Eating Disorders can torment teenage boys as well as girls. Our parenting expert and author shares this story and solution in her excellent book, Teaching Kids to Be Good People. Listen as this student pours his heart out to Annie and how she responds.
Boys Get Eating Disorders Too!
What Would You Teach Here?
I know everyone thinks only girls get eating disorders, but I'm a guy and I think I have one and I need help. I eat half of a small energy bar before school, then I don't eat lunch. Then I eat the other half of the bar and some fruit. It's gotten to the point where I'm mad at myself if I even take a bite of food.
I get a lot of hate from people calling me fat and pointing out every flaw I know I already have. My mom says, "I don't think you eat enough." I pretend I don't hear.
People at school ask if I want some of their food and I say no thank you. I know they worry about me I don't feel welcome anywhere I go.
The Dean of Students saw me and asked if I wanted to talk, but I said everything was fine. I know teachers worry about me because they watch me just sit there during lunch and not eat. I don't know what to do. I feel really stuck. - 15-year-old (From pages 71-72)
Annie's Reply to This Teen's Eating Disorder
"I tell people I'm fine but I think I have an eating disorder."
Everything is obviously not "fine." Your mom is worried about you. People at school who offer you their food are worried about you. The Dean of Students is worried about you. And since you just wrote to me for help, I'd say it's safe to deduce that you are worried about you!
Anyone can develop an eating disorder, and it definitely sounds like you are severely restricting calories (possible to avoid being teased.) Now it sounds like you have gotten into a habit of not eating. I'm guessing that when you do eat you're not enjoying the food at all. (An energy bar is not a complete, ongoing source of the nutrients your body needs.)
I'm going to add myself to the list of people who care about you and are worried about you. You say, "I don't know what to do anymore." Here's what you need to do today: Talk to your mom. Tell her the truth.
Tell her what you told me...about not eating...about feeling depressed. Tell your mom that you don't want to feel this way anymore, and you want help. Tell her that you want to talk with the Dean of Students and /or a school counselor. (From page 213)
Most of us don't think of boys as having eating disorders. How important that this boy trusted Annie enough to tell her about his problem. If he follows her good advice, he may find a good solution.
Pick up Annie Fox's excellent book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People and learn the many solutions she offers all of us.
Available at Amazon.com
Let's HONOR Annie for helping students and parents with her caring heart and outstanding advice.
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