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5. Your child is taking fitness to extreme measures.
Before I got seriously sick, this was a red flag my family missed time and time again, most likely attributing it to just normal teenage girl behavior.
While teenage girls do tend to get a bit more finicky, if you observe your child stray away from his or her known favorites, you should pay attention and watch a bit more closely.
If your child gradually begins avoiding more and more foods or cuts out entire food groups like starches or dairy, you should address this behavior.
The sooner you address this behavior, the bigger chance you have of nipping an eating disorder in the bud.
If and when you do try to address it, keep in mind that eating disorders are not actually about food.
Simply getting on your child’s case to eat more will do more harm than good.
More often than not, there is an underlying psychological cause that needs to be addressed and approached with care and caution.
Keep your own frustration out of it and hear your child out, no matter how what is said makes you feel.
Blowing up at him or her with a lecture is just about the worst move you can make at this point.
Afterwards, go punch a pillow if you must, and do some research.
Once you’re calm, plan out the next move for where you should go from there.
Noticeable weight loss as a red flag goes without saying, but many teens headed down a dangerous path will try to hide their shrinking bodies under oversized hoodies, bulky sweats and the like.
If your child doesn’t hide, but instead flaunts his or her rapid weight loss, this is a major red flag.
If your child is walking around shivering, and there are no known circulation issues to be blamed for it, you need to look closer as well.
Severely restricting food intake prevents the body from generating sufficient heat, which consequently requires the layers to be piled on to stay warm.
If you notice your teen’s wardrobe becoming increasingly bulky, it’s time to investigate further, not crank up the heater.
Has your child started eating more than usual and then sneaking off to the restroom?
Since parents are generally happy to see their kid with a healthy appetite, the second part of the self-destructive equation often goes unnoticed.
Start paying attention if your child’s appetite suddenly spikes.
If two to three trips to the restroom mid-meal accompany that appetite spike, action needs to be taken ASAP.
Purging replaces that full feeling we’re used to after a good meal with a feeling of excessive hunger, as if you haven’t eaten all day long.
What exactly constitutes eating more than usual?
Second and third helpings are a good clue, especially if they’re taken after trips to the restroom.
Binging and purging is an extremely dangerous behavior that leads to (amongst a myriad of other things) electrolyte imbalances.
This can result in cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest or even death.
Before rushing your child to the family doctor, make sure you notice this pattern occur more than just once.
Eating disorders come hand in hand with depression.
There’s just no way to starve yourself and still be happy.
Starving your body means starving your brain, and when your brain is deprived of what it needs to function, things start shifting off-balance at an impressive rate.
Like many teens who fall into the grips of anorexia or bulimia, before things got really bad, I believed losing weight would make me happier and more in control of my life.
Unfortunately, this is a lie that keeps sucking you in.
By the time you realize the opposite has happened, you’re in over your head and more miserable than ever.
If you notice your once cheerful and social child suddenly withdrawn and spending more and more time behind a locked bedroom door, something is off.
Depression is a serious matter in and of itself, but when you notice a combination of social withdrawal and abnormal eating patterns, action needs to be taken before things get worse.
If symptoms of depression and abnormal eating are also accompanied by noticeable weight loss, not another minute should be wasted before action is taken.
The longer an eating disorder brews, the more difficult it becomes to treat and cure.
While exercise is good for you, all good things come in moderation.
When I was in the throes of my eating disorder, two daily trips to the gym were paired with a 10-mile walk, no matter the weather.
Rain, shine or freezing wind were weak obstacles on my path to «perfection.»
Toss in a diet of weight-loss pills, bingeing and purging, and it was quite the molotov cocktail ready to explode at any second and take me with it.
If your child suddenly becomes more and more active and the idea of skipping exercise for the day brings on a fit, then you likely have a problem.
If the gym starts replacing friendships and family gatherings, pay attention because this isn’t something to be ignored as moody teen behavior.
Exercise addiction is just like any other addiction, and it can severely impact your child’s health if taken too far.
It could damage the heart, or worse, result in sudden cardiac death.
These risks increase substantially if over-exercising is paired with any or all of the previously mentioned behaviors.
Acting quickly when you first notice behaviors that are out of the ordinary for your child will have a huge impact on the duration of the illness.
The quicker it’s caught, the better.
While these are just five major symptoms of an eating disorder, being able to catch any one of these will help you realize there is a problem much sooner than many parents unfortunately do.
Eating disorders caught early have the best chance for full recovery.
This early intervention can prevent years of struggle and save lives.
Keep in mind that food-related symptoms are only the surface symptoms to deeper psychological problems and will need to be addressed as such.
Getting angry or forcing your child to eat will only backfire and create distance between you and your child.
If your child does indeed have an eating disorder, the journey to recovery won’t be an easy one.
But as someone who struggled with and overcame a severe and long-term eating disorder, I stress that a full recovery is absolutely possible for everyone.
Keep alert, don’t dismiss questionable behaviors and act early, and your child will be better off for it.
12 Secret Signs of Anorexia
How to become anorexic without people seeing the signs
It was also easy for me. Most people don’t tend to notice, and if they do, they don’t want to say anything.
My parents only noticed in high school when I fainted in class. They took me to my doctor and he just told me I needed to eat.
At the dinner table, I would sneak food into a napkin and toss it. Or, if I did eat, I would throw it up.
My dad probably knew but he didn’t say anything.
At college, my friend and I went on the Atkins diet and I took it to the extreme by eating as little as possible. I would lose about 2 pounds a week. College students didn’t care. I was a loner and went home on …
Content note: eating disorders, including calorie counts.
It’s not much of a trick, but being overweight is a great way to hide an eating disorder. You can literally say to people “I’m not eating at all” if you feel like being cheeky and they won’t think you have an eating disorder.
In the combined 15 months or so of sustained restriction I’ve experienced over my lifetime, I’ve only had one person ever suspect that I might have a problem. This includes the medical professionals I was seeing, who were tracking my plummeting weight, the people I lived with–a group of friends I spent all my waki…
This is what I do:
I don’t eat breakfast because I don’t have time, I have to catch the bus for school
I stopped eating lunch in grade 4 so all my classmates and mom are used to me not eating lunch.
I eat a small portion of dinner everyday but sometimes I’ll skip abs if I do my mom will say “are you hungry” and Ill say “no” then she’ll say “but you didn’t eat anything today” then I’ll say “I’m not hungry.” And that’ll be the end of the conversation.
For exercise, I do the victoria secret workout everyday after school in the living room, people will think that is risky because your family could …
You’ve already heard: “Don’t fast, you’re anorexic”. LOL. So I’m gonna assume you don’t want that advice or anything like, “don’t hide it”. What I suggest instead is doing the ‘Leptin Reset’ by Jack Kruse. Every day do the following:
1. Eat 50g of protein in the morning within 30m of waking. Get 3–5m of sun in your eyes within 30 minutes of waking. Normal household lights are not high enough lux to work. Must be sun or sun-replicating bulb.
2. Do not snack. Eat 3 meals a day at first, which can be dwindled down to 1 or 2 eventually. If you are hungry before lunch…it means you probably didn’t …
Skipping meals will make you gain weight. Make sure you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with some healthy snacks in between.
You will overeat if you get too hungry. Try keeping a few snack bars, nuts, apples, and other filling snacks in your locker or backpack so that you can eat when you’re hungry.
- Make sure you get breakfast! Skipping breakfast will make you hungry and low-energy. It may even lead to weight gain.
It’s going to be painful, for you and those around you. People WILL see the signs eventually. You cannot hide it forever. Its a way of life and it’s in everything you do. Do you like lying to everyone? Does that make you happy? Does it not bother you?
If not then read on! I still don’t recommend it. You’re starving yourself and it takes a long time for those hunger pangs to go away. You may not make it past a few days. If you do, congrats, you’re now starving for the rest of your now miserable short life.
I don’t know what you’ve heard or seen. But it’s not pretty and its not fun. Lets take t…