Dear Rene what should I do?

I am a 15 year old girl who is on the verge of obesity and my mom doesn’t let me diet and says that I am perfect the way I am but I know that a five foot two girl should never weigh more than 130 pounds and I weigh in the 165-170 range.

I haven’t grown since middle school and my mom is obese, but she insists that I don’t have to worry. She is allowed to have a gym account and work out yet she refuses to let me do the same and she won’t buy veggies because she says they taste bad. What should I do I love vegetables and fruit and she won’t buy them!

How do I convince my mom I need to lose weight for my health and she does too…


Unhappy teen

Hi there,

Well first I want to give you credit for knowing you’re headed down a bad path and for writing in and asking for help. Now before I go on let me reiterate that I am NOT a psychologist, just a mom who traffics in common sense. But off the top, I see two issues; your burgeoning weight problem and the reason behind your mother’s reluctance to do anything about it. Here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes:

THE WEIGHT: First, you’re doing the absolute right thing being aware and trying to get a handle on this issue now. You mention what a 5’2” girl should weigh and while those tables are rough guidelines, remember that’s all they are, guidelines; much of it has to do with build and bone structure. But you know when it’s time to do something about it.

Okay, so first and foremost remember you are in control. You control how much and (to the extent of what is available to you) what you eat and how much you move. You have access to a computer so use it as a resource because there’s some great stuff out there. Let me point you to a couple of places. Angry Trainer Fitness is run by Alfonso Moretti Jr and he offers good, sound exercise and nutrition advice in a take-no-prisoners kind of style.  I would recommend starting there.

One of the trainers Alfonso talks about is a young woman named Zuzana from Body Rock TV. You know what’s great about Zuzana? Her workouts can be performed AT HOME! No gym membership needed. On the nutrition front, check out Appetite for Health which has lots of healthy eating info. What I like about this site is that it’s about learning to eat healthy for a lifetime, not about quick fix, crash diets that offer temporary results but possibly long-term damage to your metabolism.

Also do some commons sense things, like cutting out soda and fast food and opt for foods that are less processed (fresh fruits and vegetables and water). I know you’re at the mercy of what’s in the house and what your mom buys, but in the case of soda; you don’t have to drink it.

YOUR MOTHER: Oh honey, I’m afraid this is where the issue gets confusing. I do not know your mom so I feel uncomfortable talking about her; instead I’ll speak in generalities. But the fact is, while we, as parents want the best for our kids (in most cases) there is, sometimes, an element of jealousy. (I heard this from a therapist and have seen a lot of data online to support this theory)

I’m not really sure what’s happening with your mom, but the fact that fact that she has issues with her own weight sounds like it could be the crux of the matter. She knows what that struggle is like and maybe doesn’t want to face it alone? Or it could hark back to simple envy; you’re young with your life ahead of you and it’s not too late to make changes. She may feel like it is too late for her (which, by the way, it is not). If you start making minor changes and the weigh starts to come off, she might even ask YOU for advice. You don’t mention what the rest of your relationship is like, but maybe this is something you could do together.

Here’s one other idea. It might help if you enlist the help of another adult. There are people who are willing to help if you ask. I would go to your school nurse or health teacher and ask if you could speak privately. Tell them what you told me and see what they say. They might even be able to help you put a program in place. If you haven’t spoken to your pediatrician, I’d call the nurse and see if you could have a chat. Perhaps your mom would have a change of heart if she heard from a health professional about why this is critical.

More than anything I want to encourage you. You did a great thing by reaching out; it was the first step in a journey that will last a lifetime.

Good luck honey!

Do you have a question for a mom but don’t want to ask YOUR mom? Just Ask Rene!