How can I help my 14yr old daughter lose weight and increase her self esteem?

Wendy - posted on 07/25/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have a 14 yr old daughter who is obsese - over 200 lbs. I try to encourage healthy eating habits but she is insistant on eating whatever, whenever, and however she pleases. She complains of kids at school calling her 'loser'. She has tried to join athletics but is discriminated against because of her weight and not allowed to participate. I know that I need to engage in a 'tough' approach to loving her into a healthier lifestyle, but am unsure of how to accomplish that. I would like to lead her by good example, but unfortunately she is the only child left at home and my husband and I are unable to participate in physical activities due to disabilities. We also have a limited income and are unable to put her in activities that are costly. Please help, I am frustrated.

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Rhonda - posted on 07/26/2011

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I would suggest starting out slow. I recently lost about 60 lbs and have kept it off for 2 years. My motto is "One day, one good decision", you and your daughter have to buy into that concept. If she would be willing to change one bad thing for one good thing everyday, in a months time, she would have significantly changed her eating habits. Also portion control is very important. Make sure that her food only covers the middle part of the plate, not the sides. Buying smaller plates are really helpful. Replace some of her snacks with fresh fruits and veggies. Summer fruits are great because they are sweet like watermelon, grapes, cherries and peaches. For me, I added my kids to my gym membership so we could make fitness a family activity. I understand that you can not do that, but you can at least walk with her 3-4 times a week. A brisk 20-30 minute walk would do wonders for both of you. It will also give you quality time together to talk. Have her share with you her health and fitness goals and expectations. When she is ready for a great healthy diet, I suggest the book "The 17 Day Diet" by Dr. Mike Moreno. I lost 10 lbs. in 17 days, which was a great motivation to start doing more to loss more. Over-eating is a complusion to push feelings and hurt deeper into the psyche. Use your walking time to discuss those feelings with her, and how to find healthy ways to deal with them. As she starts to see a difference in her clothes, you will see a difference in her self-esteem and confidence. Good luck.

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Wendy - posted on 07/26/2011

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Thank you, Rhonda. I really appreciate your knowledge and encouragement. I think that by looking at it as a slow process instead of an instant solution, the changes will become more permanent and life changing. My daughter and I do have a good talking relationship, but she tends to be very negative, which I attribute to her weight and unhappiness. I believe that if we were talking while walking, she would be more encouraged to be positive. I am going to try your suggestions. I am really enthusiastic about the changes and feel that they will be successful. Thank you, again for the great advice!

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