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Posts: 985
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

As we all know progress in eating disorders is SSLLOOWWW, painfully slow. It can be very hard to keep perspective, especially in the beginning when all is chaos.

I used a habit tracker to visually and, more importantly, quickly keep track of where we were. Just google it and you will find multiple free examples to print out. Here is a link to some examples[]=bullet%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=journal%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=tracker%7Ctyped&add_refine=habit%7Cguide%7Cword%7C1

I kept track of all 3 meals and 3 snacks. I coloured the box if the meal was eaten, put an X for a refusal, a O if we had an outing and missed a snack, a V if he varied from his routine food and a D if I was away from home for a snack (unavoidable occasionally) 

I also kept track of digestive issues; pain, discomfort or nausea. As well as emotional melt downs, violence and self harm.

I also kept track of happier things such as socialising and outings.

And sure enough it was possible to see at a glace that there were fewer refusals over the weeks. And the first time I realised that there hadn't been a meltdown for a month, well, lets just say that I was a very happy mom.

It was also very helpful to quickly show doctors, therapists how we were getting along.

Hope this little tip is of some use, especially to those deep, deep in the trenches.

Warm wishes,


2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, tons of variety in food, stepping back into social life. Sept 2017, back to school full time for the first time in 2 years. Happy and relaxed, just usual non ED hassles. 

  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal. (but don't give up on the plan too soon, maybe it just needs a tweak or a bit more time and determination [wink] )
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.

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Posts: 1,378
Reply with quote  #2 
What a great idea deenl!  So helpful to see the changes over time, especially when you are in the thick of things, and feel that nothing is changing!

Also great that it can be used to show medical providers progress (or lack of) to help inform treatment protocols.

Thanks for sharing this good resource!

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou

Posts: 1,124
Reply with quote  #3 
we did something like that, too. We marked "good" days green, days with some discussion about food yellow and "bad" days red. At the beginning there were just a few yellow days, but now after 3 months we have the second week with only green days now (knocking on wood). Its helpful even for our d because she often thinks the last week was not good and so she can see that what her mind tells her is not what we see. Great idee to do this for every meal, deenl! We often don´t see the good things developing because of all the trouble with ED...

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Posts: 1,179
Reply with quote  #4 
What an excellent idea! That would have been so helpful to us in those messy early days.
D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]

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Posts: 184
Reply with quote  #5 
"Its helpful even for our d because she often thinks the last week was not good and so she can see that what her mind tells her is not what we see." I love this Tina!

I have been tracking the moods in my own personal notebook along with the calories intake to make sure she gets appropriate amount a day. Whenever I thought we are still deep in ED, I would be reminded thanks to my notes that we had some good days...and whenever I thought she is maybe wr, I would be reminded to stay cautious because there were some challenging days.
I should make a chart for her like this so she sees it too. Thanks for the idea.

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Posts: 3,591
Reply with quote  #6 
A fascinating way of monitoring behaviour.  I can see how it could be really useful to track behaviour over time. 
I am terrible at diary keeping of any sort. I did manage to keep a food diary for my D when she first became ill, from her second discharge from hospital through to around 12 months later. I then had to start up again when she lost weight after that. I always felt like I was being very obsessive. 
I think I was monitoring the wrong things. 

D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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