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Body Image/Dieting and beyond

(17 Posts)
myrtleWilson Sun 12-Mar-17 00:17:56

Does anyone have any good teenage focused blogs or material around body image, dieting etc. Am hopeful/sure its just a phase but DD (14) has been talking about how fat she is, she needs to stop eating to become thin and by being thin she'll be more confident etc.

I've spoken to her about challenging the voice in her head, focusing on the amazing things her body can do, difference between healthy eating and dieting etc but I do wonder whether it has no/little resonance as I'm her mother and therefore "bound" to say these things - I did think an authentic (but sensible) peer voice may get through to her more than mine... I've started googling and gone to obvious like vloggers but would welcome more informed suggestions...!

myrtleWilson Sun 12-Mar-17 11:05:43


Hamiltoes Sun 12-Mar-17 11:14:09

Are you worried about an eating disorder with her?

What you've said in your post that she is saying (worried about being fat, needing to eat less, more confident if thin etc) seems to me a sensible thing to do.

If she is saying things that would make you suspect an eating disorder i.e vomiting after meals etc then I'd be worried. But just not wanting to be fat is a good attitude to have. Ime we are so wary of eating disorders that we can tend to go a bit too far the other way and see wanting to be thin as strange, when in fact it is (or should be) a completely normal attitude.

Apologies if you think shes gone a bit further than that, it's just not totally clear from your first post.

myrtleWilson Sun 12-Mar-17 12:04:25

Hi, thank you for your reply. I suppose I worry about getting the balance right - yes I agree it is right to think about being healthy, but I don't think a teenage girl should be saying that she should starve herself to get to that place.

No, I don't think she has an ED but I want to help her get this into perspective (her google searches include lots of calorie counting stuff) and I suppose I was looking for any useful peer blogs or website etc so it was a different voice giving the positive body image message not just me...

ScrapThatThen Sun 12-Mar-17 12:33:51

Have a look at Body Gossip/Natasha Devon and see if there is anything helpful to you, or if that takes you to any useful links.

myrtleWilson Tue 14-Mar-17 18:52:26

Apologies for radio silence - was away from home/little access to wifi... Thank for the suggestions - I will have a look.

t875 Wed 15-Mar-17 08:58:57

Check her computer and make sure she isn't looking at any pro anorexia websites. I'm sure she's not. But best check.
It's difficult as we want to give them that independence for their bodies and what they do. I would ask her though if she wants to be skinny and how much weight she wants to lose and how it's making her feel deeply with the confidence issue.
Is she trying to skip meals?
Is she hiding food op? X

myrtleWilson Thu 16-Mar-17 11:01:34

hi, I do check her web browsing and there are searches for how many calories in x but only a small % of her browsing history and nothing too alarming. She will say she's not hungry and skip meals but again not too frequently. I think its just me trying to make sure it doesn't become bigger than this.... thank you for your reply

halcyondays Thu 16-Mar-17 11:38:07

I think you're right to be concerned and keep an eye on her. I'm assuming she isn't overweight but thinks she is?

t875 Fri 17-Mar-17 08:25:09

I would definitely keep an eye on her.
Make sure she's eating her 3 square meals and check down sides of bed in her room for any food she might be hiding.
It does sound like not too much to worry about. But I would keep an eye incase.
All the best moving forward x

Florida41 Fri 17-Mar-17 11:44:34

Get her to help you in planning and cooking some healthy meals with lots of fruit and veg and lean meat .

myrtleWilson Sat 18-Mar-17 22:56:44

thank you all so much. She's spoken about it a bit more - she's acknowledged she's been avoiding eating and has admitted to trying (and failing) once to make herself sick. We've spoken about how this isn't a "commonplace" response (am trying to avoid saying not normal in case that is the wrong message) and that we do need to work together on this but ultimately we may need to seek help. She is so lovely and I wish I could magic wand this away for her

t875 Mon 20-Mar-17 22:41:05

Oh that's good she has opened up to you and is not denying or hiding from you.
Good luck with moving forward with her. Hopefully nothing to worry about. X

myrtleWilson Sun 16-Apr-17 21:55:35

sorry to resurrect this but still an issue at home. She is still making (or trying to) herself sick. She seems to be very emotional and talks about panic attacks. But in lots of ways my biggest worry is that she is receding into her bedroom all the time (I don't think this is about having private space to be sick) - and talking about not feeling happy/more anxious in the house. Have tried to suggest a technique about when she feels like she wants to make herself sick which is to set her alarm for 60 seconds and see if she still feels the same or whether its reduced a little bit. Am thinking about suggesting limits on how much time in her room she's allowed - i.e alone for an hour, then with family for x amount of time, or alone for an hour but reduced access to laptop/phone (only because I think if she has those then it reinforces her feeling that everything she needs is in her room) but I'm conscious of not verging into punishment mode. I read on an eating disorder website of animal analogies for the parent/carer (bull=angry, shouty, jellyfish=look at how this is affecting me, dolphin=nudging encouragement) and am trying to be the dolphin.... I've emailed some private counsellors and waiting to hear back from them. But mainly I feel bewildered, guilty, so very sad and angry. I know there are various agencies out there but if anyone has any views as to a "good" one to approach that would be much appreciated...

lbab1702 Mon 17-Apr-17 23:54:41

Sorry to hear this. I've been through the same with my DD and unfortunately am still in the midst of it a year on. The main thing is keep communication open. Imposing time allowed in her bedroom etc will not help and possibly make things worse. See your GP and get a referral to CAHMS. My DD started in the same way. She couldn't make herself sick so started to stop eating ( without my knowledge as she'd eat an evening meal when I got home from work). It got a lot worse though and she eventually became anorexic and lost too much weight. With the help of Cahms she started eating again, but went the other way and now binge eats. She's regained her weight plus some but Cahms have stopped helping as they see her as having a healthy weight. She hates her size, hates herself, can't stop eating and is isolating herself. Eating disorders are very very hard to bear, as we're finding out, and the help available seems to be geared for anorexia only. Look after yourself too. I've ended up having a mental breakdown and have had to seek help for myself (single parent and no family support). I do believe we'll get through this, and I'm sure will too.

myrtleWilson Tue 18-Apr-17 22:11:19

@lbab1702 - thanks so much for your post and so sorry to hear what you and your daughter have gone through. I wish you both all the love and strength to get through it. I think we've got a counselling session sorted for this week and will see how that goes/what impact it has (if any)
Am interested in what you said about the bedroom - my thinking was that I don't think its a healthy place for her to be insofor as spending all her time at home in her room - am very happy for her to be in her room but to balance that out by using the rest of the house too. I worry that in her head her room is her "safe place" which I completely get but I guess I want her to fee the whole house is her "safe place" and if she retreats to her room now, where will she retreat to in the future... so I saw it as trying to open up safe spaces (although I do know this isn't an easy approach). thank you again

lbab1702 Tue 18-Apr-17 22:26:06

Hello again. I understand what you say about the bedroom thing, but I found that I had to leave my DD to make the choice of how and were she spent her time in the house as her choice. I think some of her problems around food are about having some control over her life, and me imposing rules on screen time, time in her room etc just created more things she had no control over. I do think she spends too much time on the internet and isolated in her room, but leaving her to choose means she does now spend evenings with me watching a film and having cuddles which is better then how things were a year ago and by letting her make the choice, gives her control of how she spends her evening. It's not made any difference to her food problems but we both feel closer than we did a year ago. Sorry not to be more help. Please do let me know how the counselling goes.

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