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#31 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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The only reason I keep talking about my weight is to explain that my eating habits are probably not the best because I've never had to think about what I eat.  

 

 

Why not? Because you're thin?

 

This is the fundamental point you will need to examine.

 

You did need to think about what you eat, whether you did or didn't. But it was every bit as important for you to think about what you eat as it is for your daughter.

 

I personally think deli meat is not the best because it's processed, you're right. But there's a relativity to this, too. But yeah, I think it's better to use, say, chicken pieces leftover from your roasted whole chicken or roasted breasts than deli meat, sure. But deli meat is more nourishing than, say, Cheetos.

 

What kind of foods feel greasy to you? You may want to avoid them altogether. Also, a nice alternative to water is iced tea (unsweetened is better, of course).


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#32 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Come to think of it, drinking water with just about everything I eat makes me feel bloated,

but especially Italian food like spaghetti, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, etc.

 

I'll drink juice instead of water, and it doesn't bother me at all.

I can try the iced tea as well, thanks.


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#33 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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HA!

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#34 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:11 AM
 
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Any suggestions for healthy snacks?

 

We keep fresh fruit, dried fruit (although if they start eating too much of that, I stop buying for a while - it's fine in small amounts, but too much sugar for high consumption), raw nuts and seeds. Our usual pantry stock of snacks is:

 

Almonds

Walnuts

Cashews

Pecans

Raisins

Dates

Prunes (my kids love them)

Apple rings

Sunflower seeds (we eat both roasted and raw)

Hemp seeds

 

 

We sometimes have pistachios and dried apricots, and I occasionally buy dried cranberries, but they have added sugar, so I don't do it very often.

 

The kids also snack on cheese (mostly cheddar) and yogurt. Some people don't think we should eat dairy, but I think there are good arguments on both sides.

 

I'm obese. I have disordered eating, and actually eat in two modes. My day-to-day eating habits are very good, but I also binge on junk on a fairly regular basis, which is what packed on the weight, and why I'm still so heavy.

 

However, when I was younger, I was active and healthy. At age 18, I did 30-40 minute aerobic dance workout every other day. I walked everywhere - miles a day. I did yoga twice a day. I did strength/weight training every day (alternating upper and lower body). I had a resting heartrate (measure of cardio health) of 55 bpm. According to the table, I was seriously overweight, as I weighed 160 pounds at 5'5" (same height as your daughter, but 13 more pounds). My advice is to focus on your daughter's health, not her weight. Despite all the press, they actually are two different things.


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#35 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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The only reason I keep talking about my weight is to explain that my eating habits are probably not the best because I've never had to think about what I eat.  And you are right that weight does not equal health.  I want to be the kind of mom who teaches her kids how to eat healthy, but since it's something I've never had to think about before, it's something I have to learn, hence the reason for my post.

Savithny – thanks for explaining about the empty/simple carbs and all the other information.  Very informative and helpful, your list of snacks is exactly what I was looking for.  I think she would like boiled eggs. 

 

Couple of questions - I thought I heard that deli meat is bad for you because it's processed?

 

And we do drink a lot of kool aid instead of water, but the problem with that is when I eat something greasy, I can not drink water.  The water seems to sit on top of the food and makes me feel very gassy and bloated to the point of discomfort.  Any suggestions?

 

And thanks to the other posters for their helpful advice.

 

You've never had to think about it before because you, too, have bought into the cultural narrative that says "thin=healthy."    The idea that you only have to "think about it" and worry about good nutrition if you're overweight is a really dangerous fallacy in US culture.  It's incredibly common, so most people don't question it.

 

Deli meat isn't the best, its true.  But "processed" is a relative term.  Good deli turkey,for instance, is preserved with salt and some chemicals, yes.  But it's not chopped and reformed and puffed and hydrolized and stabilized and de-esterized and partially-hydrogenated and and and.... It's meat with salt and nitrates, generally.   Which is almost certainly a better choice than a ramen noodle, nutritionally speaking.  

 

Honestly, about the water?  I can't see how adding sugar to it in the form of koolaid would help it mix with grease better.  If you were saying that beer or wine or vodka sat better, that makes sense chemically because alcohol cuts grease.   Just sugar?   I don't know what the issue is with water and greasy meals, but adding sugar water to a greasy meal is NOT an improvement!      If you can't drink water with a greasy meal, adding sugar isn't really the answer.  Cutting the grease may be a better answer.

 

I don't even have much advice about how to give up kool aid because I've never drunk it except at birthday parties -- my mother didn't allow it in the house, back in the 70s.   We just drank water with meals.   You may find that adding a squeeze of lemon to your water makes it taste different and "cuts the grease" the way the kool aid does.   While normally I'm one for gradual dietary changes, you may find everyone in your house benefitting VERY QUICKLY from just tossing the kool aid and going cold turkey.

 

The koolaid is a perfect example of the above fallacy, by the way: either no one ever looked sideways at you for drinking koolaid because you were thin anyway, or you never thought it was an issue.  People have been trying to educate Americans that koolaid is unhealthy crap for years.    It was why my mother wouldn't buy it.   But to most of us, whatever thin people eat or drink is automatically "healthy" because they are "healthy" because they're thin.   


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#36 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:22 AM
 
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Okay - just read savithny's post, and she came up with a much better snack list than mine, and the rest of her post rocks. Well said, savithny!

 

re: The ensuing discussion about deli meats. There are more and more nitrate free varieties available, so even deli meats can be better than they were. And, I agree with whomever said they're better than Cheetos.

 

Oh - avocados are also good, if your daughter likes them...or make up guacamole to dip veggies in. I didn't even mention veggies in my post, but all my kids love carrots, cucumbers and celery. There are also a few veggies that all but one (different one for different veggies) enjoy: broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and tomatoes/grape tomatoes. They all make quick, easy snacks.


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#37 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:27 AM
 
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I didn't read the whole thread. However what I did read covered the issues of your daughter getting even the subconscious feeling from you that something is wrong with her and a list of healthy snacks. I also wanted to mention that she simply might also be preparing for a growth spurt.

 

If she seems to be spreading out a bit and this is a change from the way her body has been looking it might just be some changes due to puberty (starting to build body fat for hips and breasts) or she might be preparing for a huge upward growth spurt. I think it's pretty common for a 14 year old to get a bit thicker as their body is going through some pretty extreme changes.


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#38 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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You could try drinking water with a wedge of lemon squeezed in it. My husband does not like water so he brews celestial seasonings herbal tea, like tangerine zinger, and keeps that in the fridge. Or you could eat less greasy foods;-) If you mix up your own koolaid, you can use less sugar than it says. It's better to not drink it since it is just sugar and food coloring, but making it with less sugar can be a baby step towards more healthful beverages.

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#39 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:43 AM
 
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I missed the water discussion at first, but I agree about herbal teas and/or lemon water. I think peppermint tea, in particular, tastes really nice when it's chilled. Peppermint also has a reputation for soothing the stomach.


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#40 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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Clearly this is a touchy subject here! Sorry for the negative responses you've been receiving. Anyway, as a partner to someone who was always very thin and had to be careful she was not underweight during pregnancy, I know that skinny bashing and fat phobia can be equally distressing. DP also had a rather unhealthy diet into her early twenties since she could just eat whatever she wanted whenever, and also had to learn about healthy food and eating habits, mostly during her first pregnancy (which she remained a size 0 after). Both of our girls went through periods of being very thin, DD 15 filled out around 13 and has a BMI of 17 now. DD12 is at her long and lankiest, not quite 15 BMI but she is getting taller by the minute and hasn't filled out yet. A lot of people, including a grandmother, are particularly nosy about DD12's weight and suggest we aren't feeding her enough or there's something wrong. She is perfectly healthy, her best friend weighs one pound more than her at the same height, and many kids go through the "all legs" stage, just as many kids might start getting stocky before they reach their full height. Don't let your views, or anyone else's, on what a child *should* weigh influence your parenting here. I agree that a healthier diet is the way to go. I became a vegetarian almost a decade ago, mainly because I knew I would eat crap like fast food cheeseburgers if I could. Being more conscious about what you put in your body is a good practice for anyone.

Healthy, filling snacks we enjoy:
Nachos with multigrain tortilla chips (black beans, tomatoes, green onions if we have them, and a little cheese - maybe 1 cup grated per tray)
Smoothies. They are really great, easy to get a day's worth of fruit and delicious.
Ramen noodles with a healthier bullion (we like better than bullion, also vegetarian) so it's not full of MSG and other crap. Still an empty carb but kids love ramen, it seems wrong to take it away entirely wink1.gif
Cheese tray - serve a Brie or other mild cheese with fruit and some good whole grain bread or triscuits, not too many, mostly apples or pears to eat the cheese on. For some reason, if it's fancy, they feel full after eating less.
Ants on a log - we use almond butter instead of peanut butter and whatever dried fruit we have - cranberries, golden raisins, currants, etc
Applesauce. Simple, and you could eat half a jar without it being bad for you. I buy the unsweetened kind, it's plenty sweet without added sugar.
Meatless chicken nuggets, taste pretty much the same as real chicken nuggets but aren't as bad for you. They aren't great for you, but it still helps make a plate of baby carrots more palatable. Good incentive to get them to eat something they don't care for particularly. I'm all about serving up little hors de oeuvres plates, throw a deviled egg in there with low cal mayo and you've got a good snack.

I also like to "hide" vegetables in most meals, for example, zucchini tots are awesome. Just grate a potato and a zucchini, add an egg and some seasoned bread crumbs and chopped onions and bake in a greased mini muffin tin. They taste like little tater tot/latke cakes, and kids will eat four of them never knowing they ate 1/4 of a zucchini wink1.gif

I love Epicurious and Pinterest, they have great recipe ideas to encourage healthier eating as a family.

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#41 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the additional advice on healthy snacks, Stormbride, Savithny, and 4evermom

I’m sure deli meat even if it’s processed is better than ramen noodles.

 

And I’ll try some of the suggestions for kool aid substitution.  

 

JollyGG – you made a good point that a 14 year old’s body is still changing.  I think focusing on a more overall healthy diet will be good not just for her but for the entire family as well.

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#42 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 11:58 AM
 
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Right on, Savithny.  OP, I think you would benefit from reading some books on healthy eating.  My recommendation is You Are What You Eat by Gillian McKeith.  It's a small, simple book with really pretty pictures and I found that to be inspiring and that it made the idea of eating healthy seem easy and tasty.  It's like a coffee table book with a purpose.

 

Also, I second the recommendation of putting lemon, lime, or a small amount of juice into water.  Sometimes water doesn't settle well in my stomach.  Like first thing in the morning...don't know why.

 

Lastly, I understand what you mean about not thinking about these things before as a thin person.  It took a big gradual shift for me to get into healthy eating.  Now I love it!  It's not that I didn't think it was important as a thin person, it was just never on my mind.  Sure, that's probably because of society's messed up views on weight and health. But it doesn't make me a bad person.

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#43 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jdsf,

 

I didn't see your post until after I posted, thanks for your encouragement and understanding!

 

I like your zucchini tot recipe, I'm definitely going to try that one.

 

Edited to add - And thanks Salr, you're right that since I've always been thin, thinking about these things has never been on my mind.  I've always had to contend with family members telling me I need to eat more.  I've heard the saying "never trust a skinny cook" and it's happened to me several times where people look skeptically at things I've cooked and when they eat it they are so surprised like because I'm skinny I don't know how to cook!


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#44 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM
 
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Oh - another thought about water. Salr's comment about water first thing in the morning reminded me, as I sometimes don't want water first thing, either. I found out years ago that it helps me if the water is warm, not cold. It may not work for everyone, but I thought I'd throw it out there. I think sometimes our stomachs just don't want the cold water. I drink a lot of water, and it's about 50/50 whether any given glass will be warm or cold (or, occasionally, hot), and it depends completely on what I'm in the mood for in the moment.


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#45 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 12:27 PM
 
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I have water issues. What I have done is buy a soda stream. I know that carbonated water is still not "as good" as still water straight from the tap but the carbonation allows me to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day without a problem. When I'm stuck with still water I often just can't handle it. I grew up with kool-aid and soda being the beverages of choice. Despite this not being a "perfect" solution it is a significant improvement for me. Progress not perfection.

 

It has been ridiculously hard for me to turn my eating habits around. I have been a carbitarian for most of my life. I <3 ramen. It's about improvement not perfection.

 

I'm sorry a lot of the reactions have been so hostile. I don't think you are starting in a horrible place.

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#46 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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Progress not perfection.

 

This.

 

My eating habits were never super awful. They got worse in my teens, and then picked back up again in my 20s. Despite some bumps, they're better now than they were. But, it hasn't been steady progress, and I'm not even aiming at perfect. I'm aiming at better.


Thanks to this thread, and a discussion I'm having on Facebook, I made my kids their "bits and pieces" lunch today, instead of PB&J...again...


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#47 of 102 Old 01-08-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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I think the important thing is that you are now thinking about more healthy eating. I've found that it isn't always necessary to go cold turkey on the junk we enjoy - just cut it back to an occasional treat. In time? None of you will crave it all that much.

 

You got some great advice, wrt snacks and exercise. Have you thought about just walking, the two of you? Great Mom/daughter time. Also, you didn't mention what you all eat for your regular meals. Do you cook together? That's a great way for BOTH of you to learn better food habits. Also, those leftovers will add to the snack/lunch possibilities. And yet more good bonding time.

 

Good luck!

 

ETA: Also - portion control is key!

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#48 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the additional tips re: water.

 

I'm looking into programs at the YMCA - most of the programs I've seen stop at age 12. 

At one time she did karate, but it got too expensive for me - it was $95 a month and

I had to stop it.  But I'll keep looking around to see what I can find.

 

Mtiger - Yes, I've thought of walking, but I work full time so by the time I get home from

work it's dark outside.  But once the days start getting longer we can start doing that.

 

To answer your question about meals, my dinner usually consist of either steak/chicken/fish, a side of either baked potato or rice, and some kind of vegetable.

I always try to make sure we have some kind of vegetable with every dinner.

My D14 is usually doing her homework while I cook, but I can certainly have her help me when she doesn't have homework.

You're right, it's a good time for bonding.
 

Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions.


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#49 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 07:56 AM
 
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It is ok that you have your worries.  You want what is best for your daughter.  If one of my daughters grew up and looked a bit overweight I would probably wonder what to do as well.  I wouldn't mention it to them though.  I would worry about her health and the way others will speak to them if it got to be more.  Of course you love her and want what is best.  Here is what I would do.

I wouldn't let on the way I felt.  I would change our food to healthier food and take any junk out of the house.  I prefer that anyway.  I would turn it into a family thing.  The family needs to get in shape.  The family needs to eat nutritiously.  Don't show any worry toward your daughter.  

I know people can be touchy talking about weight but a caring mother can also worry.  It doesn't mean that she is being judgmental and negative.  I would worry a bit if my daughters started getting overweight.  I wouldn't want them to struggle.  I love them.  I would try to help but through our whole family.

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#50 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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If you are going to be drinking a lot of tap water, filter it. A simple Brita pitcher is not that expensive, and good health is worth the cost!! Filtered water tastes soooo much better, no carbonation is needed!
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#51 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 08:36 AM
 
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Mtiger - Yes, I've thought of walking, but I work full time so by the time I get home from

work it's dark outside.  But once the days start getting longer we can start doing that.

 

I used to be reluctant to go out walking or biking after dark, but last winter I was forced to start doing it due to circumstances, and I found it quite liberating.  I bought some reflective armbands and small LED lights for bicycling, and I use them some when I walk too, but those aren't expensive.  The world can be very pretty on a crisp winter evening.

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#52 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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I just wanted to add my experience to this.  I have some very good friends that I met when their oldest son was 12.  He was thicker than what others (not his parents) wanted, and they would harp on him about it.  He kept gaining weight and got a bit chubby.

 

Then at 15 he grew.  And grew.  And grew.  Now he's a beanpole.  Teenagers need that fat to grow, and it can take them a couple years.  They will often gain that weight even eating healthy foods.  I feel the key is to make sure that their food is healthy so they have a wonderful foundation to grow on.

 

About the belly fat on your daughter, that fat can be important during puberty to ensure she can have children.  Or she could just be pear shaped.  Or her natural waist could be higher than her belly button. 

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#53 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 05:11 PM
 
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Sorry you were given a bit of a hard time.

 

I would bring DD shopping with you.  Maybe let her choose her own healthy snacks?  Bulk stores can be quite good - as they have assortments of nuts, seed, granola, etc.   I would not control what she eats (at all!) but I would make a concerted effort to bring more healthy food into the house.  If crap is not in the house, she cannot eat it (unless she spends her own money on it).

 

 

I do not know if you use pinterest or tumblr, but both can be used as a fun source of healthy recipes.  It can be something you do together, where you scroll around for healthy snack ideas, and pin the ones you like….

 

Good luck!


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#54 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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I just wanted to add my experience to this.  I have some very good friends that I met when their oldest son was 12.  He was thicker than what others (not his parents) wanted, and they would harp on him about it.  He kept gaining weight and got a bit chubby.

Then at 15 he grew.  And grew.  And grew.  Now he's a beanpole.  Teenagers need that fat to grow, and it can take them a couple years.  They will often gain that weight even eating healthy foods.  I feel the key is to make sure that their food is healthy so they have a wonderful foundation to grow on.

About the belly fat on your daughter, that fat can be important during puberty to ensure she can have children.  Or she could just be pear shaped.  Or her natural waist could be higher than her belly button. 

I agree that you shouldn't make too big an issue of it unless it is an ongoing trend. My mother thought I was getting fat as a teen, and then I grew. I'm glad I didn't listen to her. If it's just a bit, wait to see if she's going to grow.
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#55 of 102 Old 01-09-2013, 08:32 PM
 
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I didn't even read all of the posts, but it sounded like you were getting some good advice about snacks. Basically, the less "processed" something is the better it is for you. 

 

I have a 15 year old daughter who at one time was overweight. I was extremely hesitant to say anything. My grandmother harped at me about weight when I was a child and I struggled with eating disorders all through adolescence. So I didn't know what to say to my daughter. 

 

She eventually decided to do something herself. She started swimming year-round and she became a vegetarian. Now she is vegan. I don't know what she weighs and neither does she, but she looks great. She is about 5'7" and wears a 7 or a 9 depending on the brand. 

 

Has your daughter said anything about her weight? I would use that as a cue.

 

Also, keep an eye on it. Juvenile onset diabetes and certain thyroid conditions can present initially with increased appetite. If you are really concerned, a trip to the pediatrician may be warranted. The pediatrician also can talk to your daughter about diet and exercise.

 

Hope this helps.

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#56 of 102 Old 01-10-2013, 07:43 AM
 
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I think the best thing you can do, for everyone in your family, is to make some healthy lifestyle changes for everyone. This way your daughter does not feel singled out, and everyone benefits. I have a 13 year old dd who tends to fall just below the low end of what is considered healthy for her height and body frame. If she does not work out, she is considered underweight, without the added muscle. She would much rather make art or read, and our doctor was just as concerned about my daughter being too thin and sedentary as she was about me having weight to lose. So, now we all (including my partner, who is in pretty great shape,) are making changes. We all feel in it together, and I feel supported in my weight loss while my daughter is building more muscle, while we all improve our cardiovascular health. Actually, it would be the perfect lesson for your daughter that thin does not always equal healthy. If you have never thought about food or exercise in the past, chances are you probably could make some improvements as well. Win-win.

 

For us, dance games on the Wii are a great option, as is long walks with our dogs, swimming, and hiking. We also try to walk most places under 1.5 miles away if the weather is cooperating.
 

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#57 of 102 Old 01-10-2013, 01:03 PM
 
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Ok... Then what do want?  For us to tell you to get her on a tread mill?  And why so cranky?  I'm speaking from the side of the a kid whose mother thought she wasn't doing anything wrong either.  Just giving you a different perspective.  Nothing wrong with that now is there?

Who's being cranky??????? whistling.gif

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#58 of 102 Old 01-10-2013, 01:17 PM
 
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OP, I think you're heeding this advice.  I don't know why people were so harsh with you.

 

Sav has some amazing points.  You should rethink skinny=healthy but I think this thread hopefully will get you thinking about it.

 

Baby steps....

 

If I were in your shoes, I'd just focus on having better snack choices for your dd.  That is a great place to start.  Don't worry about changing everything at once.  Then it seems daunting and it's easy to give up.


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#59 of 102 Old 01-10-2013, 02:14 PM
 
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There is a whole movement called Health At Any Size. It's a great place to start for all kinds of points of view about healthy living. :) You can google it and find lots of good stuff as well.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#60 of 102 Old 01-10-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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You've gotten really good advice about snacks and food here. Something that helps me in deciding what kind of food to eat or buy is to think about how close that food is to it's original state, because that's typically a healthful food choice. Meat, veggies, brown rice- besides being slaughtered/picked and cooked, it's pretty close to it's natural state. Cheetos are corn and cheese, I think, but that's pretty far from what corn and cheese actually are, right? Even cheese, which is processed from milk, is still just milk and bacteria ( and maybe annato to make it yellow) so it's still really close to it's natural form. I also tend to shy away from things that have non-food ingredients. If I don't recognize most of the ingredients as whole foods on their own, I question the healthfulness of the item.

I also don't care for water first thing in the morning. I will drink very diluted cranberry blend juice ( the 100% type, not a cocktail with added sugar) and water with breakfast. About 1/4 juice to 3/4 water. You could start stronger and water it down more over time. It's also nice with seltzer instead of water. Big batches of iced Mint tea or regular tea with lemon sweetened with honey might make a good replacement for the sugary drinks for your family too. Again, over time, you can cut down the sweetness.

It's hard to change your Eating habits, but it's a really good feeling when see your family enjoying goods that are actually good for you. Good luck OP!

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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