Teen's New Stepdad Makes Her Do 5AM Workouts Because She's 'Chubby' — She Feels 'Awful' After Defying His Rules

She's having a hard time adjusting to her new family structure.

Teenage girl Walter Leininger / Pexels

A teenage girl whose mom remarried wrote into Reddit for advice on navigating her “controlling” stepfather’s “pointless” rules.

The 15-year-old girl lives with her 36-year-old mother and 48-year-old stepfather. She explained on Reddit's r/AmItheA-–hole (AITA) subreddit that her biological father died when she was a baby, and for the majority of her life, she was raised by her mother as a single parent, until her mother married her stepfather in 2022.


She sees her stepfather's rules as a version of toxic parenting, terminology that some believe to be debatable, depending on experience. “It’s been a huge adjustment to have [my] stepfather in our family,” the teen stated. “Mostly because as compared to my mom, he is extremely strict.”

​RELATED: Stepdad Upset That Stepdaughter Refuses To 'Clean Up His Messes' While He Works From Home

Her stepfather makes her wake up at 5 AM to work out and checks her weight weekly.

She explained that her stepfather is ex-military, and while her home “seemed like a warm and loving place… when it was just my mom and me… now it feels like a boot camp.” Her stepfather “convinced my mom that I am spoiled, entitled and need his harsher discipline or else I am never going to make anything of myself.”


The teenager believes that his disciplinary style “feels unfair because I am not a bad kid by any means.” She qualified her statement by explaining that she gets good grades, does her homework without being asked, doesn’t drink or do drugs, or date, and always follows her curfew. 

“He demands perfection at school, like 100% on everything, or else I get grilled over why I made a mistake,” the teen stated.

He also implemented 5 AM boot camp workouts with weekly weight checks, because “he decided I was a bit chubby.” 

According to the teen girl, her mom went along with the weight checks because she wanted to lose weight herself, and didn’t see it as detrimental to her daughter.


RELATED: Mom Learns Her Daughter Refused To Invite Her 'Chubby' Friend On Her Vacation & Wonders If Canceling The Trip Is Too Harsh

The stepfather’s controlling behavior didn’t stop with weight checks — he also determines what clothes she can wear.

Her stepfather decided that she "was being attention-seeking with [her] clothes and took away all [her] bright-colored stuff and replaced it with drab [and] neutral colors.

“My mom went along with this because he persuaded her that I just had no sense of what was appropriate from not growing up with a father,” the girl wrote.

She wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green like the rest of her peers at school, so a friend loaned her a green T-shirt to wear under her black sweater.


“I had the T-shirt in my backpack but [my] stepfather decided to search my backpack,” and when her stepfather found it, he was “furious and grounded [her] for a month.”

“My mom agreed with the grounding and furthermore said she was incredibly disappointed in me because I have never broken rules and acted out before,” the teen said.

RELATED: Woman Feels Conflicted After Husband Told Her To 'Stop' Sending $200 To Her Mom For Watching Their Kid Overnight

“I feel awful for disappointing her but also really do feel like the rule is stupid and pointless.”

She ended her post wondering if she was the a-–hole, and hoping for guidance on how to make her life with her stepfather's rules less miserable.


The teenager got many very supportive comments reassuring her that not only was she not the a-–hole, but also that her stepfather’s behavior was controlling and abusive, and “not normal by any stretch of the imagination.”

Therapist Lindsey Boes made a video offering tips for step-parents, in which she explains that the sheer amount of change kids experience within blended families may make it hard to adjust to their new family structure.

Yet it seems that the level of change that this teen is experiencing goes beyond the normal challenges of adjusting to a stepparent.

​RELATED: Dad Who Says The 'Hardest Part' Of Co-Parenting Is 'Coming Home To Silence' Gets Supportive Response


That said, she mentioned that she would try to talk to some of her teachers at school about her home life.

The teen girl came back to the Reddit thread to say “it's helpful to know that I'm not doing anything wrong here and that there probably isn't anything I can do to make things better except keep my head down and try to get by until I'm 18.”

Someone else offered her advice on how to survive the difficult situation, stating, “do not internalize the lie that anything less than perfect is worthless. Perfection is not an attainable concept, nor should it be.”

“We are messy and we’re always learning and growing, and that’s the point. You are absolutely fine as you are– less than flawless is normal,” the person explained.


The teen girl posted that “the advice provided here today is telling me I need to do more to make sure I am safe and can work towards my future and that's really helpful.”

While the internet is often not the most supportive place, it's heartening to see that when a young girl needed community support, she was able to receive it.

RELATED: Teen Wonders If He's Wrong For Refusing To Get A Job & Pay Rent To His Stepdad While Living With His Parents

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.