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wireweiners

Teen Girl Drama

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My daughter will be 13 in June. Lately she has been going on about being fat. Believe me she is anything but fat. She's not even chubby. But she's not a bean pole either like some of her friends. She's on the petite side (4'9-10") and weighs ~100#. She has been dancing since she was 6 and started running track this year so her legs, thighs and butt are very muscular. Since she has started developing bewbs she has a very curvy figure. She fills out a pair of jeans very nicely.

She's also been talking about eating healthy. She started fussing because I got her chips and snack cakes to take in her lunch and to eat at home. I've always bought stuff like that for her because she has never had a weight problem. But eating healthy is good so instead I bought grapes, oranges, bananas, baby carrots and fat free pudding snacks. But she's still talking about being fat and said she wanted to eat only salads. Now she still has a healthy appetite, eats a decent amount and doesn't binge. I've never been a clean your plate mom but I do insist she try a small amount of everything. We don't do fast food that often, maybe once a week on dance night. But I worry about eating disorders.

Any tips?

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It's great that she wants to eat healthy. Not so great that she is obsessing about her weight. I don't have a lot of advice, but the first thing that came to mind is can you take her to see a nutritionist? That way someone (who is not her mom because parents know nothing at that age) can show her how to eat a balanced diet that is more than salad so she can be happy and healthy.

Good Luck :)

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Oh MAN - I go thru this with my daughter too - she is 15 now.

The first thing I did was constantly reinforce that skinny does NOT equal healthy/attractive. What might be good for one girl is NOT good for the next. The doc backed me up that she is fine the way she is, but that it was never a bad idea to eat more healthfully and to exercise.

My kid is an athlete, so the exercise part is easy - she plays hours of basketball several times per week and does cross training as well. She is just shy of 5'10" and a freshman in high school. However ....

She FINALLY realized that if she dumped the junk food, she didn't have to worry about it at all! We also have honest talks where I tell her, if she ever gets to the point where she isn't burning the calories off the way she is now, she will have to modify her diet.

Lastly, I MAKE her realize that asserting that she is fat is ridiculous. She wears a small size (for her height) of clothes. She has beautiful muscles and lovely curves. She has BEWBS! She's a woman-in-training! I tell her there has to be something that makes us different from the guys, and it's our lusciousness!! :-)

I do all I can to reinforce how beautiful she is and how proud I am of her and how much I love her and I think feeling that acceptance helps these kids learn to accept themselves.

There was one time when she was closer to 13 she was a little chunky and she mentioned wanting to diet. I told her that if she wanted to diet, we would talk with the doc and do some research on the RIGHT way to do it and then I would help her. That seemed to satisfy her and she got off the subject anyway!

Oh em gee...I rambled. SORRY!!!1

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I suffered from an eating disorder starting a little younger than your daughter. Mine was never from being made fun of by friends but was sort of peer pressured induced (long story). Make sure you eat as many meals as you can with her. Don't let her take anything to her room to eat even if she's in a bad mood and says she wants to be alone. Support the eating healthy, but make sure she's getting the right amount of proteins, etc. If she wants to just eat salads then insist she put a protein on them (chicken breast, salmon, hard boiled egg). Make sure there aren't any diet pills, laxatives, and the like in the house. I'd also remove any weight scales. It's easy to become obsessive with checking weight. If she wants to start calorie counting make sure it's being done with you involved. Tell her you'd like to take her to the doctor to find out what the best calorie intake for her is. Then track them together. Make sure she's really eating what goes on the tracker.

It's good that she's taking an interest in healthy eating, but you're right to be concerned about eating disorders especially at her age. Keeping a cautious eye on her without letting her know you think something is up is very important. There's a fine line that can be crossed.

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She could have BDD Body Dismorphic Disorder, where she see's herself as being fat and scrutinizes herself harshly. Get her an appointment with her Dr, someone who can reinforce the fact that she's healthy, her weight is excellent and to give her a confidence boost. If that doesn't work I would suggest a counselor. I also say that I'm fat at times, I'm 5'4" and about 107lbs, but I have this what I call "spare bicycle tire" around my middle. It's from lack of exercise due to my problems with my foot and pain, but sometimes I just feel fat.

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Take pictures of her.. let her see herself. I also had an eating disorder and thought I was fat when actually I was very thin. Seeing myself in photos helped me realize how I looked.

edited to fix spelling.

Edited by trailhoss2

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