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How can I make my daughter lose weight?

(94 Posts)
worriednan Wed 17-May-17 09:20:54

Before you say anything, this is nothing to do with aesthetics. She's beautiful anyway and will always be beautiful to me whatever she weighs. But she's basically a ticking time bomb. She's always been curvy but over the last decade has piled on the weight to the point that she is now morbidly obese and the strain on her heart is immense. I don't know how I can help her. She is 45, happily married, has a job she enjoys and many good friends so I don't think it's unhappiness that is driving to her to eat but the compulsion is there nonetheless. We are all so worried about her and love her so much and just want to help. She previously had a gastric band removed and so surgery is not an option. It would now also be tremendously risky. She just doesn't seem to care about the problem and we just want her to be in a position where her health is more stable. I would welcome advice from anyone who has found themselves in a similar situation

samsgran Wed 17-May-17 09:25:39

You say compulsion... Perhaps CBT?

Teetime Wed 17-May-17 09:28:08

Oh dear I can hear how worried you are but really as you probably realise its all down to her. If she doesn't want to do it she wont. You could encourage her gently perhaps by going to a slimming group yourself (although you may not need it) and see if she wants to go with you (if she lives nearby) and offer an incentive like a trip to a spa or something together. I feel for you as I worry about my daughter but everything I tried didn't work until she was ready to do it for herself. Best wishes - hopeless to say try not to worry isn't

Luckygirl Wed 17-May-17 09:29:20

Why did she have the gastric band removed? Do you talk about the problem together? It is very hard for you, but I guess at 45 she has to make her own choices. I am glad she is happy though; that counts for a great deal.

NanaandGrampy Wed 17-May-17 09:29:29

You can't.

You can't MAKE anyone lose weight, that is a sad truth.

Much as you worry for her, and as her Mum that's only right, only she can resolve this issue. And she may not want to.

Personally, the more someone focussed on my weight issues the more I would push back. I don't find it supportive to have others point out the challenges for me, or suggest I take a low fat option at dinner etc.

I think you have to be there for her if she asks but otherwise as a grown woman , she has to decide if the issues you point out are her priority or not.

Christinefrance Wed 17-May-17 09:32:44

CBT may be an option if your daughter is up for it. As Teetime says it's up to her to make the decision you can only be supportive. Sounds like it's a long standing problem that needs professional help. We never stop worrying about our children do we.

worriednan Wed 17-May-17 09:35:56

She had the band removed because she didn't like the restriction
I am sure there are underlying issues regarding the compulsion but it's very hard when she is happy and popular and generally content - she jokes about her weight but not in a way that makes anyone think it actually troubles her. And yes, until it does, there probably is nothing we can do to help. But she is such a wonderful person it is breaking my heart to think her life is at risk when she is so loved by so many

trisher Wed 17-May-17 09:56:28

As has been said you can't make anyone lose weight. However what about a different approach? There was a woman on TV who has written a book called "Big Fit Girl", she says abandon diets but start to exercise. maybe this is the way for your daughter, you could buy her the book and maybe join her in exercising? The woman was big and curvy but looked very fit. She has a health check every year to ensure she is in good health.

annodomini Wed 17-May-17 10:04:29

There is nothing you can do about your daughter's eating habits unless she really wants help and acknowledges her problem. Does she have a group of friends whose weight is normal (whatever that means)? Sad to say, a best friend could be more influential than a mother.

MawBroon Wed 17-May-17 10:06:27

If she is happy both on herself andin her marriage I should be profoundly grateful and leave well alone.
To make an issue of it could so easily have reverse consequences, drive a wedge between you and undermine the confidence she clearly has in herself (job, friends)
"Morbidly obese" is one of those terrifying descriptions, but as long as her health is good and her weight does not stop her doing what she wants to do, it is unhelpful.
Maybe family sporting/exercise based activities might inspire her, aerobics and Zumba can be a laugh especially with friends and good exercise, or maybe a puppy for the children that she will end up walking?
Do not get hung up on weight. There are worse things to worry about.

ethelwulf Wed 17-May-17 10:14:56

You can't... Encourage her efforts by all means,and don't put temptation in her way, but the only person who has any real control over her diet is herself..

Luckygirl Wed 17-May-17 10:18:58

I think it is interesting that the gastric band was removed at her request because she didn't like the "restriction" - presumably the restriction on what she could eat. She obviously enjoys her food sufficiently to undergo a further surgery so that she can eat what she likes. I keep coming back to the thought that she is happy - hang on to that I guess.

mags1234 Wed 17-May-17 10:20:42

I was very obese and my mum made it clear she didn't like it. It made me worse! I did lose once I got my head round it. But it was because I wanted it.
My daughter struggled with post baby weight and really wanted to lose it but it wasn't successful so I gave her a gift of cash for several months slimming class of her choice but I made sure she knew I was supporting her not criticising. But if she is morbidly obese that must be so worrying.

AdeleJay Wed 17-May-17 10:21:58

Worriednan I so empathise. My son is 42 and each time I see him (most weeks) he seems a bit bigger. I'm not sure why he is so huge, partly working nights, binge drinking on days off - portion size is the main culprit I suspect. We have discussed his weight from time to time but I don't feel able to keep on about it. I worry about his health too so I know where you are coming from but sadly have no answers. Someone who is very overweight has to take the responsibility for his/her own life/lifestyle I'm afraid.

icanhandthemback Wed 17-May-17 10:22:38

You can't. I doubt she's happy about it, nobody enjoys being fat, but she may have decided that she will live with it because the alternative would make her more miserable. Being judgmental about her weight is only going to make the both of you unhappy so let her live her life as she sees fit and just be there for if she decides to make the changes. I have a daughter who is just going to undergo bariatric surgery and I had hoped that she would take a less invasive route but for many issues with weight are a life time battle which many choose not to engage with. It is their choice.

Lindajane Wed 17-May-17 10:25:10

As others have said, it's up to her. If she feels pressure from people to lose the weight it can have the opposite effect, diminishing her self-esteem and lead to eating on the sly and bingeing (I know from personal experience).
What you can do though is to ensure you have lots of healthy food available when she visits, and try to limit the 'bad' food for want of a better word, around.
My mum used to worry about my weight while having lots of 'treats' around when I visited.

catherine138 Wed 17-May-17 10:25:12

Go with her, and and treat her to a Paul Mcckenna show or buy her the book and cd it is soooooo easy and fun especially if you use the 90 day plan I lost two stone , eating anything I wanted, however, if she is happy the way she is she does not have an incentive there is nothing you can do, she needs to do it, good luck

Diddy1 Wed 17-May-17 10:31:06

Oh dear worriednan, of course you are worried, what does her Doctor say, she needs help of course, if it is a health issue which it will be in the end , has anyone suggested a Gastric by pass? I hope she realises she needs help, and gets it soon.

jessycake Wed 17-May-17 10:32:47

I watched an interesting program about Gastric bypass rather than banding and the effects it had on chemicals on the brain and hormones . I expect the band didn't cut her desire for food or appetite. I think it needs a lot of will power and desire to overcome.

silverlining48 Wed 17-May-17 10:39:45

My dear mum used to 'mention' my weight, often. She told me not to wait til i was post menopause as skin doesnt spring back and gets saggy. I had battled all my Adult life, lost gained lost gained until a few years ago ( well past menopause) when i lost 1.5 stones and have maintained since that time. Unfortunately i have peaked too early and have another stone at least to lose, so the struggle goes on. And mum was right about post meno skin....
However we have to make our own decisions about this, and being told even in the most caring loving way, will make no difference and can cause a lot of annoyance.
Try to say nothing, its hard i know, but she has to make up her own mind and when she is ready, she may. Or she may not. I hope she does i know being a dress size smaller has made me feel better about myself. Trouble is i need to go down another, or otherwise grow 6" taller.

Bebe47 Wed 17-May-17 10:40:09

Tell her to join Slimming World - I lost 2 and a quarter stone in 12 months - slow but sure . Worth every Penny . I am now a size 14 instead of 18 and feel fab.

Anya Wed 17-May-17 10:40:35

I hope the OPs daughter paid for these operations privately and didn't burden the NHS with the cost,

MaggieMay69 Wed 17-May-17 10:41:29

With my daughter, I tried something different. I told her I was really unhappy about the extra weight I myself had put on, that it was making me more tired, my clothes didn't fit well and I could only buy flowery tents that I hated, and I begged her not to make me go alone to SW, and to come with me to Zumba.
I actually couldn't have given two tosses about my own weight, I have always been a size 16, and it fits me well I think, but she had just gone into size 32 clothing, and I knew she was unhappy, despite the 'Jolly happy fat one' persona she would wear, I knew she wanted to wear her jeans again, and not have to struggle into panel pants on a night I begged, and she relented finally, and she fell in love with it all. She made new friends after being a hermit for so so long, and she has lost in two years around 7 stone. Its coming off slowly which is perfect as it will hopefully stay off.
I know you are worried, I was too and I was a bit naughty fibbing, but I did it with her children in mind too!
You're being a great Mum just by being there for her. xxx

Yorkshiregel Wed 17-May-17 10:42:50

If she does not want to bother to lose weight there is no good harping on about it. It has to come from her. You have pointed out the dangers, you have done your best. One thing you might not have tried though is making her feel guilty because if she dies it will be hard on her loved ones. Might be worth trying, but as I said, she is the one to make the decision, not you. Slimming World works. Weight Watchers works. Cambridge Diet works. The rest is up to her to watch her diet and try and do a little bit of exercise each day. Sounds as though it will be an uphill effort. People can become addicted to some kinds of food. Maybe it is the chemicals in the food, or the chemical reaction they cause in the body. She needs to speak to a dietician.

petalmoore Wed 17-May-17 10:45:42

Has she been checked for diabetes? When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last year I was determined to stave off the need for medication for as long as possible, and put myself on a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet (currently frowned on by the NHS but with good and understandable medical evidence behind it). I more or less gave up anything flour-based - bread, biscuits, pasta, white sauce, etc and also rice, potatoes, grains ... and of course sugar. I found this easy after a day or two and didn't miss them nearly as much as I'd expected. And I stopped thinking about food all the time, as I have always done in the past. It very rarely occurs to me to snack, as I'm not driven from within by a craving for sugar (to which all carbs are converted). I agree with previous posters about the importance of not pushing people to lose weight - during all the years I was obese I felt resentful, guilty and miserable, and when I went on a dietI felt deprived. I tried hard to be 'fat and happy', but inside I felt dreadful. This diet has been different - I know I'm doing it for my health, and I tell people about it, so it isn't about losing weight to be socially acceptable, it's about keeping me well. And I do feel brighter in every way, and more focused. This may be irrelevant to you and your daughter, but if you or anyone else is interested, Google 'Diet Doctor' to find out more about the science behind it. I am not proselytising - the diet doesn't suit everyone - but it's made such a difference to me that I didn't want to keep silent. I do wish your daughter well, and want to say how lucky she is to have a mum who cares, but doesn't define her by her weight. xx