Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
When Young Female Athletes Get Too Lean
May 9, 2006

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I totally support my daughter and her love for school athletics. However, as a mother, I am concerned about her obsession with weight loss. How can I support her goals, yet advise her about her unhealthy eating habits without making things worse?

Your daughter above all 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, exercise better and enhance their overall performance. However, contrary to this belief, restricting calories will result in:

  • Depleted fuel stores
  • Muscle depletion
  • Fainting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Eventually impaired performance
We must dispel the myth that thinness equals happiness. Through words and actions transmit to your daughter: we love ourselves and our bodies for what they are rather than hate them for what they are not. Emphasize being fit and healthy as more attainable goals than slender and stereotypically beautiful. As a parent, you need to provide your child with the tools to deal with all these pressures by building up her self-esteem - 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