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She's starting to worry me a bit...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay, I think those who've been following me from long ago will be familiar with my sister like cousin. Vicky has always been very self conscious about her weight... You know, refusing to eat chocolates, avoiding candies, constantly weihging herself, etc. But I never gave it a lot of thought. Its almost common place even with many men. Now, I must say I never found her fat. She's just your average size ten.

Now, she wants to get to 120 pounds (That means going down 20 lbs for her). And she's OBSESSED with it. However, its her actions that are starting to worry me. She's talking to me of it as a normal thing, that in the past few weeks its been commonplace for her to often not eat anything until 3 PM in the afternoon. And almost every single day she induces herself to throw up late at night. (Thats the little part that has me the most worried). And she's considering coupling that with a cabbage soup diet.

I've told her that I am worried about her health with such habits, but she will just answer with "I'm fine. Really. Everythings ok." I don't know, I am worried about her. I don't know. Somehow I just wish she gets to the desired weight, and will just go back to normal habits. But at the same time I look at her height and body form, (This girl is taller than many men her age, and is the voluptuous body shape that was in vogue in the 1960s) and I have my fears that such a weight for her will be too risky with her health. I really don't know what to do.
post #2 of 19
Victor I remember Vicki It sounds like your in a tough place. If I remember correctly, she is young and lives at home still correct? How is your relationship with her parents, I mean would it be possible for you to discuss your thoughts with her mom confidentially so she could take it from there? If not maybe a guidance counselor at school so they could speak with Vicki or her mom... Eating disorders are very serious and Vicki could very well need help getting past this. It might not be something you can handle with her on your own as much as you may hope to.
post #3 of 19
I had an eating disorder. I wouldn't let anyone help me until I passed out and has some sort of seizure type attack, it really made me think that 1) I look disgusting skinny and 2) I need help!
post #4 of 19
Hi Victor, yeah I recall Vicki too - it sounds like this weight obsession is turning into a real danger zone for her, it's turning into an eating disorder and I really feel this needs to be addressed before she does herself some really serious damage. I'm sorry I can't advise you on how to approach this situation, but I wanted you to know that I'm sending you my very best vibes - I hope something can be done for her
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilleKat
but I wanted you to know that I'm sending you my very best vibes - I hope something can be done for her
....same feelings here dear Victor...
In a desesperate case, tell her that many people are praying to SHE Get in reason!!!...no matter if are not phisically present!

With my best wishes to Her, Victor.......

your friend Rigel....
post #6 of 19
You are such a great brother! You're right to be concerned -- it does sound like she's in the early stages of bulemia. I had it too, when I was a teenager. There are home movies of me back then looking thin as a rail, but I clearly remember that, at the time, I honestly believed I was the size of a barn. It's a very complex psychological distortion.

If your sister is going through the same thing, she definitely needs help. Most likely, you and your family won't be able to get through to her on this. It will probably take a doctor or therapist to change her perception of herself and her relationship to food.

I hope you are able to get her to accept the help she needs. She's very lucky to have you!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilleKat
Hi Victor, yeah I recall Vicki too - it sounds like this weight obsession is turning into a real danger zone for her, it's turning into an eating disorder and I really feel this needs to be addressed before she does herself some really serious damage. I'm sorry I can't advise you on how to approach this situation, but I wanted you to know that I'm sending you my very best vibes - I hope something can be done for her
Yeah. I am starting to worry that even when she thinks this just for 120 pounds, her little life long obsession will not stop, still thinking she's "too fat" for her tastes. (Which has happened before, because her current weight was achieved through a similar obsession, although it wasn't as severe as purging herself, but she was already skipping certain meals back then)

Here's the current thing about her: she's 18, she attends her first semester in college, and lives with her parents. My main problem with her, is that she will reject from the very start the idea of there being a potential problem. There's no way she will acknowledge it. Which honestly is strange of her. Having been almost brother and sister since we were toddlers, she's always been very straightforward about things, and admits it when she's in trouble.
post #8 of 19
Please try to get her help. She needs it.

She should also know that starving herself and binge purge like she is doing. DOES NOT help the body get rid of weight. Healthy diets, exersise and lots of water do.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperFarms
Please try to get her help. She needs it.

She should also know that starving herself and binge purge like she is doing. DOES NOT help the body get rid of weight. Healthy diets, exersise and lots of water do.
Anyone got any suggestions on how to get her help? I mean, I really want to get her help... but I don't know exactly what to do. You know, I don't want to just sit around and wait till one day she passes out and figures it out on her own.
post #10 of 19
I worked with a women who I considered very underweight. (5'9" about 115 pounds) she looks horrible -her collarbones sticking out and those scrawny arms!!! And she 39 yrs old!! She eats terribly to-lots of sweets but not much protein or "real food". Her stepdaughter is anorexic-was sent away to some clinic in minnesota for quite a while and will looks awful too.
What do her parents think of this???? Have you spoken with them. What type of clothes does she wear-baggy stuff that disguises her figure.
One of my very good friends is originally from Puerto Rico and I know the body image desired is different that here in the States.
Normally unneeded weight loss is a control issue for her. Are there any things going on in her life to cause stress?? Plus anorexia usually starts at a much younger age. What do her friends look like. Normal weight or skinny??? I would sit down with her and explain your concern and ask why she wants to lose the weight???
You are a good cousin for being so concerned about her.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
I worked with a women who I considered very underweight. (5'9" about 115 pounds) she looks horrible -her collarbones sticking out and those scrawny arms!!! And she 39 yrs old!! She eats terribly to-lots of sweets but not much protein or "real food". Her stepdaughter is anorexic-was sent away to some clinic in minnesota for quite a while and will looks awful too.
What do her parents think of this???? Have you spoken with them. What type of clothes does she wear-baggy stuff that disguises her figure.
One of my very good friends is originally from Puerto Rico and I know the body image desired is different that here in the States.
Normally unneeded weight loss is a control issue for her. Are there any things going on in her life to cause stress?? Plus anorexia usually starts at a much younger age. What do her friends look like. Normal weight or skinny??? I would sit down with her and explain your concern and ask why she wants to lose the weight???
You are a good cousin for being so concerned about her.
Her parents is a mixed case, simply because nowadays she spends less time at home, and drives her own car, and so on. I doubt her mother knows. Baggy clothing? Hmm... well, she likes wearing jackets, but thats almost a general vogue among teens here, including me. otherwise She wears tight shirts, and wears tight jeans. She's among those people who've only worn diapers and jeans in their life (And we haven't seen her in diapers in a long time).

I don't know if desired body image here is different from stateside, but I can tell you this: Her goals are literally the type of body you find in one of those swimsuit magazines I hate so much. Our friends, well, most are normal looking. Stres... well, I have been having rather nasty personal problems and internal questions which she takes as if they were her own.
post #12 of 19
I would reccomend these books for you or for her if she is willing to read them:
"The Best Little Girl in the World", and the follow up book " Kessa" by Steven Levenkron. They follow a girl with anorexia and bulemia through her illness and continuing recovery. In "Kessa", she has a friend who is bulemic, and ends up dying from it- not from malnutrition, but b/c she depletes her potassium so low that she induces a heart attack.
I don't know how you could bring this up tactfully, but their are other things that aren't good with what she is doing. Not eating all day can induce diabetes, and bulemia can cause some nasty side effects to her teeth and digestive system. I hope someone can get her to a doctor. Good luck and I hope she can get the help she needs.
post #13 of 19
I hope she can overcome her body insecurities...they are hard to deal with. Unless you're very very short, a size 10 is great!
You really need to talk with the parents and also to her...let her know you care and that you're worried. Also, like zak&rocky said, remind her of the many health problems she is inviting upon herself by purging. And maybe remind her of what a normal woman should look like...curvey and gorgeous...and that guys prefer that to skinny!! Not sure that that would help since eating disorders are less about attrativeness and more about control, but it couldn't hurt.... You may also want to suggest to her that she sit down with a professional who can help her overcome her problem.
post #14 of 19
The thing to realize is that it's not really about wanting to be thin like a model, or more attractive to men, or anything like that. There are two basic problems that usually underlie bulemia and anorexia: a feeling of being inadequate and unworthy to take up space on the planet...and/or a feeling that you have no control over any aspect of your life except what you eat, so you are at least going to maintain VERY strict control over THAT.

Someone suggested some books, and that's probably a great idea. I wonder if you might also find a video on the subject, preferably with survivors talking about their experiences. If nothing is available locally, you might send away to the Oprah show -- they've done some excellent episodes on the subject. Then you and your cousin could sit down and watch it together, in private. Maybe she would feel safe talking things over with you afterward.

Then you'd want to find a psychologist who specializes in this kind of illness and go with her to her first appointment. You can be such a help to her through this! She's very lucky to have you.
post #15 of 19
I believe its Time magazine featuring an article on anorexia on the front cover.
I watched a daytime tv show called The View today and it had a segment on a young mother who never takes good pictures so they did the hair and makeup thing and took many photos. Then they had a person "airbrush" them. All photos your cousin see are airbrushed in magazines. They can take a picture and do anything with it. It was amazing!! But sad too as it doesn't help women's body image striving to look like those photos.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've to thanks everyone a lot on this. Today I was asking her to see a dietician... but all she could do with the subject was brag to me about how she's now in 136 from formerly 143 pounds... and she showed me her tummy, she's leaner alright. I asked her about what she's doing, she said she's barely eating in the last few days - precisely now that she's got a cold. Thank goodness at least she ain't purging while with the cold. I told her I am getting worried, but she claims she knows what she's doing.
post #17 of 19
I really doubt that Vicki knows what she's doing. Bulimia is a major problem, and rarely dealt with without professional help. Could you get her the books suggested above for Christmas? Maybe she'll recognize herself, though I'm pessimistic.
post #18 of 19
I hope Vicki gets better. I don't know what else to say, as I've never been through this before
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I really doubt that Vicki knows what she's doing. Bulimia is a major problem, and rarely dealt with without professional help. Could you get her the books suggested above for Christmas? Maybe she'll recognize herself, though I'm pessimistic.
I'm a bit pessmistic myself... but its certainly worth a shot. I could try it this Christmas.
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