Mom Finds Sobering “Diyet” in 7 year-old’s Room

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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.

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Mom Finds Sobering “Diyet” in 7 year-old’s Room

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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9 comments

  1. nichole says:

    oh man, 7. thats aweful. but thanks goodness she found it and can try to help her daughter now while its still early and not something, hopefully, so far worked into that shell need sevier help past what her mother can give her. my kids know the word diet. they know it as not eatting as much or any junk food (icecream, candy, pop, chips and the like) and eatting better for you foods like fruit and veggys and whole grains. theyre gonna hear diet a lot, and things about weight, so i try to start now, telling them the words, and being positive on it all, so when my kid thinks she needs to go on a diet, she willl hopefully just be saying, no more chips mom, can i have an apple instead. vers, no mom, too many calories. and ive explaned about what foods can cause you to get fat faster (agian with not good for you foods, i dont go into calories and such), just like i expane too much sugar can rot your teeth or make your stomach sick. and i tell them all you need to do is eat more good for you stuff then bad for you stuff, and be active and not sit infront of a tv all day, and youll be ok on your weight. i know some of you may not go for talking to younger kids about it (mine are 8 and 4, and my 8 yera old knows way more about the fat idea and such then my 4 year old, just because im trying to combat what shes going to start getting around in school). but i dont stress about it, i dont tell my kids no more chips your gonna get fat. i migh say no more, your gonna get a tummy ake tho 🙂 and when i describe fat to my older one, its not someone who is just a little heavyer, but rather obease sevierly. kids notice skinny and fat, the trick is to get them to notice them without having a social stigma attached, which is hard nowadays.

  2. latifah says:

    save her now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sherrie113 says:

    This is really sad, she is way too young to be thinking of dieting..:(

  4. This is sad..and scary! Seven years old! I feel for this young girl and her mother…but the reality is that with all the pressure from society to be stick thin little girls and even boys worry about their weight and their body shape instead of having fun and being kids. So depressing. =[

  5. sheenaholman says:

    So sad. Women used to be considered beautiful if they had curves. I wish all sizes as long as healthy would be the "new" beauty.

  6. Kirsten says:

    I have struggled with my weight all my life. When I was a child my parents took me to a dietician who put me on a diet. I remember the paper inside the kitchen cabinet telling me how many calories a tablespoon of peanut butter had, etc. Needless to say, that didn’t work. I did the bulimia thing in my twenties, losing 30 pounds in about a month. I did drugs to lose weight, just about anything you can think of. I have two daughters, one thin who has never had to worry about it and one who is heavy that doesn’t seem to care that much. I worry about what I have passed down to them about body image. What woman doesn’t? We are assailed by it day and night..on TV, the tabloids scream "Oprah FAT" and magazines show us what we should all look like. I’m glad the mom found the diyet when she did and hope the little girl doesn’t end up with more serious problems. Maybe if society started accepting us all for who we are?

  7. Zaiynab says:

    I would be horrified if my 7 year old daughter did that =( My daughter is not even born yet and I’m already worried about everything about raising a girl… which includes making sure she has good self esteem and believes herself to be beautiful no matter what size…

  8. A_Torres says:

    Wow this is really sad and something that I didn’t think happened, but now that I know I can plan on what to do to try and avoid this.

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