Thanks for the support. It's probably time for an update to this thread anyway.
So I think I wrote that we went to the ped for her annual well child check-up and the ped noted that her BMI is at the 90th percentile. So that's technically overweight. The ped talked to her about growing into her womanly body and learning to eat healthy. My daughter asked questions about how to get a faster metabolism and the ped responded with a comment on how kids with fast metabolisms often grow up to be heavy adults because they don't learn important lessons about limiting intake and making healthy choices until it's too late. My daughter and I have talked about this more - I think she's at a perfect moment in her life to do some experimenting with her food choices and see where they lead.
In the weeks since that meeting she has seemed to become much more aware of her body and what she puts in it. She is actively asking me about what foods are "fattening" and what are not (I always answer that there are all kinds of foods and she has to know that the best eating is balanced and from a variety of sources). Yesterday she tried to get a handle on how many jumping-jacks she needs to do to get her legs thinner - I answered, again, that fitness is not based on the number of jumping jacks but being active every day, for maybe an hour or so, always. I have not said one word to her about her body since January. We have had to buy new bras again, though, and new school skirts and new jeans because everything she had from our last shopping trip in November was too small. This is a lot of data for her, and she is definitely processing it.
Last night, after the jumping jacks conversation, I sat with her privately and asked her what her goal is regarding all of these questions. She wants a flat tummy and legs that aren't fat. I know that she wanted to go shopping for bathing suits a while ago and hasn't mentioned it since the DR visit...I think she is holding out for a smaller body. I told her that it took her several months to get all this extra padding and it's going to take several months for it to go away, and again that she can make good choices regarding food and exercise and she will be fine. She is a beautiful girl no matter what and will always be. She seemed to appreciate this convo.
I am continually surprised at her apparent ignorance about all of this and have to remind myself that she is just 13. But I look at her and she is my height, with a body that would knock your socks off, and she is so smart. But yet she knows nothing about taking care of her body this way.
Look, about family fitness - we are pretty active people. I take a spin class twice a week and do yoga. I walk the dog. My husband jogs and rides his bike and does exercise videos at home. I always invite my kids to do things outside with me. My husband invites her to join him in a jog or video work-out. My husband and I are in a push-up competition that both daughters have said no to. I have asked my daughter time and again what kind of sports camp she'd like to do this summer, whether she wants to take a class aftere school, why doesn't she ride her bike, walk to the store...the opportunities are there but she has yet to take advantage of them. We are getting closer, though - she arranged to play volleyball this summer with friends and plans to join the volleyball team at school in the fall. Small steps.