Daughter Is Built Just like Her Father and Me Combined.....

Updated on March 13, 2008
J.G. asks from Reno, NV
47 answers

HI Guys,

Just curious about something because I am very concerned about how my husband has been reacting to our daughter since she was a very healthy infant.

My husband and I are built very stocky.

My gorgeous little 5 yr old girl is built like BOTH of us combined. She is tall for her age and very muscular.
She is in the pre-team for her gymnastics club, takes tap/ballet and swimming. She is super strong.

The catch with being stocky like we are is ANY weight we gain lays on top of the muscle and makes one look 'pudgier' than one really is.

My husband stuggled with his weight as well as his eating habits most of his life so understandably has concerns for our daughter.
I have always had to work at staying fit. I work out regularly and eat healthy MOST of the time.

Our daughter also has his appetite, technically a bottomless pit. ( He IS like this, and I USED to be like this too)

HIs concern also stems from the fact that he has two adult daughters who are both over weight, one is technically obese. Both the girls are also stout like their father and thankfully gain their weight pretty evenly throughout so they still look 'proportional'.

Finally to the question!
He has always felt that she is edging on the border of being too pudgy. I think she has always been extraordinarily healthy with a few extra pounds. I think that my husbands issue with my daughters weight is more about him, but he thinks we need to intervene more to save her from a life of frustration. He wants to spare her from being the fat kid and all the ridicule and self doubt and discomfort that comes with it. His intentions sound honorable enough, he just doesn't seem to understand how much more damaging it would be to find out that the only man whose opinion matters, doesn't approve.
I keep think that this has mostly to do with his view points about weight and health and he is projecting that onto her.
He thinks I am not seeing her objectively, blinded by my love for her.

She is proud of her body and proud of how strong she is. I want to keep it that way.

SHe does carry an extra few pounds compared to other kids but she is growing, her pediatrician agrees that she is just fine.

Her pediatrician also happens to be obese which of course makes my husband feel like her judgement of healthy weight is not a valid source.

Is there anyone out there going through this?

I am very curious what husbands answers would be...

Look foward to reading your responses.

Jen G.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for you responses.
We do eat healthy most of the time. Hell sometimes chicken doesn't cut it....only a burger and fries will do!

Our emphasis with food is very clinical. We talk about food as fuel for our bodies, and our bodies are beautiful strong machines. We teach them to make wise choices in diet, sleep and exercise in order to take care of their bodies, hence taking care of themselves.
I am still as active as possible in the gym. (I used to body build and in my early 20's was a wildland firefighter)
My concern was the hypocrisy between what my husband says about food and what he does in his own food habits.
Double standards don't fly, ever.
I agree that you have to be a living example for you kids, in every aspect of parenting. Do as I say, not as I do, won't cut it for them.

For those of you struggling with your own weight issues, hang in there. Set realistic goals and stop the negative tape that runs through your head tearing you down. You have to make peace with yourself first. You need a friend and support and the best place to find it is inside. Kick out the negative voice, and replace with it with a voice of reason, of confidence, of love and compassion. Every journey begins with a step.
I know that I have a tendency to fall back on using food for comfort, something I grew up watching my mother do.
Whatever is going on in your life that you are using food to fill the hole, identify it and find another way to resolve that issue or find comfort. Take food out of the equation. It's NOT your best friend. No different than an alcoholic having a drink to console themselves over the fact that their lives are affected by alcohoism. A negative cycle.
Address the behavior, the psychology behind the actions and you will find the root of the real problem. Food is typically the bandaid.
Get out and move. Exercise boosts endorphin's, minimizes hunger, releases stress, burns calories and releases seratonin too. The feel good drug!
It doesn't take alot or hard exercise, just moving, getting your heart rate up for about 15-20 minutes. You will feel your body start to 'crave' the adrenaline and the calming feeling as your stress resides.

I could go on but I need to go to bed! Lack of sleep IS my Achilles Heel.

Take care all of you, and THANK YOU!

Jen G.

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W.B.

answers from Toledo on

At this point just try and cut out most of what is not healthy for her to eat and drink and keep her exercising!!!!! Most little kids who are heavy early on have all ready gotten extra fat cells which makes it harder to lose later on. try to get rid of it now in a good healthy way!

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J.J.

answers from Phoenix on

i think if your pediatriciansays she's fine you should not worry about it. putting to much emphaisis on wieght right now could cause problems later . but then it is good to be a little concerned and lead and active and healthy lifestyle. just a question, do you and your husband practice what your preach? just let me tell you my story. i was a fat kid. i dint have may friends. we came from a ranching family and having fat kids meant you were doing well. that your parents were able to feed you well. that is until i got to school. my parents didnt understand why i wouldnt clean my plate anymore. i got slapped more than once for telling my mom to send the starving kids in china my food cause i wasnt going to clean my plate. when i got to high school, i decided i wasnt going to be the fat girl anymore. i dieted and went from a size 16 to a size 4 the summer before high school. much to my parents dismay. i started running .. a lot. i joined the track team and was the state champion that the next 3 yrs in the mile. but i had an eating disorder and back in the early 70's noone recognized that. my senior year i had a lot fo problems with my boyfriend and with people just not being nice because of course everyone is jealouse of the skinny girl who can run. i started eating, i got my period back and got pregnant. that marriage didnt last but two years. i lost a lot of weight again after the divorce. i blamed the stress of being a single mom and going to univeristy at the same time working. so this time i get to a size 0 and yea i looked awful. to make the story short. i have been yo yoing back and forth and it has taken a toll on my body. had a knee replacemnt at age 31 because of the wieght and the running. i have a lot of kidney problems. i no longer use stress of life events to dictate my wieght those are jsut excuses. i weighed 189 lbs in jan of 2005 i have been excercising slowly and watching what i eat andhave gone to 110 which is my ideal weight. i hae maintained that weight for two years which is a lot for me because i was going from extreme to extreme a couple times a year. both my husbnad and son help out with controlling my impulses. i still run but i do it with my son in the mornings and no more than five miles. when ifirst started i couldnt walk a mile. i eat 5-8 times a day an keep a log. ( at one point i had to save the wrappers of everything i ate and my husband would put a special dye in the toilet befroe he left for work and i wasnt allowed to flush until he came home. but with a lot of healp i have been able to get healthy and satay that way. you dont want that for your child beleive me its a sad a miseralbe way to be . to try to please others is the harderst thing to live with. i think that she is active with all her classes and if you continue and maybe do something together as a family and jsut watch what you all eat. i usually dont eat fast food becasue it gives me the runs but last week i had to eat wendys for 2 days in a row because we were at a wrestling tournament and that is what we got. but mostly i carry fresh fruits and veggies and nuts with me everywhere i go. and when eveyrone is at Mickey ds' eating their food i will sit with them and eat my food and order maybe some fries. it jsut takes a lot of willpower but i cant afford to yo yo anymore.

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H.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi Jen,

My name is H. and I have worked for WIC for over 13 years. I have seen them all. From a two year old that weighed 125 pounds to both of my children being underweight. They (doctors, nurses, family members ect) would always comment on how small she was or is. You would think in this time and age where more and more people are overweight, it would not be as much of a concern.
I went through hell. I was convinced that i was starving my children because they were always on the small side. Me, however am obese. Not very difficult to be, when I am 4 foot 9 inches. I have also recieved comments about not wanting her like me, so I need to stop w/holding food from her. Though I never did control her eating.

Your childs biggest influence is you the parents. My father told me on a regular basis that I am fat and stupid. Would you believe I am 38 years old and I can still hear those words loud and clear. I have a very distorted body image,even though he is now dead. I also teach nutrition. Knowing and doing are two different things. It sounds like you are setting a wonderful example. Healthy body image, moderate physical activity (30-60 minutes daily)and a healthy diet. NEVER....EVER....EVER SHOULD ANY FOOD BE CONSIDERED BAD FOR YOU! Anything in moderation is exceptable. That includes some soda, koolaid, and junk food. If we as parents allow some moderation or junk in the diet, then it is considered ok. If you make a food out to be forbidden, they will want it even more when they start getting food from other people.

It is important to divide the eating responsibilities with your child.

MOM AND DAD'S JOB IS TO DECIDE.......

1. WHAT FOODS ARE OFFERED
2. WHEN FOOD IS OFFERED
3. WHERE THAT FOOD WILL BE EATEN.

THE CHILDS JOB IS TO DECIDE:

1. IF HE/SHE WILL EAT OR NOT
2. HOW MUCH HE/SHE WILL EAT OF THE FOODS THAT ARE OFFERED.

It is very important to let your child do his/her jobs. It's not easy to make dietary changes, and your child will benefit greatly from your support and encouragement.

Continue with moderation, exercise a healthy lifestyle and encouragement. Continue setting a good example.

H. B.

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C.D.

answers from Denver on

Hi J.,

I recently found out that it takes the body 20 minutes to realize that it is full, and the remedy is to eat 1 apple 15 minutes before one eats to fool the body into being full. I am going to try it as I have about 100 pounds to loose. I push back the plate, but hate exercise. Who are they kidding telling people to just cut calories will make you loose weight!
I even joined Curves, and was disheartened when one of the members told me that that wasn't enough, that I had to "join Weight watchers too." I have not gained or lost any weight in 5 years!

Hope that your husband will not put to much focus on the problem of weight, but more on the solution!

Blessings,
C.

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

I just learned from our specialist that the ideal height/weight ratio is 1 to 1. You say your daughter is tall. Is she the same on the height as she is on the weight? Ex. Our son is small. He is in the 7th percentile for both. It your daughter is close, that would give credibility to the Ped's opinion.

I agree, that more than anything, your daughter needs to feel that her daddy loves her just the way she is and thinks she is beautiful. That support will do more to control her weight than anything else your husband could say or do. Even if she doesn't meet the above ratio, knowing Daddy thinks she is beautiful will make her feel beautiful and she will want to stay that way! GL It must be difficult to know your kids will probably struggle with weight. We worry about that for our kids as adults, given family patterns.

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C.W.

answers from Tucson on

I carefully read your request and I believe you are right. Your husband is reflecting his thoughts on your daughter. But this is not a bad thing. I believe you have to be careful with a few things. You've got to realize that muscle mass burns more calories than fat tissue. This means your daughter probably needs these calories just to provide energy at rest. And you need to make sure they are not empty calories. Also, if you guys work out and she also is involved in sports, it needs to be a lifelong commitment. Because if she stops exercising, she is still going to be just as hungry, but will not be burning it as usual. And so it will cause her to get overweight.
As far as your pediatrician goes... well, he'll have to forgive me. I am Mexican and my father is a pediatrician too. In Mexico, only 20% of the population is overweight, as opposed to 60% in the States. And only 2% of children are overweight there. Never, until I came to the States, had I heard of a doctor tell a parent that her daughter is "just fine" when she is way up in the charts. It happened to a couple of friends of mine, but never to me. It is true that in your daughter's case a lot of it may be muscle, but if she does look chubby and she is eating all the time... well, what I mean to say is that what she gets used to eating now, will set path for what she eats when she is an adult. So starting from now and led by example, she needs to learn good nutrition for a healthy lifestyle later on.

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L.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

Look at my business site..... For you and your husband i recommend looking at the site carefully and really understanding the program.. It all makes sense. Your Daughter is young to be on any sort of program, but keep her active and set good examples of course... The program I represent has a wonderful product for children.. All nutrition!

Today I think we lack plain and simple nutrition! We are actually lost as a society...

Take a serious look! It changed our lives and especially my over weight, gorgeous son who is now 18... He is about 30 pounds lighter in just about 2 months...

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D.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Good books for your library include those by Ellen Sattyr (a nutritionist) and items on Frances Berg's website -- she is the author of Children and Teens Afraid to Eat and a former editor of I think it was Healthy Weight journal.
Frances writes about the Health at Every Size (HAES) approach to health, which is supported by research Also, see Linda Bacon, Phd's website. She did the research that showed that health at every size health works and she is in the bay area. She gives classes on nutrition and knows many people who follow the Health at Every Size approach.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I get this way too often when health coaching the families I work with. YOU BOTH HAVE SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT! Obesity is a HUGE problem in this country, mostly because parents campare their children to what they "see as normal" and they think their child is not "that" different.

35% of children in this ocuntry are obese, not overweight obese, so who are you comparing your daughter to?

Your hsuband and his daughters are in your words "over weight, one is technically obese. Both the girls are also stout like their father and thankfully gain their weight pretty evenly throughout so they still look 'proportional'."

I am sorry to be so forward, but what does that mean, they are proportional??? Does that mean they are obese from head to toe so it is okay? Is that what you want for your daughter? To be "proportional"??

I regularly work with families daily who think thie child is "pudgy", "big for her size", "healthy". But in all honesty, their children and themselves are overweight, often obese and really have no idea what to do about it. So they make excuses, they justify, they condem their children to a life of being overweight, because they themselves don't know what to do. Parents need to become more aware of what is going on with their children and with themselves. That is what I do, I coach families on taking control of their health.

Stop looking around you to see what is right, and start looking inside of you and ask yourself,

...am I doing what is best for my child?

...are my thoughts and my decisions what is best for my child?

...am i being the "parent" that my child deserves?

...do I know what to do when things get out of control?

...am I willing to ask for help?

...am i ready to do something diferent in my fmaily to get different results?

...can I be strong enough for my family?

If you want help, consultations are always free.

B. B.A.;B.Ed.
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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J.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I know you already responded but no one has mentioned free tools you can use at home. There is something known as BMI, which is a combination of the proportional height /weight measurements. It can help evaluate where your daughter really is with regards to her weight and it isn't bias (as your husband was concerned). This page discusses what a BMI is and how to use the information. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/childrens_BMI/about_c...

This page will help you calculate your daughter's BMI. Be sure to note that it needs the date of the measurements to be accurate. http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnpabmi/Calculator.aspx

Nutritional Check: The best way to evaluate a child's diet is based on their specific needs. If you compare how much your daughter eats to her video game playing counterpart, she will probably eat more. The real question is is she eating too much more or the right amount but not healthy/ balanced. I put in a 5 year old girl who has 30-60 minutes of daily moderate or vigorous activity, thought if she plays on the swing set in addition to her classes it may be more. According to the government site she should have:
Grains 5 ounces
Vegetables 1.5 cups
Fruits 1.5 cups
Milk 2 cups
Meat & Beans 4 ounces
http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramid/index.aspx

Check out all the sites with each family member in mind. There is also a "My Pyramid Tracker" which will allow you to log your daily food intake and compare it with what your body needs. http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/ Last time I used it, there was one quirk: you can only enter food the day you eat it. SO either you write it down and log it in before bed, or you put Monday's food in on Tuesday and have the chart be one day off. But it is still a great free tool.

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Not fitting into a certain mold doesn't make you UNHEALTHY. I'm not within the "suggested" weight range for my height and build but I am not unhealthy either. I'm as active as I care to be, I am happy with WHO I AM AS A PERSON, and ANY person who can't or won't love me AS IS ... isn't worth my time in teh first place.

Stop focusing on the numbers and look at how healthy she is. If she's eating healthy, is active and is HAPPY ... leave it alone. And tell your husband to leave it alone too. Charts and "numbers" don't mean anything if your child is miserable.

I firmly believe the obsession with weight and "image" in this country is one of the leading causes of all the weight problems. Both obesity AND eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.

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A.T.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I have two daughters. One built like her father, who is stocky, and one who is as skinny as a stick. Daughter #2 must have an amazing metabalism because she is my kid with a sweet tooth. She will eat nothing but carbs and sweets - it is really hard to get her to eat healthy. But she is 2.5 and weighs 21 lbs. My oldest, the stocky one, loves fruit and veggies and is very heatlhy and active. She is 4 and weights 42 lbs. I tell you this only because there is something to be said for body type and genes. And the important thing is that she makes good choices with food and exercise. But she is only 6! She may sprout out of it when she is 13 - or she may deal with it the rest of her life. Giving her a heatlhy body image, no matter her natural body type, is what is important.

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Z.A.

answers from New Orleans on

This sounds like a very concerning situation to me. I know from personal experience what it feels like to grow up knowing your father doesn't approve of you (my situation was a little different but the feelings are the same) It was devastating to me and took years as an adult for me to work through my own feelings of inadequacy due to that. I would say that it sounds like your husband needs to stop with the opinions about your daughter's weight. First of all, opinions are not helpful. There are people who will tell you that if you are not 5'10" and 95 lbs you are overweight and others who will say that if you are 5'2" and 295 lbs that you are sexy. Opinion is not relevant. What IS relevant is that, as her parents, you should help her maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. But that should not be done by focusing on your daughter's weight. You should all be educated on what is healthy in diet and exercise (it sounds as if you are already working on that)and there should also be focus on staying healthy in mind and spirit as well (which are just as important as all these aspects are so intertwined yet these two are often overlooked as a part of health.) So healthy lifestyle all the way around should be the focus not one particular aspect of failing (or not failing) that objective. I can also tell your husband that by doing what he is will likely make your daughter hyper aware, self conscious and resentful and could quite easily have the opposite effect of what he is hoping for. Perhaps your jusdgment is off, perhaps the doctor's is, or maybe it is your husband's. That is one of the reasons you can't make that the focus. Help your husband understand that it is important for you to love her enough to move past the issue of weight and focus solely on the issue of health. If your husband still won't work with you on this then you have a great opportunity to teach your daughter about how to handle hurtful situations and how she has to know she is beautiful no matter how anyone else feels. (I just hope she doesn't have to learn it for the first time on her father.) I will be praying for all of you. Take care!

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T.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I have a little girl with the same situation. Built very much like her father's side of the family. The reason why I was moved to comment to you is that recently I started giving her vitamins and saw a difference right away. She stopped eating all of the time and asking for snacks. I upped her water and now her meal portions are age appropriate.

Have you ever thought of adding a suppliment to her diet? It seems that you teach her about her health already, this might be another piece to your puzzle.

Feel free to contact me and we could talk more :)

T.

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P.M.

answers from Boston on

I think your husband is going to do more damanage than good. As long as she's exercising and eating good food(with the occasional junk food at birthdays and holidays) she's going to be fine. If he makes it a big deal than she's going to end up with an eating disorder(girls in elementry school start dieting and hating their bodies) and think that she's never good enough in his eyes-regaurdless of how proud he says he is of her. I struggled with my weight for years and my heaviest weight was 120 and I'm 5'5" but during the puberty years someone said you're filling out into a woman and don't look like a little kid anymore. I was always active with swimming, skiing, playing soccer, volleyball, and basketball and riding my bike. But this comment caused me to struggle for a long time. So I think the best thing to do is to make sure she's healthy and just show her the right way to eat and exercise without overdoing it. YOU can always get another dr's opinion or have her see a nutritionist who will let you know what she should be eating and how much she should weigh for her activity level. Good luck

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P.T.

answers from Phoenix on

The problem with putting too much emphasise on weight is that you run the risk of her developing an eating disorder. You are right to emphsise healthy eating habits and exersise as normal way of life. Remind your husband to concentrate on the her positves like grades and sports and good self image.

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L.L.

answers from Boston on

You say your husband does not consider your pediatrician's assessment valid. Regardless of her weight, I would hope that she assesses your daughter's health/weight according to American Academy of Pediatrics or other recognized professional guidelines; not simply her own personal opinions. (You can certainly look these guidelines, as well as body mass index formulas, up online to give yourselves a more neutral frame of reference regarding your daughter's weight and fitness level.)

If weight is as much of an emotional issue as it sounds like it is for you and your husband, it might be best to allow a professional to help you settle your concern about your daughter's health.

Perhaps you might consider asking your pediatrician for a referral to a licensed nutritionist, who will be qualified and able to guide your whole family through this charged territory. The bottom line is that the source of the information must be one that you and your husband agree is neutral, objective and credible.

If your husband would not trust a referral from your pediatrician, whose opinion you say he considers biased, then ask another pediatrician in her practice or any other doctor whose advice you both feel is neutral, objective and credible.

Good Luck- This is a very emotional issue for most people. I hope it helps to know that at least you're not alone!

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K.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, you have gotten lots of advice.... I don't know how to say this, but just come out with it... eating disorders are a big issue, and if you are talking to your daughter in a way that she thinks she needs to go on a diet, you are pushing her in that way possibly. Healthy eating is important, as is exercise, but not talk of fat, obesity, etc in front of her. I have counseled thousands of teens over the years, and girls are at such risk for this problem. Be careful what you say, as your (her parents) opinion are everything to her at this age and stage. Don't mean to sound preachy, but this is something I dealt with all the time!

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Can you stand for anyone else to respond at this point? lol

I think you are on track.

Show your husband some of these posts, because he really needs to understand this from a woman's point of view. It's bad enough we receive images from every angle telling us we aren't good enough without having the most influencial male in our life telling us in some fasion we aren't good enough also. And whether you all talk about this in front of her or not, it won't be long before she senses it, if she hasn't already. All it took for me when I was a child, is when my grandmother saw me eyeing the Little Debbie snack cakes, in the grocery store, and saying "you don't need those" for me to become a secret eater as a child. From that point I thought, I must be fat for her to say something like that. So right there it began, I was only 8 years old. It is really sad that one little comment can change someone's entire life and feelings about themselves, but it can and your husband needs to understand that. Does he care more that she may be (or get) fat or that she feels loved and accepted by him. I think he really needs to assess that.

I am extremely short. 4'10". I've never looked like anyone I went to school with, I still don't look like any woman I know or definitely no one on TV or magazines. I was always stocky with broad shoulders. BUT because of that I knew I always needed to exercise from middle school on, made it a priority. And now a lot of those size 0's, who didn't have to think about weight, I went to high school with are overwieght after having their kids, while I'm healthy and physically fit even after having 3 kids. I still don't look like anyone else, even at the gym, but I can run at least 5 miles at a time, I can do pull-ups, push-ups (the real way) easily, my abs are very strong especially after having 3 kids, so my point in saying all this is, the only job you have as a parent on this issue, is to provide healthy food in healthy portions, no eating in front of the TV or letting her have free reign of the cabinets and fridge anytime of the day or night, make fitness a part of your life in that it is not optional. It's as normal as getting dressed every day and tell your daughter how awesome she is every day of her life. Being fat is all about what is going on in our heads as adults usually unless you live under a rock we all know what to do, it's just a matter of the tape reel in our heads why we don't do it.

The two of you are pretty much in control of what her tape reel will be, don't let your husband make it a bad one.

And since your daughter seems to be a "bottomless pit" as you say, one of my sons is like that, and while I don't limit his food necessarily, what I do do is, (he's 7) when he wants more and I think he's had a good healthy amt, I say, ok wait 20 min. if you are still hungry you can have more. Then we go play or do something else, he completely forgets he wanted more every single time, because his body has told him it's full and he's preoccupied also. He'd rather not stop the fun thing he's doing to go and eat more.

We have meal times at our house. If you are hungry between meal times you are welcome to eat but your options are fruit, veggies, a portion of nuts or yogurt.

They never feel like they aren't allowed to eat but it does force them to really assess whether they are hungry or not. I think that is key. When kids are getting snacks like cookies, chips, candy, basically anything that doesn't provide much nutrition, it doesn't force them to assess their hunger because they know it's gonna taste good regardless. It's like when as adults we know we are full from dinner but it doesn't stop us from forcing in that dessert b/c we know it's gonna taste good.

It won't be long before your daughter sees she is different than everyone else, no one needs to tell her. (That is like telling an overweight adult they need to go on a diet, they know that already. It's a matter of deciding, dedicating and doing it and managing the self sabotaging feelings every day.)

She will make decisions on her own from there to change what her body looks like (if she chooses) as much as she can, but as long as you are teaching her good habits, which it sounds like you are, that won't be difficult for her. What will be difficult is having high enough self esteem to feel good about herself whether she looks like every one else or not.

I hope your husband will read all of these and make his choice about what he really wants for his daughter because what he is currently doing will not only most likely give her an eating disorder quite obviously, poor body image,as well as self image, those two things affect everything else in your life. What kinds of relationships you choose, what type of student you are, what kinds of professions you choose, whether you set and reach goals, the lists goes on and on and on and he needs to know right now, he's going to play the biggest part in that!!

Good luck,
J.

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi all - I have a daughter that is also very solidly built, like my husband. I also find him trying to guide her in a way that reflects his own weight issues, but particularly those of his sister who is beautiful and very overweight. I've helped my husband become more comfortable with his build by focusing on body fat % - it is a much more accurate measure of health. My question for those of you in the field, though, is at what age do you get an accurate reading in a child? My daughter is 13 a probably has one more year of growth. Thanks!

E.
www.thegreatproduct.com/richerlife

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K.K.

answers from Boston on

Like you said, your husband's reaction to your daughter's body is very important to her self-image... above & beyond her actual weight. With that said, it sounds like your husband has some important points - your pediatrician needs to be more realistic about your daughter's weight. It may behoove you to find a new pediatrician or get a 2nd opinion.

It sounds like your daughter has an active life, and feels good about herself. You said you are active too... it's important to bring this into the light so your daughter is aware that staying active will keep her healthy throughout her life. It is a lifestyle she will have to perpetuate.

In all reality, it does sound like your husband needs to be assured by a pediatrician that his daughter is at a healthy weight. And, it is important for him to remember to accept her AS IS, love her AS IS, and if AS IS is not healthy, then do something about it. In the end, a new pediatrician might make all the difference!

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M.J.

answers from Colorado Springs on

look at the dr.s charts at where she should be at her age hgt wght etc....don't feed her junk and tell him to be quiet because she can hear him and that will be more damaging than the weight...

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,

You were quite articulate in your descriptions. May I suggest a program that your whole family can do? It's called WeighDown Workshop. You can check up on it at www.weighdownworkshop.com They teach people how to eat healthy and lose weight without pills, excessive exercise and eating regular foods that are healthy. I have lost 60 lbs. on this program and still losing.
If all of you, including your husband's fat daughters did this together then all of you would be able to encourage each other and get on the "same page" so to speak.
The person who wrote in regarding portion sizes is right on. Also eating only when stomach-growling hungry and stopping when satisfied not stuffed. The key to this way of eating is tranfering the love of food to love of God. If you think about it, eating past satisfaction is gluttony. Gluttony is greed and selfishness, which is sin. Overeating isn't just a bad habit.
I really hope you will check up on this and do it as a family! You can look up Gwen Shamblin on Google also.

T.

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A.C.

answers from Yuma on

I find it is important to have wholesome, fresh healthy meals and snacks for starters. Then the next awareness that is vital is portions!!!! Even when eating out the portions are huge!!!!! By developing good habits, involving quality of foods and portions half the battle is won!!!!! Then there is never allowing your child to become ravenous which might result in overeating due to starving when beginning to eat!!!! Thus it is important to provide schedule such that there is a good breakfast, mid morning protein snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack 1 protein and 1 fresh fruit and then dinner.....monitor desserts with fresh fruits and veggies very limited baked goods and or ice creams......
Sounds like exercise is not an issue...... Your little girl may have inherited genes from both you and your husband....BUT the determiner of her weight issue is going to be what she eats, how much and how often!!!!!!

I have a niece and nephew one is petite and tiny while her brother is heavy and chunky. The heavy one loves candy, cokes, fast foods and generally eats alot at every setting!
The tin, petite one is selective about what she eats....does not seem to go for junk foods AND drinks lots of water. Hmmmmmmmm think there is some proof in the pudding there!!!!!

Betty C Retired Elementary School Teacher/School Counselor

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A.E.

answers from Seattle on

Egads! The last thing you need is another response on opinion...and you seem like you're already aware of a father's impact on his children. I'm just going to tell you that I am 33 years old, and have FINALLY begun to understand those "negative tapes" which play in my head. My father was critical of my weight, and made comments all my life.
I know you will help your husband to understand the role he plays in your daughter's life, and that you are engaged in a kind of battle for your daughter. I admire your strength, and that you see your daughter clearly, as a beauty. Good for you, seeing her with your eyes open.
Your husband would benefit greatly from reading these posts, if his heart is open. That is specifically what I'm praying for you right now. That his heart is open to see his little girl as clearly as you do, and that he will understand his responsibility to her, and mirror to her a beauty in the same way that you yourself are doing.
Bless you for the positive force you are in this girl's life, and undoubtedly in the lives of women around you.
A.

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S.T.

answers from Phoenix on

As long as she is eating healthy foods, I don't think you should worry. I remember reading that we can't really tell what bodies these children will end up with until after puberty. And my family is proof. I had 3 really skinny, skinny, skinny cousins. Two grew up to be average and the other grew up to be very overweight. My sister on the other hand was very stocky and muscular. People often thought she was a boy she was so strong and thick. She ended up being the thinnest of all. She doesn't have a single stretch mark, pock mark of cellulite, etc. She kept her muscle and grew taller and leaner. She never works out, yet her muscle tone is amazing. If you intervene and cause your daughter to worry about this, she may end up with a problem that never would have occurred. For example, I am average and was thin as a child, but was told I looked like my overweight mother. I realize now they meant we had similar facial features, but I always thought it meant I would grow up to be obese. I feared it my entire childhood and started dieting when I was in fifth grade! (I weighed 75 lbs. but wanted to weigh 70 lbs. like one of my friends.) I wish I could have grown up without these fears and insecurities. To be honest, they still haunt me to this day.

K.

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T.N.

answers from Phoenix on

Be very careful so your daughter doesn't get a poor self-image, but encourage a healthy lifestyle by being an example. If your husband is truly concerned, he should be setting a good example by being active and eating healthy with the right portions himself. The example he sets is going to be much more effective than anything he tells her. If he really wants her to be healthy, he needs to be that himself and focus on what he's doing himself.

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S.D.

answers from Richmond on

Through my coursework in Psychology I remember the mention of the idea that children watch their fathers to form their eating habits, unless of course their is only a mom. The biggest thing your hubby can do is teach her by his example how to be healthy. I have found that even though I tend to be somewhat of a "picky" eater my sons will eat almost anything because my husband will. My dad is slender and as it turns out a picky eater (I didn't think I knew that as a child but now I know and I must have "known" then). In other words, we pick up all the subconscious messages from our parents. So, if you or your husband think your daughter is overweight, she probably senses that to some degree. As long as you only occasionally indulge and the rest of the time make wise food choices she will most likely follow suit.

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F.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You got so many responses and I don't even know if you are still reading them, but thought I would add one point I feel is very important: Research shows (and many of the responses you received support) that the 2 most important influences on a girl's self-esteem are 1) her father's opinion of her and 2) her mother's opinion of HERSELF. That means that the father should focus on reassuring the girl that he thinks she is beautiful, and the mother should show her daughter that she loves her own body. My mother is constantly putting herself down in terms of her body, and it has been a real struggle for me to not do that in front of my girls. But it has been successful so far, and my 8 year old is very self-confident and loves her body despite being a little overweight. My husband was also concerned, but when he really looked at the whole picture, including her activity level, athleticism, and energy, he mellowed out about it. Anyway, just wanted to put in there that in order for our girls to have good self-esteem, Dad's job is to shine their unconditional love on their daughters and Mom's need to remember to shine our unconditional love on ourselves.

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N.C.

answers from Denver on

Hello Jen. I can definitely relate to your concerns. I also have a daughter, who is 9, and she is very curvey. She has always been taller than all the girls whatever her age, but now seems to be getting rounder. She is very athletic, and thank God for that. I am overweight right now, but was never growing up. Her dad is obese and he also has a 26 year old daughter who is obese. He doesn't address my fears with alot of validity, 'cause I think it's too close to his issues to have to deal with it. I feel as though I am constantly nagging her to pull in her tummy, wear a training bra, wear a belt to keep up those baggy pants, etc. I want us to be positive role models for her but its hard. I suffer from depression and find it really hard to muster the energy to start a change. I will keep trying though, 'cause her health and happiness is the whole world to me. Maybe all we can do try to be the best persons we can and gently and lovingly guide our children to making healthy choices in whatever life throws at them. ??? Good luck to all of you. 'Nan.

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C.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

The best thing is lots of WHOLE grains, fruits and vegitables and rule of thumb...small meals more often. Minimal complex carbs and fats....and of course excersise....if you can instill this in kids early....the less trouble they'll have and you will give them a great foundation for the rest of their life~! Above all a supportive home, unconditional love and guidance......I know this is simple and you probably already do this, but it's my two cents as a mama myself and someone who also struggled with body image. Blessings and Light. C

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T.Z.

answers from Green Bay on

I read a few of the responces and thought I would share that I ahve 4 kids, 3 girls (15,13,11) and a boy (9), my 15 year old was always in teh 80 to 90 percentile at all of her dr. visits, height, weight. She looked perfect, not too chubby, not too thin. I mean I would look at her and think she was perfect. I stil think she is perfect (especially in Gods eyes)but, she is now 5'8" and 205 lbs. She is tall, but I don't think the weight is right. But the biggest but of all is this. She is healthy, we eat chips about once a week and maybe once a month I will break down and buy fruit snacks and Little Debbies. She has always been athletic. Just this last Fall she was on her Highschool Freshman Volley Ball team and she played almost every minute of every game but the last 3 of the season. She is a good athlete and plays her heart out. She has really thick ankles. It bothers me cuz I think she is retaining water or somthing is wrong. Nothing is wrong. Drs. say so. Ok, I will listen to them. It is jsut how she is built now. She was never like that as a little child.

I am divorced and her dad (my ex) has givin her a hard time, telling her she needs to exercise more and loose some weight. Well I say how dare he. Don't fathers know that how their little girls (no matter how little) just need to have their fathers love them (divorced parents or not). They need that acceptance at any age. Oh ya I forgot to mention that my daughter one week after Volleyball ended started show choir (it is singing and dancing ) and will be doing that till the end of the school year, and she even used to swim 2 hours a night 5 days a week on a swim team. It is jsut who she is. Yes if she sat around and did nothing and ate junk all the time, I could see a problem. I hope with acceptance and any understanding you need to see helps with what areas need to be addressed, eating, excercise, or jsut acceptance and love and hugs!!

Oh and her dad and I are average height and he is skinny and I am average, and I did look in to a thiroid problem with her too and it is not an issue and... have 3 other kids who look fine now too, but I don't know how it will be for them later but if they gain weight or whatever, I will show them acceptance, too much presure out there in life to be "perfect" looking. God sees tehm as perfect no mater what and they can believe that.

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L.T.

answers from Boston on

I'm not going through anything like this but I think it is very important to keep her self esteem and confidence by not making too much of it. Children are like sponges and if she hears her Dad's concerns this could potentially lower her self esteem. If she is comfortable within her own body...good for her. However, since you both have been struggling with weight issues I would for sure keep an eye out on the types of foods you supply in the house. You probably already know this I'm sure but it is very important to keep fresh fruits and veggies all of the time and truly limit the treats and soda (if you even drink it). I always have pre washed fruit in my fridge along w/Little Bear tortilla chips and hummus for dipping. I keep a package of little carrots and some dip for dipping. Again - don't withold the treats but do limit if you tend to snack. I often feel children can be "bottomless pits" due to boredom. In my opinion she sounds just fine.....as long as she is happy and confident with who she is - that is great! As far as your husbands concern he is just protecting her but really should not make a big deal out of it - at least in front of her.

Not sure if this has helped or not - but she sounds like a great little girl.

L.

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H.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I think you should leave well enough alone. If it is in her genes, she's going to tend to "look stocky" no matter what. As long as you teach her healthy eating habits and to enjoy and appreciate health food, she should be okay. But, most importantly, teach her to love herself!!!! Tell your husband to watch some of these young girls on tv with eating disorders who are on the brink of death because their parents were so worried about how they looked.

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K.G.

answers from Denver on

Hi Jen - congratulations on having such a well-adjusted happy and active daughter! That is wonderful at her age to be trying so many things and enjoying them and at the same time being proud of herself for her strength and abilities! Bravo!
As far as the food/diet, excercise, parental verbage, it is only fair to say that she will listen to you and your husband because you are her parents -together. When one is not being supportive of the other in regards to how your daughter feels about herself, that is harmful.
Case in point, I am a 40 year old woman, mother of 1 - 3yr old daughter. As a child, I had the yoyo parenting - the father that was a zealot when it came to exercise and diet (which meant he was not very nice when he saw me heavy and not very active), and my mother who was a yoyo dieter - any chance to try something new. As a teenager, my dad bought me running shoes (sat in the box for years) and measured me with a tape measurer 1 x a month and recorded it. If that was not damaging I don't know what was. He loved me, but his actions spoke much louder than words.
At this time I am healthy(ha okay to a point but I have been diagnosed with MS in the last year which limits my activity alot) but I used to run 5k races, would be considered "athletic" and short (5'1) but HAPPY. I eat right, keep moving and have maintained the same weight for over 2 years - losing all my baby weight walking 1 mile every day with the stroller in tow. I am working to teach my daughter to be happy, self-confident and to not shy away from trying new things. She watches her dad who competes in Highland Games - he is tall, athletic and strong. She sees this and knows her daddy "works out" and "trains" and she is his biggest fan. She even has a matching kilt and "practices" throwing things too. She tried bowling this weekend - what a hoot when she ended up beating me two games! :) We are so proud of her for being "strong" and happy - at 41 in. tall and 31lbs - she is super.
The grandparents (especially my dad) said she was "pudgy" as a baby (aren't most and in fact she was healthy, a good eater, sleeper and very active at an early age), her other grandfather repeatedly comments "she is thinning out it seems" - whatever. I listen to the doctor, and I see how happy she is. She eats real food, she is not picky eater and she doesn't fight with mom and dad when it comes to what we give her. She is learning the RIGHT way to be healthy and in turn, she is happy. She watches mom and dad, listens to the discussion at the dinner table, eats real food and is happy to be active and that is all I have to worry about.
Jen - my best to you - please tell your husband he needs to pay attention to what your daughter is doing, not what he has done. His burden doesn't belong on her and if she is proud of herself, happy with herself and confident - BRAVO -that is what matters most.
Best of luck.

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J.M.

answers from Seattle on

Your reasoning seems sound. Here's one more vote:

I suggest ORGANIC most importantly for meat and dairy, because you are what you eat (and what it ate). Aside from what research has already shown, I can only imagine how the accumulated hormones and pesticides in our nation's diet are affecting our youth's body development.

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L.U.

answers from Los Angeles on

Its never to early to be concern about our kids health. My second child (almost 3years) is like me, loves to eat. He looks like he is very muscular, strong child but I'm checking on his eating habits, because my mom DID NOT. We need to teach them that food is only for keep us a live, not to live for food. You have the power to control (teach) them to choose the right food and portion so when they grow up they will know what is not good to eat. I think your husband is trying not to make a mistake from his own experience.
Of course you don't want to do it too much so they will hate food and be worry to get fat so they have bulimia and other eating problems. Have you seen Dr. Phil show about the 28 years old girl with eating problems? Good luck.

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S.H.

answers from Raleigh on

Have you looked at the Raw food diet ? I am doing this and it is just wondefull since one can eat as much as one wants and one will still loose wieght if the body needs to . It is I am sure the diet that god intended for us all. I do not believe a body does no know instinctively what it needs. I lost 15 lbs in one month and felt great/energized the whole time .Also I was able to eat as much as I wanted of anything so I never went hungry . The secret is to know the gourmet recipies but you can find them on-line as there are amny un-cook book available. This diet is not new. There are 67 years olds who hae been raw since they were 22 and they look like body buiders but are not. Check it out what have you got to loose?

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A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I have big kids myself because their dad is a big guy! My son is quite slim but very tall and weighs as much as most 5 yr olds. he is not a skinny kid nor will he ever be. He is just thick and solid. Now my daughter and she concerns me more has slimmed down alot since a baby and she was quite a chubby baby! Oh so cute! But she still has quite a belly and is 3. I am the only one that thinks she is chunky. Now the pediatrician goes by the percentile mark and yeah she is high in her weight but she is also taller than most 3 years old so they say her weight is fine. If really concerned get a second oponion at a different office but even if the pediatrician is over weigh they shoul well known whther or not your child is. She sounds very active and my goal with my daughter is to keep her active. I was never over weight as a child but I am concerned because they have their fathers body structure and his side of the family is much heavier than my side.

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P.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am a runt who graduated high school weighing 90 pounds and could eat meatballs and chocolate all day. My husband was a college linebacker who got made fun of his entire childhood because he was the fat kid, he still has issues about it and over compensates by being ultra fit and athletic and trying to make his boys that way too. I hate the way they are fed: They eat processed chicken strips, boxed mac and cheese, as long it doesn't have trans fats, they are lean and growing, but I can't imagine that it's healthy, and the food is bland and boring. And let's face it, I grew up with plenty of popular fat kids, so if that's why you're getting teased, that's really NOT why you're getting teased. There is something else present in the personality that is making the kid a target. I am 5 feet tall and never got teased for being short, or for anything. Never even knew I was short until I read it in a Census Survey in my 20's. So size alone will not cause any teasing. We even had a wildly popular fat cheerleader who made Homecoming Princess. Teach your daughter to carry herself well and feel proud of herself for "real" attributes of charactar and accomplishment, and not get caught up on the superficial attributes than she'll be fine, socially.

Now, being built stocky is not a license to indulge in bad health habits. Even my runt little butt has to keep it balanced, or else I will develop diabetes, heart disease, cancer. Being skinny is not an immunity to bad health. Also, all three of my kids were considered "overweight" as babies, and now at age 8 and 9 they are skinny minnie's, and the 4 year old is solid and muscular but not fat. Their biological father, not my husband, was technically overweight too. Maybe if they lived with him and lived on the Hawaiian diet, they would be too, but they live with me, so they are not.

I feed my daughter according to the Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, which is recommended for girls to start eating this way at birth, and really, I think all pregnant women should be given this book. You can read it in the time you spend fasting for your glucose test. Also, if you can find a copy of Dr. Deal's Detox diet, grab it. He's a pediatrician in Kauai, and brilliant. These are "lifestyles" not diets.

We eat all foods, in moderation. If I stop eating beef, I end up anemic, so I DO eat steak, but not every day of the week. Maybe once a week. When we are eating out and socializing, we do not restrict ourselves or offend our hosts, we try new things and enjoy ourselves. Food is a wonderful nurturing and social part of life and should be embraced. Nothing is more annoying than a picky eater at a dinner party, kids are no exception. At home, we stick to the guidelines of the Breast Cancer book pretty close, organic meats, (chicken is really nasty and toxic even if it is low fat, I'd rather smoke a cigarette than eat chicken) mostly wild caught seafood, no shellfish, organic dairy products, whole wheat, tons of yummy veggies and fruits, etc. I let the kids brush on the olive oil and sprinkle on the seasonings and they really enjoy the "food experience."

Any "Diabetes" cookbook can be used as a regular daily cookbook. Blending tofu into eggs, gravy, guacomole, and other sauces is undetectable but reduces the fat and adds fiber and protein. No soda at home, 7 up can be had at a restaurant only, so it's a special treat. Smart Balance instead of mayonnaise, little things like that add up, so at the end of the week....knock yourself out with that frozen yogurt. And if you must get fast food, there are web sites with a calorie counter, so you can make the smartest choice.

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K.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I agree with you but your husband has a valid concern. I go thru the same issue w/my husband & our four sons. None are even "pudgy" but like your husband he has his weight issues. He doen't want them to use butter or salt and is constantly commenting on their food consumption at the same time downing an entire bag of pretzels...hey they don't have any fat so why not eat the whole bag!! I am concerned as well so I have taught them to get a bowl & have a "few" of something rather than eat out of the container etc...
It is going to be really hard on a little girl to have her Dad concerned about her weight-my Dad said I have big, ugly "peasant" feet & I have never gotten over it!!

You have to silence him in front of her at least but I think you absolutely need to switch pediatricians. For her sake, you need someone who will be more objective (and neutral) about the realities of being overweight.
I hope that's helpful and ps I agree about the stay at home vs earning a wage issue-if you ever figure that out, let me know!!
K.

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M.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I tend to agree with you about too much emphasis on weight. Just because your pediatrician is a bit over weight does not mean she cannot properly assess the situation. She would probably agree that she herself is overweight, as many of us gain weight with age. But girls are so sensitive to this subject anyway, and anorexia can become a problem. It seems to me that your daughter will discover for herself if there is something she needs to change, at which time you can help her do that. Perhaps making sure that most of the food in the house available to her is healthy food would be appropriate, but I would be careful about over-emphasizing the subject with her.

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C.T.

answers from New York on

Hi J.
I can understand both of your opinions. Your husband is concerned for his daughter based on the history of his older children and only wants the best for her. You feel protective and worry about his impact on her [negative vibes].
I am a holistic health counselor and speak to parent groups about diet and health issues mainly around food. The rate of obesity in children is alarming and current trends put the diabetic rate at the same level.
I'm pretty sure that changing your family eating habits would be great for all of you and done a little at a time not so difficult...end result a healthier and happier family! You might convince your husband by getting him to see kids learn best by example.
Hope this helps.
C. T.

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V.B.

answers from Phoenix on

OMG! As the texting world states. I have had this issue come up in my family with our daughter who is now 17. I was a stick growing up and could eat anything I wanted. My family and mother are the same way. My husbands family is very fit but the women are tall, big boned, muscular and strong. Ever since our daughter was infant she was on the 90 % for weight and height I guess she took after her dad's side. We watched what she ate, gave her only healthy food choices. We are health nuts so everyone in the family pays attention to portions etc. My daughter, was in dance, swimming, golf and tennis. She also played softball and soccer. But there always seemed to be an extra layer around her muscles. She started her period at 11 which was a shock to me because I was 17. She became very aware of her body type in Junior high. Thank goodness we have always promoted high self esteem and confidence. She has no problem being herself. Unfortunately, 90 % of the girls in Jr. High are size 0. She has always had a very womanly figure. She is a beautiful young lady but became concerned about her weight. I took her to the pediatrician who didn't seem to have any concerns about her "baby fat" as he so gently put it. I was torn between encouraging her new daily fitness regime and the bird size meals she began choosing. Her dad was always concerned (as your husband) about her seeming to be overweight. I finally chalked it up to him seeing his daughter and remembering that boys like girls that are tiny in highschool. I think male sterotypes play a part in how they see their daugthters and they become concerned about them socially. I just kept keeping an eye on her choices and told my husband the "baby fat" will melt away as she gets older.
Well now she is 17 and although very curvy she is slimming down and very happy with her body. She is in size 6 and 8 clothes, her confidence is back which she contributes to "Marylin Monroe" and her body type. Society is awful. It's expectation on young women is very hard. Just keep encouraging your daughter to make healthy choices and only give her those options. She will look to you for the path. What she sees you doing she will copy especially at her young age.
I stopped buying any dairy, or meat that had hormones in it. I read studies that showed the relationship between the hormones given to cows and young girls being over weight and starting their periods early regardless of their activity level. Also we reduced juices and sports drinks and cut out soda. We live by the motto "if it is white don't bite" Everyone in the family did this. I think this helped our daughter and the rest of us.

Good luck, stay positive.
V

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

I think since her pediatrician thinks she's fine, she is likely just fine. The only thing I'd suggest is that all of you as a family take a look at what you are eating and your activity levels and make whatever changes you need to make to make sure you are all eating healthy and all have good activity levels. If you make any changes, make them as a family and don't single your daughter out (it is unfair to limit her food intake if she is watching the rest of you eat cake). Kids learn by example. The best thing to do if you think she needs a healthier lifestyle is to start with yourself (and your husband start with himself too).

I do agree with you that being healthy and having a good self image and WAY more important that your actual weight.

Good luck!

T.

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E.S.

answers from Orlando on

I could barely read your whole letter, because it was making me angry. I grew up a "pudgy child" if that is what it is called. I was told it my whole life, particularly by doctors. The end result now is a grown woman, age 43, who constantly struggles with her weight. (I need to lose about 40 pounds, so it is not so terrible, and I am very healthy!) I have 3 daughters, and I do not ever discuss weight with them, unless they bring it up. And then, it is in a very positive way. My oldest, age 14, went through a pudgy stage, but as soon as puberty kicked in, she slimmed down. She also dances 13 hours a week, so the activity helps. All my children know how to eat healthy. The one thing I do emphasize is hunger. I say to them "Are you hungry?" when they ask for food. Girls naturally carry more weight, in different ways, than boys. They NEED it for starting puberty, and eventually childbearing. God made us this way. Continue to emphasize the healthy eating, fun playing outside, and a positive outlook. One thing I am also teaching my children (and this may help your husband) is: Whose problem is it? If your daughter is healthy and strong, then maybe your husband has the problem. We do tend to hold on to our problems and live them through our children, even without realizing it. How about your husband and daughter go for walks together? That could help both of them, and their relationship. Her realationship with her father will dictate her future relationships with men. This comes with a sincere intention of helpful advice.

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M.U.

answers from St. Louis on

It sounds to me as if there is little cause for major concern here. Your daughter appears to be very active & since her build is a stocky, muscular frame she is just naturally going to carry more weight than here peers. It seems logical that as long as she keeps active & her motabolism is kept up she should maintain the status-quo. When she gets older yoga & pilates may help lengthen her muscles to possiple give her a little leaner look. Naturally keep her on the healthiest diet you can. That is balanced, these different diets are mostly bunk. Eat if possible the freshest, least refineed diet you can, try to be the best infuence you can by eating the same way as a rule. When she is closing in on her teen years help her to maintain the habits you've instilled, peer pressure works in a lot of ways, if she eats right most of the time hopefully when she is more on her own she will continue, even when her motabolism starts slowing as she gets through her 20's...

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