Want to help obese daughter

  1. My daughter is 36. She had a LapBand against my advice 3 years ago and went from 276lb to 255lb, she is 5'4". Once I realized this is what KB wanted I rallied behind her. I could see she was not dedicated to the ongoing support groups after surgery that are very important to the success of this surgery. As her mother I give advice but respect her choices as an adult, (KB rarely takes my advice). KB has never regained all her pre lap-band weight but also has never been below 225lbs and kept it off either.
    KB has a degree in Social Work and has a good job, is buying her own home (with a little help from us). KB talks of wanting to be married and have children yet lives a rather isolated and lonely life. She has a panic disorder and takes Effexor for over 10 years now ( this is where the weight gain started) also has PCOS to add to the difficulty of weight control. She has a couple friends but I truly believe it is her size that keeps her from a richer life (not in the monetary sense). KB is a very pretty girl and has a beautiful heart.
    Seeing her alone and not enjoying the things in life she should be doing at her age is making me increasingly unhappy. She and I just returned from a girls trip to Boston and I got glimses of how some people would stare at her (she carries most of her weight around her mid-section) or otherwise how just invisible she was to other people. I came home yesterday feeling very blue. And believe me my motto for 58 years has always been "the glass is always half full", I never let a day go by that I don't thank God for all my blessings. It isn't my life to change but you want your children to be happy. Any ideas on how to motivate my daughter to make healthy choices and lose some of this weight?
  2. Visit VickiannB profile page

    About VickiannB

    Joined: Aug '13; Posts: 2; Likes: 7
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg, Ambulatory, Management


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Not to be harsh, Mom, but---you've got to butt out.

    Your daughter is 36 years old, not 16. It's OK to be concerned about her weight, but you seem to make it the focal point of her existence and blame it for everything that you believe is wrong with her life. You touch briefly on her anxiety and her supposed inability to find friends and/or love, but then come back to the weight.

    I grew up with a mother who made me feel utterly AWFUL about myself because of my weight, from the time I hit 100 lbs. at age 12 until the end of her life, when I weighed over 200. Her disapproval has colored my entire life, and at one point I weighed 362 lbs. because I ate to cope with the depression stemming from my low self-esteem.

    I'm sure you don't mean to make your daughter feel bad about herself, but your over-emphasis on her body size tells me that even if you don't say it outright, I guarantee that she feels your judgment.

    PLEASE, for the sake of your daughter's health, stop trying to "motivate" her. Believe me, she KNOWS she's obese, and she is simply not ready to do something serious about it. There is nothing you can do to hasten the day, either; in fact, your intervention will probably only feed her insecurities.

    And for your own sake, please please PLEAAAAASE try to see your daughter for the beautiful soul you say she is, no matter what her size. She is entitled to feel good about herself and to enjoy her life regardless of the numbers on a scale.
  4. by   veggie530
    Butt out pretty much sums it up. I know you care about her, but you can't force her ("motivate") to lose weight. It has to be something intrinsically driven to cause her to make a lifestyle change... changes that permeate her character and change her life to motivate herself to lose weight.

    The grim reality is she may never undertake that character change. That's okay, it's her prerogative. I'm not saying you have to be happy about it, but you have to understand that you need to leave it be and not meddle. You're doing more good than harm, I guarantee it.

    You've done your part as a parent and you have to let her figure out how to correct her decision making. The best way to learn and build character is through failure.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    And one other thing.......I don't believe the good people of Boston were staring at the daughter---or conversely, making her invisible (which is it, anyway?)---because of her weight. Two hundred and fifty pounds on a five-foot-four-inch frame isn't at all unusual in this age of the superobese (350-400 lbs. and up), especially not in a colder climate like the Northeast.

    Where I live (Pacific NW), 250 lbs. doesn't even get a sideways glance, because obesity is such a common condition here where winters are long and drippy, and outdoor activity isn't one bit appealing. And let's face it: ALL of America is getting fatter. Nobody is arguing that 250 lbs. is healthy on a five-foot-four-inch female, but neither is it the catastrophe it might have been during my mother's generation. Today, there are stylish clothes in all sizes, and women of all dimensions are building careers, having fun, taking vacations, and enjoying life. They also get married and have babies, as evidenced by the existence of plus-size wedding dresses and maternity outfits.

    No one needs to allow her body size to determine her destiny, so if this particular young lady wants something, she has the power to go after it and get it if she chooses. I wonder if perhaps the daughter is perfectly contented with her life, or that her idea of happiness doesn't necessarily coincide with her mother's?

    I'm a mother of grown children too, and sometimes their choices are not what I'd choose for them. But since I want to enjoy a relationship with them as we all grow older, I've had to accept some facts of life and relinquish control......and you know what, all but one of them is doing just fine driving their own bus.
  6. by   herring_RN
    At 5'2" my daughter had stopped weighing herself at 200 pounds.
    She lost her health insurance when her job cut her hours to 30 a week.
    I took her BP and it was high. She was 37. I told her she needed to go to a doctor.

    She chose a clinic that charges on a sliding scale from 50 cents for the poorest. She pays $40.00 a visit. She was fortunate to have a nurse practitioner who not only prescribed medication for her BP, but educated and frightened her. She used flip charts and told her she was slowly dying. The solution was to get healthy.

    My daughter told me she wanted an early Christmas present of a membership to the gym where I go.
    That was 2005. Now she still goes to the gym three times a week. She leads the spin class on Saturday nights. She lost 100 pounds. She's since gained back about 20. She is muscular and no longer obese at 140.

    Rather that listen to mom she paid attention to the NP.

    She met her boyfriend at the gym.
  7. by   VickiannB
    Thanks for your feedback. harsh yes, but sometimes that is good. After reading the feedback and thinking alot about this I have come to the realization that whenever my daughter tells me she is unhappy I start trying to fix things. What I need to do is exactly what you said, I need to "butt out". She,ll get it all figured out..
    This has been very helpful! Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from VickiannB
    Thanks for your feedback. harsh yes, but sometimes that is good. After reading the feedback and thinking alot about this I have come to the realization that whenever my daughter tells me she is unhappy I start trying to fix things. What I need to do is exactly what you said, I need to "butt out". She,ll get it all figured out..
    This has been very helpful! Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post.
    I know, it's one of the hardest things we have to do as parents of grown children. Sometimes it's all I can do not to scream when I see my kids doing the same dumb things I did at their ages! I'd give almost anything to save them from decades of misery. But at some point, I know they'll probably figure it out....but if they never do, it's not my fault. (((HUGS))) to you.
  9. by   Amnesty
    Speaking only to the weight loss thing, it really is something your daughter has to find the motivation within herself for. At my heaviest I was 335 lbs at 5'2". It was pretty miserable. Nothing changed my mind about losing weight (though of course I'd tried all the fad diets and thought nothing could work for me) until I decided to say screw weight loss and focus on health only. I got over how unfair it was that I couldn't have all the delicious things everybody else could have, even if I exercised. I started eating right, exercising regularly, and the weight fell off. 100 lbs down in a year. It's been a year and a half since then and I've only managed to lose another 20 lbs. I sit at 215 now, so I'm still obese, but I LIVE. I run 5 times a week. I play tennis. I don't get out of breath shopping in the grocery store. I look beautiful and curvy in my clothes, and guys hit on me.

    If you're going to try and convince your daughter of anything, focusing on weight itself will only lead to self-esteem problems. Instead, focus on health! I have hypothyroid issues that I can't afford to have treated by a health professional because of not having insurance, which is a large part of why I've been stuck where I am for so long, but I don't stop trying. Everything I'm doing makes me feel better about my life even if I don't lose a single pound.

    Become your daughter's workout buddy, and don't let her start too hard and burn herself out in a week. She can't change everything all at once -- just small steps are the way to go. Now is the time to be her friend and not her mom. She has to know that no matter what, you accept her and see her as beautiful. Good luck .
  10. by   mcdebb
    Hello, I have a son who is 30 and over weight. 5'11'' and about 320ish?? He is happy and an outgoing person. His weight does not bother him (or me) in anyway!!! HOWEVER, since I work in the health field and there is Strong Family history (my father side all has heart problems and my father past at 50 from a massive heart attach... for health reason's I KNOW WHAT Extra weight can do to the body!!! Im in my 50's and I know how hard it is to lose 15 pounds. So, I worry and worry about his health!!!
    I try not to make comments like... why don't u eat wheat bread... its healthier for people... or try more water then those sugar drinks.... i dont make many comments at all.... but I want to!!! I feel like I am not doing my job as a mother... to suggest better choices!!! SO I UNDERSTAND where your coming from. But, for your daughter... maybe you could talk with your daughter about friends and how she feels about getting out more for social reasons if she desires.
    I hope this may have been a bit helpful to you! Good Luck. Debbie
  11. by   mimilovell
    I did this diet and felt fantastic. It was hard because you are forced to have what given or go without. And with such small portions your stomach soon shink to normal size. I would say go organic too, as you dont want to give your daughter battery farmed rubbish where they have been genetically egnineered to grow big quickly and eat feel chemicals or GMO corn or food that makes them fat. Remember if you eat animals that are feed with chemicals and GMO corn/soy or whatever that is intended to make them fat, by eating it, you will inevitably get fat.


    Also there are plenty of studies that show GMO linking to cancer and obesity

  12. by   rcraft
    It's 2017 and I'm just reading this, but I want to thank each of you for your honesty. I, too, have an adult daughter (beautiful and outgoing) who is 5'2" (at the most) and now weighs 270 lbs. As a nurse, and a woman who has struggled with my weight throughout my life, I have worried myself sick and to tears over her, her health both physically and socially. RC's only motivation was when she got a dx of Type 2 DM (which scared her), but now that her most recent labs came back normal, she is convinced she never had DM and has put all those changes aside, and is larger than she ever has been. So - while my head knows everything you're saying is true, my heart (and sometimes my mouth) have GOT to get the message that I've done everything I can do and be at peace with myself. I need to let go and let her make her choices. She still lives at home, finishing a degree, so I will continue to model healthy eating habits and exercise, but I will stop saying things to "motivate" her, although this is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done... I really needed to read this feedback today, even though it was given a few years ago for the original post. Just wanted to say thanks. I knew this is what I might read when I googled for some help... and I really needed to read these posts.
  13. by   elizabethb25
    The first commentator summed up beautifully everything I wanted to say. Stay out of her life. I get it. You are her mother but what you are not understanding (though I'm sure your daughter has been telling you for years) is that you are her problem. Your letter encapsulated everything I hate about my mom. Ultimately, I know that not having my mom in my life continuing to shame me and make me feel like garbage over my weight is the best for me but my love and this pull I have to her continues to force me to gravitate to her negativity. And it hurts. Every single time she does it. And I keep coming back for more. No matter what else I have accomplished in my life - my weight creeps into the conversation. And at the end of the day no matter what your daughter achieves she is not having relationships because you have ingrained her to believe she isn't worth love if she doesn't look a certain way. She has a low self esteem and anxiety because at the root every time she wanted to do something she's told fat girls don't do that or fat girls don't wear that or are you sure you don't want to cover that up? Years and years of this eventually cripple your ability to go out and take control of life. And it feeds a false narrative that if we were suddenly thin life would be great. The truth is the damage is done.

    Pay attention over the course of a week or two. If every conversation you have with your daughter eventually somehow lead to weight related conversation then what is the basis of the relationship you have with your daughter? Connect to her on some other level. Do something else. Try to heal that relationship instead of trying to fix a problem you think she has. Let her make her own decisions.
  14. by   deesimson
    Is this still active? My problem sounds much like the original post, with the exception that my daughter has turned nasty and barely does any activity. Just home from a family vacation where my daughter would unzip her pants in public and complain about everything...including the healthy food the others of us were choosing. Her joints hurt, she burps alot, and hangs her head and shoulders, and complains she can't breathe.
    My husband knows we can't do anything, but it is embarrassing to see her display such rude behavior and not participate in activities the others of us enjoy.
    Butt out seems the easy way out to me. Ignore the fresh person she has become, ignore unzipping your pants and critisism of others who order a salad. She wears sweat pants and slipper everywhere.
    Love her and proud of all she has done. We have the best phone conversations but when in person...oh boy. but why if I want the most for her, why if I want her to address what torments her is that wrong? If she was a friend I could walk away, but she is my child...my other daughter and I are the brunt of her critisism, but she has not faltered to put down my husband in public from time to time.

    As above she is in social work, and suffers from anxiety, and has overcome many things in her life due to PTSD from Rape 10 years ago. But the new obesity in her life (maybe 5 years since reaching 200 and three to 240+ )has made her tough to be around. She went from a kind athlete of a child to dark adult after the Rape and now to a mean person who is obese and inactive. Really I should BUTT OUT?