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Teenage boy shares the saga of going to fat camp; 'I want to take legal action against my parents.' AITA? UPDATED 6X OVER SEVERAL YEARS

Teenage boy shares the saga of going to fat camp; 'I want to take legal action against my parents.' AITA? UPDATED 6X OVER SEVERAL YEARS


When this teenage boy is devastated by his parents' decision, he asks the internet:

"I may take legal action against my parents if they force me to go to fat camp? AITA?"

I am fourteen, boy, and live in New York State with my mom and stepfather. My dad died before I was born and I grew with alone with my Mom, until I was ten and when she met him. They married about two years ago and he has been my stepfather ever since.

I do not hate my stepfather and he does not hate me. I am glad he met my mother. She was very lonely when I was a kid and he makes her happy and is a very kind person.

We were also very poor and he is a businessman who makes a lot of money and can take care of my mom so she doesn't have to kill herself. He has never got in a argument with me and we do not fight.

But it is very awkward in the house between us even with us both trying to be nice. We have very little in common, but I want to repeat that I do not hate him at all because I know that many people have relationships with there steparents and I do not have that.

I am very fat, very very fat. I have always been. I was the tallest kid in my class last year but still about 260 pounds, which I know is fat. My weigh doesn't bother me, i like being fat. The only thing that it really changes is how I might get along with girls but from my angle its a good way to see who is shallow.

I do not want to eat healthy and i think about food a lot. i have dieted in the past and it has made me very miserable. I am not lazy or anything. I work very hard at school and in everything I do I just don't care about this.

My mom does care more then me but she never bothered me about it but my stepdad brings it up alot. Never in a mean way but he always asks me to go to the gym and trys only buying food which does not fill me up and is overly healthy.

A few weeks ago we went to the doctor and they gave me a speech about eating better and today from my stepdad and mom wanted to speak to me, after my last day of school for the semester since I am skipping exam week since I exempted.

They talked about the doctor's meeting and said I'm going to a "health camp" for literally the entire summer, from early june to the middle of august. ALL OF IT. I looked it up and its just a fat camp.

I was obviously really upset and I begged them not to send me but they said that they'd already paid for it and I was definitely going. I don't ever yell at my parents but I couldn't manage the conversation so I just left immediately and went in my room and cried.

I went down later and asked very nicely if I didn't have to go and they said no. I asked why I deserved a punishment and they said it wasnt a punishment. I just left again because i wouldnt have been able to stop from screaming at them and i don't want to yell at them.

Legally, can they FORCE me to go? At 14 it seems ridiculous that they could force me to go. I'll actually be 15 halfway through. I have to take a plane, they can't legally require me to go on a plane right? I understand if I was like 10 or something but I'm a teenager now.

This is my last semester before high school and it's so stupid that this is how it might be wasted. at 14 and 15 don't they need MY permission at all? I might want to take legal action if I can. AITA?

Before OP's updates, let's take a look at some top responses:

freeezt writes:

NTA. BUT, Please take some advice from someone who went to fat camp from ages 12 through 15. (I am also from NY so I may have even went to the camp your parents want you to go to, if it's upstate NY.) I was 178 lbs when I was 12 years old and knew I had had a problem for years.

My parents did NOTHING to help me with my weight. I actually asked them to send me to fat camp when I first heard about it, and it changed my entire life. The first year I went away for 9 weeks, my first time away from home EVER, and yes, I was miserable everyday...

because it was a complete shock to my daily life - i was made to exercise everyday, eat foods I had never eaten before, no soda, no gum, very small portions, and I was homesick. I remember crying a LOT, and every letter home was how miserable I was. And it was MY choice to go.

I tell you that because the reality is, it may be a very uncomfortable, challenging time for you... but by the last few weeks of the summer, not only had I lost 26 lbs, but my entire personality had changed. I was not "the fat kid"

I was surrounded by overweight kids, many of them who were happy, well-adjusted people who just needed motivation to lose weight.

It was amazing to see overweight kids who did not define themselves by their weight. I went from never speaking and being incredibly shy to making jokes (some jokes at my own expense, something I could have never dreamed of doing before) and having confidence. I was fundamentally changed for the better.

Yes, I did gain the weight back over the course of the next year, but paired with puberty, I never looked as big again as I did before. I went back for three more summers, happily, lost weight each summer, and had my first kiss...

first boyfriends, first best friends, discovered the sports I was good at and liked playing, was cast in leads in camp plays (thanks to my newfound confidence), continued to learn healthy habits.

I have struggled with weight my whole life, but I'm in my 30s now and I tend to gain and lose the same 20 lbs over and over, but I'm overall very healthy and active and happy with my appearance. I cannot imagine where I would be had I not taken that first step.

Please, please go. It's just one summer, and I guarantee you it will benefit you. That said, if you are insistent on not losing weight, your parents can only do so much to motivate you. The rest is on you.


I had many conversations with my parents and they refused to budge. I considered leaving the house for a bit but ultimately decided not to. I've tried not to be but I'm honestly very angry at my parents for doing this to me and I view them very negatively at least much more than before.

I feel like they don't care about my opinion at all. I've done research and nobodhy loses weight at the camp i'm going too and again even if they did don't care.

I'm going to the camp tomorrow night and i'm not looking forward to it. I feel very depressed and have not felt happy since all this began. I looked it up and it would be easy for me to not get on the plane but i still don't want to make a seen.

i am intenonally not going to try to lose weight at the camp which ive been honest about. My parents are acting like i suddenly "want" to go because I told them I literally wouldn physically fight against of and they dont care what I say or think. I have a lot less respect for my parents as people and i do not want to be around them anymore.

Either way i'm going tomorrow. thanks to the people who were helpful. Many people said that it is impossible to be happy and fat and I think those people are wrong but I dont think they will ever change there minds. Thanks.

UPDATE 2 (about OP's experience at the camp):

I was taken to camp earlier this month and i did not resist going but i was very very upfront with my parents that i wasnt going to participate whenever possible, they did not take me seriously. I went on the plane and told the conseulers the same once I got on the bus.

I was very polite but honest about it. my tactic was to use peaceful "nonviolent resistance" until they let me go home unless it turned out to be a crazy camp which it wasnt. I read a book about the civil rights movement a few monts ago and i based what i did off that. Obviously me being at a camp isn't even close to human rights things but the technices still work.

I got to my cabin and I just stayed on bed and politely told them that I didnt plan on doing the exercises. the counselors spoke to me nicely than less nicely and tried to convince me to move but they couldn't and I'm too big to drag off a bed even if they wanted to.

They were nice people and i wanted to be nice to them as well but i again was open and honest through everything. i just did not go to stuff after i went into my cabin.

i politely calmly refused to go to the opening ceremony, exercises, meetings, activities even though nothing was optional. when the kids in my cabin spoke or tried to convince me to come down I also politely refused to speak to them.

They then said that I wouldn't get dinner/lunch if I didnt come down and participate and I refused asuming that they need to feed me sometimes.

I was right. they didn't give me dinner that night or breakfast because i didn't go to eat but someone brought me a lunch the next day even if it was a terrible overly healthy type of thing.

i was still very hungry and very bord but i just kept imagining getting out early. that lasted for six days with me spending all of my time on the bed with them bringing me food. I brought books but they took them away so I just sat and entertained myself by imagining stuff.

it was the most boring thing i've ever done. After a week or six days (not sure) the headmaster owner/leader of the camp came and spoke to me directly. Again he was very nice to me and I tried to be nice back but I was open about that i wasnt doing anything until I went home. he was trying to convince me that I wanted to lose weight, but I didnt.

The next day he called my parents and I left for the first time to speak to them in his office. They begged me to do it and we had a weird conference call meeting with them on the phone and the headmaster were they were all trying to convince me to participate and even shaming me a bit, but again I calmly refused very simply.

They said they were going to wait three more days to give me "time to think about it", and I told them it wouldn't make a difference but they did it anyway so i sat another three and then an extra day waiting.

After that we had one more conference and then I was sent that night on a plane ticket home because i peacefully refused to do everything and they saw no point keeping me there.

They really tried shaming me near the end but I just told them that i couldn't feel ashamed for not doing something that they wanted me to. I felt slightly sad about having to be a pain for the conseulers or the head guy because neither did anything wrong to me but I was very very very happy that I won't have to spend me whole summer their.

My parents are in a sad mood since I came back and they arent really speaking to me but at least i'm home and I won't have to spend another month there. They also got some of the money back because i wasn't there the whole time.

I appreciate all the advice i got even if i don't agree with all of it. thank you. I got most of my summer back.


I'm 14 (255 pounds) and I've always been very very fat and I honestly prefer it for the most part. it's a good way to know whos shallow and who cares about you, you dont need to worry about many aspects of life that I feel people constantly obsess over. has losing weight honestly made any actual impact on your life?

i don't care about losing 5/10 years of being old and i don't care about people treating you nicer in anyway. I think the health stuff of overexagarated and the social stuff is bs anyway..


I'm 15 and a boy, I live in New York (state). Several months ago I had a heart burn that was misinterpreted by doctors to be a "heart attack" (it wasn't, simply put, severe over exaggeration.)

Since then I've been made to take "medication" at home, which I don't want to bc I've read about the side affects and I don't want to be taking something for an issue that doesn't exist.

Since I got it originally I just stopped taking the pills, which long story short my parents found out about and it has been a very big fight with them since.

They have contacted my (public) school and after they had a talk with me and the principal basically what has been happening is I come in in the morning and they force me to go in a room with the guidance conseuler and an extra person and watch me swallow the pills that I "need".

For some time I'd go and make myself vomit immediately after in the bathroom and they found out and now I have to stay for twenty minutes and drink water. They do not let me go to classes if I refuse.

How can this be legal? I'm sorry to ask here but I literally cannot find information on this anywhere. Where would I even report this if the principal is in on it? AITA?


I came here once and said that I didn't need to lose weight and I was wrong I'm sorry. Right now I'm 275 pounds.

Two days ago I woke up gasping and choking ofr air, I couldn't breathe. This is happened before but never as intensely. I just woke up choking it was the scariest thing in my life and I cried for like twenty minutes.

I'm ready to change but so I'm afraid that I'm going to die anyway. I was ignoring a bunch of stuff and I have no idea. I have had very bad heartburn before.

I tried eating less today which I haven't done in years and i made it 70 percent the day and I couldnt stop after a certain point, like my hands shook before because i wanted to eat so much. I'm looking up studies that describe it and everybody seems to gain it back.

Exercise is impossible, not eating is impossible, i'm so afraid. I really apologize. I'm looking at protein and carbohydrates and carloies information and it literally makes no sense to me. There's so much conflicting information. I don't want to die.


I made some posts in the past and i made progress for the first time so i thought i would made an update post. i was 15 and I had something that was misdiagnosed as a heart attack (it wasn't) and then sleep apnea (which i really did have). I couldn't breath and it scared me so i decided to change certain things, to lose weight.

I did three main things. Calories. Counted, used a tracker which told me what i could eat. ate stuff sorta more healthy but still some unhealthy stuff, like might have veggies and meat but would also have cookies, candies, but all below the calorie number i could eat.

I usually skip breakfast because i'm not hungry in the morning and then i can eat three meals in half of the day which is way easier for me than three meals during the whole day.

Water. No drinking anything but water. This was VERY hard but it worked in the end and helped a lot, especially making not go over calories.

Walking. i listening to music and i have to walk an hour every day. This was very hard at the start but got easy, might add time soon.

I started losing weight very quickly when I did this. Felt very bad for one week and then very good and stayed like that physically. Don't feel that different but still losing because i'm afraid of the breathing thing coming back. want to get to 200 and then will see.

Very depressed. parents don't talk to me anymore, they haven't for months for the most part.

I don't take my medication (for a misdiagnosis!!!) and they just decided to stop talking with me about anything even after i lost weight. they buy the food i ask them to (we started just doing this over text) and i just make food for myself now.

I talk to them maybe once a week for short conversation and they purposely spend time out of the house to get away from me, here maybe three nights a week.

I don't care anymore. Going to lose more and then move away when I turn 18 and never speak to them again. Looking forward to it. Just an update since a lot of people messaged me about it. Still losing weight.


A few years ago I posted some messages on a few different subreddits about my experiences with obesity, my parents, and being sent to fat camp against my will. I saw somebody posting about it on a discord... so I thought I would update.

I have lost the weight. I tried twice over the course of about a year and a half, first losing about forty pounds and then fifty, but each time I gained it back before having to restart.

Early last year I tried again and that attempt clicked and I have since lost all the extra weight and even put on a little muscle by lifting. I still am not used to it... I catch myself making much more room than I need to when walking by people.

Four things that made this attempt different: 1. I tried less, which sounds like it doesn't make sense... I think by not "obsessing" over it as much as I did during the first two times it helped me not burn out and give up.

I just counted calories without obsessing and did cardio/lifting 3 to 4 times a week, i probably ate 80% clean/20% dirty. It feels like less of a struggle and less work, I can eat happily what I do now forever and not feel like I'm missing anything, that wasn't as true with the diets I was doing before.

2. I moved out at 17 to live with a friend's family and don't have much of a relationship with my parents anymore and it was easier to lose weight when not being around them.

There's a lot of stuff I didn't talk about in the earlier posts some of which because I was too young to know what was happening. I was in denial about my situation and not pleasant to be around but my mother and stepfather were not responsible parents and neglected me more than I realized was appropriate.

There were short periods where they would be very involved in my life to "overcompensate" for periods where they would go on trips for weeks, several for months, and leave me alone in a house filled with junk food which at the time I thought I loved but I realize was horrible.

They were never abusive but they would rarely try to be "parents" and when they did it was always in extreme ways like sending me to fat camp and giving me dramatic speeches after not interacting with me for long periods of time.

We had many verbal fights over the last few months i was living there and they refused to acknowledge any responsibility even though I was acknowledging mine.

Once a woman who had been friends with my mom over the phone for over six years came to visit the house (she lived in another state and spoke to my mom over the phone almost daily) and said she didn't know my mom had a son.

3. I have friends now who know my history and we go lifting together, it makes a big difference when you have people who like you and keep you on track. We play sports which is a great way to exercise (a lot of dodgeball sounds cringe but it's very fun) 4. I read "meditations" by marcus, it helped me a lot.

other stuff: I still take statins although the dosage has been lowered. I have another appointment in a few weeks which is the first time since I have lost all the weight. I am hoping I will be able to stop then, if not it will be what it will be.

In a comment i think i compared myself to nelson mandela by not exercising at fat camp that was very fucking cringe i am sorry. I had just read his biography at the time so it was in my mind... i was fifteen and dumb as hell... i will probably look back in the future and think i am dumb as hell now too.

I am taking classes at a community college, hoping to transfer to a university and graduate in either avionics or mechanical engineering or another similar field.

I am not depressed anymore. WE CAN GET MUCH HIGHER and the future looks bright. I have a girlfriend now, she's a supermodel from canada (no you can't meet her she goes to another school).

I will be honest i am not going to read most of them but there were hundreds of old messages in my inbox from people who tried to give me advice over the last few years... thank you for the positive thoughts. If any of you are in the same position i was you can make it out.

The biggest thing I learned is that it's impossible to improve when you hate yourself, you have to care about yourself enough to want to get better. My problem was that i didn't know how.

Any advice for OP? What do YOU make of this story?

Sources: Reddit
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