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Could this be a start of an eating disorder?

My 15 year old daughter is is in cross country (first year) They teach them not to eat before they run, after they run or before they have a meet or after the meet. She has gotten sick and thrown up 2 times now during a run. She has a meet today (and just got her monthly and has a 10 mile run tomorrow. Has anyone had any running experience to tell me if this is healthy and to run this much, first day of her monthly (plus it's going to be in the upper 80's).This is her first year with cross country and I'm concerned with her health. I don't think it's going well at all. She is skipping breakfast now. This is not healthy and I fear it is crossing over into a eating disorder. I'm thinking this: As soon as her track meet tonight is done I think we should consider her done with cross country. Which means no run for the homecoming ball run (10 miles) with her period 2nd day. She is telling us we can't make her eat and we say: U r so... Right we can't make u eat & since u r pulling that card we will no longer put u in any sports . THEY NEED HEALTHY PARTICIPANTS NOT ONES STARVING THEMSELVES so they faint, throw uo etc. Which means u will be out of soccer too IF THIS CONTINUES. U r refusing r to eat and or eat healthy or take your vitamins for 5 days now. I think u threw her lunch away. yesterday. She said she was going to throw it away.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:03 AM on Sep. 26, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (5)
  • You need to make an appointment with her doctor, early prevention is the key, the more you force the issue the worse it will become. I understand not eating prior to a meet, but why not after? You might want to speak with the coach.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 10:14 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • Eating gives you the nutrition and energy you need to run those long distances. I would call her dr. Then contact the school as well. I know when I run I can't eat anything heavy or I will get sick but after I'm a monster lol I would tell her if she doesn't eat she can no longer be in sports like you've already said. I've never known anyone who suffered from an eating disorder so I think the dr would be the safest and smartest way to go.

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 10:19 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • Unless her period limits her ability to function, it doesn't matter if she is menstruating during a meet. This isn't the dark ages where women were told to not bathe because of a little sloughing of the uterus.

    She shouldn't eat a large meal. It is healthy to run, barring physical limitation i.e. damaged knees. And all vitamins do, so long as she is being fed healthy foods, is provide her expensive urine.


    Answer by feralxat at 10:41 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • Skipping breakfast the day of meets, thinking that it's because they're not supposed to eat "before" a meet? My thought would be that more clarification from the coach might help a lot. It sounds like she is trying to follow orders but may not understand them correctly. I think I would talk to the coach to learn the actual expectations, THEN let the coach know what has been happening (refusing breakfast, perhaps skipping lunch on days of cross country meets) and ask whether that is what the coach intends. This would let the coach know that it could be helpful to address the team more specifically & explicitly about what is healthy, what's intended (as far as not eating before a meet) and even what foods are recommended (the night before, morning of, lunch the day of, etc.)
    If you are working with her & her coach as much as possible around what she eats when, it could feel more collaborative.
    Getting coercive isn't a good idea.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:31 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • This sort of sounds like the beginnings of an eating disorder, but I don't think it's because of the athletics.

    Have you ever tried to compete on an overfull stomach???!?! You feel bloated, sluggish, and if you get hit wrong (soccer), it HURTS.

    I played soccer on two teams in high school, ran track (sprinter), and swam one year. The coach is advising not to eat big meals before meets because it will adversely affect her performance, which she's already found out about. As for running/competing while menstruating, that has nothing to do with anything. Most times, athletics helped make the cramps go away.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 2:08 PM on Sep. 26, 2013

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