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Anorexia and Teen body image

Answered 2 years ago

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!


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ANSWER
2 years ago
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

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REPLY
2 years ago
^Great advice and congrats on your weight loss xx

REPLY
2 years ago
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

ANSWER
2 years ago
If you want to understand, I strongly reccomend the book Wasted by Maya Hornbacher. When your daughter is ready, it may help her see thet light at the end of the tunnel, but it's also a how-to on scamming and scheming to keep the weight down and hide it. I'm sure her team has talked to you about the axiety and control issues commonly associated with eating disorders. The body image stuff is more obvious, but it's also an extreme exercise in control your entire daily regimen and self discipline. Having other outlets for that can help. Let her cover up until she's more comfortable with her healthy body. Take her shopping if she hates her clothes. Try one of those boutique consignment clothing swap companies. You can change your style ideas and sizes as needed and smed stiff back anytime as long as its still in good condition. Maybe she'd like to try her hand at making some clothes? Part of what turned me towards dieting and led to my eventual need for treatment, was that clothes are not designed for my body type (short and curvy). A girl in my support group became a great seamstress because she started out altering and then, making clothes. It's a long battle, but she has you by her side. Stay an advocate for her, but don't become the food police or the weigh-in monitor. Let the doctors and professionals do that. Fight for her, not with her. It's hard to see the set backs, but be supportive. Cover your disappointment because she hates herself for what she's doing to herself and putting her loved ones through. It's like an addiction in that, even though you know it's bad for you, you can't just stop. At the same time, you feel so good about your latest pound or 2 gone, you know it's killing you and breaking your mom's heart. And just then same, knowing you are making healthy choices but hating yourself for your "fat, disgusting thighs" or "lumpy, lard ass."

ANSWER
2 years ago
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

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REPLY
2 years ago
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

ANSWER
2 years ago
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.

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REPLY
2 years ago
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.

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2 years ago
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

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2 years ago
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 💙

ANSWER
2 years ago
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!

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REPLY
2 years ago
Thank you so so much xx sending you love while you help your daughter also x

ANSWER
2 years ago
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

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REPLY
2 years ago
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

ANSWER
2 years ago
Sending love to you and your family ❤

ANSWER
2 years ago
Hugs to you babe and hope you can find something helpful online! Xx