Know why difficult child thinks he is fat!



I feel relief, but still worry. He has been losing weight, and growing taller but still has such an issue about being fat. Couldn't figure it out and it would be such a fight if it was brought up. He doesn't eat much, says he "can't" eat because he is fat. Won't take off his shirt. Big issue here.
Today...we actually talked about it. His idea of fat and My idea of fat are two different things. He wants muscle. Says his friends have muscle..he has fat. It isn't fat, but it isn't muscle. Many of his friends are so much bigger and mature than he is, he is younger than most. So, he thinks if he doesn't have muscle showing it is called fat. We need to make a list of what he wants to eat, and I will buy those things. He agreed.
He is not allowed in the weight area of the health club until he is 14. However, his birthday is in December and he will be 13. Health club told me that as of Jan. 1, 2008, according to them he will be 14. Don't know how they figure, but that works for me. I don't go often because I feel guilty leaving him behind, and I don't see him much on the days I work. So, beginning January of next year he can come with and work out with me and we can BOTH benefit. husband could use it too. He takes him to the club to play racket ball and basketball, but never goes to the weight area. So, maybe this will be a "family" event! I don't want winter to come, but that is something to look forward to.


Since it's still 6 months until January, I'd still recommend you address this issue with difficult child's psychiatrist and therapist. Body image issues can spin out of control very quickly. I know personally because my daughter M ended up in the hospital last summer after she refused to eat. It was a long road to recovery, but after intensive therapeutic interventions, she is doing very well.


Active Member
I agree that winter may be too long to wait. my niece has dealt with anorexia for most of her life since puberty and she is now a very bony 31 yr old who rarely eats,has been hospitalized because of not eating, has menstrual trouble and still thinks she is fat.


Well-Known Member
I agree with the other two posters. Body image is something that should be addressed when it first "rears it's ugly head".

In the meantime, help him with an exercise regimin. The two of you go out to Walmart or Target and get him a cheap set of dumb bells - you can get the plastic ones really cheap. Spend some time tonight looking up excersise on the internet. Surely he could lift some weights, and do some sit ups and push ups. Perhaps you could take a walk together in the evening (although I know you work nights, perhaps in the morning or afternoon). There are a lot of little things you can do to help his build some muscle before he reaches the gym age.

Good luck.