Dear Mothers of Chubby Teenage Daughters,
Your daughter may be smart, adorable and have a great personality, but what she really wants is to be thin.
She's jealous of friends that can eat whatever they want and never gain a pound. She watches movies with the skinny stars and promises herself she'll lose weight. She knows she's funny but would trade that in a heartbeat to be "normal." She watches naturally thin girls shopping at the mall and wonders what it would be like to try on anything and have it fit.
I know because I was the chubby teenager.
I was the one sitting at Denny's after school trying to understand why the cheerleaders could eat bottomless fries and I couldn't. All I ever wanted was to look good in 501 button fly jeans instead of hiding in long skirts.
What part to mothers play in all of this?
A lot.
You can help reverse your daughter's course and intervene before overeating becomes anorexia, bulimia or lifelong obesity.
I'm not a nutritionist, but I am a mom and a former fattie.
I starts from the top. We all know that mom is the alpha dog.
Are you spending more time choosing the right schools and extracurricular activities for your daughter than you are on helping her learn a healthy lifestyle?
Research has proven that mothers are the Gate Keepers of the family food. Stop stocking the house with unhealthy snacks for your high metabolic-rate son.
Please, no more excuses that because of late soccer practices, Burger King is the only dinner option. Subway has six sandwiches under six grams of fat.
Shop with your daughter and teach her how to cook. Engage her in meal planning and discuss the calories and fat in food.
Get moving! Show her by example and encourage her to play sports, regardless of her ability.
Bribes are okay. Lose a dress size and gain a new outfit.
Teach her the 80/20 rule. Eat well and exercise 80% of the time. Slack off 20% of the time. I bet that ratio is currently reversed.
No ridiculing or teasing and do not tolerate it from family members.
Shame has no place in this process so talk openly and often.
Your daughter may resist, but she'll thank you for it when the results are in.
Plus she'll still be smart, adorable and have a great personality.
NOTE: Mommies, please no cards or calls to the station. I am not advocating model thin, I mean a healthy body fat percentage, somewhere between 19 - 25%.