I support my daughter’s love for school athletics. However, I am concerned about her obsession with weight loss. How can I support her goals, yet encourage her to develop healthy eating habits?
Above all your daughter seeks your approval. So, you can help her feel good about her body and set a good example by eating balanced meals yourself! Try to eat as many meals together as you both can; dinner should be a top priority. Many athletes are pressured into believing that by restricting their food intake in order to lose weight, they will look better, increase endurance and enhance their overall athletic performance. However, contrary to this belief, restricting calories will result in:
- Depleted fuel stores
- Muscle depletion
Weakness and fatigue
- Eventual impaired performance
We must dispel the myth that thinness equals happiness. We need to love ourselves and our bodies for what they are rather than hate them for what they are not. Try to emphasize that being fit and healthy are more attainable goals than slender, air-brushed magazine ideals. As a parent, you need to provide your daughter with the tools to deal with society’s mantra of you can never be too thin. Build up her self-esteem, so that your daughter is good enough to hurdle all these obstacles.
Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html