Worried about daughter(4 Posts)
Sorry this is long but trying to give a full picture from the onset.
A bit of history which may or may not be relevant - I have always had issues with food myself from a young child I could not eat in front of others including my family and would vomit at birthday parties as guests started arriving due to the stress of anticipated food. From age 15 - 19 I was anorexic, which re-emerged in my mid 20s followed by very strict restrictions I placed on my food intake through my 30s. Following the birth of my last child 10yrs ago and a major life trauma I have struggled with my food intake between barely eating and over eating to the point that I am now overweight at 12 1/2 stone. I have always kept my pre children relationship with food a secret from my children and I desperately want them to have a normal and healthy relationship with food.
My daughter is now 21yrs old and I am worried. She has always been slender (was 2lb 3oz when born) so I never expect her to be ‘big’. However she is now in her final year at uni, working hard, online for a first and winning lots of accolades. She is looking painfully thin. She exercises for at least 2 hours every single day and follows what she terms “clean eating”. I have tried talking to her and she has had some sort of body measuring thing at the gym which she shared with me that her weight is 7stone 5 (she is 5ft 7) and her body fat is 6%. She was wearing size 4-6 clothes but now even they are too big for her. I can see every bone in her body when she is in her underwear. She refuses to see that she is even thin,never mind too thin and says there are plenty people thinner than her.
I’m really worried. We have a great relationship but if I ever raise the topic of her weight (mainly when she’s complaining she can’t get clothes to fit or has no boobs) she just sighs and switches off. Am I reading too much into this because of my history or am I even making it worse by being overweight myself? Can anyone offer any advice or help? At 21 I cant even insist she goes to the doctor as I would with a younger child. I don’t know what to do for the best or even if I’m over reacting.
I don't think you're over-reacting. It is quite common for restrictive anorexics to over exercise compulsively, but I'm surprised it hasn't been picked up by the personal trainer that measured her at the gym. What did they recommend in terms of food intake and working out?
If you can't get her to the GP, I don't know what is your next step. She seems to have a very high functioning level.
You arent over reacting OP your daughter is clearly anorexic.
Her bmi is around 16 which is very low and this alone would qualify her for treatment .
Can you say this to her? Offer to go with her to see her GP?
Tell her you are worried about her.... SOme useful info for family members on the Beat website, also ABC care is another good resource online.
Sorry to repeat what has already been said but you are right to be concerned. It sounds very much like she has an eating disorder. My daughter also exercised obsessively to lose weight, although she claimed it was because she wanted to be fit and healthy. As well as the BEAT website, I have found the forum on the FEAST website very helpful:
They may have some advice on how to get her to access help. My daughter was young enough for me to take charge, so I don't have any particular tips for someone older, sorry. I recommend that you post a question on the forum rather than read through all of it because otherwise it can feel overwhelming to read some of the stories on there. The parents who post on the site are hugely supportive though, so you will get sensible advice. Good luck.
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