Weight Issues

Carri - posted on 07/17/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My nine year old daughter is very concerned with her weight and she calls herself fat all the time. I constantly tell her that she's not fat, and I try to point out differently sized actresses on TV and magazines who are beatiful so that she can see beauty comes in all sizes. Not only that but I try to emphasis the fact that how a person looks does not determine their value. Overweight people are no less valuable to society than thin people are. I tell her that although she is beautiful, it is even more important that she is smart, funny, generous, kind, creative, etc...but she still complains about her weight. Truth be told, she may be a little on the chubby side, and she wants to eat all the time. I try to limit junk food and talk about how we as a family are trying to eat healthier and be stronger. I recently joined a boot camp program but have told her repeatedly that it is not about losing weight (I don't even weigh myself) but rather about being healthy and strong. I guess in truth I am worried about how being a little chubby in this day and age can cause such issues later on. How can I help her reach a healthy weight without hurting her self-esteem? My sister has struggled with her weight her whole life and my father really picked on her for it so I don't want to repeat the same mistakes. Thanks.

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I have to add to my comment.....
As mothers, we also need to realize that our "girls" are at that age where there body is going to start changing. Yes, ladies, you know what I mean....their breasts start to develope, they start getting the monthly cycle....etc. What is the most important thing is we need to explain this to them so they understand weight issues are just a part of this whole body changing thing. Although weight issues are maintainable by exercise and eating healthy is a plus but weight issue are part of their body growth.
As far as my daughter eating "outside/fast" food...she don't. I cook every day in my house and I have been teaching her to eat healthier and choose healthier foods. Although she struggles, she understands I have her best interest at heart. It's more like a team effort here....
So best of luck

Toni - posted on 07/19/2010

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My daughter will be nine in August. We are dedaling with the self esteem issues as well but because she is very little. She is very thin but eats all the time. People always tthink she is five. I agree with all the other advice my older daughter has always struggled with being over weight and now ahe still has the weight issue but her self esteem is good. The problem I feel with our children is they think we say positives because we are the parents not because we believe it. Try and convince her it IS because she is a beautiful young lady.

Angie - posted on 07/19/2010

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Teach her how to be more healthy. Don't "try" to avoid junk food - avoid it. Make fast food restaurants a special treat - once a month or less. Get out and do something physical with her. I require my children to take part in at least 1 sport a year. My youngest plays softball and ocassionaly takes gymnastic. My middle child plays softball and soccer. My oldest plays basketball and year 'round soccer. We also ride bikes together and jump on the trampoline almost every night when the weather is warm enough. Make if fun and her self esteem will not be hurt - it will be stronger.

[deleted account]

I am dealing with the same situation with my daughter, Kayla...Although I don't believe she's over weight due to her height (she's 5' 7"/age 11), the doctors insist that she is and this has brought down her self esteem too. We have already had a couple of times that she came home crying because kids in school were making fun of her. (But honestly, she is the tallest kid in her class for that age group). I always tell her that the kids are jealous of her because she's so beautiful and the wish the can be like her...
I got my daughter eating healthier foods, all of which I cook at home (when I have the time). If she craves a snack, I stock up on lots of fruit and vegetables and we make homeade salads for her, which she enjoys. I also encourage her to take walks with me and we'll go after work and in her mind "its mommy and me time" but in my mind "we're exercising".

Don't get me wrong, I was always a big girl throughout grammer school and high school and I went through those rough periods in my life where I was teased and made fun of and I really don't want her to go through that.
The best advice to give is just encourage good eating habits and make working out fun. I play volleyball and basket ball with my daughter to encourage her and even though I suck at baseball, I play it because of her.

Carla - posted on 07/19/2010

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At 9, she may be getting ready to start puberty, and most kids get a little chubby then. Get her involved in gymnastics, baseball, soccer, etc. Even hula-hooping is good!

Good luck, daring!

[deleted account]

Could you put her in a more physical sport? Soccer and Martial Arts are great options. She will get a self esteem boost from being part of a team or group, and from doing well in games or competitions. Both incorporate aerobic, endurance and strength training and have very little focus on body image.

[deleted account]

Some kids just take a bit to lose their "baby fat". I had a couple of girls I went to school with that were chubby until they hit high school, then they all became thin. As long as she is active, she may just outgrow it. I can see how it'd be scary as the parent of a 9 year old who is already obsessed with her weight. Is someone at school saying things to her? I would just keep reminding her that she is all the things you mentioned, in addition to the fact that she is not done growing. One growth spurt and she may not even recognize herself. Eating healthy and feeling good about oneself is what's important. Make sure you do everything together...walks, bike rides, playing at the playground, swimming, she won't even know she's excercising!

Lisa - posted on 07/17/2010

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Does she do a sport? Find a group for her that promotes a healthy lifestyle as well as being active. Not ballet LOL My eldest daughter has been doing calisthenics (in Australia, different in the US I believe) since she was about 7, this is her 10th year, she loves it! I think having an out of school activity is great for self esteem, especially when it's a group that don't go to the same school IYKWIM

My partner was picked on by his parents and family about his weight from the age of 8. Needless to say it's still affecting him now, he's battling anxiety disorder and social phobia on top of his ongoing weight problem, not fun.

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