I’ve four children, and to be fair on them now, really they’ve never given me an ounce of bother. They still don’t, but I’m slightly concerned about one of my daughters.
She’s in her mid-20s and works away from home. During the pandemic she lost a lot of weight.
I’m starting to get a bit worried about her
Now you would have to admire the girl for it, because she did put in a huge effort, running and watching what she’s eating.
But to be honest, I’m starting to get a bit worried about her. I genuinely think she’s addicted to exercise, and I know that probably sounds mad because exercise is a good thing and all the rest.
She runs every day as she’s training for a marathon and now that the gyms are back open, she’s in the gym most days too.
Look, I’ve no problem with how much the girl exercises, but it’s the obsessiveness of it
I think it’s way too much. I’ve told her this, but she just said: “Well, I must be doing something right so.”
Look, I’ve no problem with how much the girl exercises, but it’s the obsessiveness of it. She can’t miss a day and if her workout plan is put out by something family related, she gets irritable and cross.
I don’t know what to do, Miriam. She doesn’t seem to be listening to me.
Have you any advice on how I could get through to her?
Dear Galway Mother,
Thank you very much for getting in touch. Your concern is most definitely coming from a caring place and it is clear to see that you love your daughter very much.
This is quite a tricky one, there is a fine line between exercise being good for you and over doing it.
I would suggest you sit down and have another conversation with your daughter
I must say, while all compulsive behaviour should be examined and looked at, exercise is not the worst addiction to have.
However, that does not in any way mean that we can just gloss over this. I would suggest you sit down and have another conversation with your daughter. Pick your time wisely. Do it when neither of you are in a rush and you both have time to talk.
Tell her that you support her fitness journey 100% and that she looks great, but you want to make sure she is looking after herself and getting enough rest. I would also potentially broach asking her is she doing this for the right reasons.
Is she exercising to cover up some hurt or insecurity she has?
It might be an idea to compassionately and kindly explore is there something else going on with her. Is she exercising to cover up some hurt or insecurity she has. How has her mental health been during the pandemic?
Also, it might be an idea to suggest she work with a reputable coach. A good personal trainer will not let you over-train, so I would definitely steer her towards working with someone who knows their stuff inside out.
If you are still finding it difficult to get through to her, try getting one of her siblings or another family member who is also into exercise to speak with her. They might be able to find common ground.
Overall, you cannot overly influence how much exercise your daughter does, but do let her know that you are there for her and support her in whatever way you can.
Wishing you and your family all the best,