I haven’t killed my flowers yet!


*Gold star*


I love this part of the summer – hot when you wake up, hot when you go to sleep.  That makes for excellent strawberries!



My breakfast bowl of oatmeal contained:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • Toppings:  Opera Girl Cooks Double Coconut Granola and fresh strawberries


Opera Girl, I give you a standing ovation! This batch of granola was wonderul!  Here’s the recipe.


Follow up to Teenager Troubles


Last week I posted a reader e-mail question from Anonymous Mom, a healthy and active woman who was struggling with what to say to her overweight daughter who suffered from low self-esteem.  To read her full e-mail (and the awesome suggestions from readers on what she should do to help her daughter), check out this post.


Anonymous Mom was so grateful for your help!  She wrote me a follow-up e-mail to explain some questions raised in the comments section:


I have gone through all the comments and am so thankful for everyone’s suggestions. I especially loved the direct email from Heidi – that had me in tears.  I believe my daughter knows I love her unconditionally. However, I must admit that even though I never let her know it, I am secretly trying to “fix” the problems. Many people have mentioned the chicken before the egg scenario and this is where I always get caught up in. Is she depressed because she is overweight or is she overweight because she is depressed? It is a vicious cycle. When she cries, all I want to do is take her pain away. 

Just so everyone will know…

  • There is no medical reason for her weight issues. However, she is in danger of becoming a diabetic and already has high cholesterol.
  • We have tried everything under the sun, from swimming, karate, dancing, family gym memberships, you name it. If she wanted to try it, we have always supported her.
  • The professional counseling has been used by me when I have been at my wits end but I have never been able to get her to agree to go.
  • I walk on egg shells all the time. I never want her to feel that I don’t love her just the way she is but I want to be able to support her and help her develop healthy habits.
  • I post Operation Beautiful notes for her all time and put notes in her lunch box. But even with this, I am careful to try and not do it too much in fear that she will think she isn’t good enough the way she is.

So in summation, I am so grateful for the comments from everyone. This is going to be my action plan:

  • Just be there for her and listen and love her.
  • Continue to serve as a good example and encourage her to help in grocery shopping and food preparation.
  • We have three dogs so instead of me going out for a run and setting a good example, I’m going to get my run in the morning and then in the evening, I’m going to invite her to go on a walk with me and the dogs. I think I’ve been so focused on setting the example that I have forgotten to invite her to be active. I’m also going to ask both my girls to run a 5K with me. (And maybe see about tennis…that’s one thing we’ve never tried.) 
  • Somehow get her to agree to go to a counselor.


Anonymous Mom is definitely a good mom!  🙂


To read other posts about how healthy living impacts families, friendships, and relationships, check out:



And… I’m off! Conference calls up the wazoo today!



  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) July 30, 2010, 8:20 am

    Oh yum. Coconut granola sounds so perfect, especially as an oat topper. 😀

    CONGRATS on not killing the plants! Haha. I’m such a plant killer, it’s awful. Although my basil is doing surprisingly well this year, so maybe I’m progressing in the right direction. 😉

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly July 30, 2010, 8:21 am

    That granola looks wonderful. I am going to go check out Opera girl now!!

  • megan July 30, 2010, 8:22 am

    Great ideas anonymous mom! I think that your love for your daughter really shines through, and I hope and pray she sees it as well. 🙂 Good luck if you try tennis – that’s a personal favorite!

  • Kelly July 30, 2010, 8:28 am

    This poor mom, this is such a tough situation to be in. It’s bad enough to see someone you love with unhealthy habits, but to have it make them be unhappy is even worse. I hope inviting her to be active will help 🙂 The 5K goal sounds like a good one too- I love the Couch to 5k plan, it’s an awesome way to get into being healthy! It’s important to make it manageable to her. Oh how I do not miss being a teenager!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 30, 2010, 8:46 am

    I love that Mom is going to invite her daughter to be active. I really think that’s important.

    You can also do cool things with her that include activity. Maybe ask her to starbucks with you, and then take your coffees for a walk somewhere.

  • ashleigh July 30, 2010, 8:52 am

    That’s so awesome that she posts operation beautiful notes for her daughter, I’d love to get some in my lunch box 🙂 Soo sweet! I hope everything works out for her daughter!!

  • Exercise and Eat July 30, 2010, 8:53 am

    Anon Mom IS an awesome mom!

  • Lacey July 30, 2010, 8:58 am

    it really sounds like the daughter is much too unhappy/in a dark hole to even be in the position to make positive changes/ stick with them. i agree that Anonymous Mom has to get her daughter to see a counselor (and also make sure that she doesn’t “settle” on a counselor- make sure she finds one that is a good fit with the daughter). does the daughter have any friends????? a “friend intervention” (nothing too over the top) could be a potential avenue for a solution here. when you’re a teenager you listen to your friends more than your parents, so if there is a peer who can give the daughter a “push” toward counseling i would try that. also there are summer camps that can make huge differences for teens- not necessarily camps for overweight kids- just camps that focus on healthy living and strength/self building. might be worth checking out and send her there (she probably won’t want to but i’m sure she will be glad she went).

    • LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils July 30, 2010, 12:13 pm

      I agree, Lacey! Camp was my original suggestion. She can make friends/big active, and without parents around.

  • Daniel July 30, 2010, 8:58 am

    I’m glad that she was able to get all of those responses and that enough people were kind and generous enough to lend a helping hand – I hope everything works out for them both!

    And nice job not killing the plants!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 30, 2010, 8:59 am

    It must be so hard to be a parent sometimes – what a responsiblilty. It sounds like anon mom is doing great and sounds like she is very supporitve of her daughter no matter what. Love that she post Operation Beautiful notes for her!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite July 30, 2010, 8:59 am

    Wonderful looking breakfast!!! I love reading these post! I’m so happy people were able to help!

  • Heather July 30, 2010, 9:02 am

    I think the mom has a good action plan. Good luck to her!

  • tanyasDaily ProductViews July 30, 2010, 9:03 am

    those strawberries look really good.
    I’m happy that she was helped!

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete July 30, 2010, 9:05 am

    I really feel for this Mom! She sounds like she has a good plan and she seems like a great Mom with the best intentions. I will continue to pray for her and her family.

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 30, 2010, 9:06 am

    I think that she is doing an amazing job … and as we’ve discussed in the last post, there’s a limit to what she can do. He teenager daughter is old enough to take her own decision, and at some point .. she will definitely have to take this into her own hands.

  • Rosey Rebecca July 30, 2010, 9:12 am

    Your posts are so informative! I love how you include readers questions and e-mails in your posts.

    Your breakfast looks awesome! Speaking of, I’ve been up for two hours and haven’t had oats yet. Call the police!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 30, 2010, 9:23 am

    It is nice that we all have this community to work together! I would have to say there is a lot of comfort in knowing that you have people that will share their experiences in life on such a real level so that we all can learn from each other. Thanks for sharing and have a great day Caitlin!

  • jen July 30, 2010, 9:32 am

    Yay for Mom! I was wondering what happened with this woman and her daughter, thanks for posting the follow up.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now July 30, 2010, 9:35 am

    I think this mom has a good plan. It’s important her daughter knows that her mom cares, but there is a VERY fine line the mom has to walk that doesn’t push her too far. My mom told me many times growing up that I needed to do something about my weight. Her encouragement only pissed me off. Never made me want to change. I changed when I was ready.

  • Sabrina July 30, 2010, 9:39 am

    Anonymous Mom,

    You’re trying so hard and I’m sure your daughter appreciates it, and later on down the road I’m sure she’ll be able to thank you herself. Until then, thank you for being such a great example, if everyone was lucky enough to have you as a mother the world would be a better place 🙂 I’m sure everything will work out — it always does — just have hope!

  • Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure July 30, 2010, 9:50 am

    So happy people were able to come together and help! I had sort of a “breakfast oats” type meal this morning I called it “cookie dough” seriouly delish head over and grab the recipe!



  • Camille July 30, 2010, 9:50 am

    Aww, what a good Mom!
    Sometimes habits (like exercise) change as we get older. That may be the case for her!

  • Kelly July 30, 2010, 9:55 am

    Good luck to anonymous mom!

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews July 30, 2010, 9:59 am

    Yum! Your breakfast lokos awesome!

  • Allie July 30, 2010, 10:00 am

    your breakfast looks so delicious!!!
    what a great and caring mother- and community to provide support and suggestions to her! sounds like a great plan and starting point.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter July 30, 2010, 10:14 am

    Thank you for the follow up. She is such a caring mom.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 30, 2010, 10:26 am

    i’m so glad there was a follow-up post to this! i would say that this is one of my biggest fears as a future mother…i want my daughter to KNOW that she is beautiful and never EVER second-guess that!

  • Christine July 30, 2010, 10:39 am

    I just wanted to say how disappointed I am about next Thursday – my office building is literally around the corner from Rock center and I pass the Today show every morning. Of COURSE Thursday is the one day all summer I have a court date for a speeding ticket (whoops) and won’t be in the area. I’m so bummed I won’t be there to support OB and meet a bunch of my favorite bloggers!

  • Ella July 30, 2010, 10:55 am

    As a kind of teenager (I’m 20 and a half), I think Anonymous Mom’s plan is absolutely perfect.
    I have always been a thin girl, but my parents are extreme narcisists and constantly gave me negative feedback about my appearance and encouraged me to go to unhealthy measures to maintain my rail thin body. I.e hiring their 13 year old a personal trainer, suggesting I give up carbs when I was still going through a growth spurt..That plus many other things I’m sure resulted in a nasty eating disorder that I still struggle with from time to time. I wish my parents had the same attitude as her! Good luck to everything with your daughter, I’m sure with all of your positive encouragement you’ll be able to work through this all!

    MMmmm and granola on oatmeal sounds delicious. I should try that.

    • Caitlin July 30, 2010, 11:08 am

      Sorry your parents weren’t the best 🙁 I think you are strong to be able to separate yourself from them, though.

  • Tina July 30, 2010, 11:05 am

    I’m so happy to hear an update from the mother. I think her plan of action is perfect. She is amazing and her daughter must know her mother’s love for her. Keep up the great work, Anon. Mom!!!

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! July 30, 2010, 11:17 am

    The Anonymous Mom email just broke my heart. I WAS that daughter, and my mom was not so sensitive about my weight issues when I was growing up. I eventually realized that I wanted to change–for me and for nobody else–and I subsequently lost 60 pounds. Anonymous Mom, your daughter is lucky to have you looking out for her! But it may take time before she realizes that she wants to make healthy changes in her life. When she does, you will be right there waiting for her…and your love and support will be the best gifts in the world!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 30, 2010, 11:47 am

    She sounds like a terrific mom. That’s such a fine line to walk. You love a child just as she is, but you love her enough to want her to change for her own health. It breaks my heart.

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 30, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Anonymous Mom, you sound like a great loving mother. I think that with your support, your daughter’s health will take a turn for the better in time! 🙂

    Caitlin, the strawberries in your breakfast look great. I’m in GA, and it’s so unbearably hot here. Fruit with (or for) breakfast all the way!

  • Courtney July 30, 2010, 12:29 pm

    Anon Mom, congrats for supporting and loving your daughter, not pressuring her to be a certain way. Try cooking healthy meals with her- veggie lasagna, turkey burgers, chocolate protein bars (the recipe is on my site), oatmeal with yummy toppings, etc. She’ll love spending time with you and you’ll feel good about it too! 😀

  • Megan (Braise The Roof) July 30, 2010, 12:39 pm

    What a difficult situation, but I think Anon Mom is handling it beautifully! All we can really do is love and support one another in the end, right? 🙂

  • stephanie@Avocado Nation July 30, 2010, 12:45 pm

    What an awesome mom! She is so supportive and willing to help. I love that.

  • Wei-Wei July 30, 2010, 3:28 pm

    This is what I love about the blog community – you seriously “meet” so many people and you never know how they can help you. Kudos to Anonymous Mom, you’re an excellent parent!

    Wei Wei

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 30, 2010, 4:07 pm

    I’m so glad that she got some helpful advice from that post! I have been praying for her and her daughter ever since I read it. I hope things are going well!

  • jenny in new york July 30, 2010, 7:48 pm

    love that anonymous mom. She’s in such a hard place… I wish her the best of luck and hopefully we’ll get an update to see how her daughter is doing

  • Stacey@http://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ July 30, 2010, 8:59 pm

    Love strawberry oats, so good.

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