Ask SAHM is a place where you can ask our staff & community a question safely & anonymously. Please read our disclaimer.

Anorexia and Teen body image

My teenage girl has been diagnosed with anorexia which we are currently working through with lots of great help but how she looks at her body has changed dramatically. She has had to put weight on and She is now constantly saying she hates her body wants to cover up etc. to the point of crying and getting very anxious. We are getting help but I’d love to hear from anyone either in a similar position or any advice about improving her body image. I don’t really have these issues so sometimes it’s hard for me to have perspective. The professionals we are seeing are great but I want to help her in between to change the way she looks at herself and feel more confident in her own skin. Any books, websites, anything!


Got an Answer?

Answers (7)

I’m sorry you and your daughter are going through this and do glad you’re both getting some professional help.
I would try and build her self confidence by focusing on her strengths, talents and other abilities. Don’t comment on her body, either positive or negative. Just work on all round self confidence and accepting her for her. I’m sure as her mother you do already accept her for her, but she’s obviously struggling with this at the moment.

 I tend to agree with this. I’ve got body image issues and it makes me more annoyed hearing people try to ‘help’ or comment which sounds rude but it’s in my brain. So keep on going with confidence building as the other poster has advised.. best thing I think you can do.
helpful (1) 
 Thank you both so much for the suggestions

And thank you to the second commenter for sharing her own experience - sometimes it can be hard to remember where it all stems from

You’re both awesome! X

helpful (1) 
 No worries lovely. It’s a hard place to be at, you’re amazing for reaching out in order to help your girl. She’s lucky to have you 💙
helpful (1) 

I wish I could say something to help, you are an amazing mother to be trying so hard for your daughter!!

mine is only young and struggling with not fitting in with a lot of the girls so I know the pain of trying to help but it can be so hard to convince them how amazing they are!

Hopefully someone will see your post and be able to help with some ideas but for now I just wanted to show some support for you 💜💜💜💜

Keep going mama bear!

 Thank you so so much xx sending you love while you help your daughter also x
helpful (0) 

Ignore that nasty "woman" (I use that term very loosely)
I have no advice for you but I want to send you some love and strength. I went through an eating disorder as an adult, just not eating basically (never diagnosed with anything). I was 42kgs and thought I was gross. I am now 62kgs, healthy and I'm so happy with myself. Yes I have a bit of flab here and there but I am happy and that's the most important. Just want you to know things will get better. Just hang in there xx

 Thank you so much for the love - I’m so sorry you had to go through this too. Xx
Trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I’m so glad to hear you are happy x

helpful (0) 

Hugs to you babe and hope you can find something helpful online! Xx

I am not a teen nor am I anorexic but I do have body image issues. I have lost lots of weight and am a size 8/6but no matter what I do I still see myself as fat. The way I percieve myself is completely different to how others view me.
I think that you are doing an amazing job and I think that therapy is definately the right way to go. I agree with the previous posters in trying to build her self esteem outside of her body image. Maybe you could try getting her involved in hobbies that build her skills and abilities. Maybe volunteering or working with animals, even horse riding (working with animals can be very theraputic).
Good luck with everything xx

 ^Great advice and congrats on your weight loss xx
helpful (0) 
 Thank you so much for the advice I will definitely look into this! And thank you for telling me this from your perspective I really appreciate it x
I wish you all the best xx

helpful (0) 

Op here
Wow thank you all (well nearly all!) so so much. I really appreciate the love so much. It’s been a really shity time and is so hard to watch her go through it.
I will definitely be taking your suggestions (minus letting her starve 🙄) on board
You are amazing! Thank you so much! X

 So glad there were some helpful comments 😘 keep on going, you are doing an awesome job Mum! She’s a lucky girl to have a mum like you! All the best and hope things get easier from here for you all xx
helpful (1)