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Weight talk

Guest fille'smom

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rappy, I edited your posts so that the info was all in one, and then deleted the extras (didn't want you to think it was Gremlins). Thank you for that very important information!

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Thank you rappy for bringing up that very important point. Anorexia and bulimia are diseases of the mind that manifest in the body. there is a totally skewed body image. Truly anorexic people really believe that they are fat when everyone else sees that they are fading away. It is really scary talking to someone with full-blown anorexia. It is obvious there is something wrong.


Keep a close eye on you dancers. It will make them angry now, but they will thank you later. My mother never let me leave the house until I ate a good breakfast. It's one of the best habits she gave to me.

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rappy, thank you so much for your input on this topic, as well as for that very helpful website. The family facts section is really a extremely good resource for anyone who wants to learn more about helping teenagers, and children, with stress. Again, many thanks for posting that link and offering your expertise to the Ballet Talk community.

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I'm interested in knowing if anyone visited www.aacap.org and found the information helpful.


But I'm really hoping, fille'smom, that you will let us know how DD is doing, because we are very concerned about her.


rappy (the pediatrician)

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Appts are set for Monday. After loosing more weight last week dd realized that enough is enough and has begun eatting more regularly. I think it scared her. She has even gained a pound and a half. :shhh: I'll let you know how the appts. go next week.

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Good report from the doctors yesterday. After a lengthy evaluation the sports psch doctor feels that dd is not suffering from an "eatting disorder". She did characterize her as "one determined dancer" though. This determination includes the knowledge that not keeping herself healthy will deter her from her goals. She met with a nutritionist and now has a better understanding of what her body needs in order to maintain a healthy weight and what fuel she needs to remain healthy. By the appts. dd had gained 4 pounds. She now has a weight "range" that she will try to maintain through healthy eatting and appropriate excersize. DD is happy and confident after her appts. I will continue to keep a close eye on her for a while even though she said "can we drop it now?" Guess I was bugging her to much. :wub:

I would recommend seeing a nutritionist to all serious dancers at least once as a means of prevention. I think that dance instuctors would be doing their students a huge service by having a nutritionist speak to the students once a year.


Thank you for all of your concern.

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fille'smom, so glad that things went so well with the appointments and that you feel that your daughter is getting good, concrete, advice. :wacko::wub:


You're so right that having a bona fide nutritionist speak regularly at ballet programs - hey, how about at regular academic schools, too? - is a worth while thing to shoot for. That said, if someone really does have an eating disorder, advice from a nutrionist is going to fall upon deaf ears due to the disorder's psychological nature.


There were several other posts here, before mine, which I thought were excellent - but they really brought this thread around into a new area of discussion: fitness. So, having the capabilities of moving posts, etc., I took the liberty of starting a new thread on the Nutrition and Health forum entitled "Can Achieving Fitness Mean More than Class?...because I think it's offers a good opportunity for discussion and education. :(

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Fille'smom, I'm so glad that DD's appointments went well and that she is gaining a little weight. You are very wise to be concerned, and I would only suggest to keep an open mind and reevaluate the situation in the future if you feel that you need to.


For all parents, I think the safest way to assure that your children receive optimal care is to be as informed as possible, and ALWAYS ask a lot of questions during a visit to the doctor. I would still suggest reading the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (www.aacap.org) "Facts for Families" and also, the policy statement on eating disorders from the American Academy of Pediatrics which you can access from that site. When you read through all the information on these sites, you wil have an excellent idea of what kind of provider to see, what questions to ask, and also, you will be able to tell if your child is being evaluated thoroughly. Also, at every annual physical exam, the primary care physician should always discuss nutrition. This can really help instill basic concepts of healthy eating over many years. Nutritionists can also be very helpful when needed, not only in a classroom, but also in making specific recommendations based on each child's food preferences.


So everyone, I'm sorry if I have gone on too long, but there are many resources out there to help keep our children healthy!

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One additional suggestion. When weight loss is an issue, the health care professionals need to get together with the parent and set a weight UNDER WHICH THE CHILD CANNOT DANCE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. There are times a dancer will be in the early stages of a potential eating disorder. The weight loss initially is purposeful, and in some cases appropriate. But then it just keeps going. And it may be slow. Often a teacher or parent or health care provider will say "if you get below XXXXXX you should not dance." But weight will drift below this. And no one draws a line in the sand. And with not enough calories in, and calories burned off dancing, weight can go down further. I suggest there always be a weight under which a dancer CANNOT dance. And parents and the studio need to stand by that. Otherwise the dancer does not realize the importance of maintinaing weight or the real consequences of loosing more weight.


Please consider choosing a weight and standing by that. And no matter what the tears are and the foot stomping. And no matter "how valuable" the role is in the upcoming studio performance etc, the dancer CANNOT dance. This could potentially prevent a much more serious problem, made even more problematic when a dancer just keeps dancing. Dancing below this weight will lead to injury or protein wasting if she continues to dance below a certain weight.


This is one of those few times where a scale may be a necessary evil when it comes to dancers. When there is a struggle to keep weight up, you really have to have a program of some sort of a weigh in. It can be at the health care provider's office or at home.

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When weight loss is an issue, the health care professionals need to get together with the parent and set a weight UNDER WHICH THE CHILD CANNOT DANCE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. There are times a dancer will be in the early stages of a potential eating disorder. The weight loss initially is purposeful, and in some cases appropriate. But then it just keeps going.

This was exactly our situation. Being firm with the "no dancing under xxx pounds" is exactly what motivated dd to become more responsible for maintaining a healthy weight. She was also not allowed to walk on the treadmill or walk to the library until she gained a few pounds. I will continue to moniter her weight once a week so that she doesn't start slipping down the scale again.


By the way my daughter is feeling much happier with herself having picked up a few pounds. I think setting a weight range was a good thing for her. She even ate a Snickers yesterday!!!! :jawdrop:

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