Hi everyone, My daughter is going through some changes that I've been concerned about for the past few months. I'm not sure what else to do so I'm asking for your input.
She clearly has what is called "Female Athlete Triad" (http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/sports/triad.html if it's ok to link). She's lost about 20 lbs in 5 months, from around 115lbs to 95lbs (mildly underweight, very little body fat, she's 5'5") which doesn't concern me as much as the fact that she hasn't had her period since last October (5 months ago) as I'm sure the 2 go hand-in-hand. We've had blood tests done to rule out any medical problems like anemia or leukemia...
A few months ago she started running about a mile every night. This is in addition to surfing 2-5 hours per day, every day. She refuses to take a day off from running, even after showing her that athletes take days off to prevent injury. She only agreed to rest 2 weeks when she injured her foot from running. She runs even when she's sick.
She does a long round of sit-ups every night. She weighs herself every night and she looks at her body in the mirror often. She's very happy with her appearance, but she seems to keep on trying to "improve". This worries me and I've told her this. I've shared the link above with her also, and she listened, but she didn't ease up.
She hasn't grown in at least 5 months. Actually she seems to have shrunk (she's an inch below the mark from 5mo ago) but I might have just measured wrong before (?). She wants to be tall so she can model...
A few months ago I shared with her that I used to have bulimia (I was a dancer) and all the detriment it did to my body...she said she thinks it's gross to throw-up...but I think I may have made a mistake by telling her. Perhaps it triggered something in her?
Since she started running every night, she has refused to eat fast food and junk food. This is actually a very good thing, I know, but she limits her intake of food in general. She eats enough to not be too concerned, but she has changed her portions (and what she eats, more fruit and less carbs) quite a bit and, since this all happened around the same time, it adds to my concern that she may be verging on an eating disorder and/or hurting her body. I know the loss of her period indicates lack of estrogen, but I also know that it is normal for a young teen to skip periods. She started her period early at 12yrs.
When I express my worries to her, she tells me not to worry and doesn't listen to my urgings to take a break and let her body heal. I'm out of ideas. I know it's not at the point of getting her psychological or medical help, but it may eventually come to that if she continues at this pace. Any ideas on how to help her? I don't want to make her feel controlled or overpowered. I've always taught her that she is in charge of her own body.