Mom Who Put 7-Year-Old On A Diet Defends Herself in New Memoir


| February 6, 2013 - 7:10 pm

The mother who put her seven-year-old daughter on a diet and wrote about it for an April 2012 piece in Vogue magazine is bringing her pen game back for a new memoir.

Dara Lynn-Weiss was hit with intense backlash after the story was published and seriously contemplated whether she would proceed with the project because of the criticism, Yahoo! News reports.

“There were many days where I said: `Nope, I’m not putting myself through this, I’m not putting my family through this,'” Weiss said in a recent interview. “I think what I have to say is very important, but I don’t want to be the lightning rod for this incredibly sensitive issue and subject myself to all this backlash in the name of being honest.

“I really had to push myself to say, `You’re already out there. This story is already out there.'”

The memoir, titled “Heavy,” details the unconventional way Weiss helped her daughter Bea lose 16 pounds in her battle against childhood obesity. At a little over four feet and 96 pounds, Bea was put on a strict calorie-counting diet that incorporated some processed foods. Weiss recalls how she would toss half of her Starbucks hot chocolate with whipped cream and refuse other parents’ snacks.

“There were moments I could have relented and let her have that little extra thing that would have made her happy, that would have made my job easier,” said Weiss. “She was looking to me to set the limits and if some days I said, `OK’ and some days I didn’t, I lose authority very quickly as a parent. And that that was important. Consistency for consistency’s sake was an important part of it. So that’s how I approached it.”

The 41-year-old mother also delves into her own weight loss struggles, taking laxatives and trying various diets as a teen. However, she says the purpose of the book is to give more awareness about childhood obesity and encourage parents to take better care of their kids, understanding that her methods aren’t one-way-fits-all.

“Being imperfect and being willing to be unpopular are part of doing the right thing,” she added. “I hope that people will be inspired by this to make mistakes and do the tough thing when they know that’s the best thing for their kids.”