seem rather obsessed. Well, I kind of am.

There have been some positives from this. They are sometimes curious about this new food mom is eating and they are getting curious enough to at least try bites of things. They are used to seeing me exercise now and they sometimes join me if I’m doing some sort of workout video or lay right down next to me and try to copy my crunches or push-ups. They are definitely proud of their mom and they see my body changing and they do mention it.

But then there is this moment with my daughter, where I don’t quite know how to explain to her that Mommy really DOES need to lose 100 lbs. It’s not just a vanity thing or some fad diet. It’s so I don’t die. Period. I don’t think I handled this moment well because I simply gasped and said, “No! Don’t you do that! You are BEAUTIFUL!!! Don’t ever forget that!”

The truth is, she eats junk food ALL THE TIME. She does have the potential to gain weight. And childhood obesity is real. She’s fine right now, but I worry that if she keeps eating the way she is, she won’t always be fine. We live with my in-laws (who have their own full kitchen downstairs). My father-in-law is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and he’s a stubborn old Marine. He is a junk food junkie. This dude goes to the grocery store and comes back with Fig Newtons, Oreos, Lays and cinnamon rolls. Seriously. We have asked them to not let Anika eat so much junk (or any) but he is constantly giving it to her. The kids sneak downstairs whenever they want a treat…which is very often.

I’m nervous because this is a delicate subject to bring up with a girl that is about to enter her pre-teen years. I don’t know how to have a good talk about this subject without making her self-conscious.

The best I can come up with is to talk to her about HEALTH and not weight. I thought maybe we could watch something like “Food, Inc.” together or “Weight of the Nation” and maybe talk about what we learn from that. She’s a smart girl. She just needs to be educated on what’s best for her body.

What do you think, SparkFriends? Have any of you talked to your pre-teen daughters about this stuff and how did you go about it? I am asking for help. Because this is new territory for me.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My first thought is did you ask her what she was looking at? Maybe she was wondering what her navel would look like pierced! LOL!

    I wouldn't sit and have a talk. On going "teachable moments" have more lasting value. At 9 years old she shouldn't be concerning herself with calories or be worried about food at all. I also don't see the need for her to watch documentaries about food and health. At 9 she should be worried if she missed watching her favourite cartoon.

    My "kids" are 19 and 20 years old now and neither have an eating problem nor are they over weight. As they were growing up we all at the same meal. You really should start having family meals. There must be some way you can eat the same food as your kids either by just having all the food there for everyone to choose from but it doesn't mean everyone has to have some of everything on the table just that it is available to choose from. I always served 2 veg at dinner - one I knew the kids would eat and the other might be one everyone likes or maybe it was new to everyone. The point is the choice was there. For short period of about 6 months my kids were really picky and if they didn't want dinner their only option was a pb & j sandwich.

    When we would go grocery shopping we spent a lot of time looking at the different fruit and vegetables. Every grocery trip we would choose something new that we had never tried before. Sometimes we made good discoveries and it became a new staple in our diet but sometimes it was a total miss. Other times we would do taste tests with our purchases. If there are 3 different types of peppers buy one of each so everyone can taste them and decide which they prefer. This always made it fun to eat healthy food and not something that had to be done!

    We grew peas and strawberries and they were there for the kids to eat when they were out playing in the yard. It was the only time my son would ever eat peas. When we lived where there were u-pick farms we would make trips there and pick some fruit to take home. Of course the kids also got to eat some while they worked and the parents do most of the work but again an experience to enjoy.

    Can you let your kids know that having a treat with Grandpa should be special and treats aren't special if you do it everyday. Every time they eat something that Grandpa gave them mark it on the fridge with a magnet. After a week you can show them how often they are having "treats" they might be surprised to see how often they are having treats. Then let them know they can only have so many treats a week. Ask them what their favourite treats are. If they can only have 4 treats a week and don't like oreos as much as they like ice cream then maybe they will pass on the oreos and wait for Grandpa to have ice cream or what ever their treat is. Could they also offer a treat to Grandpa? Maybe make a big fruit salad and take it to share?

    I wouldn't label food good or bad. If you eat a food that is bad are you going to feel bad about your self because you ate it? I would just let them know that some food is healthier for your body than other food is and that is why the healthier food should be eaten more often. The food that isn't as healthy should be eaten less often and as a treat. I also wouldn't say every "saturday" you can have a treat because then every "saturday" whether they are hungry for it or not they will make sure they get their treat.

    When my kids were little and we went to the play ground I played with them. Sometimes we would play follow the leader and that is quite the work out! Make exercise fun for them as kids and not a chore that has to be done to stay healthy. If it is fun they will do it. Go on family hikes, not all activities have to be cardio just be out doors as much as possible.

    Sorry if I am rambling. Your kids are gorgeous and I don't think you have anything to worry about.

    1994 days ago
  • LILYPAD12311
    This is a sensitive topic,,,, and one that must be approached with love and understanding...... you obviously love your daughter very much and do care about her health. I have a 14 year old and she is very sensitive about the topic because her father use to constantly tease her about her "baby fat".... that never went over well,,,,, but you faces more challenges because she has grandparents that follow the "old ways",,, giving kids candy is ok when you only see them once in awhile or once a week,,, but on a regular basis,,, it is not good for their health... unfortunately, you cannot change them,,,, so you must lead by example,,, it is hard,,, but you can do it.... I take my daughter on walks with me and really make sure that I have her favorite fruits in the house,,,, I drink tons of water and she started drinking water,,,, at night I love to snack ,,, and I noticed that she started doing the same thing ! YIKES! So start slow but ask her to join you in a healthy snack and give your family a healthy meal that you can join in with them,,,, hope this helps.... You will do well because I know that you will handle it with love (ps...that nurse was horrible to say such a stupid and mean thing to you!) emoticon
    1994 days ago
    I have chubby kids. I do. And I get that as a parent I am responsible (at least partly) for this. I am scared of the moment when my little daughter, who gladly shakes her tushie with abandon and has no awareness of the baby pudge hanging out near her belly button, decides that she isn't the most beautiful princess in the world. Even so, we have made some changes toward "healthier"~ in our home fruit and veggies are "free" foods. That means you don't have to ask Mom first. You can eat as much and as often as you like. And I keep it accessible~ right now there is cubed watermelon, washed cherries, strawberries and grapes in my fridge. Bananas and oranges on the table. I do the grocery list, so I rarely buy junk food. Cereal seems to be a big deal for us~ serving size is usually 3/4 to 1 cup... not the two bowls and half gallon of milk that the teen thinks it is. So we are working on portion size. My two youngest often go to the market with me, so we are reading a LOT of labels together lately. And they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE planning meals and going to the farmer's market to find the 'good stuff'. We don't use that dirty 4-letter word: D-I-E-T. EVERYTHING that goes into our mouth is our diet. I often compare it to the zoo signs: "do not feed the animals~ they are on a special scientific diet". I tell the kids there has been a lot of research to see what 'scientific diet' is best for humans, too. And we check into that together. Mostly we make it not a big deal. We shower each day, we brush our teeth, we go to school, we play, we laugh, we love on each other... eating is just another activity in our day. If you've treated your friends well, if you've smiled more than frowned, if you've made your best effort and had the right heart attitude, and if you've moved your body (we love an inpromtu family dance party, btw...) then you are one GORGEOUS being. And I'm blessed to have 3 of them. Good luck, Leah. You're an amazing woman and a great mom~ don't sweat it... you're setting an amazing example!
    1995 days ago
    I agree with GODIVADSG about leading by example and talking about healthier choices. My son is 4 yrs old son who is autistic. It is a struggle for me everyday to get him to eat healthier foods. He is just so picky. If he doesn't like the way a certain food looks or feels he will not touch it. And it seems like the more colorful the food is the less he likes it. So it has been really hard to get him to eat fruit and vegetables.
    But I have noticed that over these past few months that I have started to eat healthier I have actually gotten him to try a few more fruits. Veggies we are still working on but we are making progress slowly but surely.
    I know it may be hard with your father-in-law and the junk food but I think the more she sees her mommy and daddy 😃eating healthier and having fun doing more things and exercising she will follow in your footsteps... emoticon
    1995 days ago
    maybe look up short healthy articles and then read it togeather and do experiments. like a 20 oz coke has x amount of sugar and have her spoon it out. and the artical could be about how much sugar is healthy in a persons daily intake and risks from too much. keep it hands on and simple :) say you want to help them learn what your parents didnt know to tell you about when you were growing up so you could learn to make better choices at a younger age. :)

    1996 days ago
    Well, I do have a 12 year old daughter who has been challenged with good food choices and exercise since she was about 9. I tried all sorts of things but what has worked the best was to lead by example. There are no "diet foods" in our house, we eat all the same things. I do let her have some junk food once in awhile. We talk about healthy choices and how we feel when we make good choices. It's like a car. If we want our car to run and get us places we have to put good fuel in the gas tank. It can't run on junk fuel. I have taught her to read labels and how to use a food scale. I talk to her about portions that are healthy for us. Exercise has been more challenging. I basically had to force her into almost everything. She rides her bike while I run, she also runs (she hates it) but feels a sense of accomplishment when finishing. She runs 5K's with us. At first it was run/walk. I got lucky and after a lot of trial and error I found a sport she enjoyed... Volleyball! She also rollerblades sometimes when I run, and she is on the swim team ( likes the social part more than the swimming). It is hard, but it our jobs as parents to teach our kids about preventing heart disease, diabetes etc... Just like we teach our kids the dangers of smoking.... we need to teach them the dangers of a poor diet. I am lucky in a sense, working at the hospital I see the consequences of poor diets. It does pay off... my daughter is not perfect but she does make better choices and she thanks me on a regular basis for helping her stay healthy! I couldn't ask for anything more. Good luck...
    1996 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    I can not add that much except to say try some of the things that others has suggusted. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week.
    1996 days ago
  • SJOHNS30
    I like the idea of talking to her about healthy choices. It doesnt have to be a weight conversation, but a health conversation. She needs to know if she keeps eating bad things she wont be able to live the life she has now... no gymnastics, not being able to fit on amusement park rides, not being able to find clothes, or worse. Maybe theres an educational kid friendly video about diabetes. I wish someone wouldve not worried about my feelings and had that talk with me before it got out of control. I wldve developed good habits then. I remember melting a bowl of choc chips as a kid, adding peanut butter, and eating it with a spoon! My mom didnt buy junk food so once i stole some from a friends house. Who does that!? I think it would be great to start teaching her how to be selective with food.... maybe have a chart where she can mark off how many fruits or veggies she has a day and work towards a fun/active reward?? Certain greasy foods now are gross to even look at and i wldnt dream of eating them... she'll have such an advantage if she can get that way too and be picky about her health.
    1996 days ago
    Well I do not have a preteen daughter but I have 2 sons and they both have gone through this. Except in my case they are very skinny and want to gain weight. They think that if they just eat junk that they will gain weight. It is hard for them to understand that they need to eat the right stuff and exercise to gain muscle. My oldest is almost 17 and he is doing good and my youngest is almost 13 and still working on it. Do you think about showing her the athletic bodies of women sports stars. Good luck!!
    1996 days ago
    do you have any place you can grow a garden (even a container garden). Lots of kids get really excited about eating food they had a hand in growing.

    get your daughter to taste the things you eat. Leave out the 'it's good for you' part, just say "taste this. I really like it and I think you will too."

    when my cousin started getting chubby, my aunt (who was overweight my entire life) didn't change anything that we ate. She just took control of the portions. My cousin dropped the extra lbs easily and never had a weight problem again.

    there are some really great fruits available this time of year: mangoes, melon, etc. That usually takes care of my sweet tooth!
    1996 days ago
    I have a 19 year old that is far from being chubby but she's put on a couple of pounds in the last year. I'm in the same boat. I worry about the potential of her gaining a lot of weight (her dad is really overweight) and I try to be sensitive about talking to her about being healthy with the potential of underactive thyroid. It's hard.
    1996 days ago
    I don't have kids but I can speak for what I would have loved to have my mom do for me. My mom is a picky eater, and she tends to be picky towards fattening stuff. Try to stay away from letting her eat so much and when you eat healthy have her taste it. If she likes yogurt, instead of ice cream for a night time snack give her yogurt. I LOVED jello and you can shape the jello into things with cookie cutters, that is a good sweet snack and it's fun for kids. It just kind of depends on what your kids like ot eat. I just wish my mom would have shown me to lean towards healthy, baked foods vs fried pork chops, fried chicken, tons of butter on my veggies and stuff like that. I wish my mom was that mom that wouldn't let me away from the table until I ate all my vegetables. I feel like I would have known more than I do now if that were the case. Now, I'm training myself to eat that stuff , at 25, and I should have already had this knowledge and my mom is overweight, has had gastric bypasses and is looking to me to find a way to lose weight that works so her and my dad can try out things I teach them. Make sure you are the teacher!

    I think GUINSMITH has a great idea. Show her the amount of grapes or pudding she could eat and what that equals out to in Oreos, or candy. It will make her see that if it's healthy, she's welcome to more of it as long as you guys moderate it. That is a great idea!!!! and don't let her go back for seconds on things she likes. That was a lot of my issue, if I like something, I make sure I eat it until it's gone. Doesn't matter if i'm hungry or not.

    Talk to her and tell her that you know it's hard to grow up and try to fit in, but she does fit in right now and nothing needs to change, she needs to stay just the same.
    Hopefully she won't be looking in that mirror much longer. It's so hard as a kid to be constantly worried about how you look, what you weigh, and who is going to make fun of you today.....
    1996 days ago
    I have not had the success you experienced. I did not struggle with really being heavy in school I thought I was fat, but pictures don;t back that up. But, my daughters have both been sent to the nutritionist at about the same age. And it was because they had blood work come back. It is horrible and I am still not sure exactly what to do. I do not want to make it about looks. I have enough trouble getting in my own fitness and because I homeschool, I feel like my kids are always with me and I really just need a break and then ... it feels like such a confusing thing. I've had seasons of doing some stuff. We made charts and had rewards for putting in mileage. The sad thing is they both got their feelings hurt. I wish you the best and hope you find out somethings that can help the rest of us. i already feel overwhelmed taking care of my own issues. I will say this, what i eat-everybody eats. You have a bigger issue though with the food so accessible. Good luck.
    1996 days ago
    I think you are well on your way with helping your daughter just by reading your blog. You also have some great advice in all these comments. I have 2 daughters 25 & 20. My oldest has always danced, been active, a real beauty in high school. The last 3 years of college, she has really stopped the dancing and working out. She has gained weight and now she is working on losing that - since I've been with SP she asked me a lot of questions and she will go with me on some of my walks. She is the one that took me to the park to do my first 4 miles on Sunday. My youngest is different, overweight, not involved in school, a bit withdrawn. Once told me, that I didn't know how she feels to be fat! Really!! I knew then it would be a struggle to get her to listen to any advise I had to say on nutrition. The only thing that I did was be honest with them about me. I told them what I was having trouble with. The foods that drove me crazy until I had them. They have both listened and I think they really heard me. They are not making all the correct choices now, but they sure are thinking about the ones they make. I just wish I would have had these conversations with them when they were your daughters age. Good Luck.
    1996 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Hey, I think you are handling this just fine. And there is some great advice coming from the comments. So, now I'll add a little more--a couple things I learned along the way.

    Trust your instincts--you're headed in the right direction!

    Never stop talking to your kids. That being said, tell them what they need to know but don't lecture.

    Even if they don't appear to be listening, they DO hear what you are saying!

    And most of all: emoticon
    1996 days ago
    Ok so I am not a mom but I have had some experience with this. My niece and nefs. used to spend every weekend being watched by me while their dad pursued odd jobs(my sister was out of the picture) Their dad never fed them anything good and I'll be honest teenage me was not the healthiest eater but I included a veggie with every meal and did not let them drink fake juices (less than 100% juice) such as sunny D. These kids did not know a carrot from broccoli. So what i found worked was 3 bite rules for veggies and i taught them the food pyramid so they at least knew what section every thing they ate came from. I miss the pyramid because the new plate thing does not have the same impact as it did. I showed them that treats are so yummy that we should only have a little bit at a time and not all the time because they have so many calories.
    You could try the comparison thing with both your kids. oreo and grapes layed out in equal calories, Ice cream and strawberries, carrots and chips and then they can see servings as what they should be and compare calories.
    You can try and download the kiddo charts you see in doctor offices about weight to height ratio, to show your daughter she is healthy.

    Also talk to your daughter about maintenance, let her know that once you have reached your goal what you will be doing differently what maintenance is and how she is her ideal weight so all she'd have to think about is maintenance. I know she won't really have to think about maintenance but it might help her equate where she is at versus where she could be (as in overweight).

    But like i said i don't have kids but kids are smart and she will need to learn these skills for later in life.
    as they say
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    1996 days ago
    I think educating kids on the health content of food helps a lot!! Kids are smart and when they learn about the bad foods they may eat less of them.
    1996 days ago
    thats is scary. think your biggest concern is you need to get your family downstairs to be aboard what ever you guys decide to do. that will be your biggest challenge. whatever do that is healthy will be ruined by her going downstairs and eating junk. so maybe a family meeting is in order and get rid of the junk in your house. make it a contest and see who can eat the healthiest!
    1996 days ago
    My daughter is 10 and completely understands that I'm trying to get down to a healthy weight. She always comments on how "skinny" I look. My only concern is that while she has no weight issues (she's as skinny as my hubby), she doesn't eat healthy at all! My worry is that when she gets into the adolescent stage, all that processed staff she eats will have an impact on her weight. I sort of gave up on trying to get her to eat healthy. I try to model healthy choices but she completely ignores it. I drink only water and milk, she drinks soda or juices. I eat fruits, she goes for chips and candy. I cook healthy staff, she prefers mac& cheese or any other frozen processed foods. When we take her with us to play tennis or run, she sits down or walks after two minutes. It's really frustrating. The other day my hubby was so mad at her, he told her she's no longer allowed to eat that staff anymore, she has to eat what we cook. I just figured I'll be with my hubby on this one, I won't let her pick those frozen unhealthy staff when we go shopping. But I do agree with those who suggest a lot of activity. My daughter for example loves soccer so we signed her up for a soccer tournament and at least that added some physical activity for her, otherwise, she'd be spending all that time watching tv or playing on her 3DS.
    1996 days ago
    Such a delecate thing! I agree talking more about health than weight though. My daughter is 9, almost 10 but she really doesn't have any problems with her weight, never has, and she is super active. I was to just encourage her to keep being active. She sometimes wants a lot of junk food and often gets it when she goes to her dads. It's almost teaching her to be honest. She eats healthy all week at home, then friday nights she goes to her dads and eats garbadge, comes home on saturdays with a tummy ache and feeling generally icky. It's almsot teaching her how junk food makes you feel.

    Also leading my example you are doing amazing things for her, showing her how to eat good and exercise will set her up in the future :) Good mommying!! :) Enforcing that she is beautiful is only natural as a mom to do, you didn't do anything wrong at all!! :)
    1996 days ago
    Oh man I am terrified of this day! My daughters are only 5 and 1 and I'm hoping to be well at goal and maintaining before this goes down. My oldest knows that I started trying to eat healthy and she's easy to get to try veggies although she rarely will eat them I just tell her if she wants hair like rapunzel she has to eat veggies so she can be healthy and then her hair will grow. I have sneaking suspicions this will not work for much longer. My daughter though somehow is completely in love with herself and how beautiful she is so I don't really worry right now about weight so much as how my kid got so conceited :/ I think the best thing to do is to make sure that the children are as active as possible. It's great that they lay down and try to do crunches and push ups ENCOURAGE IT! My 5 year old does it too she now does push ups and lunges like crazy with us. She doesn't see it as working out she thinks it's fun and hilarious. I really don't have any experience here or great advice to give. Let us know how things pan out. **Sigh**
    1996 days ago
  • CAROLZ1967
    Yes, you are on the right track....push the HEALTH aspect. And do they see you weigh yourself? If so, stop that. Don't do it around them. Now if they see you do it occasionally, that's ok as it's a good thing, in moderation, to check in on our weight. But you don't want them (especially daughter) to see you do it more than once a day and probably daily is not ideal either. With how easy it is for girls to start worrying about their weight (peer pressure, society, media, celebrities & models being too skinny, etc), I may try and keep her from seeing my weigh myself at all. Just so that you are REALLY emphasizing "health". Really get her focused totally on that. Then as she's older and hopefully has a good handle on the importance of loving yourself "as is" but also caring enough about your body to be "healthy" & "fit", then point out how the scale can be one way to measure how you are doing "health wise". But frequently talk about healthy foods and activity and the benefits for them at their ages and as they get older too. And by being a role model, that is HUGE. That should really be an influence as they grow up.
    What about your mother in law? Can you talk to her about the food grandpa is giving the kids? Could she be more supportive of you and your efforts? Keep the food where she is the main one getting it down, even giving it to her husband so she can be sure the kids are not getting it? Seems like there are ways she could help you with this, if she really wanted too. If he is getting worse, health wise, I would think he's not alone that often.
    Also, don't forget moderation! I'm a big supporter of that. If you take away all "treats", it will just make them want them more and maybe go overboard. So push & teach "moderation" too. Good luck! And maybe you will have to have a long serious talk with your mother in law and let her know how important this is to you and that it is a BIG deal to you and that you really need her HELP and support with this effort/these changes you want to make. Keep us posted on how it all goes.
    1996 days ago
    From a health standpoint, I like your ideas that you've listed in the blog; especially watching the films. Perhaps, you could also include the film, "Supersize Me".

    I don't know how much research you have personally done regarding food, health, nutrition and fitness; but perhaps the two of y'all could do some research projects together . . . I started my research back in the mid 80s, and lemme tell ya - the research findings was enough incentive to stay away from junk food. Afterall, it's called "junk" for a very good reason.

    Perhaps if she actually does her own research, it will help her in not even wanting her grandfather's junk food stash. Going back to my own life . . . the very vast majority of junk food is not even the slightest bit appealing to me; regardless as to who is offering it. Again, it's because of the research and what I have learned over the years.

    And, balance out the research of what is unhealthy with what is good and healthy for the body.

    Perhaps you can include her in meal planning or meal prep (even if it's just chopping up veggies or something like that).

    And yes, there is a difference between wanting to lose weight for health vs vanity.

    And the latter is definitely a very slippery, dangerous slope.

    Have some talks with her about the dangers of both obesity and also of being underweight and/or under-nourished.

    Also, perhaps y'all could comb the web looking for websites that promote healthy self-images for girls and women . . . and also discuss the falsity of "Hollywood Beauty" and how airbrushing (both in media and as makeup) muddies what *real* beauty is.

    You and your daughter be abundantly blessed; I'll say a pray for y'all.
    1996 days ago
  • MELLIEH0212
    My daughter is 8 and has a belly. I tell her all the time that she is beautiful. Since I have started here on SP, she has started with me. We also talk about healthy choices and she goes to the y with me and walks with me. We talk about how moving our bodies helps them stay healthy so she can do the things she wants to do (play on the 3rd grade volleyball team, cheer, dance). I try to explain to her about food being a fuel because, infortunately, I already see her being an emotional eater. I don't know if any of that helps. hugs to you and I am always here for you :)
    1996 days ago
    Dear LDRICHEL,
    I know exactly how you feel. I also have a 6-year old girl and she also likes to eat a lot. We too live with grandparents and she often sneaks downstairs and finds something for herself. It is difficult. But as you said, your girl is 9 years old and watching programmes you mentiond would be great. That would also be a good time to tlak about the food to her and how it makes you feel.
    I sometimes take my girl when I go walking/running and she rides her bike. Perhaps your girl could join you while you are running?
    I wish you all the best!
    1996 days ago
  • ANNE007
    I agree, talk about health and strength and energy. Your daughter is old enough to understand that. You can explain to her what you have been doing and why, and how much better you feel. She can join you in some work outs-or begin doing some that are more her speed (a walk in the park, a bike ride, take the dog around the block together). Begin to talk about how good it makes you feel to get out and **do**.

    You're in a tough spot but I know you will handle it well.
    1996 days ago
    My kids are grown and I have grandkids. A couple of my grandsons, ages 12 and 9 (sons of two of my daughters) worry some about their weight and are a little bit chunky. It's hard to see them go through this. Right now both daughters and their families are living with me and so I see it all the time. My daughters both buy a lot of junk food and to be honest I have a hard time with their junk food when they have it here too but for the kids it's really hard. My daughters have seen me struggle all my life and tell me how proud they are of me for what I've lost and how active I am but they still buy the junk food. They hear the boys talk about how they feel fat and see the problems but still don't buy healthier food. I try to do what I can because it's hard but still I'm not the parent and don't have much control. I do try to set an example. I don't have alot of advice to give but I do totally agree with approaching the subject from a health perspective and not a weight one. Hugs to you as you deal with this and hopefully other parents can give you more information and suggestions. I know SP has a lot of articles too on dealing with body and image issues with kids.
    1996 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    I am seeing this with my son. He is 5. Many times I try to make invisible changes. Ex. I will have a fish, turkey or portobello burger instead of regular. But because they cook same time and same way he doesnt see the diference.

    Ideas...1 SP has a teencentric community. Checkitout and perhaps push in the right directioin. 2 encourage healthy family Active-ities. Soccer, scouting, even voluntering to walk t h e dogs at the local shelter. People who are filled with life dont need to fill their face. 3 teach her to cook and make her responsible for a meal once in a while.

    I have a few more ideas but its early and my brain is still foggy. More when they coalesce.
    1996 days ago
    {{{LDRICHEL}}}= I do have some suggestions. First, though, I need to go for my triking . . . I'll give it some thought then as to what I want to tell you, and will try to post about it as soon as possible today.

    Be blessed,
    1996 days ago
    I don't have a daughter & I don't have preteens....my boys are 1 & 3. But already we tell them that mommy wants to try new foods that will help us be strong & that they should try it, if they don't like it they can leave it on their plate. I don't make 2 meals (one for them & one for me) but I also don't make all new foods. Last night we tried a new fish recipe (kids loved it), sweet & sour rice, cook carrots & fruit. My boys love fruit & cook carrots so they could fill up on those if they didn't like the rice or fish.

    If I were you I would stop making 2 meals - make something that is healthy & has something that everyone can fill up on. Show your daughter that she can eat junk, but in moderation by DOING it. Talk to her about what your eating & why. Talk to her about your lack of health, including your weight but don't focus on the weight. Talk to her about WHY you & she & everyone needs to be healthy. Makethese discussions regular enough that she feels free to talk to you about her weight & health whenever she wants to. Make sure to tell her over & over that it truly doesn't matter what others think of her weight, she is beautiful inside & out.

    Good luck!
    1996 days ago
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