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

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Hi all,

I have gained lots of fantastic advice from here, but never posted myself. I have a nearly 13 year old daughter. Lost weight from last May 2018 and she has basically been in recovery with all of the usual trials and errors and times of pure hell since last Sept 2018. Never lost dramatic amount (say about 6-8kg) but it took us a year to get to grips with it all, including a time of going down the route of a gluten and dairy free diet advised by a nutritionist which put ourselves and my daughter into an even deeper pit. She became obsessed with healthy eating, scared of sugar, hardly sleeping, the usual story that many have. Never off of school, a few weeks while recovering, but total exhaustion, despair and the mental hell that the sufferer and family goes through.

Well she is fully recovered and weight restored. For us the key was getting on those extra few kg's which made all the difference in her mind state and ed behaviours. The main recovery happened between April 2019 and July. Daughter couldn't wait for summer hols to be normal. 

But she seems to be finding it hard to now control her portion sizes with snacks and will eat excessive amounts of cereal in particular (her favourite food and always has been before ed). Not every day, but fairly regularly, loves to sit and watch television and then go back for more and more bowls of cereal so that she then is so stuffed she either cannot eat her main meal or little of it and feels so stuffed and guilty and cannot do the things she wants to do like bounce on trampoline, have a little walk with the dog.It is like she has now gone the other way and all she wants is to completely get back to normal.

We had a time during recovery of eating large amounts as is necessary and I am pretty sure that this is definitley not needed any more. Wecare left with no ed behaviours, just this unhappiness and uncomfortable bloated tummy when she overeats and I am pretty sure this is what she is doing on these occasions. 

She is looking really healthy, the extra weight did go to her face and tummy, but she copes with this. She has never had a period yet, never started previously, but all her development seems to have been happening last few months. Lots of muscle aches last few weeks, grown a little in height, and breasts starting to sprout, all of which she is so happy with as she is so keen to get her development underway. She has a 16 year old sister who has always been an excellent role model, and big support throughout the process.

Anyone else who has seen this 'binge style' eating after recovery? I should also add that she absolutely adores her food again now that she is recovered. This includes everything she has always eaten and we eat a complete range of foods from porridge with molasses and seeds and fruit to hot chocolate pudding, home cooked to the odd take away, she used to be scared of so much and is now scared of nothing at all. But with all the media and friends 'being healthy' she still struggles a little with this. We have bought an intuitive eating book for after eating disorder and she would dearly love to do this, but finds she tries and then overeats and gets very uncomfortable sometimes. I have told her it is a journey and her brain will still be recovering. She always wants to talk about it with me and then feels better after a good chat. We became such a strongvlittle team together to get her over ed  I do think everyone will say that she needs to eat this amount, but she does seem to eat so well and then have these excessive amounts that make her uncomfortable which was understandable in the early days, but doesn't seem the right thing now.

She also says that when she has a 'healthier day' with less puddings etc then she feels worried that ED will come back. Then if she has a day of lots of cereal etc she thinks she might as well continue. So almost like an all or nothing approach. 

Welcome and well done!

Many have noted that their child eats a lot more and this can be a "normal" part of recovery. Do you feel she could be hungry through the day? Do you think you need to increase portions in the day so that she is not so hungry in the evening? Do you think cereal is a trigger food and maybe you need to limit access to cereal? 

Here are some threads


A blog:

Hope this helps a bit 
Watch for purging as well. 
Great job getting this far!

Please ask all the questions you have. 

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)
Thank you for the advice. We have listened to Tabitha Farr so much in the early days when my daughter needed to weight restore and her podcasts helped immensely.

My daughter has always ate so much fat...avocados, eggs, butter, peanut butter, nuts before Ed and then during recovery as this is what her body craved. We have just been chatting and think that maybe she has had less of this lately and much more of the carbs which is possibly why the excessive snacking is happening. Cereal we think has always been a trigger food for her, she used to overeat on it when she was a child before Ed, now and again and interestingly cereal was always my comfort food in childhood and adulthood.

She just said earlier in bed she feels she needs more fat and had a lovely slice of toast with lashings of butter and almond butter and banana , and I joined her with the same!

Thank you for the quick reply. This feels such a small problem compared to where we were and its just amazing having my daughter back properly these last few months. Both her and myself just want to do everything correctly to get her back to feeling 100 percent normal again.

Many thanks
I meant to say along with the fat, she has always enjoyed lots of yoghurt and milk, so protein too, before ED and during the recovery. Recently we have not had so much full fat, which might also be something to do with excessive cereal/carb eating.

Thank you
Old_Oak wrote:
I meant to say along with the fat, she has always enjoyed lots of yoghurt and milk, so protein too, before ED and during the recovery. Recently we have not had so much full fat, which might also be something to do with excessive cereal/carb eating.

Yes, you are right, include lots of fat and protein at every meal and snack time. My 2 girls used to binge as well (pre ed). So now I give them full fat Greek yogurt, nuts, pizza scrolls and drinks with full fat milk and I make sure they eat every couple of hours. Can you maybe swap the cereal with something less tasty, such as oats porridge, muesli or weetbix?
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
Hi, Old_Oak, Thanks for sharing your d's story, is she taking any medication? 
12 years son, diagnosed AN 03/18, ip one week, residential 5 weeks, IOP 7 weeks, doing FBT since 11/18.

No she has never been on any medication.

She had sessions with a lovely psychologist towards the end of the weight gain. It was a case of once we had our daughter back (although she was never far gone, but the continual, draining fight with ed thoughts )it was just trying so hard to gain that extra weight, which we all know takes quite a lot of food, however hard they try. Acid reflux and burping for months which I never thought would go away, but at last seems to have subsided.

Thank you.
good to hear that she is not on any medication. My s's biggest problem is still the portion, he still could not handle a full plate ( taking supplement for a full plate) after 6 month WR, I am trying to push for the last extra couple of ponds... 
I am grateful for this forum! thanks for all of you, warm, strong support all the time.
12 years son, diagnosed AN 03/18, ip one week, residential 5 weeks, IOP 7 weeks, doing FBT since 11/18.
We are in year 3 now and my d (nearly 20) still has problems with portion sizes as she has nearly no hunger cues. I still plate the big meal here and she plates herself with the 1/3 rules. 1/3 vegetable, 1/3 meat and 1/3 noodles/rice/potatoes. This works quite well. No binging with sweets here.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
My daughter used to do this but with popcorn.  I don't know if this would help but it was like she would be so focused on something that getting more and more popcorn and eating it-she didn't notice she was doing it until it was too late and she was stuffed.  I had to start limiting how much of the low nutritional stuff she would eat.  After two normal size bowls, I'd interrupt the cycle. It really seemed to help her realize what was going on and stop the behavior.