View Full Version : Rebel w/o a Cause?
After lurking for a while, I've discovered that you guys are probably the kindsest and most knowledgable non-professionals around in the "eating healthy" field. That said, I'm hoping for a bit of advice... I hope this isn't too long and mopey. I'm a female high schooler, kind of perfectionist, interested in health and fitness... basically an eating disorder waiting to happen. Anyway, I went through a period last year in which I lost a lot of weight in a semi-concerted effort to "eat healthy" Truthfully, there were some self-image issues at play as well, and it took a doctor and very concerned mom to wake me up. Officially, I wasn't anorexic, but I was advised to gain weight. Consequently, I really dove into nutrition and have made it a priority. I've gained weight (though still working on it) and feel loads better, but I'm not sure if my attitude has fully recovered. So what do you think--how much should a teenager care about nutrition? Is reading CL and browsing this board weird? Or tonight's dinner table example: My mom got very upset when I made my sandwich in a whole wheat pita instead of the roll everyone else had. She still thinks I'm being restrictive and resents when I don't eat what she serves. Honestly, I'm comfortable with the way I eat and think it's healthy, but my mother wants me to gain weight faster and thinks I'm too controlling... Any opinions?
06-24-2003, 08:28 PM
I am sure more knowledgeable people will post their responses here...but here's my shot at it.
I think you've sort of answered your own question-- it sounds like you are aware of the fact that perfectionism coupled with an image issue is an eating disorder waiting to happen.
I don't think, in and of itself, a strong desire to be a "foodie" or care about nutrition is bad at any age. Heck, lots of people in High School know what they want to be, go right to college, and actually get a degree in what their passion is...that's all great. That being said, since you're already aware of the fact that you've begun to show some early signs of an eating disorder, according to what you've posted, it is easier to deal with it now than talk yourself into thinking the problem may never get worse. I mean, it MAY never develop into anything more than what you've already experienced--but you can't count on that. I say, if you don't mind my saying so, that counseling early on may be of great help.
I think your mom is being protective because she views your wanting to eat differently from the family (be it healthier or not) as a problem that may be emerging into more control and therefore a full-blown eating disorder. You can't blame her for caring and trying to protect her daughter.
Sorry for the rambling...I guess in a nut-shell, loving food and nutrition is wonderful--heck, most of us here do...but if eating problems are surfacing, those should be dealt with as early as possible.
06-24-2003, 08:29 PM
Let me start with saying I'm not a nutritionist ... but I would think you and your mom would benefit seeing one. That way she will know that you are making healthy choices and that your weight gain is safe and supervised. It would probably make both of you feel better. :)
I don't think its odd that you are reading the BB or taking an interest. I think its much healthier than just following the latest 'fad' diet of the week/month. I know from other threads that there are others here you have faced the same issues you are. Hopefully some of them will check this thread and respond.
By the way, welcome to the board!
06-25-2003, 06:17 AM
Welcome to the BB.
I have to agree with Tyra that going to a nutritionist with your mom would help both of you. She would learn more about what is healthy to eat and would feel better with your choices.
06-25-2003, 06:30 AM
Welcome!! I was so happy that you decided to join in and seek some advice. I only wish that I were smart enough to do that when I was in high school. I was at the other end of the spectrum, though. I had no idea that sitting around eating all day could make someone fat! I know, it sounds silly, but nobody gave me any guidance. (It was also way before the internet :o )You are certainly on the right track with eating healthy, though. The whole wheat pita provides you with much more nutrition than a roll! I can only hope my daughter goes for the whole wheat instead of the white bread!
I commend you for wanting to eat right. Self image is a tough thing. My husband tells me I look great, but I STILL, to the very core of my being, feel like that overweight girl in high school. The mind is much harder to change than the body, unfortunately. I have lost weight since then and I'm in very good health. In addition to eating correctly, I'd suggest exercise (if you aren't already involved). I find that exercise helps most with my self image. Even if the scale says I put on a couple of pounds, when I exercise, I feel healthier and more positive about things.
A nutritionist would definitely help. You have to stay within a certain calorie range (whatever is right for you) and consume healthy foods within that range. A local gym may have a good program or a local hospital. I know the hospitals near me offer classes on certain things. You'd be able to find out what is a healthy range for you and you'd calm your mom's fears. She is good to be concerned about you, though. My parents just gave me the old "you're overweight", but refrained from giving me any real, valuable guidance. Give your mom a big kiss for being involved and figure out what both of you can do to keep you healthy and happy! Hope to see you around here!
06-25-2003, 06:41 AM
So far what you are doing sounds fine, but you have, yourself, noticed the tendancy to be controlling with your food and maybe "thinking" about it all a bit too much. I would say that probably 95% of teenagers are not interested in nutrition and are not spending that much time thinking about it--that is where YOU are different and I believe you do need to watch that aspect of it. So long as you can maintain a healthy perspective then you will be fine. I can understand your mom's fears, although the whole wheat pita is healthier, I think your mom is just worried about what she perceives as an "obsession" with the food. I mean if you eat right most of the day, what harm is a roll. When you cannot bring yourself to loosen up a bit on food every now and then, then I can see her concern.
A friend of mine has two sons in their 20s. As children, they were both overfed and both were overweight up through high school. The older boy now weighs well over 300 pounds, the younger boy got a "fat phobia" in high school and ever since has been quite obsessive about his eating. I would not say that he is anorexic, but his obsession with eating healthy and low-fat foods is past the point of being normal also. Kind of hard to explain, but it does kind of make everyone uncomfortable because he cannot relax about it.
Just try to keep it in perspective and I do agree that maybe seeing a counselor or dietician with your mom would be good so that you both can get the opinion of an educated but objective person.
06-25-2003, 10:29 AM
I agree with most of what everyone else has posted. Certainly about you and your mom talking to a nutritionist together. I also think that you being aware of your diet and eating habits is a good thing as long as you're not obsessed with it. Knowledge is power but it's power that needs to be used wisely. Self image is difficult for most of us and we all probably need a lesson or two in accepting who we are.
If I had known when I was in high school how much I would love to cook I probably would have taken a different route in my life (but then I wouldn't have met my DH so there's a lot to be said for destiny/fate). Anyway, learning to cook and eat healthy at an early age can only benefit you later in life.
06-25-2003, 11:11 AM
Pico, first of all let me say that I am VERY impressed by your post. You are a very articulate, mindful young woman, and that certainly comes through.
I think the others on this board have given some great advice. It's such a fine line to walk between interest and obsession... and that line might be at a different place for each of us, depending on our personality and where we are in life. Your mother may be trying to figure out where your line is. Like Christine said, if she feels that you are being inflexible, then she may worry for your safety and be concerned that you have crossed the line to obsession.
That said, I think it's OUTSTANDING that you are concious of trying to build safe, healthy eating habits at this point in your life. Many of us wish that we had known when we were younger what we know now. You are also smart to try to gain weight healthfully and mindfully, not by eating junk food.
You didn't mention whether or not you have taken an interest in cooking to go along with your interest in nutrition. Your mom may be more understanding of your efforts if you take over some of the cooking duties, and explain to her and the rest of your family how you have created a balanced meal. She may even learn a few things she didn't know before! This could be an opportunity for your entire family to start to adopt some good eating habits.
Best of luck to you, and keep posting! I hope you are having a great summer vacation! :)
Thank you so much for the reassuring and helpful responses! :) It was so nice to check back here and see that you guys had taken the time to share your thoughts. You've convinced me that seeing a nutritionist would probably be smart, leading me to a similar idea. I work at a local health club which offers customized programs for weight loss/gain, muscle-building, etc. I discovered today that, as an employee perk, it would be free for me. I'd receive nutrition counseling and help with muscle-building exercises from a certified trainer. Seems like a good route to me, as I'm already comfortable with the staff and spend plenty of time there anyway. I plan to check it out tomorrow... I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks again for the support--it really means a lot to me. And yes, Sneezles, I do love cooking and frequently help prepare meals... so I'll definitely be posting more around here in the future! I'm sure I can learn a lot from you seasoned cooks.
06-25-2003, 07:19 PM
Sounds like a great plan! What a nice perk, too! Keep us posted on your progress! :)
06-26-2003, 11:38 AM
Way to go! That sounds great. I made the most progress and learned the most from the program at my former gym. I now go to the gym at work 'cause it's way cheaper! Anyway, good luck and please do let us know how it goes!
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