I hate even posting this - I am so sad and frustrated and heartbroken for her. I feel like a failure and a horrible parent. But this really shouldn't be about how I feel...
My oldest dd is very overweight. She was always thin when she was little. She began bulking up around age 7, and it has just slowly escalated since. I don't understand it. She has the same diet as everyone else in the family. None of the rest of us are even slightly overweight. She is active (mind you, she is not in any organized sports per se, but runs her butt off with the neighbourhood kids and her siblings). At first, I just thought it was a phase, and that she'd grow out of it. I know I definitely got bigger just before puberty, and then went on to lose most of it throughout my teen years.
But this is different...she wears a size 5 women's pants for the waistband. They are at least 6 inches too large in the leg length. My tops are tight on her (I am 5 ft 9 and 150 lbs). Her tummy actually has a flap now. I haven't addressed the weight issue with a physician specifically, but she has been to see a couple in the past year for other issues, and none of them even mentioned her weight, and I wasn't sure how to bring it up. I have only talked about this to my mother, my sister in law and my husband. My husband thinks we should restrict her, and push her to work out, but I don't think that is healthy for a preteen. My mother just keeps telling me that she'll grow out of it, and my sister in law ( a very large woman herself) shames me and tells me that dd isn't overweight. About a month ago, she was changing into her bathing suit and I noticed that she has started to get large stretch marks on her upper thighs. I seriously felt like somebody had kicked me in the gut when I saw them. Scars are forever. Just two days ago, I saw that she has large red ones on her chest now too.
Please understand, I am not ashamed or embarassed. I think she is beautiful, and I am proud of her in every way. I am devastated for HER. She knows she is big. It upets her greatly, but she doesn't know how to change it, and I don't know what to tell her. I try to tell her that it's just a little puppy fat and that it's normal, but she just gives me the, "oh, please" look. I am crying as I write this, because part of me feels like I am betraying her when I talk about it.
I sincerely don't know where to turn. Has anyone else gone through this with their child? Does anyone have any advice for us? A magic wand perhaps? How can I help her drop the extra weight while still being healthy with her changing body? How can I talk to a doctor with her when she is mortified even discussing it with her own momma? And how can I book an appointment without making her feel like something is wrong with the way she looks? Probably most importantly: How can I get my daughter to feel good about herself when we live in such a visual world?