F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Aefw001
My 17yo daughter was discharged from an ED treatment center 3 weeks ago.  She has been WR for a month and in the past week made tremendous strides forward--sharing with me when she was having acute body image distress, coming to find me when she was accidentally left alone during her morning snack  (21 yo daughter was supposed to be in kitchen w/her) so she could be supervised, doing normal things like laugh with her little sister and eat a meal outside in public.  We had a great morning yesterday after the weekly vitals check at the pediatrician office and bought her a little stuffed animal that she selected to mark the occasion of being one month into her WR life.  Her weight since she has been home was up 2 pounds from the "goal" weight" the first two weeks, and her nutritionist (she's enrolled in a virtual intensive outpatient program through the ED treatment center she attended) reduced her meal plan a little each week.  This week however she was up another 2 pounds--on her monthly cycle so this may account-- and I emailed the nutritionist with this info. and questioned further reducing the meal plan as she's not needing to gain any more weight (she is exactly where she needs to be on her growth curve).  Anyhow, I left the house for an errand and came home to a daughter who was almost catatonic and who told me to go away and not speak to her.  Turns out she wanted to email the nutritionist herself and because she had lost the privilege of her phone that day, she picked up my wife's phone to do the email and saw the copy of the message I sent to the nutritionist which included her weight.  My d. shared this with me after awhile of sobbing on her bed--two months ago she had overhead a video call with her doctor where we discussed a "check in" weight to see how she was doing  and so my D. has assumed that this was the WR spot she was at.  It's not.  The treatment center set a goal 10 pounds above that and now my d. is 4 pounds above that spot.  She was miraculously able to eat dinner and evening snack after two hours of my sitting with her on her bed and listening to all the horrible things she believes this weight now confirms about her body.  But later last night she "faked" taking her ADHD meds for the first time since she's been home--I saw the pill in her bed after she "took" it.  This morning she has managed breakfast and snack and is understandably completely angry with me and I feel overwhelmed and so sad that this information came just as she was hitting a stride in her recovery.  Her psychic pain is so difficult to witness and I'm so worried that this will cause her to act out in ways we can't imagine right now.  We are reducing her meal plan and I'm trying to get to take advantage of the limited physical activity she has access to but she is overwhelmed by body image distress when she goes outside of the house. I'm sorry this post is so long.  Thanks for reading and any advice about moving forward will be appreciated.  
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Enn

I am sorry this happened and it may be one of  many triggers over time. There is no good way, I don’t think, to address the body dysmorphia. If you say she is fine you are agreeing with her, if you say ok you will decrease the nutrition her ED will get more powerful. Either way she has to eat,she needs her nutrition and she needs to learn to tolerate this distress. When my d kept saying i just wanted her to get bigger and bigger I would tell her that her body was healing and it was finding her own set point and this was normal for recovery. Then I had to learn not to engage. We need to learn to tolerate their distress too. I know it’s hard. I hated it when ED raged. It can be a bit frightening.

This may be the first ‘slip’ there will likely be more as we cannot shield them from their weights forever or other triggers. I know it happened too early for you and you weren’t prepared. It does get better. 

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Enn
https://www.kartiniclinic.com/blog/post/tolerating-our-own-childrens-distress/

https://www.feast-ed.org/distress-tolerance-is-a-parental-superpower-not-a-lack-of-caring/
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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camusicmom

I feel your pain.   About 2 months ago my 16 year old d saw her weight through a nurse mistake.  She was livid , so upset, we were terrified that this would erode all of the hard work that we had done recently.  

After a lot of discussion, her therapist suggested that we allow her to see her weight on a regular cadence - every other week.  The therapist said it was more of a young adult model and that while it might be greater pain in the short term, if she could learn to tolerate it and be somewhat part of the discussion for recovery, it would serve her better in the long term.  

It was terrifying but we decided to try it.  We’ve had 4 scheduled weights that she has seen.  We never do a blind weight - she knows where she stands.  She has gained weight every time (as she is needs to do), been in extreme distress, worked to regulate, seen her therapist directly after to process.  But she has kept on track so far and is able to come back to a more stable state within a day.   And while we dread each one and know that day will suck for all, I think she is slowly building up a bit of resilience and a little less distress with each exposure.   

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PleaseEAT

It is upsetting to all when they first find out their weight as it what they fear the most (weight gain)
the thing is there is many places they can weigh themselves, friends, chemist etc
So as said above they have to learn to cope with it and that  sooner or later they have to face it even if WE want to protect them from knowing as we don’t want the upset especially when things seem to be going well
it does get better and is part of the journey and 
Unfortunately it can take a VERY long time

All the best
❤️☮️

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Barberton
@Aefw001, I recently listed to a podcast episode on ED Matters Episode 194: Dr Nicholas Farrell & Maxine Cimperman: Open Weighing. You may find it helpful as it discusses the arguments for and against knowing one's weight. Personally, I think it depends not only on the individual but where they are in recovery. So I don't agree with "we need to let someone with an ED always know what their weight is because they have to learn not to be anxious about it." I've taken it as my job to make the call as to whether my d knows her weight or not. Yes, we have yo-yoed back and forth, but I'm her advocate and will say to her, "I don't think it will be helpful for you to know your weight right now. Let's focus on (fill in the blank with whatever will distract)."
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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PleaseEAT

I agree with you Barberton for the 8 weeks whilst my d IP not one of us knew her weight except the medical team as she was blind weighed,  she didn’t get told either,  and I didn’t ask as my d was so very sick at that time I just knew she needed to be where she was

eventually she learned her weight right before discharge and of course this caused her to be upset and self harming (I would of much preferred her not to have know especially as I had to deal with the fallout at home)

What I meant in my post was depending on their age and unless you are with them 24/7 how on earth do you “police” them not finding out their weight by some other means 

we do not have a scale in the house but of course my d can get weighed if she is around a friends house or relatives that may have a scale in their bathroom (wich is unfortunately pretty normal for people who haven’t experienced an ED)
so unless you have warned everyone your d is in contact with to get rid of their scales it’s not hard for them to learn their  weight 

my d now gets weighed fortnightly at her physc appt, I’d prefer she didn’t get weighed but duty of care for her physc says they must I still don’t know her weight but trust the safety net is there with the professionals 

not ideal but it is what it is 
they tell us nothing as my d a YA
it’s not easy but she is alive and eating 
all the best 

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evamusby_UK

Ughh, I know that disappointment or even fury at these slips.

I second all the replies you've been getting. I'm wondering if by now you are seeing the crisis is over, she's coped with the information and it will all be part of her getting 'exposed' or 'desensitised' to the fear of these numbers. I hope this gives you some support, that this incident does not mean her progress is lost, and indeed it may turn out to be beneficial.

Note as well that if you got her goal weight was whatever means a catch-up back on her historical growth curve, she may still need more weight -- there are many first-hand accounts of people needing a little more, often manifested by signs of big hunger and continued obsession with food/cooking, as though the body is signaling it needs more. It's an imperfect science. (I did a YouTube on this last week, if it helps).

The main thing is she continues to be in treatment, so it sounds like you'll all be well supported to take her through the next phase of treatment, rather than what happens too often, when treatment stops just because they're weight-recovered. So you're most probably on track and it's normal that things aren't yet all smooth-going.
Hugs for now, Eva

Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at https://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
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Aefw001
Hello All,
Thank you each for sharing your own experience and resources with me. I did check out the tolerating your child's emotional distress articles and found them helpful. We are now in our 3rd day post-seeing her weight and while she has struggled more to finish her meal plan--arguing more, not engaging in conversation at dinner--she is completing.  She even managed to put on shorts and go for a bike ride and have a picnic with my wife and younger D. yesterday--though it took my wife and I to literally dress her as she tried on 10 clothing items on her own and decided she wasn't going because none of them felt right.  We said it wasn't a choice not to go and we would help her put on a the most comfortable thing.  Ultimately she was able to put them on herself.  I think if we can learn to tolerate this distress as a "wave" of emotion that needs "riding" out and help her see it similarly we will all be able to cope better.  I was reading Eva Musby's book last night that included several examples of how to do this and hope to be able to put them in action soon.  This forum is life-saving.  Thank you all for showing up and being here.  The therapists on D.'s team were non-responsive to our email pleas for advice--one merely sent along worksheets on emotion coaching as if this was just another bump in the road when, in fact, it's a landmark moment in ED recovery that requires processing and attention.  We meet with our own FBT therapist tomorrow and hope to work on how to move forward with weights--i.e. having D. see them every other week as someone here is doing; having her see it every week; going back to blind weighing...etc.
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Torie
It sounds like you and your d are doing great!  Kudos to you and your d and the whole family!

So sorry for this current trouble.  Sucks.  Also sucks that no matter what happens (sickness, wisdom teeth removal, teen drama, weight trauma, whatever) they still have to eat.  That is a super important thing for them to learn: In spite of x,y, z, full nutrition is still a must.

Keep swimming. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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evamusby_UK

Yes, kudos indeed! She's managing to keep going in spite of the distress, and I love your sensitivity as you describe it as " it's a landmark moment in ED recovery that requires processing and attention".

Baberton gave you a link to a podcast to ED Matters 194, which I think I haven't listened to, and there's also:

Episode 97: Karin Kaplan Grumet, RD, CEDRD: The Pros and Cons of Blind Weighing

 

https://www.edcatalogue.com/episode-97-karin-kaplan-grumet-rd-cedrd-pros-cons-blind-weighing/

I'm so glad you're finding good help here. Wishing you continued fast progress.
Eva

Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at https://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
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