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

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Your advice please!  an daughter 12 months post diagnosis. Weight restored. Still on parent controlled  fbt. 16 years. 

Recently she has been going out with friends they have pizza she orders large lentil salad. She is upset because she feels as if she is binging on ice cream with her friends and cannot stop then is really guilty.  I am glad she has an ice cream but she is really distraught and binging. 
What can I say to her????
Having urges to eat larger amounts at times are of course normal.  It may well be that she is not really weight restored and this is driving an urge to eat more. It may also be that these are not really binges. 

As to what to say to her there is nothing to say to her that is going to make her feel better. I would suggest encouraging regular meals. Considering if she is truly weight restored and if her regular intake should not be higher. If she is truly binging (eating significantly more food in a sitting than would be considered normal - the guilt component unfortunately may just be her initial eating disorder) then usually CBT is helpful. 

If you haven't already it may be worth looking at Tabitha Farrar's blog about 'binge eating' in restrictive eating disorder recovery. https://tabithafarrar.com/2017/02/recovery-binges-not-end-world/
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Do you mean just a ice cream dessert in the pizza restaurant?  It's normal to have pudding with friends,  not so normal to have a lentil salad when it's pizza night.

Can you clarify what she classes as a binge?
Yes I know the lentils indicates we are still in the grip of AN! Thks for the tabitha farher article I will show that to her. That is excellent. She says when her friends are with her and there is lots of sweets she cannot stop. Last night she had her own ice cream then finished off a friends. Disgusted in herself then. I keep saying move on it’s only one meal don’t revisit it. I rarely say the right thing...,always treading on eggshells.
Ok, got you now. My tactic was just to calmly state facts, I used a neutral tone to say things like ‘perfectly normal to fancy a lot of pudding’ ‘you really need this food right now’ ‘your body is simply asking for what it needs’  

She does need it, she’s still in the grip of AN although it’s great she’s going out with friends so she’s made great progress and had a good weight gain.  I’m a little worried that by telling her it’s one meal, move on she will hear she’s done wrong and shouldn’t have the foods. 
Hi O2relax,

Sorry your daughter is struggling with this. From your description it sounds like perhaps it is time to tackle some fear foods at home, for example pizza. 

If pizza is difficult for your daughter, as it sound like it might be, you could try a laddered approach. For example you could start with a pasta dinner with sauce and cheese and garlic bread. Then move on to garlic bread with a little pizza sauce. Then the garlic bread with a little pizza sauce and some cheese.

And then try a home baked pizza (sometimes you can buy just the crust at either a pizza place or in the supermarket to make it a little less complicated) And then make a veggie pizza for dinner. Some sauce, veggies such as mushrooms, spinach, for example, topped with cheese. The laddered approach can take a few weeks but is helpful for some sufferers.

Perhaps when she is mentioning that she has eaten too much ice cream you could just say that you love ice cream also and then change the subject to something else?


My d struggled with feeling like she had binged and became extremely distressed afterwards
i would say “you know food is your medicine” 
this carried on for a few weeks - month and I couldn’t stand it any longer and suggested she discussed it with her physcologist as all the distress tolerance we were trying didn’t help

ie: listening to music, tv, playing with pets, massage etc and me saying she had to just push through as not eating wasn’t an option

i also had suggested she up her main meal/protein/dairy or carb portion 

it was also a time where she was becoming more active too (working, socialising)  and she was stressed/anxious about a few other things going on in life at the time 

she did chat with her physc who said it was the ED trying to trick her and it seems to have passed with time and encouragement and saying it’s kinda normal to eat overindulge from time to time on sweets etc (so long as she’s not eating so much that she then she wants to purge) 

you d is 16 and could also be experiencing a growth spurt or even the monthlies seem to be a time when my d thinks she is binging 
I say to my d that at that time of the month it’s pretty normal for a woman to crave more sweets/carbs etc 
Food is medicine! 
Hi there O2relax,
I agree that you cannot say anything to make her feel better. I think exposure and time may help her. Also I agree with Kali that ensuring she can eat pizza like the other girls is something to work towards. 
I personally don't think she binged when she finished her friend's ice cream. Sometimes I finish my h's dessert if I want more and he may finish mine etc.. I think that is normal. But it is what she feels that  is important. 
Yes also to what Kazi said about hormonal cravings as well. 
I hope with time she feels better with eating what she wants. Is there an ED team that can give you some ideas to support her in those moments well?
All the best
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)