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DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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3/4/12 11:30 A

Forcing her to play soccer will not help her lose weight, really. Soccer practice is what... once per week, maybe an hour? A little longer? Even if she decides to join, this isn't going to be enough activity to trigger a weight loss.

In order for her to lose weight, you need to focus on her nutrition. You are the parent, you control the food that comes into the house, and goes into your family. It's time to start counting calories yourself (do NOT do that to her... she doesn't need to be "dieting", she needs to be learning how to make and eat healthy meals with balanced nutrition.)

Losing weight is 80% nutrition, 20% exercise. If you can get a handle on the food intake FIRST, then you can focus on the exercise. Start with one thing at a time... as she starts to feel better from eating better, she may have the energy and motivation to start sports. The reason she may not want to play could be her weight.

I strongly suggest you have her evaluated by a doctor. Girls of her age and physical health are very vulnerable to depression, but you have said in other threads that she has poor self esteem, and her lethargy and unwillingness to participate are all signs of depression. IT may not be that, but you need to check, because children die every day because their parents ignored their warning signs. I do not want to alarm you, but I work with children her age in an online forum for kids, and it is startling how much they talk about things like hurting themselves or suicide.

Don't take chances. She doesn't have to be sitting around eating ice cream and sleeping all day or crying to be depressed.

I think that given the information you've given us here and elsewhere, you both could benefit from counseling, to give you the tools you need to help her.

Successful change for her starts with you. Start off by modeling the behavior you want her to emulate, and encourage her to join you. Get a workout video, dance around the living room like a maniac, and get her to join you. It's fun... she doesn't have to be on a field to get active, and neither do you.

TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
3/4/12 7:31 A

You should never FORCE someone to do something they do not want to do.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,987)
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3/4/12 7:03 A

Just a heads up, the OP has posted in another thread where she tells her overweight daughter that she looks terrible (fat) in certain clothes and makes her change.

For that reason, I would suggest family counselling to work out all the issues that are obviously going on here and to DEFINITELY not force the daughter into soccer. Most importantly, mom needs to figure out why she wants to do these things to the daughter.

THESUPERKAT SparkPoints: (0)
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3/4/12 5:01 A

Be forewarned this may upset you, but I've been in her position.

Ok, I'm not trying to be too harsh, but there's obviously a reason why you're trying to lose weight yourself. And sure there MAY be a genetic thing that is causing both of you to be overweight, but more than likely, now this may not be the case... but more likely is that it is the case, she followed after someones poor eating habits. You may need to look more at your menu, and the foods you keep in your house before you push a child to do something they do not want to do.

I'm not saying that exercise isn't important, I'm just saying diet is of equal if not more importance. She's a kid, let her be a kid, don't ruin her childhood by forcing her to join a sport that she probably doesn't want to join because of a negative self-image that you more than likely contributed to by pushing her so hard to lose weight.

I used to love to swim when I was a kid, my parents had very poor eating habits and I ate a lot of junk food, they made very high calorie meals, and my mom had to bring up the fact that I needed to lose weight and needed to push myself harder at phy-ed. I ended up wanting to swim but afraid of other people thinking the same thing as my mom and making fun of me. I wanted to participate in other things like golf, but I didn't want people to call me fat.... since I was still living at home I ate the same crap all the time ended up gaining more weight. Once I got into high school I hated my parents so much I broke almost every rule they had for me without them knowing about it, I was very depressed even though I never let on that I was... Then I turned 18 and moved out, stopped eating period, lost a whole bunch of weight, fainted at work a few times because...well the human body doesn't do well without food..who knew? Ended up going to a doctor to find out I was anemic from not eating... screwed up my metabolism like you wouldn't believe, but... when I saw my mom again she was all so happy that I had lost all that weight... and once my sister got ahold of my then boyfriend and told him how worried she was and I ended up having random friends and family show up at my apt with food to make sure I ate in front of them, I ended up gaining it all back.

Before you screw with a girl who's going through puberty and is all screwed up in the head from puberty itself... Don't.... just let her make her own decisions. Nothing good will come out of you forcing a kid to do anything........ Revamp your family meals before you potentially ruin whatever relationship you wish to have with your kid.... And if there isn't anything wrong with what she's eating, and she's still overweight, speak to her pediatrician or dr about why she may be overweight she may have a valid reason for it.

JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,446)
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3/4/12 2:58 A

Well, certainly don't force her into team sports if she isn't interested. They're not for everybody, I always hated them myself. But if she would like to lose weight, why not get her information about walk in place exercises that can be done at home while reading, playing video games, or watching tv? Can't beat something that actually gives you an excuse to watch tv. You can see the different moves in a demo at the Leslie Sansone web site, for example, and even try out that walk in place workout using the demo or any other one you find. Once she knows the moves, she can do them any time while she's doing something else - and it's something she could keep up as an adult, which soccer is not unless she's going pro. It's not hard to add quite a lot of exercise to your day that way. You could do official walk in place workouts with her very easily, 15 minutes for a mile equivalent gets you feeling pretty pumped.

If she likes the walk in place routines, at some point she might get interested in other indoor activities (stepper, stationary bicycle) or (gasp!) outdoor exercise walking on real sidewalks or riding a real bicycle or sports that may or may not be team-oriented. But really she could lose weight just doing walk in place alone. It probably won't be too long before she'll start getting interested in eating adjustments as well, hopefully just substituting healthier for not so healthy stuff. She's too young to start obsessing on calorie counts and scale readings, and you should definitely discourage that approach. She just needs to get her activity level up most likely. Then she'll feel better and be more energetic and (unless she has a metabolic problem such as diabetes or pre-diabetes or thyroid issues, etc., which I assume you've ruled out) that will help her naturally balance incoming calories with outgoing calorie expenditures.

Also be aware that food allergies can cause weight problems and energy problems in either direction, and they may not be very obvious. Generally discovering your allergies and avoiding them has a dramatic effect on weight (up or down as needed) and energy levels. You can love the food to which you are allergic and even be "addicted" to it. The best way to determine food allergies is to actually avoid all your usual foods for a while (don't let a kid fast, but fasting is a quick way to prepare for testing for an adult) and then re-introduce the usual ones, one at a time, and pay attention to how you feel. There are lab tests but they really aren't all that reliable in my opinion (I'm not only an allergic but also a chemist), so you can end up with an unnecessarily restricted diet. Look for "food allergies" and "rotation diet" for good info on doing the detective work and then managing the allergies (most of which are cyclic, meaning that you can eat the foods occasionally but not every day at every meal). So if nothing else seems to work for her and her energy level remains low - consider this possibility. Few doctors are likely to even think about it, they just aren't trained in such areas and generally only know about such obvious problems as a peanut allergy that can send someone into anaphylactic shock... They are unlikely to know about lesser degrees of allergy that can result in chronic problems such as easy fatigue.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,147)
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3/1/12 10:02 A


Another person brought up a very good point. If you're concerned about her weight, you should be concentrating on her nutrition. While it's extremely important for everyone of us to be active in some way, when it comes to weight loss or weight gain, what matters most is what we eat. good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. Exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and healthy.

I was thinking about your situation last night. I can empathize with your daughter. Admittedly, all I wanted to do was read or watch TV when I was that age too. Now, that's not that I didn't like being active. I loved roller skating and riding my bike. But, like all kids who were forced to take gym, I too was picked on because of my weight. That did make going to gym really difficult when you had to wear those gawd awful knit gym outfits. I know, I'm dating myself. Also, the excess weight may well be causing her to be a little depressed about her life.

The point being, your daughter may well feel really uncomfortable doing sports because of her current weight. I suspect that once she starts losing in a healthy manner (not a diet), she may feel more comfortable and begin to take an interest in sports later. Losing weight may also help pick up her spirits.

For now, I second a recommendation to get your daughter interested in her nutrition. Don't talk about diet. Teach her good nutrition. Teach her to eat 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies. Try some of the healthy recipes from the Spark Recipes section. Get her involved with helping to cook the family meals.

Something that crossed my mind was why your daughter gained so much weight. Could it be she's turning to food for comfort ? I'll be honest, I was already a comfort eater at that age. She's eating more food than her body can burn off with a normal's day activities. I was an active kid, but I still ate too much.

I would take a different track. I would avoid the exercise issue for the time being. It's only 3 months till the end of the school year. Work on helping her become a healthier eater. By summer, if she's lost some weight because of the change in her nutrition, she may take a greater in sports because of a renewed confidence in her body.

DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
3/1/12 9:33 A

Will she say WHY she no longer wants to play soccer? Perhaps she was picked on or made fun of, or maybe the coach was too harsh. Try to get her to open up when it's just the two of you and you're both in a good mood. If she's just bored with soccer, then really no amount of bribe or reward is going to change things. What does her pediatrician think of her weight? Make sure you DO NOT make a huge deal out of it; her self-image is probably pretty fragile and you certainly don't want to make it any worse. Concentrate on your daughter as a whole person, not just as a chunky kid.

I'd say just focus on the family's diet for a while, incorporating as many healthy and tasty foods as you can and eliminating the junk.

If your relationship with her is good, she will eventually open up.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
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2/29/12 10:46 P

If you try to force her to do something she really doesn't want to do ... she will probably hate it forever ... and may never fully forgive.

If you want to help her ... work on your relationship. Stop trying to coerce her. Stop fighting about it. Get to know her -- who she is, what she likes, what she thinks, etc. You don't do that by conveying the message that she is not good enough for you. Show you love her AS SHE IS. You do that by paying positive attention to her and her interests -- however different from yours they may be. Meet her where she is now and show her that you like her as well as love her.

Then ... as she starts to trust you ... and feels that you not only love her, but like her ... then she will become more receptive to doing things with you. For example, she might eventually be willing to go for a walk with you -- window shopping at the mall -- or around your neighborhood, etc. She will become more receptive to any suggestions you might have to offer.

But as long as you are sending her the message that she is not good enough for you ... she will reject much of what you have to say. You have to build the relationship before she will take your advice and/or seek your input on any body issues she may be having now.

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
2/29/12 9:50 P

If your daughter doesn't want to play soccer, don't make her. If you want her go get more activity, do family activities that are active. She'll resist if you force her, and don't make it about her weight.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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2/29/12 9:40 P

This is a very tough issue and one the parent has the best idea of their child to make this decision. But, I don't believe in pushing, I believe in encouraging. I don't believe in bribing, but a reward system is fine. I also stand behind that once they get into something, they finish it. So be careful how long you sign up for because that dictates how long they will be required to stay with it. If it's a school sport, it could be just a 4 month season. If it's TKD you may be able to sign them up for 3 months at the beginning. Teaching them to complete what they started is as important as the function itself.

Again, you know your child more than we do, so you need to really figure this out with the knowledge you have of your child. You are still the adult and the parent, so you have the final say, just be careful how you use that power. As a substitute teacher and one that has worked with kids for many years, it is easy to fall into the, "because I said so" mode. That should only be used sparingly because it soon loses it's affect and respect.

Both my son and daughter were very active in their pre-teen years and stayed quite fit. My son always carried a bit more weight, but that was due to genetics and an above ave. bone structure. He was one of those that showed up as obese on the school charts but anyone with any sense could see he was not. During his HS years he lost focus and didn't do as much sports and so he then actually did gain some unhealthy weight. We kept mostly good foods in the house and we did encourage him to get out more instead of spend so much time in his room. He is just barely 5'7" and he actually got up to 220 by the end of his senior HS year. Once he went into college and he went into the Army ROTC, he then got real serious and became a real food and exercise expert. By the end of his freshman year in college, he dropped 40 lbs and by the time he graduated this last may, he was around 165 and solid as a rock. So many folks just take time to get it together. In the mean time, keep junk food out of the house and do what you can to "encourage" your daughter to do something for her health. Keep the Faith

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
2/29/12 6:08 P

My advice would be to tell her she has to do SOMETHING. She can pick the something, but she needs an active hobby. Give her options, take her to trial days of things she is interested in. It may help if she has a friend interested in doing the same thing, so she can have Dutch courage, so to speak. Does the local YMCA have a kids programme?

Getting her interested in nutrition may help too. Kids love to learn. Take a cooking class together, get recipes and try them out, experiment with healthy and fun lunches.

As a side note, I knew I was overweight at 12. So, she knows. And it hurts her. So tread carefully.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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2/29/12 4:44 P

I'm with Nilblogger on this one. Having been an underactive 12 year old with healthy-minded parents, I remember giving my parents grief about doing stuff when all I wanted to do was read. Bribery definitely worked for me (one season of basketball for Broadway tickets :P) but another thing that might work is coordinating with her friends' parents so she has friends when she tries something new.

NILBOGGER SparkPoints: (0)
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2/29/12 3:57 P

I'm going to disagree with those who say not to try to make her do it. As you get older you regret things you don't do much more than those you do.

Why not try a bribe? Tell her she picks a sport, and if she sticks with it for whatever time you specify (the season, two months, whatever) she can have a reward. I'm sure there's already something she's been asking for that you may have been reluctant to buy, so coming up with a reward won't be difficutl.

If she doesn't want to stick with that sport at the end of that time, so be it. At least she gave it a shot.

VEGASMOM2 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/29/12 3:36 P

I have tried to get her to join anything but she doesn't want to. We have tried karate, boxing, tennis and bowling and she does not want to do any of those. So the other day I told her you can pick anything but you have to join something and she said she would think about it and came back and said she doesn't want to do anything. She is not an active kid. She has no interests in the wii either. I'm not sure what to do. Her Dad tried to get her into running 5 K with him but she says she can't run now. Any suggestions?

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,147)
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2/29/12 3:27 P

If she doesn't want to play soccer, don't force her. She'll just resent you if you force her to do it. Instead of having her do something for "exercise", how about encouraging an activity she might enjoy just for fun. If she's had enough of soccer, how about martial arts ? Tae Kwon Do is extremely popular with young people. How about dance lessons ? She doesn't have to do ballet, but how about tap ? This way she wouldn't have to feel self conscious when wearing a leotard. Dancing is not only fun, but great cardiovascular exercise. If lessons are too much, do you have a gaming system ? Get one of those Dance Dance Revolution type games. She might even enjoy Wii Zumba if you have a Wii.

There must be something fun she wants to do. Find out what she'd like to try. Even if it's bowling, bowling is still a good activity.

Here's the thing, she's still growing. If she were to maintain her weight, she'd grow into her weight faster than you'd think.

VEGASMOM2 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/29/12 3:09 P

I don't think so. She is a very happy girl but is unhappy with her weight. I think she just needs that push to join something and be able to make some new friends and get good exercise.

SPACEYSTACY SparkPoints: (0)
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2/29/12 2:57 P

Do you think she be suffering from depression?

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
2/29/12 2:55 P

At that age I would not force my child into an activity that they did not want to participate in. I understand your concerns, but perhaps requiiring her to go for a family walk is a better idea. She may just not want to play soccer. She might be embarassed about being overweight. Tell her she must have one after school activity, any type, sports or art or whatever, and see what she picks. What are her interests? I do think activities are importnant, but I don't think it has to be sports. And, if you're truly worried about her weight, you have to start in the kitchen, fixing her diet. But be very careful not to use the word diet or hint that any changes are being made because she is "fat" or needs to lose weight. This is a very delicate age, and body image issues can start even with the most well intentioned small comment.

KENTUCKYGIRL01 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/29/12 2:25 P

That is a really hard decision to make.It's really hard to do if they don't like it any more.That happened to my daughter,I didn't make her play any more.Kinda wish i did later but she kinda grew out of the over weight thing....she got taller.Now days kids don't want to be active.They would rather stay inside and play games.Good Luck ! I was once there. emoticon

VEGASMOM2 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 53
2/29/12 2:17 P

My 12 year old daughter is very overweight and is not interested in getting any exercise. My husband and I workout at night but she will not do it with us. She has played soccer before and is really good but does not want to play anymore. We argue about it alot and I am really close to just making her play it. I told her she can play any sport she wants but she is not interested any! What do I do? She weighs 140 pounds and wants to do nothing!


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