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Daughter fed up being thin

6 replies

WhyMeWhyNot · 21/01/2011 12:13

She's nearly 20 suffers with lupus-like illness and is on 5mg steroid daily.Diagnosed 14 months ago. That in itself should make her weigh more.

She's 5 foot 6 and weighs 8 stone 2. Sound ideal to most people but she cries.

Girls at uni refer to her as skinny ribs, something politically incorrect calling a large person fatty, but no holds barred when you're slim.
She can't sit in the bath anymore she has no fat to cushion her. Sitting anywhere becoming a problem unless it's padded.
Don't feel I dealt very well with the tears last night. Tried to get her to see the positive, better to be teased for being slim than too large, or spotty, or short-sighted. Said the girls were jealous and it was a backhanded compliment. Said anything to raise a giggle but I didn't.

Apologised for being her mum and giving her slim genes said would she rather I was plump, that didn't raise a smile.
She's often said she wants my boobs which will come when she's my age along with a comfy waistline etc but she's mentioning boob jobs.

Every hospital appointment the weight is dropping, she's lost over a stone in this year despite giving up gymnastics,but as she's still in the ideal weight category of bmi they don't seem to be worrying.

She has regular blood tests for her illness but nothing red-flagging apart from her esr and crp levels which is expected with the lupus.

No idea what to say to get the smile back.
She's assured me uni course is brilliant boyfriend supportive, can't think what else could be causing her to be so fed up.
So today I feel low that I couldn't say anything right when needed.

Rant over, thanks for reading!

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TracyK · 21/01/2011 12:21

My hairdresser (who is now 40 and lovely figure) told me she used to wear 2 pairs of trousers to try and fatten up her legs! She spent her youth cringing about overly skinny legs.
I don't think there is anything you can say to comfort your dd - she will always thin she is too skinny. Just like I thought I was too fat (at 10stone and 5.11!) It;s only in hindsight as we get older that we realise we were worried about nothing!
Are her periods regular? Is her skin healthy? If she cuts herself - does it heal quickly?
Thats the kind of thing I would be worried about - in conjunction with low weight - but if she's ok - then she needs to get to a good gym and get good advice on how to 'bulk up'. They would be able to give her nutritional ideas.
Has she tried weights?

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prettymaryk · 21/01/2011 12:35

have you raised concerns with the hospital about her weight loss? at 8.2 i think she's fallen into underweight, so perhaps that will trigger some action/attention from then.

does she live at home? do you prepare her meals/know what she eats? i'm wondering whether she eats well and the thinness is a natural/metabolic thing, or whether she's on a restricted diet, either consciously or because she has little appetite/lack of taste? does she have low mood surrounding anything else or just the weight/teasing?

although there are possible ways to address the weight issue, it's ultimately about self esteem - ideally she should be able to brush off comments about her appearance because she genuinely believes herself to be worth more than that. that her personality, intelligence, kindness, sporting talent etc. count for more than a few offhand comments. has she suffered teasing/bullying in the past?

lots of questions i know, just trying to sound out a bit more of the background. it's horrible to see your kids upset and not being able to take that hurt away.

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WhyMeWhyNot · 21/01/2011 12:48

Thanks for your replies.

She has few periods but that is probably due to the contraceptive pill she's on..it's actually why she chose to go on it.
Her skin is healthy, if she cuts herself she bleeds a lot but thats the steroid in her. She takes an iron supplement too.
She does live at home so eats with me most evenings, rarely has breakfast but does have lunch with her mates. Doesn't snack much.

The self esteem seems to have suddenly dropped, she always gave as good as she got with witty retorts but doesn't seem to have it in her anymore.
Not aware of any teasing/bullying in the past in fact she's very anti bullying and would go out of her way to help anyone in trouble so want to feel she'd have told me. I have asked her outright about this and she's denied it.

The gym is a brill suggestion I think I'll give her some membership for her birthday.
Need to do something positive for her if only to make myself feel more useful!

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prettymaryk · 21/01/2011 13:02

i think to be fair it's pretty hard to "bulk up" doing weights etc., and the exercise would need be accompanied by a specialised high-protein diet (e.g. protein shakes) to have much impact.

from what you cay it doesn't sound as though it's an underlying psychological issue that needs addressing, so really she just needs to eat more :)

presuming she eats reasonable portions for her evening meal is there a way that you could add good fats e.g. olive oil to meals? oily fish is good for calories too. or start making a pudding every night? it can be hard to eat large portions of a single foodstuff but more variety helps you eat more.

i find it impossible to eat first thing - and have had eating/appetite problems myself recently - but maybe she could manage a smoothie or shake for breakfast? can you convince her to carry around something like a dried fruit/nut mix to snack on occasionally? maybe it would be helpful to focus on health, nutrition and improved energy rather than weight gain?

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TracyK · 21/01/2011 15:25

Thats what I meant by going to a gym for nutritional advice. ie what are healthy, weight gaining foods. Which is the best combination to eat them in etc. Also - I don't see any problem with her taking protein shakes to go along with weight bearing exercises. Even if she could find a sport she really enjoyed - would raise her spirits. What about self defence classes for confidence - or Body Pump - or even just the gym for that 'feel good' factor - or meeting with like minded people.
Do you think she just doesn't 'enjoy' food as such? Does she maybe have a favourite food that she could eat more of?
I know a few girls who have really high metabolic rates and are very skinny (mainly runners)- I guess they would have trouble putting weight on too.

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frogmella666 · 21/01/2011 15:45

i have lupus and it can affect your weight. i am in my 30's now and for the past 15 yrs i have been in evey dress size from 8 to 18 and back down to a 14.
it can also have an effect on how you feel about yourself so it might be worth her having a word with her dr/specialist.
as for the name calling are they jealous?
apart from that so long as your daughter eats a well balanced and nutritous diet and looks after herself to hell with what other people think or say.

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