I need help!!
Laura, my oldest child, is so beautifull. She has darkbrown natural curly hair, brown eyes, natural red lips, long lashes… I usually think she looks the way I would have loved to look. When she was small I used to describe her as my little girl with the stars in her eyes. She has this beautifull big personality. She is dramatic, confident, grown-up and responsible. There are time that I feel that I like her more than any other person on earth. She is so interresting and bright. She is intuitive, creative, caring.
She also have trouble reading, I think she is a bit dislectic. For a short while during her grade 1 year I worried that I was wrong about her intelligence. Obviously she still worries about that. We started to homeschool her last year, found the most amazing help in “The gift of Dislexia” and the reading has improved.
She had trouble fitting in at school, finding friends that understands her sense of humour, being acceptable in a very competive school. All of that caused a dive in her selfconfidence but the past years homeschooling cured a lot of that. She started to look happy and have stars in her eyes again. She sings and dance and teases everybody. At home she is important and takes resposibility for lots of things I would not yet have expected of her. She loves her younger brother and sister and especially Enette looks up to her. Enette believes Laura can do everything well: “She can cook, she can bake, she can sing, she can dance, she can draw, she can paint, she can make jewelery, she can write essays in Afrikaans and English, she can do Maths, she can do experiments, she can solve problems, etc, etc…..”
Unfortunately my beautifull child have a problem with her weight. I realised early on that everything is not as it should be, I saw that she is more pudgy than anybody in either our families has been as children. I did not want to make an issue out of it, but I took her to our local pediatritian when she was about nine. I thought it looked as if her hormones had become active too early and as if her breasts started to develop. He said I should not worry, everything is as it should be.
She continued to gain weight and a year later I took her to our family docter, asking him to do bloodtest to determine if everything is OK. He did some test and then said her suger is not really right but also not really wrong. He said I could give her Glucophage to see if she would lose weight but mostly I should try to adapt our diet to low GI. I gave her the Glucophage for a month, it made no difference and I did not want to continue if it is not really neccesary. I asked a friend (nurse) to do regular fingertip blood tests on all of us to see what our bloodsuger is doing while I adapted our diet as far as possible to low GI. Laura’s bloodsugar turned out normal at every test.
But she kept on gaining weight. Then last year in September we decided to investigate the possibility of going on Atkins with her, I researched the effect of a high protein diet on children and found nothing that indicated any damaging effect. On the contrary, it looked as if it could be rather possitive.
In October we went on Atkins diet, she weighed 61kg when we started (12 years old and about 1,50m long). She lost weight very slowly, for the first three weeks she lost about 0.5 kg a week and then it stopped. She lost nothing more but at least didn’t gain anything as well. We moved on to the further stages of Atkins since I did not want to continue with only proteins for months on end.
We went on holiday and had the Festive Season, we did not stick stricktly to our diet but tried not to fall off totally. She only gained about 0.5kg, but in the past two months she also grew a lot in length.
Two weeks ago we started with our homeschool program for the year, life picked up where we left of last year, and Laura started eating again. I am not certain how it happened, I only realised that she is eating everything she can put her hands on again. Yesterday morning I weighed her again, 64,5kg!! She gained nearly 5 kg in three weeks!! So we decided to start all over again with Atkins since she at least did not gain weight on it. This morning I walked in on her unexpectedly, and there she is eating a toasted cheese snackwidge again!!
I do not know what to do to help her anymore. None of the healthy ways of dealing with this has helped, and she doesn’t understand the seriousness of the situation. I do not want to cause permanent damage in her experience of her body, I just want to help her to be healthy. She weighs nearly three times as much as Enette, who is only two years younger than her. (Ok, Enettie is totally at the other end of the spectrum!)
She does not like sports but she loves to jump on the trampoline and ride her bicycle. Due to the safety situation in South Africa, unfortunately the children cannot ride their bicycles around town (outside the yard) as people get mugged and killed for bicycles and cellphones. But she jumps on the trampoline and I even force her to go to the athletics practice. There she would simply walk around the track when everybody else runs, but at least it is something.
Except for the fact that I do not know what food to give her to help her lose weight, my biggest problem I think is the fact that she does not take responsibility for this. She takes resposibility for nearly everything else without hesitation, but here she does not care. I am so scared of pushing her to the other side and that she could develop anorexia or something, and at the same time I am scared for the result this overweight would have emotionally on her. I love her more than I love myself and I do not know how to help her!!
If anybody have any advice, please, I need it.