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

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Frazzled
Advice needed on how to reduce anxiety with birthday parties. My daughter won’t snack at a party or have cake yet. She will have pizza. She was invited to a sleepover this weekend (late notice). She told me that she would eat cake there if she doesn’t have to have a shake that day. I told her the shake is given every day and it’s non negotiable. So, she said she isn’t going to the party. Such a shame that it’s so difficult. How do I prepare her for these situations? Also, after a social event she goes backwards. Is it even worth it to push her to go until her brain heals further or do I continue to push her and have a very difficult time after?? 
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scaredmom
I can tell you what we did.
Her first birthday party was at the beginning of refeeding. She knew there would be pizza and flat out refused to eat it, so I made a sandwich (based on the advice here) and she took it. She ate her sandwich and did have some cake as she wanted to be normal (the mother watched her and knew what was going on). Although it was a sleepover, she did not sleepover. I picked her up at 10pm. When D got anxious she called me a few times during the evening and it worked out. We also discussed if she was not comfortable at all, I would pick her up anytime. That way she had an out and that helped her anxiety. 

Now for your situation: Cake vs shake I would not compromise. I agree with you on that.  Could she eat at home or take an appropriate snack to eat there and you pick her up late ?That way she is not worried about the cake and you don't worry she did not have it.  So she does her nutrition at home but still has some fun?  Maybe it is too early for and overnighter at this time. 

My D wanted to go and appear normal and she did ok overall. But it was very early into refeeding  (About one month I recall- I posted that on the forum as was so hard for me). 

I think moving forward, tackling the cake may be a good idea so she can participate in other parties in the future.
If you feel she would have a nice time and take the food out of the equation, I would try to get her to go and tell her that she will have her food with you or just the pizza but an appropriate snack when she gets home. 

Not easy, but it does get better. Hope this is helpful.

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
When you say she goes backwards after a social event, what does that look like?
How is her weight and her state in other things?
That may help guide your decision too.
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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Frazzled
Thanks scaredmom. Great advice as usual. The party starts Friday at 8 pm so she would have everything eaten that day before it starts. The problem would probably be the next day as the party is over at 2 pm on Sat.  I could definitely pick her up late Fri night around 12 am. Although, even mentioning the party and talking with her about it has set her off. She is in her bedroom crying and upset now. I can even see her classic ED face (she contorts her lips and speaks in a higher voice) and some old behaviors when she gets upset that she had months ago resurfacing. It’s been a heck of a week and a half. I may have to have her skip this one and make it a priority to work on party foods such as pizza, chips, pop etc so her anxiety decreases. I think it’s possible that she is secretly exercising and it’s triggering the thoughts etc again. 
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scaredmom
Aaah, good plan mom!
You are on it!
Well now you can work on it and plan for those parties in the future.
You have read your D very well! 
I hope the weekend is better. 
Take care of you too.
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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Frazzled
Scaredmom, some things I notice after a social event is an increase in exercise and movement, more moody and tearful. Recently, she has been  leary about what is in her food etc.once again. She tried to search the fridge the other day for cream like the old days. I told her to stop and said that she will not search the fridge because that’s not normal behavior and we will not go back to doing the things she did in the past. She hasn’t had these behaviors in about 6 months. Perhaps I thought she was weight restored and was wrong and she is about to be. Her behavior lately really seems like an extinction burst. I’m perplexed! Could be numerous explanations for this. 
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scaredmom
She is doing  well overall. The social stuff takes awhile.
I found d a bit socially immature too. Once she got the weight on and it stayed on it got so much better.
Keep up the good work, frazzled. 
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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deenl
Frazzled wrote:
She hasn’t had these behaviors in about 6 months. Perhaps I thought she was weight restored and was wrong and she is about to be. Her behavior lately really seems like an extinction burst. I’m perplexed! Could be numerous explanations for this. 


Hi Frazzled,

I don't recall what age your daughter is but there is really no such thing as weight restored for teens. They need to be gaining weight continuously until the mid twenties. If your daughter has not gained in 6 months then this is the equivalent of a loss in weight. She could also have grown in that time and needs more fuel/food.

A general rule of thumb that I deduce from all the time I have been on the forum is that if you are seeing ED behaviours again then upping nutrition will often help. I know with my son (who has never been WR even though we are 3 years in as he keeps growing so much!) that it is often only a few weeks after he has gained weight that I realise he had been just a tiny bit more edgy and a bit less able to cope with life. With the extra food there are always subtle but noticeable improvements.

Hang in there,

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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tina72
Hi,
I would offer her to pick her up for breakfast the next day and leave the party earlier so that she can eat all meals at home. That is what we did. She could say you have a meeting that day with family or something like that.
Is she maybe afraid of the sleepover? Can you offer her to pick her up at 0 a.m.?
If she really does not want to go I would not force her. But try to find out wether it is her that does not want to go or ED.
You might be right with the weight, maybe worth a try to add some. Did she grow?
I agree with scaredmom, the social stuff takes a lot of time. But I think it is important, too. They must see what normal life is about.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
My D was very slow to be able to eat away from immediate supervision. For us it took till about 4 years in. During that time I never expected her to, nor did I try to get her to eat out at a party. Making sure she was getting fed and not forcing her to have to choose whether or not to eat, or how much to eat meant that she didn't have to feel more guilty than usual for eating. Like others I facilitated her going places, would provide food at times, others made sure she went for shorter periods between meals and snacks and picked her up early. She didn't want to eat in front of others anyway. Overall she had a pretty blunted social life, but she was way out of step with her peers at this stage anyway. 

I think there is little point in pushing this until they are at the point they are able to challenge their own ED. It requires significant investment from them to be able to eat freely foods that they find challenging and then have more later. Her push back on the shake says that she is probably not not ready for the challenge so perhaps find a way to make her not have to choose between her ED and eating. 
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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Frazzled
Deenyl thanks...By weight restored I meant that she is back on her original growth curve and then some. She is continuing to gain weight. About a pound a week instead of the 2-3 that we were getting. She hasn’t grown lately but may be soon. Thanks for responding. 
ThanksTina...I have been adding more extras in her food this past week in hopes that things get better. I could pick her up early from the party. That would give her some time with friends but wouldn’t stress her out as much. I’m going to have to talk with her some more about it.  Thanks. 
Foodsupport_AUS...Great advice. I am leaning a bit more towards not pushing her on this. My D may take a long time to be able to eat without immediate supervision as your D did. I see your point with the shake also. It’s defintely a sign she isn’t ready. Thanks for pointing that out. We are still very early into this. Only 8 months in so we have a long way to go yet. 
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