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Parents tell teen to pay them back for college when he doesn't lose 'enough' weight.

Parents tell teen to pay them back for college when he doesn't lose 'enough' weight.


"AITA for lying to my parents about the gym?"


I(18M) am currently spending winter break at my folks's after my first semester at college. While at college I had gained a considerable amount of weight to my parents' irritation.

In my mom and dad's culture, thinness is a very prized quality, and they often call me fat even when to the average observer's eye there is little to no fat, so when I came back looking noticeably fat they blew up.

They got me a gym membership and told me to start losing weight. The way it works is I would drive to the gym on my own and then they would measure me every week.

I was pretty annoyed at the way my parents overreacted to what is a completely normal thing(I even tried explaining the freshman 25 to them but they didn't understand or get it)

It's now been 3 weeks since break has officially begun, and I have been going to the gym. But the workout they prescribed me involved a lot of high intensity workouts and after the first day where I faithfully stuck to it, I got tired and irritated.

So, instead, I went to the movie theater room that we have in our gym, a room where they show movies in front of 30 stationary bikes/treadmills and I walk at my own pace.

My parents noticed that I'm not meeting their weight loss guidelines, so they started asking me if I was doing the regimen like they told me to. I said yes at first but then they put on pressure and eventually I confessed that I've just been walking while watching movies.

Now they are calling me a thief and demanding that I pay them back my college fees (I got scholarships for tuition but they had to cover room and board) that they payed for me and that I pay them back for the food I ate while on break as well as the gym fees, and I'm feeling bad that I didn't try as hard at the gym as they wanted me too.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


That used to be a "freshman 15", resulting from way too much beer way too frequently. They've upped it to 25 now, have they? At any rate, NTA. They should realize that they can't make you want to lose weight. But you know... whatever you're doing is very unhealthy if you gain 25lbs in a mere semester.

I'd be seriously worried as a parent. The longer someone is overweight or obese, the harder it is to lose. But what I wouldn't do is this sort of insanely intrusive and rude way they're trying to force weight loss. Especially where you're now an adult can choose to make bad decisions if you want to. NTA.

The OP responded here:


"They've upped it to 25 now, have they?"

Haha no, the term is still 15. I just said freshman 25 so my parents wouldn't flip out since it sounds like a common thing I guess. That obviously didn't work and I had no idea what I was going for to be honest, maybe just to downplay it.


What? NTA! I mean, you probably should have not entertained the idea at all rather than lie but this is insane. I would not go back there the next time you are on break if at all possible.


This is fat shaming at its finest. NTA.

"that I pay them back for the food I ate while on break as well as the gym fees," Uhhhh, you mean the gym fees THEY CHOSE to pay for because they see that "thinness is a very prized quality"

Well, your parents sound old school, that's fine and all but it's the 21 century, they gotta get over that. That's just rude but lying to them was the wrong choice. You should've told them to take that membership and kick rocks!

ETA : Maybe you find another place to stay...Not for any reason other than this disrespectful communication between your parents and you. Maybe y'all need space from each other, as staying with your parents, as an adult, can become stressful (speaking from experience.)


NTA but your parents are. They're being abusive.

Weight gain is completely normal during ages 18-25, regardless of your parents' cultural standards.

You're an adult. You DO NOT have to put up with this. As long as you're taking care of yourself and eating as healthy as you can (with a lot of wiggle room bc you're 18!) then you're doing ok. Weight is a BS measurement of health at any age, especially given that muscle weighs more than fat.

If I were you I would take away any financial hold they have over you. Take out loans for your room and board, and work on making sure you're financially independent. This is abusive behavior from them and it's not ok.


ESH. First, you need to change your diet to lose weight. But, your parents suck for trying to force you to workout. I get they care, but they went too far. You are the AH because you are lazy. They pay for your room and board, which makes you lucky.

You should be doing more at the gym if that's a condition of them paying for your housing and food. There is no freshmen 25. You are overeating and lazy. You really should talk to them and try to do better. Your health is everything. Get in the habit of taking care of yourself now. You'll regret it later if you don't.


NTA Sorry to say your parents are very unhealthy in their thinking. This is the type of mental gymnastics that lead to eating disorders. And saying that I realize they are the type of people who might make jokes about “wishing they had anorexia” without any understanding of the pain and deaths that occur from EDs.

They need to leave you alone OR you need to explore ways to set up your breaks where you only go home for very short visits. When you get back to school you can look into the student health center for some mental health visits. If they see you they can help strategize ways you can minimize the very real damage they are passing on to you with these unhealthy attitudes.


NTA. Encouraging one to lose weight is one thing. Forcing you to and measuring you at the end of the week? Sounds sick and controlling.

So, if you could give this struggling OP some advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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