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

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D is going to an annual Christian camp next week, Tues-Sun, with her auntie, uncle & 22 year old cousin.  She gets on extremely well with them all, and went last year, pre "proper" ED.  They don't know about the ED and really mustn't, as auntie can't keep a secret, and will blab to all H's family, including her own D, who has just qualified as a doctor.  

D is sliding a little at the moment - lost 1lb last week, now has a cold (started yesterday) which means she fights harder against dairy as it clogs her tubes and she can't breathe properly.  Down on calories again this week, sigh.

Auntie and family eat TONS of food, all of it "unhealthy" (for people like them who are overweight and do zero exercise!) so from that point of view it's quite good, and they've always thought D is too thin so try to feed her up!  Auntie doesn't "do" subtle, so wouldn't get a hint, and doesn't listen properly so there's no chance of trying to explain and hoping she'll get it.  She also wouldn't be able to support D properly if she knew - would just keep saying, "Come on, come on!  You need to eat!"

Just a reminder that D has ARFID rather than AN, and doesn't purge or hide food.  But neither does she have hunger cues, so snacks are likely to not happen without supervision.  Think we will have to supervise remotely, text or call at snack times and add up calories every evening as we do at home.  She'll hate this, but aside from forbidding her to go, don't see what else we can do.  She really, really wants to go, and we think it will be good for her in other ways.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. Love never fails.

Has your d been away successfully (without losing weight) at all before? If not, 5 days may be too long. Do you know how much weight someone who has gone through what she's been through (hyper metabolism) can lose in five days? IT's hard to predict, and everyone's different, but my d could lose a pound a day, easy, earlier in recovery. 

Since she's not got RAN, going a few days without getting enough to eat might not reactivate ed thoughts, so in that way it may not be as dangerous, tho.

Remote texting/skyping for snacks is a good idea, if you think that would work. Have you done that before? IF not, I'd suggest practicing before the trip. (Lessens anxiety and makes sure it will work, emotionally and technically.)

But I think I'd still say, if you think she won't be eating enough, maybe the trip could be shorter this year? 3 days? Or, maybe you could go out and join them for the last three days?

Instead of dairy, can you up the other dietary fats? Nuts, nut butters, butter, ghee, yoghurt, Canola oil in everything, coconut milk?

best wishes,
D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
What's the meal plan situation at the camp?   Would she be eating out at a restaurant with her relatives?  Or does the camp have a mess hall, with a buffet style eating selection (or do they serve meals family style?)

I only ask because twice I was concerned about my son (ARFID due to selective eating) going away for 5 days to camps catering to preteens and teens.   Both times he did very well with eating because they were cafeteria style all you can eat buffet places and he managed to find things to eat that were appealing enough to him.   French fries (as many as he wanted) and unlimited cereal, plus soft serve ice cream, I guess.  I was surprised but it turned out OK.    

I do not believe he would have been able to eat enough if they had been going to a restaurant with unfamiliar meals where there was pressure just to order one thing, and eat it or you go hungry.  But the buffet/cafeteria style worked OK for 5 days.
Hello, and thank you all for your replies.

Psycho_Mom, yes, she has been away without losing weight since restricting, but the family she stayed with knew she had an ED and I sent a detailed menu plan with her (which she accepted).  This time she is completely against the family knowing beforehand, although she takes so long to eat these days we think they will suspect before too many days have elapsed anyway!  My SIL (the auntie she's going with) knows she's very selective with food and has texted a few times to check on what she does/doesn't eat.  The biggest problem will be her eating enough at meals, and remembering to have snacks.  We are going to have a serious talk with her tomorrow evening (she goes on Tues), to explain that we will be checking up on her, and that if she doesn't comply, we'll tell her auntie and she'll be scrutinised at every meal by them (which she'll hate!)

HoneyB - they'll be in a chalet, self-catering, so should be ok for choices of food she'll eat.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. Love never fails.
Dear linefine,

It sounds like you have put considerable planning into this.

I would be sure to mention to d that how well she does on this trip will help you to decide about future ones.

My d was strongly motivated to prove herself worthy of more independence and knew that every one of her successes 'won' her more freedoms.


D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
Hi linefine,

I don't know how to contact you or send you a message. I am brand new here and live in Massachusetts and have a 17 year old girl with ARFID. I would like to contact you. Please tell me how. I believe my nickname is surprisedbyjoy.
I wonder if there might be some sort of compromise where you could tell Auntie that d has been having "digestion problems" or some such and therefore you need her to send list (i.e., report) of what d eats at each meal (including amounts)? Or some variation. 

Just a thought. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Therese534 if you want to contact another member you can click on the user name which will take you to a page with an option to email the other person via the forum.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.