Anorexic at Fifteen- A Girl’s Story

There are a number of things that can negatively scar/impact a person for life. For some a childhood experience is responsible for their problematic low self-esteem.

Words are seriously powerful. A Yoruba adage says, “eyin lo hun. To ba ti bo sile, kose ko mo”. It means that words are fragile, once spoken cannot be retrieved especially when it is hurtful or damaging.

As a parent what words are you speaking to your children?
As a teacher you are a major player in how your students turn out in future. Many of us believed our teachers possibly more than our parents as toddlers…So as a teacher are you speaking words that build the self-esteem of kids under you?

Check out this story from a book I am reading currently: Handbook on Counselling Youth by Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler. Chapter 42- Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder anorexia-3

Ever since she was a baby, Linda had been fat. Her parents used to call her their little teddy bear because she was cuddly and pudgy…months before Linda first sought treatment, she tried cheerleader…When the big day of tryouts came , she performed perfectly. Everyone thought she would be selected.
The next morning she left for school, excited as she anticipated seeing her name on the list of new rally squad members. Then came the shocking truth, her name was not on the list. She couldn’t believe it. What had gone wrong?
Linda ran down the hall to find the cheer leading adviser. Mrs Anderson stood up as Linda walked into her office in tears. “Why didn’t I make the squad when everyone, including you, said I was so good?” Linda cried.
Mrs Anderson’s frank reply made a scarring impression on Linda. “You’re good,” she said, “but you’re also overweight. We can’t put fat cheerleaders out in front of everyone. Besides that, we don’t have a uniform big enough to fit you”.
Linda hated herself, she hated her fat…Two months later, Linda had lost forty pounds and had gone from a size thirteen to a size four. She had become anorexic at fifteen years of age.

I find this story very sad because that cheer leading opportunity was just one big step in helping Linda become confident about herself. Words are powerful be careful what you say to others especially children and teenagers. Be kind, be patient and don’t just be frank in a hurtful way.

You have an opportunity to help your child as a mum or dad believe in himself/herself.

You have the opportunity as a teacher, leader to help produce kids that are confident about themselves.

According to Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler in their Handbook, Youth Counseling:

A few causes of Anorexia
• Childhood abuse…it is an escape route for pain
• Culture of been slim and thin as an acceptable figure accepted by society.
• Need for control.

Look at the enormous effects
• Amenorrhea- It sometimes causes disruption of normal circle.
• Anemia – decrease in red blood cell count in the body.
• Malnutrition
• Kidney dysfunction and failure – Extreme loss of weight can cause the kidney to malfunction.
• Dry skin & thin head hair.
• Guilt & Shame
• Social withdrawal

If you have an eating disorder problem please seek help. You’ve got beautiful things ahead of you. You are unique and special. Your past does not have to determine your present, there is a whole lot more to you. And seriously you are beautiful just been you; there is nothing wrong with having some more flesh!!!

Photo Credit: ODDEE -Ten most shocking cases of Anorexia

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

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2 thoughts on “Anorexic at Fifteen- A Girl’s Story

  1. This is so sad to read. Some adults make me mad. The child should be encouraged and even used as an inspiration to other children who are overweight. As a matter of fact, getting them engaged in sport would probably help them to lose weight in a healthier way.

    Liked by 1 person

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