As hard as it may be for you, the best thing you can do is not push too hard about her eating. The more you push the harder she will push back and then she might end up with full blown anorexia. Parents always want the absolute best for their children (and there is nothing wrong with that), but sometimes the best thing to do is the absolute hardest thing you'll ever have to do and it might feel really wrong. It's a hard road to travel. Good supportive family and lots of choices really will help. It may take some time though.
We're trying to figure out what's stressing her. She's always been a perfectionist. Not really sure where that comes from because that's not something we (her father and I) have ever pushed. She's just been driven from day one.
The doctors have said it isn't full-blown anorexia because we caught the weight loss soon. She's still pretty thin though. Another thing in her favor is that she isn't in denial that there is a problem. It's still a struggle because like you said, the control of the food is taking up so much time.
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anorexia happens when the person feels like some part of their life is spiraling out of control and the only control they can get a grasp at is through their diet. It gives them a sense of achievement and is a temporary distraction, stress reliever, pain medicine etc. You have to figure out what part of her life is out of control and help her to cope because right now, anorexia will be her best friend and if everyone starts getting on to her about it, it will just feed into it more. You see, anorexia is just a symptom of a bigger problem.
If your daughter is seeing a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist etc. talk with that professional about things the entire family can do to promote a healthy lifestyle. This will help your daughter feel like there isn't quite as much focus on her and her eating while promoting the general overall health of the rest of the family. Depending on the reasons for her disordered eating, there may be different things you can do that will be successful. It might be beneficial for your daughter to see that you're struggling with weight as well. I have no personal experience with this, but worked for a psychiatrist who specialized in eating disorders for many years. The most successful folks that we saw were those who included the entire family in what they were working on while protecting the privacy of the person with disordered eating. Demonstrating healthy physical exercise and work outs (sometimes with the help of a trainer with experience in eating disorders), cooking meals that have enough nutrition for your daughter, but low enough calories for you, Your daughter is old enough to have a frank discussion with her. Explain that your weight isn't her fault/problem, but is something you need to work on. Show her the numbers if necessary and explain what you plan to do to lose the weight. Pick a goal weight and maybe let her help you chart your way there. I wish you nothing but luck in helping your daughter's journey. Getting help before it erupts into a huge problem is something to be happy about. Good luck in your journey as well.
We seem to have got my 16 yo help just before she developed full blown anorexia. She's getting help and has stabilized her weight loss.
Now, I'm heading in the opposite direction. I'm not taking care of me and have gained weight. Anyone out there dealing with something similar? How do you keep working on your health/weight loss while trying to help your child keep weight on?
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