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I need some advice about how to handle things with my 15 year old daughter...

My daughter is 15 and struggles with being overweight. We have been to doctors and she is taking medication to try and help a medical issue that has led to her being over 200 pounds. My daughter is a beautiful and talented girl who has a good group of friends. We try to affirm her every chance we get. She has a low self-image and lately it is causing a lot of issues. Even in 80 degree days, she is wearing jeans and uggs because she wants to hide her legs. She is in tears telling us that all she sees is a blimp when she looks in the mirror. She thinks guys don't notice her, even though I know one guy who is a very good friend of hers likes her. This morning I suggested she wear flip flops instead of the uggs because it is too hot for them and maybe the kids will tease her if she is wearing winter shoes on a hot day like today. She left in tears, and then texted me that she was sorry. She thinks there is something wrong with her just because I made the suggestion. I do not think I was critical or anything, but she took it that way. How do I help her see that she is beautiful? How do I help her feel better about herself, especially as she is being treated and hopefully able to drop the weight. I do not want her to feel like there is something wrong with her if I make a suggestion to her. Or to hide herself because she feels ugly and worthless somehow. Thanks for any tips and advice you may have!!

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Asked by princessjen1 at 8:27 AM on May. 25, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 4 (38 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • First thing I would do is get her on a good exercise regimen. It doesn't have to be intense or even super obvious. Something like the whole family take a walk every evening together. Swimming is also great exercise. I understand wanting to hide your body. You really want to make sure she doesn't develop any eating disorders. I think the key is going to be getting her actively involved in feeling better about herself. Take her shopping for some new clothes and don't criticize anything she picks out. Have her help plan healthy meals. Don't buy junkfood. Get everyone in the house on board. I know a friend of mine was struggling with weight loss and removed all scales and mirrors from her house. She started out walking every evening and swimming every morning. After six months she had lost 50 lbs. It was the first time she stepped on a scale in those six months.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 8:34 AM on May. 25, 2011

  • cont.. sometimes you may not think your are criticizing her but she may take it that way. She also may be to embarrased to say she is being teased at school. Also remember every teen struggles with their looks. It doesn't matter if they are overweight, underweight, perfect weight or whatever. A good friend of mine was absolutely gorgeous all through school. She had long shiny hair, perfect skin, the perfect body.....she hated her looks. She thought she was ugly even though guys panted after her. I have met very few girls who are happy with their self image. Even my 8 year old dd who is underweight complains about her looks sometimes and she is gorgeous. When we went to the doc they said she had gained 8 lbs and they were ecstatic. She came home and wanted to exercise them off. Society does not make life easy on our little girls. It is up to us to make them see society is wrong.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 8:38 AM on May. 25, 2011

  • I totally agree with what the pp said. I am adult struggling with the same issues your DD as about her self image. I have limited my own junk and how much of the junk that I like to eat entering our home (my SO snacks constantly). I have also been exercising for the last several months (last 3 weeks excluded due to an injury). Get her excited about helping in the kitchen and want into help created healthy meals for not just her but the family. I agree take her shopping for a new summer outfit it may help her want to not hide under her jeans this summer.

    Answer by coala at 9:02 AM on May. 25, 2011

  • If you can afford it there are two things I would do for her. One a nutritionist. Look around and find on that works with kids and get her interested in cooking her own food. If she is actively participating she will be more successful in the future.

    Second a trainer. Someone that will work with her and push her. Right now she is blue and until she starts to see results she is not going to be motivated. A good trainer will help her in so many ways. You should interview them. Be looking for someone that has a lot of energy, positive attitude, that has worked with kids before (especially girls), that has a nutritional background, possibly has worked with individuals with your daughters health issues and isn't afraid to push her on days she doesn't want to work.

    Good luck to the both of you.

    Answer by sipn_mom at 9:28 AM on May. 25, 2011

  • Dance Dance Revolution is a fun way for controlling teens weight. I read about a teen that lost over 100 LBs playing on it.

    Answer by onethentwins at 1:14 PM on May. 25, 2011

  • THank you for your comments! I have taken her to a nutritionist and we are working with her now, but dd really resists going into the kitchen to help cook....she really is not interested. I am trying to get her to do it anyway, for the simple reason that she will not always live with me! We can't afford a trainer (I wish) but we did buy a Wii fit and some excercize dvd's. She does them some. Some of this is just a slow process, as we are needing to get the meds right before we will see any real weight loss from that. I am gonna try to do the wii and dvd's with her. Also, maybe the shopping trip will help. It is so hard to see her upset and not know just how to help her or motivate her. She needs to do this, I can't for her. You know what I mean??

    Comment by princessjen1 (original poster) at 1:57 PM on May. 25, 2011

  • I feel for what you are going through. The best thing u did, what take her to the doctor. I wouldnt go "overboard" telling her how beautiful she is, she knows she is overweight and may take you telling her this, TOO much a negative way. I cant give medical advice, but as a mother, just be there for her, do things she likes, enjoy each other and tresure every moment and never mention weight unless she brings it up.. I know you think kids rare making fun of her at school with what she wears and it brealks your heart knowing you are not there with her so it wont happen.. At her age, kids can be so cruel and we cannot control what they say and do when are children are waay from us..If this is an issure that is medically and emotionally tearing her up inside and school ony makes it more diffucult, think of home schooling until she gets her heath condition under control. She would probaly be much happier and so would you!

    Answer by heidi108 at 5:31 PM on May. 25, 2011

  • Take her to counseling. She needs to get her self worth, your mom can't do that for you!

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 6:07 PM on May. 25, 2011

  • Help her lose the wieght by being her ally in this. Go on her diet with her, exercise with her, and celebrate with her when she loses wieght. Once she starts losing, she will realize that it is an accomplished feeling. Make sure you rally her friends together to for group walks, group bike rides, group swimming trips, etc. That way she feel supported and have fun workouts.

    It also might help her to go clothes shopping. if she dislikes her legs she can still wear a long dress or skirt that will be a little cooler and still cover things. She also could probably find lighter shoes. Being extra hot will only make her more aware of her bady and uncomfortable.

    Answer by amber710 at 9:04 AM on May. 26, 2011

  • Couseling

    Answer by sstepph at 9:26 AM on May. 26, 2011

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