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Overweight Skids

Ninji's picture

How do you deal with overweight skids with regards to meals and snacks?

My SD is 13 going to be 14 next month. She is currently wearing size 16 women's pants and size large women's shirts (She around 5'3).

Both Skids were pretty cubby when they were younger. They both had growth spurts (SS's hasn't stopped yet) and lost a lot of weight.

Now, SD has stated gaining weight again.

A month ago, we took the kids to Steak and Shake because DH had been wanting to go and we were out and about. So, why not.

DH, SS and SD all three order double cheese burgers, fries and large shakes. I have a regular cheese burger, fries and water. Later that night, I told DH that I didn't want to say anything to SD because I didn't feel like it was my place, but she is getting pretty overweight. DH has a pretty physical job that keeps him in great shape and SS is growing like a weed and super skinny. SS is an eating machine right now. SD shouldn't be eating like they are, especially since she literally doesn't get ANY exercise. The only time she isn't laying on her bed at our house is when she is eating or we make her go somewhere with us. DH said "We just have to lead by example" ???? Ok what the hell does that mean.

Then this past weekend, DH and I were out shopping late on Fri night and decided to just grab some fast food. We ordered 4 meals and they ended up giving up 5 extra medium fries. We didn't realize because we got the food to go and didn't open the bags until we got home. Anyway, DH allows SD to eat her food plus two extra orders to fries. The next day was SS's birthday and she had a large slice of cake and ice cream. Grandpa couldn’t finish his cake and SD eat that too.

Luckily, at our house, fast food is a rare treat. It just happened that two weeks in a row that we had her we had fast food. I cook every night and make breakfast and lunch on the weekends. But even then she always has seconds. How do you tell a kid no to seconds?

I was super skinny a kid (only weighed 98lbs when I was 18) but since my mid 20's I have struggled with my weight. I don't want SD to have a life time of weight issues, but I also don't want to the be the only person in her life restricting food. DH says to me that she's getting fat while at the same time giving her 3 orders of French fries????

Has anyone dealt with skids and weight problems. Do you just sit back and watch the kid get fatter and fatter? Is it ok to tell her she can't have a double cheeseburger and large shake but allow SS to because he is skinny and she is fat. Doesn't seem right.


secret's picture

I hear ya - my DD14 is a size 7/8 women's. Not fat, but very curvy.

She is conscious of her weight gain, I haven't had to say anything to her, but I have made comments like when she asked for a second helping of something fatty, I'd say that yes, she could, but I'd really rather she had an apple, or some celery with peanut butter, or some other more "healthy" snack. She usually makes good choices.

I have a home gym, though, and she's started taking advantage of the treadmill and bike I have down there, along with the ropes and bands... she's not too keen on the bags or the weights, though.

Ninji's picture

We bought a house last year with a beautiful in ground pool, she has a brand new bike she only rode once and we have lots of work out equipment (although not a treadmill). Even when DH, SS and I are in the pool she won't join. All of us working in the yard, she's on her bed. I get that she's a teenager and doesn't want to hang out with us but I'm surprised that she doesn't go in the pool, walk around the new neighborhood or anything. We live very close to a large park also. She never goes, even when DH and SS invite her.

momjeans's picture

I don’t involve myself with skid’s weight (she’s a tad chubby at 11 years old), or her eating habits - because her eating habits are bad. Uber picky eater, and I’d say at least 80% of her diet is fast food.

This is one area that DH **still** struggles with. Back when we lived in the same city, and he had major Disney Dad issues, it was all “anything goes” when it came to what skid was allowed to eat. It bothered me in the beginning, and I tried to gently guide him in a better direction with it, but got shot down. Enforcing good eating habits wasn’t a hill I wanted to die on, from that point on.

If your DH wants to “Lead by example”, then is he? Size 16 at 13!?

We eat zero fast food in our family. I’d say start there. Don’t enable her to eat food that has very little nutritional value.

Aniki's picture

I say nothing. Not my circus; not my monkeys. What I DID do was not contribute to their terrible diet (BioHo fed them a steady diet of fast food, pop, and junk food - cookies, chips, snack cakes, etc). I refused to buy any of that stuff. If DH wanted them to have it, that was up to him. DH fixed some sort of veggie for the boys' dinner and made them eat some. SD24 is not DH's bio and neither she nor SD21 ever stayed at our house.

SD24 - about 30 lbs overweight
SD21 - about 80 lbs overweight
PrincASS18 - WAS chubby until he joined the Army
PigPen15 - was chubby, had a growth spurt, is once again getting chubby
Spawn10 - about 30 lbs overweight

FYI, BioHo was 120 lbs heavier when she and DH split up. She is even fatter now, so likely about 150 lbs overweight.

Ninji's picture

I think I normally do a good job of limiting junk food. We don't allow soda and only occasionally desserts (like birthdays or holidays). We also only do fast food maybe once a month. I work long hours and I'm working on my Master's Degree, sometimes I just need a break from cooking.

I'm not going to say anything to her. I just understand how hard life is going to be for her especially starting high school next year.

futurobrillante99's picture

My two older kids are normal weight and my DS21 is a little overweight mainly because of medication he takes and he's he eats.

My skids are ALL stick skinny. They eat to GAIN weight.

I'm about 40-50 pounds overweight and DH is about 80-90 pound overweight. How do you get your spouse to make better choices? I once made cookies and hid 2 dozen, leaving only 1 dozen out on the counter. He ate EIGHT of the dozen while cooking dinner thinking the two dozen I had hidden were for his kids. Nope. I planned for the whole dozen to be shared by 4 people. Then a few days later I would bring out another dozen, and so on.

When he makes dinner, he samples as he's making it, has dinner, has seconds and samples it while he's putting it away. He's got some compulsive eating habits and I love him so I don't want to say anything. I just try to model good behavior and realize HE is responsible for his choices. I do what I can when I make things to offer healthy choices, but I don't like cooking (for him) because he's a chef quality cook and I'm a recipe follower. I have often heard comments from him about how what I made could be better if an ingredient was added, etc. I just want people to be thankful for what I made and not try to "improve" my food. Anyway, I digress.

I know his food issues are deep seated and related to his childhood. I've also been almost 100 pounds overweight before and had a spouse who was always making comments to me about my eating and my weight. I NEVER want him to feel like I felt when my ex was over involved with my diets and fitness.

ndc's picture

I would make healthy, lower calorie/carb foods available and try not to make so much that there will be seconds available. I would think that by her age she would have learned the cause/effect relationship of food/weight gain, and understand calories and carbs and the like. If not, I'd look for a subtle way of educating her. I would also encourage exercise, maybe asking her to do it with you.

I can guarantee you that it has not escaped the notice of this girl that she's gaining weight and getting fat. Pointing it out and making a big deal about it is just as likely to make her eat more as eat less.

Ninji's picture

She has noticed she is gaining weight. I asked her why she isn't wearing any of the dresses I bought her (they still fit her) and she said because she is fat. I talked to her about exercise and limiting snacks but just briefly, I rather her parents talk to her about that.

secret's picture

Many people don't realize that it's not so much what you eat/don't eat, but also the combination of foods.

You can eat salad all day every day for weeks and still put on weight... and people don't understand that they're consuming so little calories because of the salad, that their bodies are just keeping 100% of the calories from ANY oils sugas or fats consumed, such as dressing, cheese, fruits veggies like carrots... and 100% calories from the starches in pasta potatoes rice and breads.... because they're starving their bodies... so they put on weight instead of losing weight.

They think they're eating healthy but the biological reality is that they're messing with their bodies and counteracting their weight loss efforts themselves.

advice.only2's picture

I would have thrown out the extra fries once I found them...that's just me...if DH would have balked I would have pointed out "lead by example"

If you are doing all the cooking you can control what all is going on her plate, if she takes seconds make sure you know that what she's filling up on is the healthy stuff. Lots of lean protein, fresh veggies, fruits and good fats. Limit the carbs to those that are better options (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc)

The weight loss choice is really SD's choice and all you can do is teach her better eating habits, and offer up more motivational activities.

When I was 11-13 my mom always told me I had a HUGE's pretty much the only place I really gain weight. So I would starve myself and wear baggy clothing to cover my "HUGE butt!" I wore a size zero all through high school but nobody ever knew how small I really was because I swam in oversized clothes. Even now as an adult (solid eight) I still wear shirt two sizes to big that make me appear bigger than I am because I am doing everything I can to cover my "HUGE butt!" When I do wear clothes that fit I am always pulling at them trying to stretch them out and cover my "HUGE butt", so yes little comments that are meant to be "helpful" can have repercussions, so better to just lead by example.

advice.only2's picture

Oh I wish I had the confidence, but no matter what I do I always end up trying to cover it.

DaizyDuke's picture

Could she be sneaking food? How often is she at BMs? If you are feeding healthy dinners and she is that overweight, then the problem most likely lies elsewhere. Eating fast food once or twice a month does not contribute to that kind of weight gain. So what is she eating for lunch at school? Is she eating breakfast at the house and breakfast at school too? Does BM allow her to eat junk 24/7? Of course being sedentary doesn't help either, but 13 in a bit late to be starting sports, extra curricular activities. Did she ever play soccer, baseball, dance, basketball etc when she was younger?

DaizyDuke's picture

Oh, well then you need to sit back and no nothing. Eating healthy 4 or 6 days a month is not going to amount to a hill of beans, if she's eating unhealthy the rest of the time. Sad

Cara1128's picture

It is ok to limit variety for everyone. (Ex.nuts,veggies and fruit are the only snack choices we have)
Dont have carb snacks in the house
Make sure she eats every 3 hours
Tell her it is a family rule that she work in the yard/swim/hike with the family(there must be some physical activity she likes).
She is a child in your house and does not get to opt out of activities whenever she feels like it.
By all means do NOT ask her to eat differently than her brother or try to single her out.
A suggestion:
Sometimes weight gain and erratic eating behavior are signs of other issues...

Ninji's picture

I'm going to talk to DH about some sort of activity while she is with us. I try to make her go outside thinking she will swim in the pool or ride her bike, but she just sits under a tree until we tell her she can come back inside.

oneoffour's picture

I suspect she realizes she is overweight and doesn't want to do activities with the skinny people in your home because she is so self-conscious. So telling her she HAS to come outside and do something with everyone else when she will tire faster or slow people down... not quite the message you want to send.

I would start with putting ANY excess food away in the freezer once dinner has been dished up. No one needs additional food. If you are out you do the ordering. Talk to her how it makes you feel irritated that men do not put on weight whereas you just need to LOOK at a milkshake and BAM! you put weight on. How hard it is to say no to goodies. How you have realized that most of the TV ads are about food and food is used as a reward. How many places have donut days etc. Then sigh and walk away.

In my house we have morning tea and afternoon tea. No snacks. Snacks are grazing foods and the whole day can be one eternal snack. So I limit 'snacks' to 15 mins in the morning and afternoon. It worked with my kids. No browsing. Find more non food rewards. Smile at her more.

I have dropped about 5lbs in the last 2 weeks (and a lot more to go) by NOT making food a priority. Sometimes I will go without dinner just because I am not hungry. Whereas DH is about 3lbs over his goal weight and DIES without his meals.

WTF...REALLY's picture

I think you do nothing. It’s your husbands job and it sounds like he is not going to do anything about it. Giving her all those fries tells you he is not going to do anything about it.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I have been overweight my whole life. My parents had hard, physically-demanding jobs, so when they were home, they didn't want to do anything. They ate higher-calorie meals to compensate for the physical activity, which means we ate it, too. My parents didn't teach us how to exercise, and they worked such odd hours that it was hard for us to participate in sports.

Had my parents modeled healthier behavior, life would have been easier. Having someone else to talk to besides my mom (who had weight ideals issues) was also helpful. If your SD comes to you asking for help or just wanting to talk, I would help as gently as possible.

It's totally possible that she will go through another growth spurt and drop some weight. I did at 16/17 and lost 40 pounds when I grew another 2-3 inches. If that happens, that may be a good time to chat with her since her confidence may be higher and she may be more willing to make changes.

Also, if you're going out for a walk, take her with you. Take the stairs with her. Park further away. Don't buy high calorie foods. She probably feels awful watching her brother get to eat everything and not gain weight. Keep in mind, his health is being just as negatively impacted by the high fat, high calorie foods as hers; you just don't see it on him.

BethAnne's picture

I would focus on teaching both kids how to cook, teaching them about nutrition and exposing them both to a large range of physical activities as well as modeling being physically active yourselves.

You are right, with two weekends a month you cannot make huge changes to her diet. But what you and your husband can do is give her the knowledge so that when she is independent she has a good place to start from If she chooses to do something about her health/weight. And you never know she may come to you guys for guidance.

Teas83's picture

My SD9 is starting to get a little chubby. We only see her EOWE so we don't have much control over her diet. We eat a primarily plant- based diet and we limit junk food, but that doesn't help when she's not eating it very often. Plus when she whines at supper that she doesn't like something, my husband lets her eat whatever she wants. So I don't really worry about her physique or her health. If her parents are fine with it, I'm not going to argue.

I'd leave this up to your husband. Not your kid, not your problem.

New_to_this's picture

I think that you can only lead by example. And, I also think that you should not encourage her to restrict her food intake, but encourage her to make healthier choices when she is hungry.

I am extremely grateful because in my parents' household, I learned to eat healthy foods, eat unhealthy foods in moderation, and eat a variety of different foods without judging it first. DH, however, was not raised that way. His ex wasn't either. So, the skids eating habits are atrocious and SD is overweight, while SS is clinically obese.

When we go out for fast food, it's the same as what you described. I get water and a burger and a small or no fries (though I will usually snag a few from DH). DH and the skids get sodas, fries, burgers and dessert. I usually feel sick if I eat fast food a lot. DH pretty much took the skids to fast food restaurants everyday before he met me, so they are perfectly content with it.

I get really frustrated too. DH means well when he says that we should lead by example. The problem is that he doesn't know how and I think that has a lot to do with his childhood experience with food. For me, the only thing that I can do is continue to eat healthy and in moderation, in spite of everyone around me and encourage my own DS to develop healthy eating habits.

The good news is that SD who is now 18, does seem to be changing. At dinner, she tries new foods, doesn't complain about what's served, and chooses healthier options than she did in the past.

Cooooookies's picture

If your DH isn't on board, there isn't much you can do. Like Aniki said...not your monkeys, not your circus.

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

Where I am all for eating healthy, exercise and encouraging good food choices, your chances of making an impact EOWE is going to be minimal. It is an uphill battle to combat what her mother teaches and allows - so I wouldnt even bother in this instance.

What I would do is ensure that healthy food is available at your home. No snacks - healthy choices like fruit only. You could look to order the food yourself so that everything isn't mega supersized everything...but your husband isnt even setting the example there for SD. It is just no win.

Sadly children who are overweight will probably struggle with weight issues and food issues their whole life. It is a set up to health problems: diabetes, hypertension, all kinds of metabolic issues. With girls (and some boys) you have added risks of possible bulimia / anorexia / body dysmorphia ... Her mother is a moron for allowing this situation to even happen!

Simpleton21's picture

Thank you for making this blog. I have the same issue with my SD and wasn't sure how/if I should even approach the subject. Now I know I will not. What makes the problem worse for me is that SO is an enabler of her HORRIBLE eating habits. I am also certain that she sneaks food (went to use my whip cream in I had in the freezer the other day for fruit dip and it was 1/2 gone...went to make chocolate chip cookies and only 1/4 of the chocolate chips were left). I know it is SD that sneaks it b/c my son who is the same age is the on the opposite spectrum of eating and even though he is super skinny he still worries about becoming fat and he ALWAYS asks me before he gets a snack or a meal. SO has a history of diabetes in his family (his mother is a horrible eater also but somehow got medicare to pay for a stomach stapling surgery). You would think that knowing this BM and SO would try to make SD eat healthier but they don't. We can't stop at a gas station without SD wanting a snack and a drink (candy and soda). I am afraid to even bring it up to SO because he is so defensive of SD and he sees nothing wrong with it. The pediatrician even told BM that SD is in the 95% weight range and needs to continue being active so she doesn't gain more. If they don't listen to the pediatrician no way will they listen to me! I am actually disgusted by the way SO contributes to this.

I decided last weekend (when we had SD) to just not have the snacks available. I sent him to the store and told him that I wanted EVERYONE in the house to be eating better (trying not to single out SD). SD is addicted to anything sugary. She will devour it all. We had brownies in the cupboard...she made them Fri night...I had 1...the entire tray of brownies was gone by 12 Sat! I told SO he could get fruit as a sweet snack. He asked about pop tarts (an SD fav)...this is the only time I singled her out...I told him NO! The last time we had pop tarts SD tried to get you to save one for her until her next visit! That is a food obsession and not healthy. SO has terrible eating habits also. He then asked if he could get cereal so I said okay (SD normally doesn't eat cereal b/c she doesn't like milk). Well low and behold since that was the only sugary item in the house she devoured the entire box in a day! I can't even afford her eating habits b/c if we do have any snacks (mainly the sweet kind) she will eat them all in her brief time there and then I have nothing left for my kids for the rest of the week.

Pear's picture

you can make sure there are healthy meals and snacks available.
You can suggest to your DH that he implement a family policy that everyone must have a physical activity of some sort. That is our family policy. It doesn’t have to be a team sport. Our Dd settled on dance classes. I like to do water aerobics.

Otherwise keep quiet. You will alienate your spouse and you may cause irreparable harm to your SD. There are worse things in life than being overweight.

still learning's picture

I used to babysit some kids and the brother was 11 and really overweight while the little sister was teeny. I cooked all the kids healthy meals, served healthy snacks and we went on long walks and to the park while they were in my care. This lasted about a month then the divorced disney father told me my services were no longer needed because his son did not like the *nasty* food I cooked or having to walk everywhere.

The father was indulging this kid in an unhealthy way and there was literally nothing I could do about it. It was so sad. The kid would be 21 now and if he continued on the same path would be very large and unhealthy now.

I'd just butt out. If mom and dad are both enabling her bad eating habits there's zero you can do about it except make sure there are healthy options for sd at your house.

Acratopotes's picture

Ninji... not your kid and not your problem, simply work on DH, show him the health issues and ask him if he would be fine with SD getting diabetes and him paying for her meds for the rest of his life,

Then simply cook enough food for one plate per person, healthy food.... and no more snacks in the house.

but seriously, I would not care the least bit

tigerlily74's picture

@ninji: First off, kudos to you for wanting to help your SD lose weight!

I think the best, most loving thing you can do is to change everyone's diet back home. No more fast food. Make every calorie count. That is, prepare super nutritious, natural dishes. No processed ingredients. Cut carbs at dinner time, or cut carbs completely, and learn to do veggies and fish in super yummy ways. Sounds awfully restrictive, but once you actually get into it, it's pretty sustainable - provided your entire family makes the switch. It's not reasonable to expect your SD to eat healthy when everyone else has burgers and fries at the same table.

As for talking to her about it, I'm of two minds. On the one hand, it's true that girls that age are impressionable. But, on the other hand, if you don't address it at home, someone is going to point it out outside of the home environment and it isn't likely to be done in a loving way. School bullying comes to mind.

I grew up a skinny thing, and recently put on 10kg no thanks to a slipped disc. Even though my back is much better now, the weight is refusing to come off. Now that I have to struggle with weight, I've learnt how it can be a super depressing journey. So having DH support me and eat healthy with me has been so helpful. Be that support for your SD so she doesn't feel alone in her efforts to lose weight.

Good luck!

tigerlily74's picture

Okay wait. I just saw your comment that you only have her every other weekend.

In *that* case, there isn't much you can do. Especially if her own father isn't willing to intervene. Alas.

I think the only thing you can do is to tell your DH that either he step up and do something about it, or your SD is going to be the butt of unkind words (at best) or she's going to be bullied (at worst). What would he prefer?

Gingermint's picture

Approach it from a health stand point.... and do it as a family. Don’t say anything about weight, just keep saying healthy/healthy.... etc. No fast food for ANYONE. No sugary drinks or chips. It’s not good for a kid going through a growth spurt either. Eat you fast food in secret. Lol