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My dd is 11, and she has gained some weight in the last year or so. Mostly, I think it is due to her asthma not being under control. She has an asthma attack whenever she tries to do any running or other strenuous activity. We are trying to get that under control. Many people have also told me she has gained bc she is close to puberty age. However, she hates her body, particularly her stomach and her legs. For a while, there, she never wanted to wear shorts bc she didn't want anyone to see her legs. She is better about that. I am trying not to make an issue of it with her. Girls are so sensitive about their weight, and I don't want to get all obsessed and possibly lead her into an eating disorder. But on the other hand, I would like to help her lose some of that belly fat so she can be happier. How can we do that if she can't run? Should we do situps and other exercises together? Or should I just wait it out a while longer? She is 4 ft 11 in and weighs around 120 lbs. Finding appropriate clothes is difficult, too. In children's sizes, we have had to go to plus sizes, at least for the bottoms. I hate to go to the teen sizes, as they look too grownup. Any suggestions?
I agree that clothes look too grown up. You could google online stores with "modest" or "christian" in the search, and you may find some kids clothes that are more to your liking.
Have you talked to a dietician? You could get a family appointment, not just an appointment for her, and make a family commitment to health. She wouldn't know you actually had her in mind, but she would see support in a more round about way.
Puberty could be a big part of the problem. I remember the same thing happening to me. I hit puberty 3-5 years before all my friends, so I always wore oversized clothes to hide my curves. I was very insecure until most caught up to me in high school.
As for exercising -
Muscle burns fat, but fat can't be burned without aerobic activity. Doing things like situps or weights will build/tone muscle, but it won't do anything for fatty areas. Walking is much healthier for joints than running, and even something like biking would be easier than walking for someone with asthma. (My hubby has asthma.) What about swimming? Swimming is great for muscle toning and aerobic exercise at the same time. Even just walking around in waist-deep water is enough resistance to get a good workout (that's what I do... I hate swimming).