Young Calorie Counters
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what to do when your teachers keep suspecting you have an eating disorder?


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So, my teachers keep acting really suspicious and weird during lunch time. They always send a teacher to "drive by" my table with me and my friends during lunch and sometimes they even ask me where my lunch is. It makes me feel really Awkward because I don't have an eating disorder, but my teachers keep watching me. They even called my mum one time and told her that I never eat lunch. One of my teachers at the end of lunchtime even made an announcement that no one can survive from 7- 4 without eating and that she is not going to chase us around but she wanted to let us know. I really don't get it because a lot of the girls don't eat the school lunch( because it is horrible) and most don't have time to pack it, but they keep targeting me. I guess I'm asking what I can do to get my teachers off my back.
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Eating when you are hungry is only a good metric if you eat on a regular basis. The less you eat, the more your body gets used to not having food and the less hungry you get.  It's a vicious cycle.  Also, the more you post, the more I wonder if you have some type of phobia about food and you might benefit from some counseling.

Makayla, what is your height and weight?

What you say is getting more worrying all the time. The not eating breakfast or lunch, then having a 'snack' and being at the gym instead of having dinner; The endless excuses, then the thing about eating 'very, very slowly', and finding eating not 'convenient'. Also suddenly turning vegetarian at this point doesn't look very promising. (Yes, we are all different, but I used a sudden urge to become veggie at 16 to hide the fact that I ate very little). You say you don't have an ED, and of course we are not here to try and guess-diagnose people on-line, but you need to be aware that an ED is all about having an abnormal relationship with food and eating, not just being a specific weight.

With regard to what to eat, I guess pretzels and fruit is better than nothing, but you need plenty of protein as a growing teen, and to cover all that exercise you do (which is more important than eating to you). At some point, something's gotta give. Your body won't keep up this lifestyle on next to no energy. With your lifestyle, you need 2,500+ calories a day just to stay where you are, split into meals and snacks throughout the day. It's not a matter of 'convenience' it's a matter of looking after yourself and staying alive.

Best of luck.

P.S: Smashley's advice is great. I'd definitely consider some kind of counselling/therapy to see what is really happening for you with food issues.

I am a normal weight for my height. I don't think that I have a phobia of food. But I have realized my relationship with food is not that great. Probably not bad enough to see a shrink though. For some strange reason, I think that I am "immune" to food. Like everyone else needs food but I don't need it because I am superhuman.  If my friends, don't bring lunch I seriously flip out but I think its ok for me. Sometimes, I just think it is a huge waste of time because three meals a day is like three hours. Those three hours I could be studying, doing homework, or putting in some extra time a the gym.  Also, I don't get the whole "your body gets used to not having food" thing. Am I supposed to force myself to eat if I am not hungry? 

Original Post by makayla715:

Also, I don't get the whole "your body gets used to not having food" thing. Am I supposed to force myself to eat if I am not hungry? 


In the beginning, yes. Once you regularly give your body enough calories, you'll start to feel hunger again. An easy way to get a lot of calories without feeling overly full is by eating calorie dense foods. Nuts, nut butters, avocado, butter and oil (on other foods, of course), seeds, etc.

There's no reason it should take you an hour to eat a meal, unless you're being served at a restaurant.  The solution is to start drinking calories for now, milk, protein shakes, smoothies, just to get your calories up.  Work on eating faster and then start switching out the liquid calories for food calories.

Have you read Mrs. Pigglewiggle? It's a book about a woman who gives eccentric advice to parents of children who don't behave as desired.  In one of the stories, there's a boy who eats his food one piece at a time, one grain of rice at a time, one pea at a time.  He drives his parents crazy because he never finishes his food because he eats so slowly.  Mrs. Pigglewiggle tells them to give in, to serve him small bits of food on small plates with tiny silverware.  Eventually, they serve him only 1 grain of rice, one pea, and one slice of meat for dinner.  He doesn't complain of hunger because he adjusted to to eating so little.  However, his body became so weak that when he tried to go horseback riding, he couldn't get on the horse.  He learned that he had to eat at a reasonable speed, so he could eat his food.

I don't suggest that your parents actually do this, but you get the picture.  There's nothing to be gained by eating your food so slowly that it becomes a burden to eat at all.

I had some extra time before my dance class, so I tried to make a meal plan that I could follow. For breakfast and lunch, I just put things that I could grab quickly on the go.  I didn't really add up calories, just thought about adding more food with things that I would actually eat.  Is this ok?

Breakfast:
Plum
Half a fiber one bar
Bottle of water

Lunch:
Plum
Granola Bar
Bottle of water

After school snack:
Pretzels

Snack in the car after gym;
Other half of fiber one bar
2 fruit roll ups
Bottle of water

Dinner:

PBJ Sandwhich-
1 teaspoon of better n' butter peanut butter
1 teaspoon of jelly
1 piece of weight watchers whole wheat bread

Cup of strawberries
Bottle of water
Cup of 1% Milk

Edit- Smashley, your Mrs. Pigglewiggle story really helped me understand the thing about your body getting used to not eating enough, thanks.

It's great that you're starting to eat more.  I would try to add more protein and fat since this seems like a predominately carb diet.  Roasted edamame is a good source of protein and fiber and is easy to grab on the go.  Seapoint Farms makes some that come in little resealing bags. I would also go with organic peanut butter. Low fat peanut butters just replace the fat with sugar.

Good luck.

Are you really thin, maybe that's why they are concerned. Or perhaps they think you're a great student and that's why they care. Just tell them you don't have time to pack a lunch or whatever your reason is.

Original Post by makayla715:

I had some extra time before my dance class, so I tried to make a meal plan that I could follow. For breakfast and lunch, I just put things that I could grab quickly on the go.  I didn't really add up calories, just thought about adding more food with things that I would actually eat.  Is this ok?

Breakfast:
Plum
Half a fiber one bar
Bottle of water

Lunch:
Plum
Granola Bar
Bottle of water

After school snack:
Pretzels

Snack in the car after gym;
Other half of fiber one bar
2 fruit roll ups
Bottle of water

Dinner:

PBJ Sandwhich-
1 teaspoon of better n' butter peanut butter
1 teaspoon of jelly
1 piece of weight watchers whole wheat bread

Cup of strawberries
Bottle of water
Cup of 1% Milk

Edit- Smashley, your Mrs. Pigglewiggle story really helped me understand the thing about your body getting used to not eating enough, thanks.

You say you don't have a ED, yet your relationship with food is warped. If you are a normal weight, you don't need to lose weight, yet you exercise excessively (5 times a week almost 2 hours), and you eat like you're on a restrictive diet with portion sizes suited for a 5 year old. You skip meals, always claim to be not hungry, you eliminate entire food groups on a whim, but not make sure you're still getting the nutrients you need, and you're always busy. I see red flags everywhere. You may not have an ED now, but you're heading to one.

Why would you eat only half a bar for breakfast. Why not one full bar? Even one bar doesn't make it a proper meal. Why eat just one plum? Why not several pieces of fruit if you want that for lunch? Why use special diet bread? Why drink only water? And only one cup of reduced fat milk? The only reason is that consciously or not, you're trying to cut calories.

Your entire plan doesn't even reach 1000 calories and most likely hovers at 500-600. You're eating practically no protein, not enough fat to survive (it's an essential nutrient) and probably are causing yourself several deficiencies during the most important growth of your life.

What height and weight are you really? No person can live on this diet without becoming undeweight, and wrecking their metabolism.

#30  
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makayla, you need to talk to the teachers who are "checking up on you" They've obviously figured out something is wrong (and something definitely is wrong, if you are serious about the amount you eat and the amount of exercise you do).

You need help now. You are likely to do yourself serious, irreversible and debilitating damage. Talk to someone. Now. Back off from the unsustainable amount of exercise you are doing. it is unsustainable because you're eating so little. It would be quite healthy on someone eating a lot more.

Make. Time. For. Food. Apart from air and water, it should be your main priority. You do *not* have to do all this exercise but you *must* eat more.

Seriously, this depressed the hell out of me. What does it do to you, to actually live like this?

#31  
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two fruit roll-ups! You're really pushing the boat out there!

Ok, I know I'm not helping, I'm sorry. But I'm genuinely *angry* on your behalf that you are growing up in a society where, in the midst of plenty, girls (and boys) are doing this to themselves. I'm glad there's someone keeping an eye on you (teachers) but there's only so much they can do. Help them to help you.

Original Post by linden:

two fruit roll-ups! You're really pushing the boat out there!

Ok, I know I'm not helping, I'm sorry. But I'm genuinely *angry* on your behalf that you are growing up in a society where, in the midst of plenty girls (and boys) are doing this to themselves. I'm glad there's someone keeping an eye on you (teachers) but there's only so much they can do. Help them to help you.

I read a stat the other day that said something like 42% of first, second and third grade girls feel they need to lose weight. I hope part of teacher's training now-a-days involves keeping an eye out for possible eating disorders.

I think the OP is very lucky to have such observant teachers.

#33  
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Unfortunately, OP has lost interest and is searching for ways to burn in excess of 1200 calories in 2 hours on another thread.

OP, you do get physics classes at your school, surely. Have you heard of this thing called conservation of energy? You're not even eating 1200 cals, how are you going to have enough energy to breathe and think and talk?

 

<TW for briefly mentioned violent imagery>

I've been staying out of the YCC forum. It feels like watching soldiers rush toward a machine-gun to be mowed down. Why??

Linden- I actually don't take physics. I take life science. Therefore, I have no clue what you are talking about. I thought that in order to lose weight you have to burn more than you eat. That is why I am trying to figure information about the calorie burn in Zumba. My mum wants me to do it so I wont be so stiff when I dance.

If it does not burn enough calories, I am probably going to have to cut something else out of my schedule so that I can go to the gym three hours ( 1. Elliptical, 2. Zumba, 3. Elliptical).

I don't want to have an eating disorder. I don't think I have one either. I am actually trying to eat more with the plan that I made. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do so because of really low appetite (cant force myself to eat when Im not hungry) and my stomach starts to hurt when I do so.

Do you have a blender?  If so, I would start making protein shakes, smoothies, anything to get your calories up.  You can also get the fruit/veggie juice blends made by naked juice or bolthouse farms.  You should be able to take in a lot more calories without an upset stomach.  Maybe it's the foods that you eat.  Once you get your calories up, your body will adjust and you should be able to eat bigger meals.  

Original Post by makayla715:


If it does not burn enough calories, I am probably going to have to cut something else out of my schedule so that I can go to the gym three hours ( 1. Elliptical, 2. Zumba, 3. Elliptical). What? 3 hours at the gym, on no breakfast or lunch?

I don't want to have an eating disorder. Well you are going the right way to develop one, if you haven't already. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do so because of really low appetite Anorexia nervosa literally means 'nervous loss of appetite'. Sound like anyone you know? (cant force myself to eat when Im not hungry) and my stomach starts to hurt when I do so. You're exercising to a ludicrous extent, don't eat all day, and give the excuse that you're not hungry? Girl, you need some serious help.

 

#37  
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Original Post by makayla715:

Linden- I actually don't take physics. I take life science. Therefore, I have no clue what you are talking about. I thought that in order to lose weight you have to burn more than you eat. That is why I am trying to figure information about the calorie burn in Zumba. My mum wants me to do it so I wont be so stiff when I dance.


Hooo boy. I do believe you've heard of this thing called metabolism. And perhaps you understand that it takes energy for cells to exist. Catabolic processes ringing any bells? As a person in the life sciences, you must know better than most this fact: things that are alive spend energy just staying alive.

You're absolutely right that to lose weight, you need to eat less than you use. What you're trying to do is burn off *everything* you eat, leaving nothing for getting up in the morning, showering, walking, thinking, concentrating. When this happens, your body is not merely dipping into fat reserves to make up a slight deficit (the way healthy weight loss should work). Instead, it is burning up both fat and muscle, because you are demanding to much of it. It has to leach calcium from your bones for all the processes calcium is used for (it sounds like you're not eating enough calcium either).

In the other thread, you were talking about burning 1200 calories in two hours. You are young, and probably need around 1700 even if you stayed in bed all day. If you're not even eating 1200 on days you work so hard, I fear for your health and wellbeing. You cannot do this to yourself. *Use* that life science knowledge, for heaven's sake.

Why are you stiff when you dance? Is more dance the solution? Why don't you have an appetite when you are doing so much exercise? These are huge warning signs.

Hey! I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have not been oficially diagnosed with an eating disorder....but you definitely have an eating disorder regardless. Anyone who eats light bread, better n' butter peanut butter, and only finishes half a granola bar has disordered eating.  Please realize that you need to seriously change your approach to food if you want to get healthy.  

Here are easy ways to get in more calories:

-get rid of the fiber one bars and replace them with cliff bars/protein bars/other dense bars

-drink juice instead of water

-regular peanut butter only

-normal, thick bread

-multiply everything by at least two. For example, for dinner have two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made with real bread and amply PB&J with a tall glass of orange juice.

 

#39  
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I've got some additional stipulations/suggestions for the diet:

At least 80gr of protein (this is a guess, but seeing as you are doing a manic amount of exercise, seems entirely reasonable. It's going to be a step up from where you are now, that's for sure.)

At least 1000 mg calcium. That's going to be 3 cups of 1% milk, unless you have other sources of calcium in your diet.

18mg of iron a day for your age. Remember that vegetarian sources of iron are not as well absorbed as animal sources, so you need more.

<edited to remove a sentence> 

I'm really confused.

What's the matter with low fat peanut butter? Or weight watchers bread? Isn't it better for your health to eat things that don't contain a lot of fat and calories? And what's the problem with drinking water? Juice has so much sugar and preservatives and things. What are clif bars? I have never heard of them. What's the matter with eating half a sandwich? Full sandwiches for me is like over eating. Less is more?

I'm sorry but I just don't get the point of all this food. As long as you get five fruits/ vegetables a day, eight cups of water or more, and exercise, you have a healthy diet. I dont know, maybe I am just thinking way too hard about being healthy. I am just so interested in eating healthy and knowing what I'm eating. I even have started wanting only eat packaged food because I can see exactly what is them or food I make myself.
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