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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Frazzled
Almost a year into starting FBT and we are now hitting another very tough time. My D hates the way she looks. Especially her legs and her butt. She cries a couple times a day because of it. She was excited to swim etc this summer but now refuses to go because she is embarrassed. I told her that her body composition is different right now and she is going through puberty and to hang in there and things will even out and she will like the way she looks. Of course, what I say doesn’t help. (She looks fine btw but she does have some extra padding right now which is normal for an 11 year old going through puberty) I notice some old behaviors coming back and it’s exhausting trying to end those again along with the worry that she will start to refuse certain food etc again. She continues to gain weight monthly. Is this a normal phase with this and if so how long does this last? I have been feeling some PTSD lately and I’m wondering if she may be also. Last year at this time was a living hell. I had no idea what to do until the end of June last year when I found this site and some other resources. 
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scaredmom
Hi Frazzled,
When I think about this, I put into d's issues and mother's concerns. 
How is her weight for her age and has she been properly WR ? I see she is still gaining which is great! maybe this is all  "just" puberty?
You are right that no matter what you say, it may not sink in with her. It may be that this will pass with time (puberty and not ED?). I remember that age myself and I was very self conscious. I know I worry when I see certain things or d says things, I jump to ED and it may not be- could be preteen stuff?
You say you notice some old behaviour coming back- what would those be? Do you feel they are ED related or not? 
You say it was last June that you found the forum, and at that time it was quite difficult. Is there an anniversary coming up of some sorts, that may be affecting your feelings about all of what is going on now? I know for me our "ED diagnosis anniversary" was in March and I was feeling so out of sorts until I figured that was what is was. So I grieved for a few days and then realized how much better things were two years later. 

You have done so well over the year! If it just a phase, it may just abate on its own, or if things get worse, I hope there are clues to what is going so that you can intervene and help her. 
I don't have great advice. Just thinking out loud.
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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Frazzled
Scaredmom, you always have great advice. Right now she is 87 pounds and 4’6. She is around where she should be. We continue to chase growth of course. We do have the anniversary coming up of when she really took a nose dive in weight and we had nobody to help and we had no clue how to get her to eat. Her doctor was of no help or anyone else for that matter. I have been experiencing some increased anxiety because of the time of year. She probably feeling it from me and also has some anxiety of her own about it right now. The behaviors that I’ve noticed making a comeback is standing a lot and she has tried to leave food on her plate a lot lately and looks at me to make her finish it. She hasn’t done this in months. She has also been coming into the kitchen to see if she can catch me putting something into her food while cooking. Probably to see if there is a direct correlation between the size of her legs and something I’m adding to her food.  Definitely ED there. She is going to continue to gain weight every month with the calories I give her and I’m just worried that her body image is going to continue to deteriorate. She has always been a slow grower height wise and it seems to be even slower now since ED came to visit. She is growing in height very slowly and weight pretty quickly. Just wish I had a crystal ball!😜
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scaredmom
I would agree that there are some ED behaviours there for sure. Standing a lot (we had that) and leaving the food. I think you  need to just keep enforcing that she will eat. That can only help. 
I understand the worry about her worries about her body, but I am not sure what you can say to her, to be honest. I wonder if it will just work itself out with time. You can't acknowledge that she should feel bad about her body, and she can't hear you yet, that she is fine. How about distracting with other things and showing her things about herself that does not draw attention to her body at all- I am sure you already do that anyway? Does she have a passion, arts and crafts, music, academics, animals? My d started guitar lessons and that did help.

Funny about the crystal ball, I actually have 2 at work to remind me that we don't have magic and how we wish we did.😊
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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scaredmom
Oh and for you, Frazzled, I get the anxiety for this time of year and she will pick that anxiety up so easily. So try to distract yourself too with nice things.  Have you seen the self care thread, it is really full of nice ideas for us. We need to take care of ourselves, to be able to care for others. Remember how far you have come, how well she is doing overall- because of YOU. 
You got this, you really do.
XXX
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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Frazzled
Scaredmom, thank you so much for the kind words. I will check out the self care thread. I just bought some new books today so that’s a start. I like your suggestion on distractions. She is very academic as she is two grades ahead of where she should be. She will be starting violin lessons soon and I will have to stock up on some new art and crafts etc to help keep her mind off of things. Great idea. 
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Ronson
Hi Frazzled

I also am feeling quite unsettled just now as it is almost a year since things turned awful for us and the refeeding began - I think it makes us hyper aware of any behaviour and may also make us read into things a bit.  I would try to extinguish any behaviours.

With regard to her body shape - I’m not sure you can reassure her but I would try to say that this is normal during puberty.  My younger non Ed d tends to fill out a wee bit before an increase in height.  Whilst I wouldn’t tell your d that it might be worth keeping that in the back of your mind. 

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Frazzled
Thanks Ronson. I hope you begin to feel better soon also. The anniversaries of dates from the past with this are very difficult. I have began to try to get rid of some of her behaviors once again. The standing is the most difficult and it seems to keep coming back for whatever reason. This morning when she began complaining about her body I simply said that she looks fine and I am not going to get into a discussion every morning about the way she looks and I went about my day. That worked today and I hope it continues to work. We often have to change things up as they stop working 😉
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Ronson
I hope that keeps working.  I am glad it worked this time and you were able to stop the conversation spiralling.

I hope I can get passed this too - anxiety is sky high 
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Frazzled
Ronson, I’m right there with you. I woke up this morning in a panic thinking it was last year at this time and I felt helpless until I realized that things are soo much better now. She is 38 pounds heavier and 3 inches taller than last year but I can’t kick this feeling I have. I feel the same doom and gloom as last year although it comes and goes. I just keep repeating in my head that everything is ok and I know how to handle whatever happens now and also deep breathing has helped the last two days also. I sure hope this doesn’t happen every year at this time. It should fade away eventually if all continues to go well. Take care of yourself! This will pass! 
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Ronson
Thank you - you take care too - deep breaths 
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kazi67
Frazzled
i experienced the feelings of doom and gloom also
I think our brains need to process what we’ve been through whilst we are in the thick of the emergency of our kids being deathly ill we don’t have time (and life goes on for everyone else,with them being oblivious to our turmoil) and us having to “pretend” and put on a happy face whilst out shopping etc - all so very hard
I found talking to my therapist helpful 
and also to look forward to how well things are going now
obviously we have to validate all the horrible feelings and stress and worry we did go through it WAS hellish!!!  “Understatement of the year”
but now I try to look forward to how well we will all be doing this time next year 
x
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workingthrough
Is your daughter in school? Our s’s anxiety has been up a bit with final tests, projects, reports, etc. With that stress, we’ve seen that he’s been doing similarly with activity, leaving pieces, etc. We keep staying firm and not allowing short cuts. 

Our team continues to tell us body dysmorphia is the very last to go as well. 

Any chance you can “challenge” her in some ways with behaviors just like the fear foods in the beginning? 

We put out an above ground pool in our backyard in hopes of a safer place for s to step back into swimming. It’s worked well so far. At first we let him float in his clothes, and then a rash guard, and then a suit. First just family, and then invited a few friends. We laddered it a bit. He’s now okay with swimming out with his friends again. Every little thing has been steps, which is exhausting, but has added up to progress. 

I think there’s definitely some PTSD involved. I sure struggle as well. We too are coming up on a year of when our s began restricting. It’s heartbreaking. Be kind to yourself. Even though she’s in a better place, it’s still very much a battle - give yourself time and care. I notice when I’m as rested as possible, ED s seems to pick up on it and is calmer also. 

I hope so much that these upcoming months are calmer on all of us. I’m thinking of you (all the other moms/dads/carers as well). 
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Ellesmum
I’m another one who’s been feeling anxious, I went through it at Easter and feel it now it’s half term, these school holidays are markers for me as I remember what life was like a year ago,  d had been on a residential in May and I think it was that trip that really tipped her into the nightmare so I remember last spring break well.  Last time I felt like this was around Easter which last year was when I really became aware we had problems and I just had to let the feelings come and try to process all my jumbled thoughts until they abated, I guess I’ll have to do that again now. 
Ellesmum
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sk8r31
Oh the anxiety of ED anniversaries...I hear you all on that!  I hope that each of you can acknowledge how hard you have worked, and how much better things are than they were a year ago...or two years ago...or even longer. 
Unrelated to ED, but quite a few years ago I struggled with depression.  It was a very dark time, and required therapy and amazing support from friends and family to get through.  When things were on the upswing, my T said that I should buy something for myself that was significant, and that would remind me of how I had battled & come through the fire.  I bought myself a beautiful ring that was quite expensive for me at the time.  I still wear that ring.  I love that ring.  It is a reminder of how strong I am.
When our d was mostly through her own battle with ED, I told her my story and suggested she do the same.  She bought herself a beautiful necklace, with her own money, and it was a fairly large expense given her resources.  She wears that necklace at times when she needs 'extra courage', with a big exam for example. It is her own reminder of how strong and brave she is.
I hope each of you struggling with ED anniversaries can remind yourselves of how strong and brave you are.  You are heroes.
Hugs,
sk8r31
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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atdt31_US
sk8r31 wrote:
Oh the anxiety of ED anniversaries...I hear you all on that!  I hope that each of you can acknowledge how hard you have worked, and how much better things are than they were a year ago...or two years ago...or even longer. 
Unrelated to ED, but quite a few years ago I struggled with depression.  It was a very dark time, and required therapy and amazing support from friends and family to get through.  When things were on the upswing, my T said that I should buy something for myself that was significant, and that would remind me of how I had battled & come through the fire.  I bought myself a beautiful ring that was quite expensive for me at the time.  I still wear that ring.  I love that ring.  It is a reminder of how strong I am.
When our d was mostly through her own battle with ED, I told her my story and suggested she do the same.  She bought herself a beautiful necklace, with her own money, and it was a fairly large expense given her resources.  She wears that necklace at times when she needs 'extra courage', with a big exam for example. It is her own reminder of how strong and brave she is.
I hope each of you struggling with ED anniversaries can remind yourselves of how strong and brave you are.  You are heroes.
Hugs,
sk8r31


I LOVE this idea .... not sure if it is premature or not, but I might try this with my d soon. Seems like just the sort of thing she would respond well to.  Thanks!
Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
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deenl
What a lovely idea, sk8r31
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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scaredmom

sk8r31 wrote:
I bought myself a beautiful ring that was quite expensive for me at the time.  I still wear that ring.  I love that ring.  It is a reminder of how strong I am.
When our d was mostly through her own battle with ED, I told her my story and suggested she do the same.  She bought herself a beautiful necklace, with her own money, and it was a fairly large expense given her resources.  She wears that necklace at times when she needs 'extra courage', with a big exam for example. It is her own reminder of how strong and brave she is.
I hope each of you struggling with ED anniversaries can remind yourselves of how strong and brave you are.  You are heroes.
Hugs,
sk8r31


I love this too!!

to have a physical reminder, a true badge of courage and triumph and tangible token of the strife is so meaningful!
Thank you for sharing that sk8r31!

XXX

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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Ronson
Love this idea - but feel it’s too soon for us - need to get a few years down the line and a few more anniversaries out of the way.  It’s all flooding back to me and the nightmares are horrendous 
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scaredmom
You will get there Ronson. 
XXX
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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Frazzled
I am feeling very resentful today. My life is on hold for a year and counting. I went to one of my sons sporting events this year. I have gained weight because of this and I am very low today. I just went to the store and saw all of the normal kids and families shopping for last minute Memorial Day items and I am still stuck in limbo. I need to suck it up and stop feeling bad for myself but just can’t today. 
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scaredmom
It is ok to be resentful. Life with ED is gruelling. It is ok to feel sorry for yourself. 
We get it. 
Sending a cup of tea and foot massage.hope those help😊
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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workingthrough
Sending a huge hug your way. It’s so hard. I think we all have moments and days like this. I’m sorry it’s an extra hard day today. 
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Frazzled
Thank you scaredmom and workingthrough. Sure hope tomorrow is a better day. Appreciate your kind words ❤️
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Mamaroo
Hi Frazzled, it's awful what ED is doing to all of us. I also gained some weight and although I've shed some of it, I'm not back to where I was pre ED. On the plus side, winters are not so cold for me anymore 🤭. 

I remember one lunch time while I was supervising my d in the school car park, I saw several families picking up their children early to go away on holiday. Their cars were already packed with suitcases, surfboards and bicycles, while mine was only packed with ensures and muesli bars, sigh. You'll get your life back after ED, a new life, not your old life. You'll have more compassion and more wisdom than most people and you'll appreciate life much more as well. Hang in there. Lots of hugs to all of you 🤗🤗🤗
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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