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

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#31 of 39 Old 01-13-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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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.

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#32 of 39 Old 01-13-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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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.
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#33 of 39 Old 01-14-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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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.
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#34 of 39 Old 01-14-2010, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that's a good plan but you absolutely need to cut the milk, imo.
I did, going back to soy for her.

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#35 of 39 Old 01-15-2010, 11:05 AM
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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......

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds17
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#36 of 39 Old 01-15-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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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.

: feminist mama to DD 04/08
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#37 of 39 Old 01-15-2010, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

student/sahm to three awesome girls who are always on the go!
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#38 of 39 Old 01-15-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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The way society makes young girls feel is a travesty.
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#39 of 39 Old 01-25-2010, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

student/sahm to three awesome girls who are always on the go!
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