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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
bitesize Offline
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I'm worried about my brother. - June 3rd 2010, 11:55 PM

I never thought I'd be posting in this forum :/ but my little brother is starting to worry me. He's almost sixteen, and he's my absolute reason for living, so I hate that he's not perfectly happy.
He's always been skinny, but over the past couple of years he's become really self-conscious about it. He's also conscious about other things like his hair, which I think is fairly normal for a teenage boy, but his eating habits are starting to worry me. He's become absolutely obsessed with putting on weight, even though I think, like me, he has a fast metabolism and doesn't do it easily. He calorie-counts every single piece of food he's about to eat, and forces himself to eat more and more if he feels he hasn't eaten enough calories for the day. He said to me the other day 'I'm stuffed, but I'm going to look up pictures of food to make me feel hungry so I can eat more'.

He stresses over his BMI, and deliberately eats really fatty foods, and fattier options, which can't be good for him, even if it doesn't show on him weight-wise. And he's vaguely mentioned stuff like avoiding excercise in the hope that he might gain weight. My mum knows he's a bit hyper with it all and confided in me that she'd hidden the bathroom weighing scales so that he wasn't constantly weighing himself. I think she's scheduling a doctor's appointment for him soon too, but as he doesn't open up easily to people he doesn't know very well I can't really see that helping a lot.

I'm just worried, because he's really obsessing over it. He has a few other things going on, his Junior Cert Exam (GCSE equivalent) is coming up and stuff, but this has been going on for a while. What's really bad is that it's all in his head ~ he's NOT noticeably underweight or anything. He's skinnyish, but in an average way, and sure he had a growth spurt recently anyway. He's just really got this idea into his head that he has to keep putting on more and more weight until he's happy.

I just want him to feel better and see that this is getting kind of ridiculous, but he won't listen to me when I say it. He means the world to me guys I just don't really know what to do..


Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror, years ago
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I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door
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Níl a shíltear mar a bhítear.
Things are not always what they seem.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Jen Offline
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 4th 2010, 03:48 AM

You're such a good sister and friend for being concerned! Have you tried talking to him? At the very least, that will make him know that you care and are there for him. Often times, that's one of the most helpful things. He might not want to talk about it, but he also might choose to vent his frustrations and that would open up some chances for you to dialogue with him about what you see, and your worries, and all.

It's great that your mom is on board and is going to continue helping him and schedule a doctors appointment. I'd also talk with your mom, let her know that you're worried--because you need support, too. Hopefully between the two of you, you can be there for your brother, and also help get him any professional help that he needs.

And in the meantime, just keep being there for him, and have fun with him, goof around, do whatever you usually do--he knows you love him for who he is, and that goes a LONG way.

Take care of yourself too.
<3




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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 4th 2010, 04:26 AM

Try talking to him. Let him know that you are worried about him, and that stuffing himself won't help. If he can talk to a doctor, that might help. A doctor might be able to tell him that he's not too skinny, and the damage he is doing by forcing himself to eat. You could also suggest that he try lifting weights, as it will give him muscles and he won't appear as scrawny. I'm glad he has you, but try not to forget to take care of yourself too. If you need anything, don't hesitate to pm me.


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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 4th 2010, 07:40 AM

Unfortunately you're right and eating fatty foods really wont do him any good. Even if he does gain weight, he'll just end up with a high body fat percentage which would put him at serious health risks.

Obviously he has fast metabolism. The best way to gain a little bulk would be to actually exercise far more, rather than avoiding it. Obviously he's under the impression it would burn calories and make him skinny, but the truth is it would also build up muscle which would mean more weight and bulk, looking good and being a lot healthier. Also exercise works wonders for building up a good appetite.

Maybe try talking and telling your brother these things, let him know he doesn't need to stop, but there are far better methods.
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 4th 2010, 10:56 AM

If he does want to "put on weight", is it just to try and make him not look as slim?

As the above poster said, encourage some exercise, protein and weights
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  (#6 (permalink)) Old
bitesize Offline
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 5th 2010, 06:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlora View Post
If he does want to "put on weight", is it just to try and make him not look as slim?

As the above poster said, encourage some exercise, protein and weights
Yes, although I think he hates the idea of not being heavy as well.
Thanks so much though guys, this helped. (:


Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror, years ago
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I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door
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Níl a shíltear mar a bhítear.
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 10th 2010, 07:49 AM

I wouldn't necessarily count it as an ED. I use to be really skinny when I was younger and my objective was to get bigger - which I accomplished. He could do it much easier by going to the gym and working out, on top of doing cardiovascular exercise, such as; biking, swimming, jogging/running, etc.

I have a really fast metabolism too and I was eating [Edited by Jen] so I know exactly where he is coming from.

I would say the general population all over the world is severely self-conscious, it's just how the media forces these thoughts into our head that we either have to be really lean, or really bulky. Guys feel the heat as much as women, regardless of what anyone thinks. How many of those guys go to the gym just for themselves? I doubt very many do, it's always for some reason like looking better/gaining self-confidence or picking up women.

The only thing that is slightly scary is the fact that he has to go to pictures to force himself to eat... other then that it just seems like a guy that is genuinely trying to build up some muscle mass. Also, tell him when he gets towards his 20's to 30's his body is naturally going to get bigger.

Good luck!

Last edited by Jen; June 10th 2010 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Please don't post weight/calorie numbers; it's against the Terms of Service.
   
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 10th 2010, 10:53 PM

I know where your brother is coming from as i've struggled with this issue for practically all of my teenage years, and speaking from experience such cases as him and I are less of a rarity, as one might think. In fact a lot of people with high-metabolisms feel the same way, as i am part of a community regarding this issue. If you would like me to PM you the details, feel free to ask me, as i think your brother may benefit from having somewhere in which he could realise he is not 'alone' and that in fact it is very much normal to have a high metabolism, which is something i'm slowly learning to accept.

I used to obsess over eating, constantly binging but now my health is suffering for it. I've given up on it now, realising that my body was made the way it was for a reason and no amount of self-loathing and stuffing my face will change that. I'm starting to wear shorter-sleeved tops now which is something of an achievement for me considering my mindset has prevented me from doing so in the past.

Make your brother realise that he is fine the way he is, but he also needs to go through a struggling phase as it will allow him to realise that his attempts are not going to give him the changes he desires. It's all worthless in the end, and i only wished i'd seen it sooner as i wouldn't have spent so much time obsessing over calories and making myself ill.

Take care.


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[<3]



Last edited by glittermist; June 10th 2010 at 10:59 PM.
   
  (#9 (permalink)) Old
johnny26 Offline
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 13th 2010, 02:53 PM

Hello bitesize try talking to him about how he looks good on his size maybe he needs somebody to tell him that he already looks good on his current body build.
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  (#10 (permalink)) Old
bitesize Offline
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Re: I'm worried about my brother. - June 14th 2010, 11:36 AM

Thanks guys, yeah I have a fast metabolism as well and this used to bother me a little when I was younger, so I know some of how he feels, but it never got to this extent with me. I'm gonig to start trying to subtly remind him that he looks fine and that there's nothing wrong with him (which is true, I know for a fact that some of the most popular girls in his school year have fancied him.) But I just want him to be happy


Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror, years ago
.....
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door
...
...
Níl a shíltear mar a bhítear.
Things are not always what they seem.
   
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