Mother: Daughter’s Dieting Has Become an Obsession

By October 12, 2012

I am writing you today about my daughter. She is 23 years old and has always been overweight. A few years ago she started dieting and lost weight at a slow rate. She got married last year. This past summer she went overboard with dieting and exercise. She would eat only non-fat food and weigh and measure everything. She exercised everyday. She is 5’6″ and weighs ***. She has not had her period for almost a year. She knows she has a problem and resists getting help. Lately I have noticed that she is eating more food and low-fat vs. no-fat foods, and she has slowed down on her exercise. How can I help her? It is consuming me and I feel helpless. When I talk to her she gets very angry with me. Please let me know what to say so she will get the help she needs. – v.

Dear V:

Regarding your daughter – the symptoms you described are serious. It is so easy to progress from healthy and slow weight loss to obsession. Then it is also easy to be unaware of how far the obsession has gone. It is particularly difficult for people who have been overweight at one time, because they are very fearful of returning to their previous weight.

Of course, it does no good to nag or criticize, but you can assert your fears and concerns (again), then ask her to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist/therapist or to read a selected book like Intuitive Eating  by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D. or Heal: Healthy Eating Abundant Living by Allie Marie Smith.

Sometimes loved ones are less intimidated by books than by admitting a serious problem to their family. We wish you the best. Let us know if we can help you or her any further.