Advice on how parents can avoid eating disorders in their child gymnast

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Advice on how parents can avoid eating disorders in their child gymnast

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My advice to avoid eating disorders is just to encourage your child to eat. I mean, you need nutrition in order to do that sport, whatever sport it is. And so, I remember there was a time when Gabrielle didn't want to eat breakfast, and I said, "Well, you don't eat breakfast, you don't leave the house." And that's the most important meal of the day so, you have to give your body the fuel and the energy that it's going to need for you do those sports. So, it's very important to have proper nutrition, to eat a lot of protein, healthy carbs. So, I just always encouraged her to take care of her body, and as she took care of her body, her body would be able to take care of her. And when Gabrielle would come to me and say, "Mom, I think my thighs are too big," or "I think I'm expanding, my bottom is getting too big." I would just tell her, I'd say, "You are so much smaller than the average person your age so, you need to recognize that you're actually full of muscle, and you're not fat." And I just really tried to encourage her and let her know that her body was absolutely the way it should be.

Watch Natalie Hawkins's video on Advice on how parents can avoid eating disorders in their child gymnast...

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Natalie Hawkins

Mom & Manager

Natalie Hawkins is the mother of Gabrielle Douglas, 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist.  Virginia Beach native and single mother of 4, Hawkins faced many struggles putting Gabrielle through Olympic training, giving up everything she had to see her daughter succeed.  Hawkins allowed her daughter to leave their Virginia Beach home and close family bonds to pursue her dreams, train with Chow's Gymnastics in Iowa, and become the Olympian she is today.  Hawkins has since been honored in the P&G “Thank You Moms” campaign. 

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