In a tumultuous family dynamic exacerbated by a painful divorce, the Original Poster (OP) grapples with her daughter’s morbid obesity and her ex-husband’s complacency. Amidst growing tensions, the daughter’s health continues to decline. OP discovers a teen-focused weight management facility that could offer a lifeline. However, her ex-husband’s refusal to support this solution and the daughter being torn between her parents leaves her daughter’s health on pause until they can come to an agreement.
OP’s 15-year-old daughter has struggled with weight issues her entire life, despite the parents’ attempts to promote an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits. A divorce between OP and her husband when their daughter was 11 years old significantly impacted her.
Despite the divorce, OP and her ex-husband co-parent well at first. They made decisions together and even went on trips. Despite all of this, their daughter was still putting on more weight, leading the parents to seek professional help in the form of a nutritionist.
A Mask of Courage
The nutritionist suggests therapy, which helps the daughter initially lose some weight. However, the daughter develops an unhealthy reliance on food, using it as a coping mechanism for a variety of emotional issues. While the therapy continues, it fails to address her emotional eating, which is now turning into a food addiction.
Family Tensions Rise
The divorce starts to impact the family dynamic in a more significant way, especially regarding the daughter’s health. Disagreements between OP and her ex-husband about how to address their daughter’s health cause tensions to rise. Each parent’s approach contrasts greatly, making matters worse.
The Dangerous Ally
The daughter, seeking comfort, gravitates toward the body acceptance movement and finds an ally in her father. He indulges her unhealthy habits in the name of acceptance, driving a further wedge between OP and her daughter.
The Bad Guy
This situation fuels a villain-hero dynamic between the divorced parents, where the mother is viewed as the bad guy. Prior to this, OP says that she and her daughter had a close-knit relationship despite their lifestyle differences.
OP’s concerns grow as she realizes the potential health dangers her daughter faces due to her weight. She is aware of the risk factors that could end her daughter’s life prematurely, making her more desperate to find a solution. The realization is overwhelming and exhausting, yet she is determined to help her daughter.
A Ray of Hope
OP discovers a potential solution: a weight management treatment facility for teens located six hours away. This facility is not a traditional fat camp but offers schooling, a chance to make friends, and the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle. Despite the distance, there’s a chance to visit her daughter monthly, which might be a decent compromise.
Resistance to Change
OP’s ex-husband refuses to agree to send their daughter to the weight management facility, accusing OP of being selfish. The daughter is noncommittal about attending the program, possibly influenced by her father’s resistance. The father-daughter bond strengthens while OP feels alienated.
A Father’s Manipulation
OP begins to suspect that the ex-husband is encouraging their daughter’s resistance to the weight management facility. This suspicion stems from his newfound enjoyment of his role as the “good guy” in the daughter’s eyes. As the father’s favoritism grows, the mother feels further distanced from her daughter.
Fuel To The Fire
OP has considered seeking full custody over this battle. She feels that her ex-husband is putting his daughter’s health at risk to the point of being abusive. If he doesn’t change his mind, she plans to go the legal route.
The Struggle of Acceptance
The daughter’s affiliation with the body acceptance movement grows stronger, which OP believes is harmful in the long run. OP supports her daughter’s self-love but doesn’t want her to ignore the potential health risks. This delicate balance between acceptance and denial becomes a major point of contention.
Despite the mounting challenges, OP refuses to back down. She’s firm in her belief that her daughter needs to change her lifestyle to live a healthier, longer life. Her determination to help her daughter leads to a new resolve to fight for her daughter’s future.
Was Suggesting Sending Her Daughter To A Weight Management Facility Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “I have struggled with my weight since puberty and wish my family had sent me to weight loss camp. The extra weight plagued me through high school and crippled my self-esteem.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “It seems Dad is being uncooperative by letting her eat however she wants when she is with him. Sole legal custody would put you in charge of her healthcare. This might make you look more like the bad guy, though, if Dad pushes that agenda, but it could end up helping your daughter in the long run.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “Do not force her to go to a fat camp. It will make it worse. Keep being a good role model, encourage healthy behaviors, don’t nag about her weight, and love her where she’s at. She will come to her own conclusion about her weight eventually.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “From what I am seeing here, no intervention will help because you and your ex-husband are in a dysfunctional family relationship that enables her food addiction.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.