Doing something about the onslaught on weight posts

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aerialriver

Coach
Gymnast
May 4, 2009
724
I have been noticing an awful lot of weight related posts lately. I think it is getting really unhealthy and they are not productive. I find they tend to become a competition between members. The gymnastic world is full of eating disorders and I don't think we need to do anything to help encourage it. It also does not help that the posters are mostly teen girls. I just imagine a girl already a bit self conscious looking at one of these posts and thing geez I weight 30 pounds more than them therefore I am fat and that is the straw the broke the camels back to the start of her eating disorder. I am suggesting maybe we limit these posts or better yet close them and refer folks to their doctors for any weight related questions. Maybe put up a sticky FAQ on weight related issues and gymnastics about how weight is dependant on body type as well as genetics and to seek out a doctors opinion or a nutritionist for further help. Just my thoughts.

Aerialriver
 
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bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
I will talk to GT about it, the other mods are not around these days and it is a challenge to make new rules when we do not own the site. I know you two are mature and I totally get where you are coming from, the threads bother me too, but they do not break any rules. Stickies do not get read on the whole, especially by the teenage crowd and it is hard for two people to police every thread in the CB.

I'd like to see more input on this issue from all areas of our membership. Clearly discussions of good eating, nutrition are important, but the whole body image thing gets ugly very quickly. Frankly the only way we discuss fat in our house is when we are reading the number of grammes off the side of a box.

Any constructive ideas are welcomed. Post away.
 
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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,841
North Carolina
I have not read all of the recent weight related posts, though I have noticed quite a few of them.

One I'm particular that I was following I actually felt was very open about things that influence your weight. Not relying on the scale but how you feel.

I understand the concern, but I think they can also have a positive effect as well, when the responses are mature and use common sense.
 
Mar 5, 2008
2,233
North America
I agree with Bog in that it is not breaking any rules by posting topics like this, but the more you "shun it" or put limits on what can be said only makes it more "appealing" to talk about with some people. I do agree that it can get ugly quickly and it turns into a very unhealthy "competition" with posters' dd's height/weight stats listed. I think it is important for the young girls (and parents) on here to understand the importance of healthy eating and not only healthy/strong bodies, but also healthy/strong body image and what they think of their bodies. If you look at the top gymnasts in the US today (the VISA championships for instance) most of the gymnasts are strong and powerful, not waif-like and pre-pubescent like in the past circa 1990's. I think it is also important that people (kids and parents) know that your body WILL change over the years and that it is perfectly NORMAL. Once people start throwing numbers out there with how much you should weigh is a bit pointless in that everyone is different and there are so many other factors such as ethnicity, bone structure, and height...

I have noticed the number of these types of post increasing as well and am saddened that they are written by young teenagers. This is a tough one...not too sure on how to "handle" this situation. Maybe refer these posters to "A healthy body image page" or website that maybe they can learn from?
 
G

gracefulone

Personally I think discussing it in a healthy manner is better than ignoring it. I feel some of these posts have been helpful for at least me personally and hopefully productive for some others as well.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Jan 21, 2007
4,563
Baltimore, MD
I can really see both sides of this. On the one hand this is an issue which does come up in gymnastics; it really shouldn't, but it does, and there's no way around that. It seems counterproductive to avoid the topic when we could potentially help somebody. There is certainly a place for discussion of nutrition and its effect on performance, especially considering that a gymnast's nutritional needs are very different from a non-athlete's.

However, discussion of weight is fraught with risk, as a single uninformed post can potentially do a LOT of damage. It's not something that gymnasts should really spend a lot of their time thinking about; paying attention to nutrition is definitely a good thing, but fixating on weight can do tremendous damage.

I think bog and I will have to discuss it.
 
Oct 19, 2008
112
New York
Well I agree and disagree

I know that my post really helped me with my diet, because I was getting the majority of my calories from starch and didnt know what to snack on besides that (and fresh fruit is often very inconvenient)
Now MUCH less of my food comes from pasta, rice, bread, etc, and more from dried fruit, frozen fruit, chicken breast, etc
The tread i started was really helpful (for me) and Im already starting to tone up.

But then again, thats me, and I know when i DO need carbs, and not to deprive myself of food in an effort to lose weight. i know not to compare myself to many gymnasts on this site because I started much later than the majority of them, and can go to gym much less. So Im obviously not going to be as toned, fit, whatever, as they are.

I think it all depends on the person. Some people are encouraged by these weight posts, and some are discouraged and frustrated. Maybe you should have an eating/being healthy thread or something. Like, where you dont have to put ur weight/height/whatever, and just have people posting about how to eat healthy (ie. sample meals or something) and sample workouts, so it encourages being healthy while not risking EDs.

But still, when u feel like you look twice as big as other gymnasts on the team/in the gym, it IS reassuring (to some) to come on here to find out that its totally OK to be the biggest one in the gym. :)
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
GT and I are talking about the issue now. We both feel their is a huge benefit to allow the discussion of nutrition. But the negative side of young people comparing their weights has to stop, we will be coming up with a plan and we will try to make it as balanced as possible.

If you have any good link to articles on nutrition, nutrition for atheletes and body composition please submit them here as that will allow us to create a sticky for refernce in future. I will also be trolling through all the weight threads to look for underage members and posts that state height/weight, too much info if you ask me. PLease feel free to PM if you see posts that I don't find.
 

aerialriver

Coach
Gymnast
May 4, 2009
724
Thank you so much guys for listening! It is not the nutrition or healthy eating threads that are not good. It is all the I am ___height and weight____ ,oh yeah well I am the same height as you but weight ____ posts. Nothing good can come of those. I know you don't have the man power to police the boards, but maybe just a simple no numbers rule along with a sticky and if anyone sees a numbers posts they can PM? Just a thought, don't know if that would be too much work or not. I will try and do some research in the upcoming days and see what I can fid that might be helpful for your sticky!

Aerialriver
 
G

gracefulone

I think that seems fair. It is pretty unnecessary for everyone to be comparing themselves/their daughters. I misunderstood the extent to which you wanted these things monitored. It doesn't need to be a competition.
 

CreateMagic

Coach
Proud Parent
Dec 9, 2008
377
arielriver, we are definitely on the same page, haha. I was just about to type essentially the same thing.

I think that the discussions on eating healthy and nutrition are great, and hopefully will encourage healthy life habits. I just get concerned with posts that list height and weight, and everyone starts comparing. It feeds eating disorders...pro-anorexia and bulemia websites thrive on this stuff. Every time I see these posts show up here, I worry about the teenage mindset when reading it. I know I'm supersensitive to it, but I've watched as someone I love very much suffer with this disease, and if I could have one wish, it would be that no one would ever have to go through that. Stopping the comparisons here won't prevent it obviously, but at least it won't be validating weight loss/being "skinnier than the other girl"

Thanks for looking into this issue, bog and GT.
 
C

cher062

I have to agree that I too have seen alot of the "oh Im fat" when their weight is actually health or even underweight. It does bother me too that there seems to be several teen girls here with those issues, but I think its good that these girls have a place they can come and air out those concerns and hopefully the members here will offer helpful info to help give these girls some confidence, learn a healthy eating routine and know that their weight is just fine. I hope that the discussions on these boards promote a positive outcome and that these girls seek doctors and nutritionist assistance before it does become a real eating disorder.

I don't think I would want a censore of this on this board. Talking about an issue and bringing it out in the open I think is a healthy thing.
 
i think its good to talk about it. i know that the scale is a bad thing to worry about what you should be worry about is if you feel good. and as long as thats the message everyone is getting out of those posts i think they are fine.
 
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