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My daughter thinks she is fat/not eating update post 39 - Page 2

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post
And, I don't want it to seem like I am looking for things that aren't there. She was sobbing because she thought she was fat. I just want to be able to deal with whatever comes my way on this parenting journey. I understand bloating can make your stomach swell and feel uncomfortable. I do not want her to think being overweight is bad or something to hate yourself over. I do appreciate the dialogue here, especially about food sensitivities or gastro-intestinal issues. At the moment it was not where my mind went, I reacted emotionally seeing my child having a moment. I welcome more comments, hints, and suggestions
:

I think we've pretty much all been there--maybe not yet as parents, but as women. And I know that for me, bloating can be the worst of all. I don't think of myself as fat--though I'm certainly not thin--but bloating pushes all kinds of buttons.

I don't know if I'm making sense, and Big Girl needs some help with pjs and bed....
post #22 of 39
It's also very common for kids to get chubby right before a growth spurt, putting on a bit of weight and then gaining the height to go with it (another common pattern is to sprout up an inch and become super skinny and THEN put on more weight.) If she's gearing up for a growth spurt, she might be temporarily chubbier than normal.

I was also going to say that the GI problems from milk might not be immediate, and she may not recognize them for what they are. There are plenty of alternative "milks" out there, that aren't nutritionally equivilent to cow's milk but fill the social need to "drink milk at milk time". If it's only the one cup a day, I wouldn't worry too much about the nutritional quality of the milk substitute (such as rice milk, which is well tolerated but nutritionally more like juice than milk.)
post #23 of 39
I haven't read all of the replies, so sorry if someone already mentioned this. But maybe (if she isn't already) you can involve her with preparing meals, dinner and such. Look for recipes she may like to try and make them with her. Just a thought, I hope this get's resolved.
post #24 of 39
Honestly, given her sobbing and her age (added with the fact that she is on the thinner side of average) I would consider talking to her pediatrician (without her there) to see if she/he considers it "normal." Then look into a pediatric psychiatrist/therapist. Eight just seems really young to me to be that concerned about body weight absent a major problem.

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
Actually the best thing for the OP to do is to gently seek age appropriate targeted professional help for both her and her DD.

Obviously modeling isn't working right now, and that's OK. Parents don't always have all the answers. But there are people who help children work through these things every day who have alot of tools and skills.
I agree 100%. This can easily spiral OUT OF CONTROL in a split second. I would consult your pedi as soon as possible and from then on you can go down the list to eliminating or confirming any of the causes that pps have mentioned. If it is in fact the beginnings of an eating disorder- you need to get a hold of it quickly. Does she have any compulsive behaviors other than the eating thing?
post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 
I am going to be watching her eating behaviors closely but not making a huge deal out of it. If I see an alarming pattern then I will definitely be seeing our family doctor and getting psychology referrals if/when needed. Thank you all for your wisdom
post #27 of 39
you know something - this isnt anything about eating or food.

its all in her head. and really the thing to do is try and figure out her fat thing. i know because i have had to do it with my then 5 year old because her dad and gpa were calling her fat. i showed her yes how she grows sideways in summer - looks chubby and then shoots up after summer and no longer looks square but round.

so you should find out where this whole fat thing is coming from. why is she calling herself fat. what's wrong with being fat?

ex was a chubby boy till his teens. dd is going his way. i show her pictures of her dad who looks as round as she is - and yes she is round. she is 4' 2" and over 70 lbs at 7.

anyways i was able to speak her language and explain teh whole fat thing. and then sit with her and ask her if she IS indeed fat. it took time but she stopped fighting over food after that.

dd has anxiety and she always get stomach aches. sometimes the only way i know she is feeling stress is if she has a stomach ache.
post #28 of 39
Sorry - this is long. I don't usually visit this section (yet) but your post caught my eye. My DSD is 11, I met her at 7/8 and she was exactly this way about her body image, and honestly this still crops up occasionally. At first I was concerned because I did not know about the growth spurts, and honestly we knew she didn't eat great at home or get nearly enough activity.

As we do not have custody and could not do some things, we did these:

1. Tried to get her active without exercising. Walks were common. She loves time with me, so I would "let" her LOL come for an early morning walk with me - but only if she kept up. Of course I had to walk slower then I normally would, however, it was not a leisurely pace. Her dad would walk with her to rent a movie and get an italian ice (we live in a big city). We got her a hula hoop. We gave her martial arts lessons (because she was interested). Now she is in swimming class at the park district and her school recently started yoga twice a week. Anything that helps her see herself in a strong, positive, 'look what I can do' light is good.

2. Whenever she would bring up eating (I am a Lifetime WW member, so the books are here) we would make sure to be clear that no food was off limits and moderation was the key. If you want a huge bowl of spaghetti - well, lets take a walk after dinner because *you will feel better* and it will help you digest. We also stressed that treats were best balanced with activity.

3. We explained the growth spurt thing (several times in fact). She also has an older cousin who was able to reinforce this (and the activity).

4. She loves helping her dad prepare meals, and I often get her input when I'm meal planning. She can have any fresh veggie or fruit almost any time she wants, though she does ask first.

I hate to say it, and I know this wasn't the best tactic, but sometimes you don't make the best decisions. When we had heard "I'm fat" way too often for a child that wasn't even close, DP showed her exactly what "fat" was. I don't know if that will come back to bite us one day, and it sure wasn't a nice way to deal, and I apologize if that offended anyone.

She also already had issues with "beauty". Even though I'm hoping for a girl myself this summer, these issues are just so much worse, and so much earlier then they were when I was growing up. Oh, I also have to say, I feel the girls mag "Discovery Girls" is really good for her. There's another called New Moon, I think, that was a little too ... crunchy? natural? for her, but seemed another good choice.

Last - another vote for bloating. Lactose intolerance can have immediate results or may take hours. It wouldn't be bad to rule it out by substituting that milk for a couple weeks as was suggested.

I hope some of this is helpful, and good luck!!
post #29 of 39
Make her aware of the ill effects & consequenses of not eating right. If that doesn't help seek experts' advice.
post #30 of 39
Is it possible she is getting heavily bullied when she goes to school?

You said she frequently cries before going to school. That along with the stomach aches and the concerns about her weight (maybe other kids are calling her fat) would make me wonder. I was picked on horribly when I was 8-13 years old. I had a lot of anxiety, stomach aches and huge concerns over my appearance. When I tried talking to my parents about it, they minimized it and told me just to "ignore" the bulliers. Of course that never helped. It really wreaked havoc with my self esteem and ability to cope with life.

When I got older and my situation changed (went to a different school—one that had a very healthy variety of kids), all my physical "disorders" went away. Well, I'm still an anxious person, but I haven't had a stomach ache in years. If I ever saw signs of my DD getting picked on and it was confirmed, I would go as far as to remove her from the school—either to put her in a different school or home school her. Of course these would be last resorts, but I do take bullying very seriously.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post
I am going to be watching her eating behaviors closely but not making a huge deal out of it. If I see an alarming pattern then I will definitely be seeing our family doctor and getting psychology referrals if/when needed. Thank you all for your wisdom
I think that's a good plan but you absolutely need to cut the milk, imo.
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by water View Post
I have a fat mom, who got bigger and smaller over the years, and I am of average weight and have no body image issues at all. I've been thinking about this issue as my in-laws and dh have huge body image issues and trying to figure out what my mom did right.

I've come up with this: I have never ever known how much my mom weighs, or if she's on a diet or not or if she feels fat or not. Weight was never even mentioned in my house ever. We owned a scale, but I think it usually lived in the back of the closet as far as I can remember. Looking back, I was a pretty chubby kid for a while pre-adolescence, but again, it was just a non-issue.

So I think your attitude toward your own body makes a huge difference in how your kids see themselves. After my second kid when I was trying to lose weight and feeling crappy it was really hard for me not to talk about it all the time (I love to talk! and talk...) but I tried my best just to never even mention it. I was trying to lose weight, and thinking about it constantly, but really had to make a conscious decision not to say anything out loud.

Also, when complimenting my DD, I make a point of noting how strong she is, how far she can run, how hard she is trying when she bikes or swims or skates, but I rarely ever comment on her appearance. She is only 5 though, so the jury is still out...
This is the absolute best advice I've read concerning this subject. Your mom is a wise woman!! I too am an overweight mom and I practiced what this poster's mom did for years. I never so much as mentioned my weight, fat, diets or anything related to weight or body size to my kids, ever!!! I also never talked about how much one should or shouldn't eat. My kids had no issues whatsoever with food or body image. But sadly that all changed. And I remember the day it changed and why it changed. That's how dramatic it was. I started noticing that they were putting on some weight and I became concerned because obesity runs in my family and I definitely don't want that for them. So I consulted a nutritionist to see if they were eating too much and she said they were. (They were not overweight at all, but eating too much according to her). So following her advice I began limiting their portions sizes which leads to all kinds of conversations about why they can or cannot have more of this or that kind of food. Almost overnight these kids who had no issues whatsoever with food became obsessed with food. All of my friends comment about how "food focused" my kids are. And worse, they have become "body size conscious" as well. It's so discouraging and I could kick myself for ruining their view of food and their bodies. Sorry if this doesn't help much now. But I do believe that making food and body size as much of a non issue as possible can really help the situation. That's what I am trying to do and it seems to be helping bit i don't know if I can ever reverse what's been done.

As for her tummy aches it definitely could be anxiety and dairy is also a possibility. I am lactose intolerant and most of the times the symptoms do not occur for several hours for me. Also, lactose intolerance can actually come and go. One day you do fine with dairy, the next day it gives you a killer stomach ache. Weird but true.

Gluten is another possibility. I don't know much about gluten intolerance but if you find that it's not dairy or anxiety, gluten would probably be the next thing to look into.

Good luck.
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post
I asked her about the milk bothering her and she said it doesn't.

And, I don't want it to seem like I am looking for things that aren't there. She was sobbing because she thought she was fat. I just want to be able to deal with whatever comes my way on this parenting journey. I understand bloating can make your stomach swell and feel uncomfortable. I do not want her to think being overweight is bad or something to hate yourself over. I do appreciate the dialogue here, especially about food sensitivities or gastro-intestinal issues. At the moment it was not where my mind went, I reacted emotionally seeing my child having a moment. I welcome more comments, hints, and suggestions
First, let me start by saying that you have a beautiful little girl there. And not just in an "all kids are beautiful" way, but really a pretty little girl. And, certainly not overweight. You have said that you are overweight yourself but are modelling a healthy lifestyle for her and I think that is just wonderful. I grew up overweight and have recently gone through a total body transformation and I am super passionate about nutrition especially for children. I have to say though, that there is some importance as seeing being overweight as a "bad" thing. Because, it is so unhealthy and can become extreme once you head down that path. I think it's important for children to learn the value in maintaining a healthy weight, and a healthy lifestyle. It seems she is concerned about others around her being overweight (you mentioned her friend) and maybe since she sees you eating healthy and exercising as well, she may be confused about why someone might become overweight in the first place. She seems to think that it's as simple as eating=fat. Which of course, isn't true. If I were you, I would maybe get her a book about nutrition, and read it together, so that she can learn that it is important to feed her body regularly with balanced healthy meals, and that NOT eating can in the end lead to major weight gain. It seems so far that you are doing everything right, and I know that is a challenge in itself, but you don't want this to become a major issue in her life. If she has the knowledge of what it means to be healthy and why balanced meals are important, she won't want to skip meals. I hope that this helps a little, and good luck.
post #34 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
I think that's a good plan but you absolutely need to cut the milk, imo.
I did, going back to soy for her.
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post
I am going to be watching her eating behaviors closely but not making a huge deal out of it. If I see an alarming pattern then I will definitely be seeing our family doctor and getting psychology referrals if/when needed. Thank you all for your wisdom
I would take her now.

My son had some body image questions around 10. My ds12 is a vegetarian so I took him to a nutritionist several years ago to make sure he was getting the nutrition he needed (the rest of the family does eat meat).

The nutritionist told me that 8 - 10 is a very critical time for kids and body image. Turns out, my husband and I started the South Beach program and both of us lost weight and started exercising. She said this time period where his body image was developing coincided with a time where his father (same sex parent) was losing weight. Basically it had a larger impact on ds because of the age etc.....

Another point, my ds is very anxious. Before tests, exams, medical procedures - his stomach will 'hurt'. He can't describe it other than to say that it hurts. A lot of times his stomach will bother him 10 minutes or so after he starts eating. He takes a previcid occassionally and that seems to work. Sounds like our kids are sensitive......
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post
And, I think I'm going to show her the BMI calculator. It may be an outside resource that she may accept more then just what I say.

please please please do not show her the BMI calculator. if she has even a little bit of disordered thinking in terms of food this is just another thing to have to measur eup against. foster a healthy body image no matter what her size. that size and and weight and where we are on a BMI is not what will make us happy, healthy whole human beings.

i say this as someone who suffered for 15 years with a severe eating disorder.

I would also not let it get blown out of proportion, perhaps other children at school have complained about that, perhaps she is just following suit. maybe not so i agree with keeping an eye on it. there is A LOT of media out there telling us how fat we are, how to lose weight, how to look, how we should want to look etc. so she could be pulling these words from that and putting them to a number of feelings that are uncomfortable. if that makes sense.

i think eating disorders can gain clout when given too much esp in the very beginning, so instead of focusing on where she is in terms of weight and food to just monitor it, treat it like a non issue (outload) and try to like i said before emphasize the other things in life that contribute to who we are what makes us happy. ( not that you do not already of course.. im just saying if she is unhappy to focus on other things that do make her happy and you and whoever else)

hope that all made sense.
post #37 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xshy View Post
please please please do not show her the BMI calculator. if she has even a little bit of disordered thinking in terms of food this is just another thing to have to measur eup against. foster a healthy body image no matter what her size. that size and and weight and where we are on a BMI is not what will make us happy, healthy whole human beings.

i say this as someone who suffered for 15 years with a severe eating disorder.

I would also not let it get blown out of proportion, perhaps other children at school have complained about that, perhaps she is just following suit. maybe not so i agree with keeping an eye on it. there is A LOT of media out there telling us how fat we are, how to lose weight, how to look, how we should want to look etc. so she could be pulling these words from that and putting them to a number of feelings that are uncomfortable. if that makes sense.

i think eating disorders can gain clout when given too much esp in the very beginning, so instead of focusing on where she is in terms of weight and food to just monitor it, treat it like a non issue (outload) and try to like i said before emphasize the other things in life that contribute to who we are what makes us happy. ( not that you do not already of course.. im just saying if she is unhappy to focus on other things that do make her happy and you and whoever else)

hope that all made sense.
I haven't show her but we have a Wii Fit that she likes to play which does show her that she is at a health weight. I honestly think some of it is coming from school. Like I said her good friend is overweight and I guess her mom has her on a diet-she eats salad at school everyday. I think some is bloating from dairy. I talked to her about dairy/milk intake and she has stopped drinking milk-yesterday she took her lunch with juice and did not complain of a stomachache in the evening. I also adjusted our dinner time. Before it was late, now making dinner earlier so they are not going to bed right after eating.

I also have not said a word about her feeling fat, or stressing her to eat. I just quietly pay attn to what she is eating.
post #38 of 39
The way society makes young girls feel is a travesty.
post #39 of 39
Thread Starter 
Update: she has been milk free for over a week and no more bloating or complaining of stomach pains. She has also been eating a bit more. Thank you to all who offered me advice, I appreciate it!
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