Mom Finds Sobering “Diyet” in 7 year-old’s Room
A mother of three, Amy Cheney, was picking up her seven year old daughter’s bedroom, as we moms are known to do, when she stumbled upon something so heinous that it stopped her cold in her tracks. She found every mother’s of a little girl nightmare, a list labeled “diyet”, complete with a roll call of every morsel of food that she had eaten and all the activities she had performed to counteract the food intake that day.
Amy’s daughter is seven.
I have a seven year old myself and I suffered from eating disorders for 8 years. My issues with food started when I was around 10, that’s when I became aware of weight. When I was 12, after an innocuous comment by my father that I should run more, I went on my first diet. By the time I was 17, I was in the throes of what used to be classified as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, what is now known as bulimarexia. By the time I was 22, I was underweight, malnourished, anemic and prone to lightheadedness. I was consumed by controlling what my food intake was and how many calories I was burning. When I was 25, I went into ED recovery.
I wasted 15 years of my life obsessing over food and calories. I will spend the rest of my life recovering. Eating disorders spin out of control very quickly and suddenly a simple act of restricting calorie intake and working out becomes a full on obsession. I don’t want that for my little girls. I don’t want that for anyone’s little girl. I have my own seven year old and a five year old who does absolutely every single thing her sister does. Honestly, I hate the idea that someday they will start comparing themselves to friends and then all the images we are assaulted with by the media.
Like, Amy Cheney, I try not to make weight an issue in front of my girls. I try to hide my own issues with food. It’s hard, a daily struggle especially since quitting the eating disorders, I’ve put on a lot of weight. My body was starved for so long that when I finally began to eat, my body held on to everything. My metabolism is on life support.
Amy’s daughter learned about the concept of dieting at school from a friend. There are books and parents that promote putting children on diets. As someone who’s had eating disorders, I am strictly against it because there are so many negative connotations associated with the word diet. Why not just cook healthy food options and keep your child active? There is no need for them to ever know the term diet as restricting.
I feel for Amy Cheney because it’s frightening to find out that your small child is even aware of her weight, never mind tracking her intake. We can try to shield them but eventually they all learn about weight and the importance that society puts on women to adhere to an unrealistic body standard. Talking to them, like Amy did, is all any of us can do once that happens.
Does your child show concern about his/her weight? How do you address those concerns?
Photo Source: NYC Streets