(Closed) Talking to a Teenager about her Weight

posted 10 years ago in Full Figured
Post # 17
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

It’s extremely difficult to help someone with a weight problem if you don’t get the people closest to them on board to support them and lead by example.

I would talk to your/her family members and try and get all of you agree as a group to cook healthier meals, develop and maintain good eating habits, and find active things to do together on a regular basis. That way you’re all following a healthier lifestyle and she doesn’t get singled out.

Post # 18
415 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
@NJmeetsBX: Well she probably has a very skewed sense of eating/weight in general.  My Mom has always either been 100 or 200 pounds.  Either bones jutting out, or a little chubbier.  She has passed that down to me, too.  I don’t “know” what healthy eating looks like,  I don’t think about balanced portions.  I’ve always been exposed to binge and purge, and cutting carbs to drop weight fast.  So I can sympathsize with your half-sister.  We learn our food habits from our Moms.  (my Mom currently is on a gastric bypass kick, saying she should get it before my wedding, and oh – I should get it too.)

Anyway – you can try to influence her, but if you’re not around as much as the Mom is…. your efforts are more going to make you feel better about it, like you did something to help, but not make her actually lose weight if her Mom is always around. 

I’m changing my mind now…. I think that because her Mom has such a yo-yo history, the only way you could MAYBE make a difference is to talk to her, maybe use her Mom as an example, and make sure the sister knows that above all, you love her and don’t want her to be skinny, but be healthy.  I think talking to her is the only chance you’ve got.

Post # 19
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I was an obese child/teenager. Nothing anybody said to me ever made a difference. I had to get to a point where I made the decision to change my lifestyle. I imagine that as an overweight kid, she has a lot of insecurities…she’s probably not that interested in exercise or activities because she’s not naturally inclined or other kids tease her and/or she’s picked last. Also, as a kid, she probably has NO IDEA about nutrition. I know I didn’t.

I am not overweight now…well, I guess I’m mildly overweight by BMI standards, but I lost a ton of weight and I am very active now.  Knowing what I know now, I think the approach I would take would be to invite her to do active things with you….like, Hey, we should hang out, let’s go for a walk, or let’s go rollerblading, or biking…and show her that things like that can be fun with no pressure. Then casually talk to her about how eating healthy food is necessary then WHAT is healthy food…and here’s the part where it takes eveyrbody’s help, the whole household has to stop eating junk food. The worse part abotu being overweight and wishing you weren’t is seening that you’re just doing the same thing all those skinny people are doing, yet you’re fat. Of course, what you don’t know is that those skinny people are working out when you don’t see them or only eat like that once in a great while, or whatever. But you can’t say “you need to eat better” to a teenager, then eat crap in front of them.

Sorry, that was a rambling answer.

Post # 20
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I think you need to approach this from the back end, determine first if she has a physical problem that is causing her to gain weight, or if she may simply be depressed and medicating herself with food. More often than not, the root cause of overeating is depression or anxiety. The sensation that food gives you is like a drug-it is calming or endorphin producing. A reason many people over eat is that they are chemically imbalanced and they are trying to balance themselves out with what they have available. Whether it is food, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, drugs or exercise. The body is seeking a fix for what isn’t right. She may need to be on anti-depressants or need therapy. But, getting her to seek it out may be an issue.

One thing I might suggest is that you take up walking, and ask her to be your walking buddy. You have a perfect excuse, getting in or staying in shape for your wedding. I think if she thinks she is helping you she may not connect that she is helping herself too. An hour she is out walking will burn calories and also be an hour she is not eating, plus the endorphins it produces might trick her body into feeling satisfied. It’s worth a shot.

Post # 21
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Ignoring that she’s gained some weight is also not helpful. I wouldn’t say hey you’ve gotten fat, I’d say hey I’m here for you if you ever need to talk about anything. Maybe we can go out for dinner and talk. I wouldn’t outright ignore it. Weight gain in my experience has always been a result not a cause of something deeper going on in my life. I was overweight all my life it wasn’t until I went to therapy to figure out what was wrong with me that I started taking an active interest in my health and fitness. Maybe you should approach from that angle.

Post # 22
13094 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m with CorgiTales – don’t make any comments or discussions with her about it.  I’m sure she knows she is overweight; she doesn’t need someone to point it out to her.

Post # 23
3260 posts
Sugar bee

Even though she is aware, you can support her and encourage her in other ways. Trying getting her to eat healthier meals under the ruse that you’re teaching her how to cook? It could be a fun thing you two could bond over, choose a healthy recipe and make it together and see if she enjoys it! Make sure to buy a healthy cookbook and use that when you’re cooking, so that next time she wants to try and make something herself, she’ll have a healthy cookbook on hand. Who knows, maybe she’ll get into the habit more often, and will truly start to enjoy meals that are good for her.


Post # 24
630 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Yeah, don’t say anything, it might hurt your relationship with her. I know it hurt mine with my mom.

Post # 25
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Guys, I knew when my family was trying to get me to lose weight by exercising with me and preparing food for me or suggesting an alternative menu option when we went out to eat and it just made me feel worse.   I think the OP should stay out of it.  The OP’s sister isn’t dumb, so I gurantee being deceptive will not work.

Post # 26
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@NJmeetsBX: when i was a young teenager maybe 12, 13 i started to gain weight, my parents didn’t bring this up as they thought i wouldn’t be able to deal with any negitive comments and that it would only upset me…. i really wish they had, i wish they had warned me, it hit me hard in high school, i got picked on, i never had a boyfriend 🙁 i began to notice my weight more but i got depressed about it and got stuck in vicious circle, i ate when i was sad. it did get better once i left high school and start going out around the time i was in college, fourunately my chosen career path mean physical activity was on the perspectus and the weight began to shift, and my confidence grew, i’m still not happy with my weight, but not because of lack of exercise or over-eating (stubborn baby belly) 

it not neccersarily about words, she needs to be given opportunities, exercise, find something to do with her away from other girls her age, something less obvious and fun, get your parents to help change eating habits, if it’s not there it cant be eaten, 

talking to her all depends on how she is as a person, will she be able except what you are saying, if you think she can, then say it just be tactful. if not, maybe words are not the answer. 

Post # 27
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’ll like to recommend you one of the best books I’ve read, Rosalind Wiseman’s ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes’. It’s a bible when treating with teenagers and altough it focuses with social issues, it teaches you how to talk to teens.

Post # 28
1160 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
@linguo42: THIS.


I had my weight shoved down my throat my whole life. My family never had healthy eating habits or portion control. I was expected to diet (600 calories a day when I was 10 years old) while my other siblings ate at will. Unless everyone is on board with food and activity and all the crap is out of the house, your sister is likely to fail.

Post # 29
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

Just don’t do it. PPs are right, no good can come from it.

Post # 30
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

OK.  I agree it is a hugely sensitive subject HOWEVER I think people make a lot of assumptions.  I don’t know how much I really knew about nutrition as a teen.  Are we talking 13 or 17?  I know I was over weight and joined weight watchers in 8th grade b/c I didn’t WANT to be that way,  but I had obese parents who didn’t know how to teach me what a normal portion was either. 

It might be hard for her to reach out and ask for help b/c it is obviously a shitty situation to be dealing with in high school.  I think that you know your sister best and if there a non-confrontational way to talk about things she might appreciate it,  but I’m definitely not in the majority here.

Post # 31
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

i don’t think ignoring the issue is the way to go either.  Who knows if she knows how to be healthy, or what portion control is.  I’d have a conversation with her, ask her if she’s happy, and if she’s not to ask if she’d like help with how to make changes.  It doesn’t sound like she has good nutritional role models and she may need someone to show her how to eat healthy.  If she says she’s happy and doesn’t mind her size, or she’d not comfortable with your help, then let it go. 

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