Sunday

Nanny's weight loss trick has Mother concerned

Received Sunday, July 27, 2008 - Rant(s) and Warnings
I thought Liz was wonderful. I found Liz through Sitter City. Liz told me that she also advertised her services on Craig's List. I reside in Lower Westchester County. I want to share my story about Liz with you, not because I believe Liz is exceptionally horrible. I don't. I believe Liz is troubled, but I am most concerned with a specific trick she taught my preteen daughters. I was concerned when sharing the story with my friends to learn that they had heard of girls, teens and tweens doing this. Liz seemed great with the girls. She would come over and watch movies with them, make smores, paint nails and do girly things.

We hired her at the beginning of the summer to work a few nights a week. Last week, I was in the kitchen leafing through the mail, when I spied my 12 year old daughter out of the corner of my eye. I watched her pull a hair from her head, unsure of what I was seeing. I was about to call her name when I saw her make a few other moves and then pick up a glass of water and put the hair in her mouth and take a big sip of water. Now I called out her name, loudly. She was shocked and turned to look at me. Even though I wasn't sure what I had seen, the look of guilt made it very apparent it was something bad. I demanded to know what she was doing. After a few answers of "nothing" and "stop spying", she confessed. Liz had taught her a great weight loss trick.

The girls are now ripping out long strands of their hair, knotting the ends of the hair with an anchor, and I'm sorry if this is disturbing to read, it was disturbing to learn and see. At the knotted end, they secure something weighted, for instance a piece of an apple stem, a corner of a piece of cheese and they use the water to get that part to slide down their throat while they thread the hair through a tooth. Then they indulge in whatever bad foods they want to indulge in and apparently after that, they release the hair from their tooth and give it a tug, at which point, it instigates a deep gag reflex and the whole of their binge is ejected. As stated, I spoke to Liz's parents. They are good people, were apologetic and worried and will be handling Liz. As a mother of two preteens, I do wonder how many other girls are doing this... or worse.

19 comments:

Casey said...

Wow. that is a pretty ridiculous way to 'lose weight' aka be bulimic. I guess they think if you don't put your finger down your throat but instead throw up 'naturally', then you aren't really forcing yourself.

I can't imagine it working though, whose hair is strong enough to tie a know around a piece of cheese, thread through the tooth etc.?

I'm sorry this happened to you, OP. Your girls will hear all sorts of crazy tricks to lose weight as they grow up, mainly from friends. Talk to them about sensible weight loss and tell them there is no quick fix. Also explain the dangers of bulimia (rotting teeth among other things) and anorexia and tell them they are beautiful.

New Jersey Nanny Just Trying To Get By said...

OP:

I can't imagine what was going through your head when your young daughter was trying this stunt.

As a nanny who is in recovery for an eating disorder I would suggest what the first person who commented said. Talk to your children about the dangers of eating disorders and reinforce positive body image. Good Luck.

cfg said...

I've never heard of this one, and I thought I'd heard them all.
I agree with casey, though - who's hair is really strong enough to have hanging down your throat while you gorge yourself on other foods, and it's still there afterwards to yank on, and make yourself vomit??
Must be a really great shampoo these girls are using!! I want some!

Yaya said...

Oh My Gosh...please please please get your girls some therapy for this. This is awful. I certainly hope you are no longer using Liz!

FirstWife said...

That's awful, but not suprising.
Teenager's have awfully strong hair. Naturally.

My daughter learned a trick for her stepmother. Although the bitch didn't exactly teach it to her outright, my daughter picked up on it.

Eating kleenex.
Yes. Eating little pieces of kleenex and drinking lots of water.

That's how the bitch who stole my husband keeps her size 2 body.

youhaveasickobabysitter said...

The strange and disturbing things teen will do. I would get the babysitter out of your house now and never have her back again. She is one disturbed kid and is passing it on to your daughters.

K said...

I don't even understand how that would work. My hair is pretty thick, but I doubt that it would hold a piece of an apple core or some cheese..it's sick what your babysitter taught them though.
Firstwife, I cant believe that woman eats kleenex, thats disgusting. What is the purpose of eating kleenex exactly?
Good luck OP, sorry you got a bad babysitter.

V said...

I agree with yaya... All of you need therapy and you have to stop using Liz.

Hmmmm said...

wow. how bold and scarey a trick this is. i couldn't even do it. how desparate must someone be to lose weight to ever even try this. how desparate must your daughter have been to be willing to give it a shot.

FrmrNannyNowAMom said...

All I can say is, Wow.

New Jersey Nanny Just Trying To Get By said...

Yes and the thing that makes it so bad is that Liz taught these young teens how to do it. That's the part that makes Liz so bad. It would be different if Liz was hiding it from the young girls and OP walked in on Liz doing it and got her some help. Maybe she would still be able to use Liz, but not now. Liz obviously doesn't have the girls best interest at heart.

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kathleencares said...

WOW - I have never heard of that trick. It's amazing what girls will do to loose weight. It's a good thing you caught her and spoke to Liz's parents about it. Hopefully they can talk some sense into her, and I'm sure you're handling things with your daughter.

Marissa M. said...

Gross! I hope you got rid of liz and have an important talk with your daughters.

george said...

I've heard of that one. In the late 90's, I recall seeing a website that had all these "wonderful" tips for eating disorders. That was one.

I hope you either got that sitter out of your home or gave her a good talking-to.

And talk to your daughters. Always ,always, talk to them. We gals have a hard enough time with image, make sure they know you think they are beautiful and that they have worth outside of their looks.

cfg said...

Thank you, George! I was beginning to wonder if there was actually anyone else on this free planet that had heard of this method!

ceo said...

I watched this movie called "Perfect Illusions: Eating Disorders and the Family" and it was all about a few cases of eating disorders. My Psychology of Eating Disorders professor had us watch it. I would check it out yourself first, and if you think its an appropriate tool, show your daughter. Good luck

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mom said...

Liz sounds like a very young person...maybe a teen herself, since she lives at home? And she is a friend to your daughters too.

For the sake of Liz and your daughters, I would treat Liz with love and compassion because it sounds like she has bulemia. But you also need to impress upon your girls that Liz has a serious emotional problem....and a disease..and maybe get them a couple of preemptive counseling sessions...or take them on a visit to an eating disorder inpatient facility....to make sure they fully understand what happens to girls like Liz when they take this path and do not get the help they need to stop. Make sure they understand that a some point people with this problem LOSE CONTROL of their ability to stop it.