Weight.. — The Bump
March 2015 Moms


So I thought I'd share..
In class today I overheard my students talking during some free time...
Girl 1-student "how was your break"
Girl 2- student "good, but my mom said that now before the summer I have to lose 15lbs"
Girl 1 "wow that's a lot"
Girl 2 "yeah I know, but she says I have to before summer if I want to be able to go swimming and especially before high school starts"

Okay so my kids are 8th graders, and I over hear lots of stuff, but this really bothered me. I can't imagine being a parent telling my child they "have" to lose weight. This student in particular is nowhere near being overweight either!

Anyway thought I'd share. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's ridiculous to put this type of pressure on your child.

So question: Do you think it is ever justified to tell your young daughter that she "has" to lose weight?

#1 BFP 11/6/12 EDD 07/19/13 Delivered 07/23/13 - Baby boy Everett John

#2 BFP 07/06/14 EDD 03/12/15

Re: Weight..

  • I think its horrible that a mother would ever say that to her child. Kids get enough shit from other kids and to hear it from their own parents too must hurt 10 time worse. It's sad that there's parents like that.
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  • Bluebell0315Bluebell0315 member
    edited January 2015
    Holy crap. Not ok. I had a friend growing up that had the mother from Hell. She was forever on top of my friend screaming to lose weight. That friend went through a deep depression right around Freshman year, and I can remember her coming to my house and eating an entire jar of peanut butter. I, of course, also partook of said peanut butter in solidarity. Yes, she was slightly overweight, but so what? She was so awesome in fact, that we're naming our LO after her. Her last name was Clark and that's the name we chose :)
  • That is horrible - especially at that age. At 13/14 I was pretty fluffy. By the time I was 15 I slimed out and at 16 I was very skinny. Girls bodies are changing so much - fat shaming at any age is awful. Rather than telling a kid to lose weight encourage them to get outside and go swimming - if their body can do it swimming will peel off the pounds.
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  • That's terrible:(
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  • That is terrible. I teach 5th grade and hear a lot of the girls talk about their weight. It's sad. I agree that conversations should be about healthy eating and lifestyle. Telling your child they need to lose weight ends up doing much more harm than good.
  • Add me to the list of people fairly screwed up by her mother's comments about her weight growing up. Add the skinny brother with the hollow leg and I definitely felt the pressure. I hope to never do that my kids. I see the same situation starting with my niece (skinny, athletic older brother and she is... not). My SIL is awesome so far and I hope that it keeps up.

    peeppeeppeepwishiwaspreggo[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • That's horrible! Disgusting for a mom to do that to their child. My mom was very thin when I was a kid & I had a great self esteem but when I became an older teenager to my 20's she put on extra weight & was so hard on herself & obsessed with loosing weight. I used to tell her if she was like that when I was a kid I would have had major issues! She is now between a size 4-6 at 60 years old, usually a size smaller than me & still complains about her weight, it's actually sad. I try to present a good body image even though I have a son, figure it can only help his perception of women & how to see & treat them.
    DragonflyDreaming[Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • This bothers me so much. One of my guest has an aunt that was so awful to her daughter about her weight that she developed an eating disorder and years later broke her back from a small fall because she had severe bone density issues, bones of a 90 year old at 17. I am all for teaching healthy eating and activity. I'm never going to deprive my children of things but I will limit it. Also encouraging activity and Healthy lifestyle for the whole family not just one child. In 8th grade these girls need to relax, that is a hard enough time in girls' lives they shouldn't be worried about weight loss. I'm so sorry to you gals who had issues in the past. I know you will be better mothers because of it! My mom had issues from my grandma and pretty much let me gorge myself on cheezits and Mountain Dew for years until my early teens when she got healthy and taught me. Now I'm teaching her things!
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  • @Whitfry I am so sorry that you had to endure all of that throughout your childhood. I know you will be a kick ass mom who never judges her children and will never set standards for your children like that.

    AFM: I have had body issues my whole life. My mom was always very negative about her body, because when she got married to my dad (she was 18) she was a size 3 tops. She said that if only she could be thin again the image she had of herself would change. I think that her negative body image did a lot of damage on me. I look JUST like my mom. People always ask if we are sisters. I have always thought she is the most beautiful woman in the world. I have always struggled with being a bit overweight, but that is because my parents never instilled healty eating habits. My dad is a fast food junkie, and my mom had to cook things that he would eat, which meant very little in the way of fruits and veggies. My brother is a bean pole, so he never really struggled with issues with his weight, but I did. Looking back on pictures from before I had my first son (I was 18 when I got pregnant with him), I was definitely not THIN, but I wasn't outright fat either. I looked healthy. I believe that instilling healthy habits in your children is always the best thing to do. We are doing that with DS, even though he has H's genetics and is skinny as can be. I never EVER want my children to feel that they are less than because of how they look. I know how shamed kids can feel by other kids, but a parent should NEVER be the cause of their child feeling less than perfect.

    Every child is perfect in every way. For a parent of all people to make them feel like they aren't is a disgrace.

  • Who knows if the mom actually said that, that is rediculous. Maybe the girl is embellishing an "eat right" discussion for her friend to get some extra attention.
  • No, No, No. I firmly believe that parents/family members can be the worst bullies when it comes to instilling body issues in children. 

    First of all, I'm so sorry to the PPs who had such issues growing up because of their parents. @Whitfry - what you were put through is so awful, and @jennypm - your stepdad sounds like a royal ass and I can't believe a mother would put her two girls through dealing with him. 

    AFM. My mother was/is what I like to call an emotional terrorist. She would drop these little gems if I asked her if I looked okay. "You tell me, if you don't like it start working out." She would politely point out that I should change if my "love-handles" were showing. And I'll be the first to admit that I was a little fluffy as a preteen, it took a while for me to grow into my curves. But it made me obsessed with dieting and working out. 

    Fast forward 10+ years, I weighed 118lbs before getting pregnant. I struggled for years trying to get to the "perfect" weight; i.e. everyone else in my life telling me that I was too skinny. That never stopped her from looking at me and asking "What size are you wearing now?" 

    Now, I'm about as neurotic about gaining baby weight as I ever was about anything else. I weigh myself daily, trying to stay right on the recommendations, and almost cried when the scale hit 140. When I mention my weight to my mother, her response? Well, of course you're going to gain weight, you're pregnant. You just need to calm down. I'll admit I almost lost it. I know I'm pregnant, I know I need to gain weight, I would love to be able to do that without feeling like I'm miserably failing at life, but I can't. I'm so terrified of passing this mentality on to my daughter because I know how damaging it can be, and I don't think it's forgivable to purposely create those issues in children. I mean little girls already have teen Vogue to make them feel bad, their mothers shouldn't make it worse. 
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  • I think some women project their own body issues onto their daughters. It's about being grown-up enough to not do that. Absolutely, if there are health issues related to weight, talk about being taking care of yourself and having a healthy lifestyle and help your kid learn to enjoy sports. Make sure she gets that her self-worth doesn't depend on her weight. But anyone who tells their 14-year-old she has to lose weight to look good in a swimsuit is a narcissistic... not nice person. 

    It makes me mad to hear about stuff like this going on. And really glad I was raised in a household where this wasn't an issue. If we were more into praising girls for their intelligence, their strength, their character, instead of having the default compliment be 'pretty,' society would be a lot better off. End rant.    
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]nlinscott11
  • I think that is terrible. Growing up, my mom was constantly on a diet. She was never happy or satisfied with her body image and I grew up thinking that was the norm. I really don't want that for my daughter. Having a boy first, I didn't think much about this, but now that I am pregnant with a girl, I realize that I don't want her to grow up thinking it is normal for you to hate your body image. I want her to have a good idea as to healthy living.
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  • I've read the responses, I'm so sorry for those who went through similar experiences and those that still do struggle.
    I've told my husband how terrible I feel not being able to do more for my students. I feel like they are my own kids sometimes, then hearing them say stuff like this just makes me feel bad for them (regardless if her mom really said it). There are so many other pressures that middle schoolers go through and to have their parents add to it is just awful.
    I really hope all my experience with middle schoolers will help prepare me for when my own children are that age.
    As for body image I've told H that we will never empasize "weight loss" or make comments about weight in front of the kids (boys too really struggle with this). I know they will be exposed to it elsewhere, so home is not the place to add that pressure.

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    #2 BFP 07/06/14 EDD 03/12/15

  • That is totally terrible. My mother was always worried about her weight because my grandmother was always worried about her weight too. (and mine. And my sister's).

    To this day my grandmother will bring up losing weight (for herself- even though she's never been a lb over 150) and then will round on us.

    The first thing she bought me when she found out I was pregnant was a guide to eating healthy and the 1970s version of "what to expect when you're expecting" which hounds women to gain no more than 25 lbs the entire pregnancy. 

    Every time my sister visits, she talks about how if she'd drop weight, it would help her get a boyfriend, and how worried she is that she doesn't have one.

    All of this contributed to my 10 year battle with bulimia. I also think my sister went through a stage of anorexia in her adolescence as she was 13 and mayyyybe 80 lbs.

    All of that to say- even the most passive-aggressive forms of body shaming can do horrible things to a person's psyche. This is horrible. 

  • @wishiwaspreggo‌, yes, to your whole last paragraph. So much yes.
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    wishiwaspreggo[Deleted User][Deleted User]kowyen
  • My mom was tiny after my older brother and sister were born. Fast forward nearly 15 years when she had me (yes, a huge gap which included secondary infertility) and she was never able to lose the weight after I was born. She tried pretty much anything you can think of- exercise, active living (we lived on a busy farm for gosh sakes and she ran my dads business on top of that), diets, clean eating (before it was "cool" and we grew almost all of our own food), programs etc. Nothing worked for her in the long term sense. So here's me, a kid seeing this. And gaining the thought that I must do these things too, to help her. So I would diet with her and exercise which aren't necessarily bad. What was bad was when I found her diet pills she had hidden and started taking those. By jr high I was saving all my lunch money to buy diet pills and taking up to 17 pills per day. People talked about how great I looked which for a 13-17 year old is huge. My mom started having my friends "watch" me at lunch to see what I'd eat. Which then caused me to feel the need to puke up what I had to eat in front of them. At 5'5.5" I was 94lbs at most. I started having heart palpitations. My period went away for months at a time, one time for over 9 months straight. My hair started getting brittle and would fall out and if I missed a few pills, I was absolutely exhausted. This was back when the pills had ephedra or whatever in them which has now been linked to many health issues and even deaths. I was lucky that one day I looked in the mirror and realized that I had a problem. What I was doing was not normal and was I hurting myself. It took a long time but I was able to wean myself off the pills, start eating small snacks, then meals and then actually eat with my family or friends again. Getting pregnant at 21 was hard. It was painful to see the scale creeping up after I fought so hard to keep that number down. It really became a mind over matter deal. I had the sacred job of growing a person and had to give her everything she deserved- she had the right to have a chance to grow healthy and strong and it was my responsibility to ensure that. After she was born, I made it my mission to breastfeed because I knew that I would *have* to eat right if I were going to provide her with the nutrition she needed. I wouldn't allow myself to go back to old habits. I'm turning 33 in a few weeks and I still have days where I struggle with my weight. I'm built just like my mom was and I have a constant, irrational fear in the back of my mind that I will end up like her. She was so unhappy with her body and I saw that everyday until she died of cancer when I was 18.
    And I do partially agree with a pp- who knows if her mom actually said that. She could have a problem that she either wants attention for or is trying to put off on someone else. I can't tell you how many times I said "my mom wants me to lose a few" or whatever when in truth, she thought I was perfect no matter what size, shape or weight I was. It is so much easier to blame things on others than to take responsibility for our own actions- and that goes for pretty much anything in life. So support her as much as you can- she may need it more than you know.
  • @corysgirls - I was a victim of ephedra, too.  From ages 16-20.  I didn't take a LOT of it... I think I got up to 3 pills a day.  One at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I will say it made me feel awesome and smashed my appetite.  But the cardiovascular risks aren't worth it.  What's sickening is I got a lot of praise for my weight loss, too, despite the fact that I was wrecking my body with chemicals and the most unpalatable food choices.

    I'm sorry your mom passed when you were so young :( It must've been hard to watch her struggle with her body issues the whole time.

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  • WAMOM said:

    This should be for all moms. Not just moms of girls. My DH had weight issues growing up and was picked on all through elementary school and part of middle school until he really got into sports. He still gets down about his weight if he gains a little or doesn't get to work out as much as he would like.

    One of my best friends is in his late 20's and still struggles with body image and weight and he's a very fit guy. I also dated a guy in high school who delt with anorexia between 8th - 9th grade and was eventually hospitalized, all because he got a "B" in PE for not being able to physically do all the requirements and getting teased. I had other guy friends who were in wrestling and they were always doing crazy weight things. So yeah boys are just as much susceptible to body image issues.

    #1 BFP 11/6/12 EDD 07/19/13 Delivered 07/23/13 - Baby boy Everett John

    #2 BFP 07/06/14 EDD 03/12/15

  • This enrages me and breaks my heart at the same time. Seriously. 
    My husband and I have had a few talks here and there about how we want to make sure we never put focus on size/weight for our daughter, or for the two sons we already have. Our boys are very different in build; one is tall and thin, the other is short and overweight according to his pediatrician (his BMI is in the 95th percentile); and with both our focus is always on healthy life choices; good food, staying active, taking care of our bodies, and being healthy overall. 
    I refuse to talk about how I think I need to lose weight, or be skinny, or whatever in front of my kids because I never want them to think that their value or self-worth is dependent upon their wight or size; but rather on the content of their character. 
    I am so sad for anyone, young or old, who has been or will be exposed to this BS type of parenting. Hugs to those who have suffered through this nonsense. 
  • So many of my friends had or are still dealing with disordered eating.  DH and I have actually talked a lot about this since we found out we're having a girl.  I think a couple of things really help with raising a child with a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.  The things we want to prioritize are:
    1. family meals.  home cooked nutritious food and not having a lot of snacks around and sitting at the table gives positive associations with food and healthy eating rather than a guilty relationship.  
    2.  Neither of us should make disparaging comments about our own bodies, needing to lose weight or comments about others being fat.  I never want my daughter to hear her mom call herself fat.  
    3.  Encourage sports and activities and exercise for fun or competition rather than working out to burn calories.  

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