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Dad Faces Backlash After Paying Daughter $15 Per Hour To Workout

When one father took to Reddit to ask whether he was out of order for paying his daughter to go to the gym and lose weight, he received quite a mixed bag of responses.

The problem for most people here is the line between genuine concern, and body shaming.

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Being concerned over a loved one is completely reasonable if we feel that something is impacting their health. However, there is a very fine line between expressing genuine concern about someone in an appropriate manner, and simply body-shaming someone.

One father recently took to Reddit's AITA thread to ponder if he'd overstepped this mark.

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AITA, for those who don't know, stands for Am I The Asshole?

The father posted a lengthy explanation of the current situation between him and his daughter, titled: "AITA for paying my daughter to lose weight?"

The 53-year-old father started his story by explaining the situation between him and his 22-year-old daughter.

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In the post, which has since gained over 9000 upvotes, he wrote:

"I have grown increasingly worried about my daughter's weight. It has gotten beyond the point of merely an aesthetic issue, and I have genuine concerns about her health."

The daughter does not live at home, and is studying at graduate school.

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The father went on to explain that while she studies, he does not mind covering her rent. She also has a part-time job which allows her to buy food, groceries, and other necessities.

The father also explained how this tied into the gym situation:

"I am happy to cover these expenses since she is in school. However, she often says that she wishes she earned more money, since she does not have a ton of spending money for leisure activities, clothes, etc."

The father confessed that he previously hadn't been sure how to motivate her to go to the gym.

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"I have tried to speak to her about her weight, approaching it as delicately as I could. She was actually quite receptive, and I could tell she was a bit hurt but she told me that she knew it was an issue that she should be addressing. However, currently she is not sufficiently motivated to do it and is busy with her school and part-time job so she struggles to find time to go to the gym.

"I suggested that if she started going to the gym, I would give her extra money. This is to serve as a motivator, but also for practical reasons as she can pick up fewer shifts at her job and have more time to go to the gym. The deal is $15 per hour spent at the gym."

The payment apparently works on an honor system, as he trusts his daughter to be honest with him.

However, the father's wife was not convinced and called the idea "disgusting".

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People quickly shared their thoughts on the system, with a lot of people claiming that while it is clear that the father has been fair with the daughter and really wants to help her, it could have some negative effects.

One person explained:

"My dad offered me a similar situation, I got to have a car, for free, if I lost weight, by a certain date.

"This situation has affected me negatively ever since. It made it very apparent that my father felt my body was not sufficient. Sure, I was receptive at the time he offered it like your daughter was, but only because I wanted the car, and because any other reaction felt inappropriate."

The majority of people, however, ended up thinking that the idea was a positive one.

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Ultimately, the father was voted not to be an asshole by the community, with people claiming that he had handled the situation with enough tact and positivity.

However, a lot of people pointed out to the father that diet is an important factor in a persons weight.

Exercising without adapting your diet will do little to help your health, claimed most of the comments.

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One person explained, "I have my doubts about [the plan's] efficacy. You lose weight in the kitchen, not the gym. It’s generally easier to create a calorie deficit through dietary change than through exercise. Going to the gym still has a lot of significant benefits, but it’s not necessarily sufficient for weight loss, depending on your diet."

The father eventually responded saying that it was easier to motivate her in this manner to get more exercise. He also explained earlier in his post that he did not want to encourage any unhealthy eating patterns.

While the community may fallen on the father's side, this is still quite an uneasy practice.

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At the end of the day, whatever way you look at it, this is a critique of the daughter's body. And, while it may come from a place of genuine concern and was handled as lovingly as possible, this sort of idea can have negative impacts on people's mental health.

If the daughter was happy with herself and didn't come to him with the problem, then it seems more like the father overthinking the whole situation and potentially upsetting her over something that, really, is his problem with her body.

And, there will probably be a lot of people saying, "Oh, everyone needs to just toughen up these days, when I was young my father used to make me run Everest every morning and we didn't have any socks, and I'm fine!" Well, congratulations to you for surviving the 80s! However, in this day and age, we understand more about the negative impacts that this kind of pressure can have on people.

Who knows how the plan will end up working out for the pair of them.

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One of the strangest things that I find about this whole affair is the idea of posting it online. Advice from friends and loved ones is so important when facing a problem; although, for me, I don't think I've ever thought, "Should I ask anonymous people on the internet whether something I'm doing makes me an asshole?"

This is quite an uneasy situation that the father has created, and I'd genuinely be interested to hear what you make of the idea. However, without knowing more context, it is hard to make a clear analysis of the situation.

h/t: Reddit