Saturday, December 11, 2010


A thoughtful response from Jenni @ Goodbye Mirror

As a response to one of her posts I asked:  "OK big question – my step-daughter sneaks food and that sort of thing (she’s 10 but this has happened at school, at her mom’s and here and started in gr 2 or 3).
So – what advice (if any) can you give me and Hubs in how we can help my step-daughter with this issue?"

This is what she replied:

To be honest, I really don’t know the perfect answer.
Your step-daughter is probably ashamed that’s she eating. That’s the biggest reason to start sneaking/hiding food.
I wouldn’t call her out on it. That would be embarrassing to her, and maybe make her issues worse. I would probably start stocking up on fresh and healthier foods, veggies, fruits, crackers and cheese.
Let her know that it is ok for her to eat these, and she can go back for seconds, thirds or even fourths. If you are around her, open the fridge and say ‘I’m going to eat some grapes, do you want some?’ Even if you know she just ate a snack. Don’t say anything along the lines that she’s been eating to much. This way she doesn’t feel like you are trying to push weight-loss, and her bad eating habits on her. Let her think that it’s ok to eat when she feels hungry. Just give her better options.
Then, when she starts eating the healthier food, tell her she can have one snack, of her choice to be eaten whenever. But she is always allowed to snack on the fresh foods.
I suggest this only because I would have been mortified if my parents brought up my sneaking habits. The truth was, I felt fat and was ashamed of my weight, and ashamed that I was actually craving shitty food. I found when I was told NO and to look at my size, I wanted to eat more shitty food, and then when I did indulge in the shitty food, it never satisfied my hunger.
So again, let her know that she is allowed to eat, without judging. Give her foods she can eat whenever. Even if she ruins her appetite for dinner by gorging on them, at least you know they are semi-healthy. Perhaps even making ‘to-go’ bags, so that if she wants to, she can pull out a bag of carrots and cucumbers and go to her room without being watched as she eats, and doesn’t need to ask for it to be cut/made for her.
I stated my hiding of food when my mother started to constantly make comments about my size and weight, even though she was never skinny herself. She would tell me I need to stop eating, and how I would be really fat if I wasn’t so active in Cheerleading. Plus, I had to go on every kind of diet she was currently doing, which made me feel unloved. I don’t think she realized how hurtful her words were.
Perhaps your step daughter is feeling that someone is ashamed of her own weight. Perhaps she sees people in her life that are constantly worried about their weight/diet and healthy living that she’s starting to believe what she eats/looks like/does is wrong.
Wow, that became longer than I expected.
Good luck with your step daughter, and major props to you and your husband for wanting to help her, and not to judge. :) Please, let me know how things work out, and what you did to help. I’d be very curious to know!

1 comment:

  1. " I would probably start stocking up on fresh and healthier foods, veggies, fruits, crackers and cheese."

    I totally agree with that.