Monday, August 30, 2010

Back To School - 2010

The laziness of summer means I'm always a little blindsided by the return of school stresses. My kids headed back to school this past week.

N is still doing well despite having his wisdom teeth removed and getting high-sticked in a street hockey game a week later (resulted in stitches in three different places and two loose teeth). I was surprised to see the question about past history with eating disorders come up with the wisdom-teeth procedure. I hadn't even thought about it, but he had to come fasting. They asked "would that be a problem for him?" All of a sudden I could see the implications of eating difficulties that would result afterwards too. But it was fine. They scheduled him for their first extraction of the morning. And we provided him with a lot of good soft foods to keep his calories up while his mouth healed. It turned out to be very relevant preparation as he healed from his trip to the emergency room a week later - and had to continue his diet of soft foods.

The old question of participating in a sport has risen again. He feels "so out of shape" and wants to run track. My question is how do we help him balance a desire to be active without it turning into an exercise/weight obsession? We are very encouraging and supporting parents. As we had this discussion I could tell that he wanted us to encourage and support him in his desires to be fit and was baffled why we weren't. There were some tears as I explained why we were so hesitant. There are so many ways to be active without it having to be about an ED's version of self-discipline or rigor - both of which could trigger exercise-binging. I can also see him looking to the exercise to solve some of his social reluctance. We made him aware of our concerns that he was expecting track to solve the problems for him.

So, what to do? I don't know.


Erica said...

So glad to hear that your son is doing well! My d has a very sensitive mouth and I can't imagine her having to have oral surgery -- I am impressed.

The sports thing is so hard. Our d is doing tennis about once a week now, and that is about all I can realistically see her doing. It is social, and really not that physical compared to running and tae kwon do -- both of which she was doing when she became ill.

Running track uses a lot of calories...would your son be willing and able to eat more in order to make up for what he will run off? Did he exercise compulsively when he was AN?

Does his school have a golf team? Just kidding, sort of!

Wendy said...

Erica - It sounds like your daughter must be doing well -- at least well enough to play tennis. I'm so glad.

My son did exercise compulsively when he was really sick. So that's a lot of the reason why I worry. We talked about it more -- and I've realized that running the mile in Physical Ed class is completely humiliating when he is the last one to finish. We may work out a compromise where he can work on improving his mile -- but not more than that. I think that could be realistic and also has a limit. Hopefully that keeps the excessive exercise in check.