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aibu to roll my eyes and not take seriously me 16yo dd's claim that she's not.going to eat anything for 10 days

(31 Posts)
carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:26:38

Dd had always eaten normally and would never turn down chocolate or cake, but today she looked sad and after asking her what was wrong for ages she finally came out repeatedly saying 'im so fat' on the verge of tears. She then went on to say how she wasn't going to eat anything for 5 days but then upped it to 10 after I just raised my.eyebrows, knowing she'd almost certainly eat if I offered her food she liked that moment. Of course I'm going to monitor to make sure she does eat but dh thinks Im not taking her claim seriously enough and that this is how teens get ed's in the first place.

cory Sun 09-Feb-14 19:28:38

She is unhappy about something. Concentrate on that, not on the silliness of her claim. Ignore the eating side and reassure her that you are there for her.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:29:17

This is my sisters mumsnet btw, her dd is also refusing to eat but under different circumstances, can't imagine their reasons are related and they don't really talk to each other, after having gotten into a fight but I'm at my sisters now.

CheesyBadger Sun 09-Feb-14 19:29:45

I think you need to take this more seriously. I dropped hints to my mum at the very early stages of my eating disorder and I honestly think if she had jumped on it, I wouldn't have gone so far. Eye rolling was awful, not taking me seriously was awful.

Please please recognise a cry for help. She may only be at the beginning but please talk to her

DamnBamboo Sun 09-Feb-14 19:30:16

Firstly, is she fat?
The advice you get needs to take this into account.
Not that not eating for 10 days is ever a good option or should ever be encouraged. but dealing with an overweight teen who is really fed up and says this, is very different to dealing with one who is a size 8 and says this.

CheesyBadger Sun 09-Feb-14 19:30:57

And by talking to her I don't necessarily mean about the eating - just in general, about confidence, about what she meant by being fat, where it is coming from

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:18

Defo not fat! She's a size 8 in tops but a 10 in trousers, sometimes an 8

CheesyBadger Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:47

Damn - that is a very very good point

specialsubject Sun 09-Feb-14 19:32:29

it is Sunday - but has she been brooding on some stupid bitchy comment from a nasty piece at school?

obviously actually doing this is a gross abuse of health, but sounds like she's trying to tell you something.

WorraLiberty Sun 09-Feb-14 19:33:09

If she's not fat, then perhaps she needs to tone up?

Either way, something is bothering her. So while I don't blame you for not taking her claim seriously (glad your'e going to monitor it), she might need help with exercise etc?

DamnBamboo Sun 09-Feb-14 19:33:40

Ok, well then you wouldn't even necessarily help her diet then would you, whereas if she were a size 16 you might.

Have you sat down and asked her why she thinks she's fat? What has precipitated it. I had bad eating habits as a teen but my mum was and still is anorexic and so it was largely ignored (although never encouraged). I would say that something deeper is going on here and a little gentle digging is required.

shadylane Sun 09-Feb-14 19:34:01

Don't raise you're eyes. Reassure her. If she is fat, talk about practical solutions. Of course EDs don't usually start cos you take them seriously.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:34:40

Special I asked her about that but she said that's not the reason,it's a small close knit school and if anyone says a bitchy thing they are most likely to be ostracised than their victim! She said she's just always felt really fit but especially today for some reason.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:36:26

Fat *

TeeBee Sun 09-Feb-14 19:36:32

I would worry then what she thinks is a normal body. Is she reading too many magazines? Watching too much Disney?

I would say to her that starving herself would make her body go into starvation mode and start storing fat. I would then advise her on eating healthily and take her to a doctor or nutritional it's to get her some advice on what constitutes a healthy diet and lifestyle. Can she take over the shopping and cooking for the week so she can influence the content of the meals off the week. And raking advice on healthy eating, specify the food groups and amounts that need to be present but other than that it's under her control.

DamnBamboo Sun 09-Feb-14 19:38:36

So some gentle probing questions here would be useful.
If she thinks she's fat - find out who she thinks isn't and who she'd like to look like.
Has she lost control in some other aspect of her life? Very easy to regain control, simply by modifying what you eat.
Is she particularly stressed, or unhappy with anybody?

Joysmum Sun 09-Feb-14 19:39:05

I think you need to talk about how she sees herself. I may be very wrong but I don't think feeling fat is the unissued, there are many people who are bigger but don't feel unhappy. This could be more about, control, self esteem and her place in the world. Far more serious than dieting or not eating.

JessePinkmanIsMine Sun 09-Feb-14 19:40:21

Does she have internet access? Tumblr is full of "fitblrs" atm. I've been browsing to get some ideas and a lot of the ones I've stumbled across are 15/16 year olds trying to emulate the older teenagers and women on there. Lots of before and after pictures with "skinny fat" compared to more athletic bodies. Could she maybe have looked at this and want to be more like the athletic bodies?

JessePinkmanIsMine Sun 09-Feb-14 19:40:55

Oh and I mean the before afters compare the girl at the same weight but before she is "skinny fat" and after at the same weight but muscular.

cory Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:28

Repeating what I said on your other thread: explain to her that it is not unusual to feel like that in your teens, that it's to do with hormones and generally not having got used to the changes, but that it isn't a true reflection of what her body is really like and that it's dangerous to give way to any OTT reaction about eating.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:44

In regards to Disney and magazines, she feels too old to watch Disney and isn't interested in magazines, she's very intelligent and not usually bothered by the usual teen silly issues, views them a superficial, so I don't know where this is coming from. She does have some skinny friends and one in particular who although is heavier than her, she doesn't ever eat breakfast or lunch and is very fussy. Except that friend has been like that for years so why would she only start to be affected by it now?

augenblick Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:52

I would recommend apologising to her for not taking it seriously, and just being absolutely honest:

'I am sorry I didn't properly listen to what you were saying before, you must feel really upset and frustrated'

If she responds listen to what she tells you, and try to repeat back what you have heard, do not try to magically fix the issues. Let her get as much out as she wants to.

If she says whatevs, and leaves the conversation find some way of talking to her (via note or text) and say that you love her, that next time you just want to hear her out. She's trying to have some line of communication with you, and however melodramatic teenage reactions feel they are still real while you are experiencing them. Take her seriously and make a safe space for her to talk. This may not be with you, do you have any trusted family friends you could conveniently arrange to be around and spend time with?

I am sister to ED 30 yr old. My mum has never taken her condition seriously. This doesn't mean your daughter has one, but she might just need to be heard.

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:44:48

Cory I didnt write the other one, my sister did about her dd but I'll go and look at your response to her

carpieharp Sun 09-Feb-14 19:49:25

I'm just worried about making her claim a big deal in case she then feels.pressured to actually go through with it just to prove she wasn't bluffing.

MaryWestmacott Sun 09-Feb-14 19:50:26

how old is she and how tall? It is perfectly possible to feel fat at a size 10 if you're short and if you are surrounded by very thin girls whereas you curve. A size 10 if you are surrounded by size 4or 6s will look big, sadly.

I wouldn't dismiss her comments or roll your eyes, you are risking she'll try starving herself to prove you wrong that you don't believe she can do it. She probably can't do 10 days, but she could do 2 or 3 and if she does that regularly she'll bugger up her body, and possibly end up fat (as her body will start 'stockpiling' calories if it's not sure when the next famine is coming).

Sit her down again, say you are sorry for not listening properly earlier, what is she unhappy with specifically, is there particular areas or over all a problem. Explain about the faminine/feast problem (that when she goes back to eating normally after starving herself her body will hold on to fat more), so that just stopping eating isn't a good plan, if she's like to eat healthier, you can proved more fruit and veg, if she wants to tone up, you'll look at exercising together or help her if she wants to do more.

Give her the tools to ensure she can healthily approach maintaining her weight, don't let it be that she only knows "eat everything or eat nothing". That way leads a lifetime of struggling with her body.

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