Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss

Chewing the Fat: “My daughter is FAT and it’s MY FAULT (says my husband).”

“Perplexed” turns to Our Lady of Weight Loss and asks “How can I help my daughter? How can I restore family harmony?”
Dear Our Lady of Weight Loss ~ I have three teenage-young adult kids. They are all winners in their own ways and on track to be happy, successful people. But of course, they do have issues and need guidance.
My middle daughter needs to lose some weight – but has resisted all efforts on my part to help. She doesn’t want to go to Weight Watchers or try a planned diet. She says she is happy the way she is and asks me to cease and desist on the issue of weight.
I would be happy to let it be – but my husband pressures me to address it with her. He somehow thinks I am part of the problem – though I eat a pretty balanced diet and exercise allot. She is away at school, so I have very little control over what my daughter consumes.
I would like to wait and see and let my daughter deal – but my husband blames me and insists that I “DO SOMETHING!”
What can I do to get him off my back, her back, and restore family harmony? Do tell!
~ Perplexed
Dear Perplexed ~ May I be blunt and put it right out there? (I hear a resounding “yes.” Thank you.)


Whether your daughter ‘wants to’ lose weight or not is entirely up to her. It is her life, her journey, and it is her decision. Please note that I said that it’s about what your daughter WANTS. There was no should, have to or must in it.
Speaking in “should’s,” “must’s” and “have to’s” is a sure way of mucking up the works, creating stuck states of unhappiness with bucketfuls of feelings of blame, criticism and anxiety.
To my point, your husband thinks you “should” be in charge of your daughter’s behavior. How does that resonate with you? Does it feel like he is blaming you, criticizing you? Is it working?
I invite you, your husband and your entire family (and all who are reading this) to remove the “should’s,” “have to’s” and “must’s” from your vocabularies. Substitute the word “want” for just one week. Ask yourself what you want to do rather than what you should do, repeatedly, over and over again. At the end of the week just see what happens.
The best thing we can do as parents (as citizens, too) is to set a good example. You take care of you! Eat and serve healthful meals. Walk your 10,000 steps a day (or your form of movement). You glow! You make this the best life ever for YOU.
Focus on what is right. When you talk to your daughter, talk about what is right. Surely, telling someone that they ‘need to’ lose weight only serves to let them know that you think that there is something ‘wrong’ with them. (I speak from first-hand experience – having lived a life of chubb-e-tude. From day one someone was telling me that I ‘should’ lose weight and sadly, what a shame it was that I had a pretty face, which only led me to shamefully eat yet another candy bar.)
As for your husband, I am wondering what does it mean to him that your daughter – to his standards – is carrying around a few extra pounds? What stands in his way of communicating directly with your daughter? What stops you from communicating your wants to your husband? As in, “Honey, I would appreciate your leaving me out of this unhealthy triangle. Our daughter is free to create the life she wants.” You certainly do not have to do what he tells you to do. End of story.
Be accepting, be compassionate, be healthy, be open … practice loving-kindness.
As Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ OLofWL
For more fat chewin’ advice, join the Kick in the Tush Club community.
AND … pick up a copy of the best permanent fat removal book ever written, ALL IS FORGIVEN, MOVE ON.
For more info on workshops, books, diet tricks that heal your heart … go to Our Lady of Weight Loss

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if you’d say the same thing if she was doing something else terribly unhealthy, like smoking.
    What a bunch of garbage.

  • Nathanne

    Thank you, Janice. It’s really true. People don’t change from the pressure of other people. They change from within. As far as smoking, my honey quit last year, when he got scared of emphysema, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t want to smoke again. No amount of nagging and bugging by me made a dent in his smoking. He had to come to the place of quitting himself.

  • Sarah

    I am writing to the father of this young lady. I have had a weight problem all of my life. I was the “chubby, thick, full figured,tubby” one of the family. Growing up people tried to “lovingly encourage” me for my health. Bottom line I was fat and they couldn’t cope. They were embarassed. Nobody noticed how well I did in school or how musically inclined I was. Nobody noticed how loving, sweet natured, and gentle I was. Now I am 46. My father died 3 years ago. I had not seen him in twenty years. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother I have not seen in twenty years, nor do I have contact with my mother. As a matter of fact I have had no contact with any of my relatives. I decided that if people couldn’t love me as I was then they didn’t love me at all. My father , and my sisters are both alcoholics. My brother is an incarcerated drug addict. My mother angry bitter and mean. I am fat. Having been away from these people has helped me to set my own goals concerning my weight. No pressure! If you truly love her and you are concerned. Set aside time to get together at a local park so you can take a stroll and become a loving part of her life. Ask her if there is anything she would like to do but may be afraid to do it alone. Offer to be her buddy. Tell her you are going to join a gym and invite her to be a guest. She might enjoy it. Bottom line! Don’t die without her at your side. Don’t send messages of unacceptance and look back in twenty years and realize how much you have lost. She may not lose the weight right away. Is she a drug addict? Is she an alcholic? These are real concerns! If this is the only problem she has, be grateful! If you keep pushing she may develope an eating disorder. Please just love her like there is no tomorrow so you will never miss who she is. Acceptance is a big thing! Especially from you!

  • Elly

    I feel for this family. My mother was slim, fit and beautiful. My sister had a very different build from me, and developed later. I had a healthy body but attempted extreme dieting in my mid-teens, which resulted in disordered eating patterns I still struggle with more than 30 years later. I could never advise a teenager to diet. To eat healthily? Yes. To love their body? Absolutely. To believe in themselves – their loveability, competence, worth? Oh my, that’s the heart of it. My weight fluctuated wildly in my late teens and 20s. A lot of the time I was model thin, and frankly very pretty. But I never thought of myself as attractive, I had no vision for my future, no sense of value (or for that matter, values). Please, explain to your husband that more than anything, your daughter needs affirmation and encouragement; she needs to know she is resourceful, resilient, strong and capable; and that you love her. Good looks can be fun. They come and go. But self-confidence and courage? That really matters.

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