I just finished reading the thread that Amber started about her 14 year old daughter. Such a touchy subject! I hope that my questions don't rub people the wrong way but they probably will.
My 13 year old daughter is a beautiful girl with a growing belly. It is making me crazy. This is not a thread about how to get her to lose weight (or maybe it is) but more about how to get myself to stop panicking about it. I am having trouble sleeping because of my anxiety over my daughter's belly. I am pathetic!
We are a food-aware family - we keep kosher and I'm gluten intolerant, so there are many discussions about what we can eat. I love to cook and we eat almost all of our meals at home. We don't keep much junk in the house, but we are not averse to dessert on occasion. My teen daughter likes to cook, too, and I think she understands what healthy food is.
My biggest concern with her is over portion control and impulsive eating. She's an impulsive person. She hasn't had much awareness about hunger and fullness and we've talked about that a few times. She seems completely unaware of her body and her shape. Many of her friends are on the heavy side and I think she feels comfortable with them and perceives herself as normal. I understand this is fine and I'm glad she feels good about herself. Unfortunately I do not think she is seeing what I see. I've had to buy her new clothes about every 2 months this year - yes, it is normal for her body to be changing, but she has gone up 3 bra sizes in 3 months (she went from a 32A to a 34 C and she's going to be wearing my 34 Ds soon at this rate). The jeans that we bought in October don't fit anymore. The dresses I bought her for her Bat Mitzvah in December were too small three weeks later and I had to get her Spanx so she could wear the dresses! UGH, I never thought I'd buy my 13 year old daughter a girdle.
There are so many emotional issues around this topic that I am trying to tread carefully. Here is where things go wrong in my head. As a teen I was frequently told that I should lose weight. My mom was crazy about her weight and eating and my dad was worse. My dad and I share a blessing of having normal weight without a lot of worry, but he is always on some kind of diet or talking about some kind of diet. My mom has always been on the heavier side of normal, but not obese, but living with my dad for the last 50+ years has made her crazy about her eating. She and my daughter have a lot in common temperamentally - I do not want to make my daughter crazy. But I am feeling like my dad's craziness is part of my problem now too! Maybe my dad's focus on food and eating stems from my mom's impulsiveness. Or maybe it's vice versa?
Either way I am having trouble sleeping when I think about my daughter's body. She is gorgeous. Fat or skinny she is a great kid. I want her to be curvy and beautiful and not have the buddha belly and huge breasts that she has now. I want her to feel confident in her body and be able to wear all of the beautiful clothes she loves and not have her belly hanging out over her waistband.
As far as physical activity goes, she is not a fan. She plays soccer but unless she's at a team practice or game, she is not active. I cannot force her to be active. We try to walk places when we can but we live in a city that is not very walkable and where the weather makes outdoor activity pretty impossible for large chunks of time.
I need help getting over myself or communicating in a way that is safe for her emotionally!