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

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strawdog
So the good news is my d is almost 3 weeks into her treatment and has put on 4 pounds already, The first week was about 2.5 pounds and the next week 1.5 pounds. I was slightly surprised the second week as she was actually eating more (with us anyway) but we we put it down to her doing more exercise that week (she worked for a few hours and walked home from school a couple of time which the CAMHs team said she was allowed to) However as she has started putting weight back on she is noticing that it is going back on around her stomach which apparently is normal? I think she is struggling with this because her over exercising was always about getting that washboard stomach. I know she is struggling because I have started noticing some behaviours which suggest that. Firstly at the weekend I am 99% certain she was exercising in her room because when I heard noises and went up she was out of breath. We've started letting have some snacks upstairs in her room and am supervising her closely. However I caught her coming out of the bathroom holding an empty glass of milk which I'm pretty sure she had poured away. Today after school I let her eat her snack in the kitchen and I sat in another room. I was spying on her eye and she was going to wrap up some biscuit in a tissue until I went in. I came out again and watched her some more. She put some yogurt in it and placed it in the bin. 🙁

So now all confidence has gone that she is eating what we give her if we don't see it go in. Do we approach her and tell her what I saw ? Do we insist I sit with her all for all snacks again which was upsetting her as she wanted just a little bit of independence. Do we wait until Wednesday's CAMHs meeting and broach it then? I just feel it must be so hard for them when they see weight going back on in areas that they were desperate to shed weight from - she is bound to be worried she is going to get fat again. I want to talk to her about it and say it's normal and it will re distribute after a while but then she might think - I MUST be looking fat! I've lost all trust that she is eating what she should be at school but was told by CAMHs last week that I didn't need to go in and supervise as she was putting on weight well. Very despondent but it could be so much worse I guess.
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Ellesmum
It’s completely normal that weight will go to her stomach first before it redistributes, you may also notice it in the face. 

Its really important to close all loopholes so i dont think you have any choice but to supervise all food, if mine is eating and I even have to pop to the bathroom I often pause the meal while I’m out of the room, literally put the food back in the kitchen for a minute. They can become experts at hiding food in napkins, up sleeves, in bras etc. 
Ellesmum
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mid73
The basic rule is if you didn’t see it go in it probably didn’t. I found bits of food wrapped in tissue hidden everywhere. Whether you confront it or not makes no difference as to whether they do it so as Ellesmum says do not leave unattended when eating. I also think proper supervision at school is necessary too as even if she is gaining without it, ditching food is an AN behaviour and it needs to STOP. Expect pushback but it’s usually what needs to happen.

Well done on your progress so far. I was told early on that AN is like whack a mole, and it is, you stop one thing and up pops another.

Best Wishes
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strawdog
Well I went up to see as heard noises from her room and she was definitely exercising in there, I asked her if she was but she looked very suspicious and said no. She said I had to trust her but I ended up telling her about the food I saw her put in her napkin and then all hell broke lose and she is now locked in the bathroom. This is a massive set back - ED is so annoyed that I was spying on it and that he's been rumbled. She said she is leaving home etc etc. I don't know where to go from here 🙁 
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scaredmom
Take the door off the bathroom. Supervise every single bite. Stop the exercising. It looks so easy when we see it in writing but it is the hardest thing we have all done. We have done it and so can you.
No napkins, no long sleeves, no pockets no pets at the table. No hoodies. Toilet before eating and no toilet for at least one hour after. Keep bathroom door open or get  rid of lock and ensure she does not purge either. Smell her room for the vomit. Look I. All drawers. We all have been fooled by ED. This is part of the EDucation.
you got this. 
XXX
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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scaredmom
also telling her or asking her about exercise purging etc... may not help. You likely know the answer don’t make a show by asking. She may be ashamed, not asking gives her some dignity  in the moment. Tell her you will keep her safe no matter what and do that. Just keep her safe.
ask away, we will help you.
XXX
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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tina72
strawdog wrote:
Well I went up to see as heard noises from her room and she was definitely exercising in there, I asked her if she was but she looked very suspicious and said no. She said I had to trust her but I ended up telling her about the food I saw her put in her napkin and then all hell broke lose and she is now locked in the bathroom. This is a massive set back - ED is so annoyed that I was spying on it and that he's been rumbled. She said she is leaving home etc etc. I don't know where to go from here 🙁 


Take off bathroom door and take away the lock from that door and all others so she cannot lock herself in anywhere.
You will need to supervise her for secret exercise so this is stopped asap. Sleep with her (many kids get up in the night and even leave the house to run for hours while parents are sleeping). Hang out bedroom door so you can see her all the time or she must stay with you in the same room.

If there is a risk that she runs away lock the front door and all windows. Keep the keys at parents body. Put away her shoes - only few kids run away on socks. Add an app to her smartphone so you can locate her - some take their smartphone with them.

To keep her safe (and you) is most important at the moment. Be aware that kids in panic do very strange things. We had some that jumped out of the window or even out or a running car (lock that doors, too). Make sure that she has no access to things that she can use to hurt you or herself (knifes, scissors, all sharp things).

We also forgot all that until my d locked herself in for 4 hours to skip snack and until she stood in front of me screeming with an apple and a knife in her hand. I was lucky that she then decided to throw the apple at me...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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tina72
No napkins, no long sleeves, no pants with pockets. Sit besides her until she has eaten so she cannot pour something or throw into the bin.
"Do we insist I sit with her all for all snacks again which was upsetting her as she wanted just a little bit of independence."
Yes, ED is using that "independence" for bad and so that is out. No independence with eating in AN. It was only upsetting her as she was caught. Be aware that when something is upsetting her that normally has a reason. If you see the flak you are over the target...

That is a normal reaction and you did great to get it right when it happened so you can do something against it now.
The weight goes to the tummy first to make sure all organs are safe and then goes on the rest of the body.
No washboard stomach for a growing child.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
No independence. She is ill and need  your strength to get her through.
many of us had to keep them home from school to make sure we were on top of all the ED “tricks”. 
Many have had to take off of work to to ensure we were on top of it all.

and Tina72, that’s funny we said almost exactly the same thing across the world! Ed mothers’ brains are linked.😀
XXX
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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tina72
scaredmom wrote:

and Tina72, that’s funny we said almost exactly the same thing across the world! Ed mothers’ brains are linked.😀
XXX


Yes, we are linked, not only our brains but our hearts. 😘
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ronson
No napkins - they are an unnecessary risk.  Watch all meals - do not ease off on supervision - she’s not ready - this takes months - we are 9 months later and I still won’t leave the room when she is having a meal or snack.  Lunch is unsupervised at school but that is the only one.  All meals in house have to be watched.  We kept d downstairs with us for a long time too - only recently she is allowed upstairs without friends.   It really is a long haul and they need 100% supervision - imagine she is 2 and can’t be left alone 
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strawdog
She calmed down a lot and has eaten a good dinner with us. She has slipped into a big depression though as I think the realisation of how hard this is going to be is hitting home. She is talking with mum though and we are learning a lot about how long she has been feeling like this about her body and food - the sort of things she was doing to not eat like pretending she had the flu for days etc. It's an eye opener for us. She desperately wants to stop putting on more weight but she is still eating and we keep telling her to trust her that we wont make her fat - we just need to get you healthy again we say. She says she doesn't want to talk to anyone even the counselor about how she really feels yet as she feels she will be judged. I guess with the FBT they don't start talking to them until after the first month as their brains just aren't ready to process rational thoughts. We are 2 and a half weeks in so have to keep saying - this is normal - this is how it has been for others and it will get better. I feel so bad snooping around her and then confronting her about it and making her slip into depression - but it had to be done right? It will hurt a lot but will make her recovery stronger right? I can see how strong you have to stay - so much easier to let ED back in a bit to make her a little 'happier; isn't it. Its the hardest thing to do to know you are going to make her so upset just to make her better!
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scaredmom

Ahh you found the key statement: 
"so much easier to let ED back in a bit to make her a little 'happier; isn't it. Its the hardest thing to do to know you are going to make her so upset just to make her better!"

YES!!! 
To make her "unhappy" right now is the right thing to make her really happy and best of all, healthy later!
Therapy is not the treatment, it is food. Then over time the brain gets better and the "depression" can settle for some kids but not all. Keep an eye out for that. Some kids (mine) need meds.  That is ok too. 
Yes all you are going through is normal for ED, but so abnormal to the rest of the world. 😪

It takes months after getting the weight on to see the brain changes. Don't back down. 

XXX

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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strawdog
scaredmom wrote:

Ahh you found the key statement: 
"so much easier to let ED back in a bit to make her a little 'happier; isn't it. Its the hardest thing to do to know you are going to make her so upset just to make her better!"

YES!!! 
To make her "unhappy" right now is the right thing to make her really happy and best of all, healthy later!
Therapy is not the treatment, it is food. Then over time the brain gets better and the "depression" can settle for some kids but not all. Keep an eye out for that. Some kids (mine) need meds.  That is ok too. 
Yes all you are going through is normal for ED, but so abnormal to the rest of the world. ðŸ˜ª

It takes months after getting the weight on to see the brain changes. Don't back down. 

XXX



Thanks scaredmom - we are learning all the time. I worry about the depression and will need to keep an eye on it closely. It really doesn't help that she has GCSE exams coming up. I think when she finished them in June and leaves her school she will much happier. School is where the bullying started that has led to her illness, It makes me so cross how bitchy teenage girls can be and how little they realise their words can be so damaging.
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Ronson
Bitchy teenage girls can be so damaging I agree.  However she also needs to learn to manage situations without restriction.  GCSE exams can be a huge pressure as well so this may be challenging.  The key is to be persistent, keep feeding, be confident that what appears to be making her unhappy just now is completely for her own good and will make her so much happier in the long run.  Push through the hard times 
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strawdog
Ronson wrote:
Bitchy teenage girls can be so damaging I agree.  However she also needs to learn to manage situations without restriction.  GCSE exams can be a huge pressure as well so this may be challenging.  The key is to be persistent, keep feeding, be confident that what appears to be making her unhappy just now is completely for her own good and will make her so much happier in the long run.  Push through the hard times 


Thanks Ronson - I think the next 3 months could be the hardest of our lives as a family with my father dying as well. Things can only get better right?
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strawdog
tina72 wrote:


Take off bathroom door and take away the lock from that door and all others so she cannot lock herself in anywhere.
You will need to supervise her for secret exercise so this is stopped asap. Sleep with her (many kids get up in the night and even leave the house to run for hours while parents are sleeping). Hang out bedroom door so you can see her all the time or she must stay with you in the same room.

If there is a risk that she runs away lock the front door and all windows. Keep the keys at parents body. Put away her shoes - only few kids run away on socks. Add an app to her smartphone so you can locate her - some take their smartphone with them.

To keep her safe (and you) is most important at the moment. Be aware that kids in panic do very strange things. We had some that jumped out of the window or even out or a running car (lock that doors, too). Make sure that she has no access to things that she can use to hurt you or herself (knifes, scissors, all sharp things).

We also forgot all that until my d locked herself in for 4 hours to skip snack and until she stood in front of me screeming with an apple and a knife in her hand. I was lucky that she then decided to throw the apple at me...


Its amazing what people have had to put up with and had the mental strength to see it through. You and others are an inspiration for those, like us, just starting out on the long road to recovery
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tina72
strawdog wrote:
I feel so bad snooping around her and then confronting her about it and making her slip into depression - but it had to be done right? It will hurt a lot but will make her recovery stronger right? I can see how strong you have to stay - so much easier to let ED back in a bit to make her a little 'happier; isn't it. Its the hardest thing to do to know you are going to make her so upset just to make her better!


Once I realised that I am not doing any harm to my d but only to that ED bully in her head it was much easier for me not to feel bad about all that. It went that far that one day I started to like to annoy ED with things he does not want. It helped my d a lot to see that I am stronger than ED and that she can trust me that I will help her to get out and that I can do that. She was totally impressed how much power I had for that (and me too to be honest).

So do not feel bad about that. You are not snooping around her, you are snooping around ED because you cannot trust ED. You do not hurt her, you help her. You hurt ED and that is what you want to. You do not help her when you please ED, you only help ED with that. The day I dared to say "NO" to ED was the first day in recovery for my d looking back. You are doing the right thing. The sooner you show ED that you are stronger and he can go and die the sooner your d will feel better and relieved that you are fighting that bastard.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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KLB
Our son was one of those kids who would sneak out in the middle of the night to run for hours or jump out of the car and run off, even went into a freezing cold lake to swim, ran away from the hospital ward to exercise and a whole host of dangerous, risky behaviours in order to keep exercising. We basically had to keep him under house arrest, lock all doors and windows and lock away the keys, move his bed into our bedroom and watch him 24/7, often hubby had to physically restrain him.......all to protect him from harming himself/his health even further. Hubby and I have barely slept at the same time for months. One of us is always awake. It is very, very slowly getting better. There are less dangerous behaviours now. ED seems to have accepted there are no loopholes left to exploit in that respect, instead it's changed tactics completely. It's stressful trying to stay one step ahead all the time, but you can do it. 
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scaredmom
I am sorry about your father.
take this one meal at a time. Every bite counts, every minute you fight counts, all the upset matters. We all have earned our super parent powers and capes through the war wounds ED gives us. 
You are really doing well. It is only a few weeks and look how much more you know and understand and she is gaining!!
XXX
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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tina72
"It is very, very slowly getting better. There are less dangerous behaviours now."

These words made my day today, KLB. You are for sure my warrior of the day, if not my warrior of the YEAR! You can be so proud of yourself and I dare to say that there will come a time when your son will say "thank you for saving my life". My d said that a couple of times now and we were both in tears but you will get all that back. It was such a hard fight but it was worth every minute. Keep fighting!!! I am proud to know you.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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strawdog
Agreed Tina72 - that is some pretty obsessive behavior KLB - kudos to you and your husband for having the strength and willpower to keep your son safe - if you guys can do what you've been doing then it gives me a lot of strength to deal with our d's ED behaviours which, although are upsetting for us, are nothing compared to your sons. Hope everything keeps steadily improving for you all.
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deenl
strawdog wrote:
Do we insist I sit with her all for all snacks again which was upsetting her as she wanted just a little bit of independence.


Hi strawdog,

Ahhh, it all comes back to me. Our son is generally honest but ED and the fear of eating forced him to behave in uncharacteristic ways that meant we could not and still cannot trust a word he says about food. We don't ask anymore, we know he will be forced to lie and will feel worse. So we just close loopholes. One of us had to sit right next to our son, never let our eyes stray and we still had to pat him down after meals as he managed to magic food into clothes somehow. The first time we did it, man he was cross. We stayed calm and consistent to the mantras we had prepared in time - very matter-of-factly saying things like 'We are your parents. It is our job to keep you safe' To our absolute surprise it took only 1 day, (1 day!) for him to accept the frisking. After a week or two he would voluntarily hold his arms out and even reminded me once or twice when I forgot. He did need us to keep him safe because deep down he felt awfully conflicted when he threw out food and more under control when we took that option away.

Unbeknownst to us for a while our (normally allergic to exercise) son went out running at 4/5 in the morning. With a weak heart. All sorts of scenarios flash accross my mind when I think about it. Again, we needed to take that option away so we locked all the doors and windows. We even screwed shut a door that had an inside lock without a key. 

When I hear about your daughter's fluctuating weigh-ins, again, I think about my son and water loading. He did it a lot in hospital but it was hard for him to judge it exactly so the weights were often not quite what we expected. Many kids also hide weights in their socks and underwear. Watch her water intake before appointments, someone needs to go to the bathroom with her to check that she pees before the weigh in and doesn't drink. She should be weighed in a hospital gown although we did the pat down instead.

It's a bit like whack-a-mole but us parents are more determined to help our kids than ED is to destroy them. Keep going.

Warm wishes,

D
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, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • 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.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Mamaroo
I know your d is upset that you 'spied' on her, but you were absolutely right. My d knew if I didn't see the food go in, it didn't count. I gave her activities to do with her tablet to stop her from exercising, which helped a lot. 
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
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