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

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BebraveMummy
Hi all. I am seeking advice for my 12 yr old daughter. We are 12 mth since release from hospital and have been gradually but continually improving. Her wt has continued to increase, most fear foods are tackled and back to loving happy kid. Sport for team fun back and has seemed to be slowly winning. She has started high school in feb at new school which seems to be going well. She had been back eating snack and lunch unmonitored at end of last year and we decided for social reasons to continue this at highschool and continue weekly wt. She went on school camp and managed ok and didnt loose wt. Her team are really pleased but I am a little bit concerned. On weekend she jacked up about supper which she hasn't done for months and took some convincing to get her to eat it. This hasn't happened for months. Then she was being mean to her younger brother and I repremanded her and she got very distressed. Wrote big long rant in chalk on the wall about how bad she is.  Swearing and nasty about herself. Said how she always feels like this ! When she was very ill any type of criticism would be taken very personally and she would hate herself even more. The next day she was back to current normal.  Does anyone have experience with stressful situations  (starting new school) causing ed behavior even though wt is still increasing and has been great for 6 mth or more. Do I just be vigilant and careful with any criticism . It has given us a big fright cause things have been smooth for months and we desperately dont want to slip backwards. Thanks so much.
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Enn

Good to hear from you and well done!! 


Yes this happened here. Yes you just plod on. I know these episodes can really take us a back.

How is her weight as for WR? Has she had her periods yet? Is she close to WR? Did something happen at camp? Or was this just a preteen moment? If it is better just keep a watchful eye and make sure no stone is left unturned. 

My d went on an end of junior high trip, said she ate well and, well she did not. She did not lose weight but her behaviours were terrible about food as the other girls ‘did not eat as much as me’. Took about three months to get back on track then started high school. 

🌿

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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Enn
Just wished to add that during times of stress ED seems to act up more.  I know for my d that when she has tests at school she unconsciously tries to restrict. It seems to be a coping mechanism of sorts. So we have had to work the last two hearts that she needs to do the opposite of what  she feels and does she what she needs
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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BebraveMummy
Thank you Enn. She has been WR for 8 mth and has been maintaining and gaining since then. Is 14kg more than when released from hospital, she has been growing taller and started to develop breasts, no periods yet but I feel her puberty has been delayed by malnutrition. I still have control over her meals so think maybe she wants to restrict but I wont let her. I think that the behaviour is stress related not food/wt related . Until now she has had no psycological help as it was impossible for her to engage. Perhaps now is time to try to get her help to learn strategies to manage her stress without restricting? Thank you again . It is such a comfort to have a community with lived experience snd expertise to help. Truely grateful
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PurpleRain
My D is 14, also around 8-9 months WR+ and also has a younger brother. What you describe has also happened here, she was in a new exciting but maybe a bit stressful situation a few weeks ago, having to have snacks and a very few times lunch on her own. I had a couple of times when she pushed back or balk at food after a looking time without that kind of behaviour and also once I got angry at her (she was talking back in a teen fashion) and was a bit stern and she took it really bad and didn't talk to me for a couple of days (in an ED fashion, not in a teen fashion if you know what I mean, not always easy to tell the difference but this time it was definitely ED, there was this self hatred element that you mention). After the exciting/stressful activity ended (almost 3 weeks ago), things have been great. She actually just came back after spending 3 nights at her best friend's house (the mom knows that D needs to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks but I don't think she checks the amount), and her state was great even when presented with food and ate everything we gave her. This part (reintegration to "normal" activities) is nerve racking!
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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ValentinaGermania
Definitivly YES for the first years. ED behaviour came back in times of tests (she finished school a year after WR), with changing to University, with first tests at University, while having stress with friends and so on.
Much better about 2 years after WR but mine is grown out so I suspect with a girl at your ds age and still growing and developing a lot it could take longer.
Make sure she has a weight buffer for growth spurts! 🙂
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
I like to think of it as natural that we would see these things more at these times. Assuming the behaviours are as a result of unpleasant thoughts it seems natural that when there is more stress they are likely to feel and think more negatively.  I remember for a while there being quite a disconnect, I would think she had, had a good week and she would report the psychiatrist that things had not gone well. She however would place much more emphasis on those bad feelings, unpleasant events than I had, so this would dominate her memory of the week. 

Right now it makes sense for you to keep on plugging away however it may be that deep down she needs more support to manage those negative thoughts. 
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.
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MKR
Enn wrote:
Just wished to add that during times of stress ED seems to act up more.  I know for my d that when she has tests at school she unconsciously tries to restrict. It seems to be a coping mechanism of sorts.


Same here with mock exams and then again (a bit less) with actual exams. I guess it was the fear of the unknown that kept nagging at her.

Other two times - more importantly - was after energy deficit: a casual sports event and a long shift at weekend job. We quickly went to feeding more, resting more and, with the job, got the manager to only give her half days, with supervised breaks.

Good that you are keeping an eye on the weight. It might be a mixture of both: growth spurt and the potentially stressful event, where she would have coped if it wasn't for a slight energy deficit. Can be so unpredictable!

Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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BebraveMummy
Thank you all for your advice. I did think that stress was likely to ramp things up and was kind of hoping that this was the case and not that she was going to need to have more food because all advice is that she is WR with a very good buffer and physically she looks like she has a good cover which she doesnt love. 
I am now sitting here having a big cry because she just came to check out her lunch box with a sheet of paper for "Health Homework" and has a food diary for "Healthy eating" I am RAGING!!! I specifically told her school that she was not to be involved in any class that discusses food/health/healthy eating etc and that I needed to be consulted if any doubt. So So So disappointed and scared that this will trigger the Monster.
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BebraveMummy
The thought of some well meaning PE teacher lecturing her on healthy eating and comparing foods that people in the class are eating is definitely triggering for me!
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Enn
I want to reframe a bit here. Yes I know how upset you are. The teacher/school may have forgotten so this is an opportunity to remind them. 
This happened to us too. I used these moments to teach how the school does not really understand nutrition and that we (she and I) knew best. We cannot shield them from all of these messages. They are so pervasive and unless you are with her all the time, you cannot protect her. 
Give her your knowledge, make it part of her thinking. We spoke about how everyone's body needed their own prescription and that yes some kids (she)needs the juice and others did not and it was no one's business what anyone ate. 
This happened to us at age 12-13 at the school as well so I understand your worry about triggers. It became an inside joke for us when others would mention diets, foods etc (like at a social function). She would look at me and we would both roll our eyes. 
Give her your power over this "lesson". 
You will take her out of doing  that homework and you will educated the educators. You have a lot of power here for your d and making changes in the school and/or making those teacher sit up a bit and notice that there is no one size fits all for nutrition and health.
You've got this.
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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BebraveMummy
Thank you again Enn. So much wisdom and understanding here when there seems so little in society. I have calmed down now and am waiting for the school to get in contact with me. I think that I would have felt more able to deal with it if we were not so early on in the school year. I hate that she may be singled out of class etc in a new environment where she is already navigating the new school, meeting new people, new friends. We were incredibly lucky in a small primary school where she knew everyone and all the teachers knew her and her illness and would be part of her team helping her, a big new school is a bit scary. ( for both of us) 
I will try to turn a negative to a positive. Thanks again 
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BebraveMummy
Just wondering what others have done in this circumstance? Daughters school has been in contact and apologised but not suprisingly they dont understand why it is a big deal. The curriculum being taught is about "healthy eating", food pyramid etc. I am going to get them to fill me in on the specifics of the lessons. Have others in this situation pulled their children from these classes? Do you let them participate in the lesson knowing that it will probably be difficult at best and arming the ED at worst by reminding them to read nutritional labels, count calories, and label good and bad food? I appreciate you advice. Thanks
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ValentinaGermania
I have pulled my d out for these days in that class and I know a lot of parents that did that. No lessons about "healthy eating", calory counting, food diaries and BMI here. Our mantra is all food is healthy, it depends on the amount and mixture and I will not let anybody destroy that picture I have worked so hard for.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
Oh yes and many times she was taken out of those classes!
It got to a point where when they started a discussion on health my d would either raise her hand and say privately that she likely should leave and then the teacher let her go or she walked out and gave the teacher a nod.  The teachers were great! This past year grade nine the gym teacher gave my d a fake note and said to d to take to the office and on that note it told her to go to the library for the remainder of that class. No one cared .  She would work on other assignments. She was also given other projects to work on as required.
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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Foodsupport_AUS
We pulled my D from all health and PE classes. As she was so ill this lasted for the rest of her schooling. When ill they cannot process any of the information about healthy eating or exercise in any rational manner. Your D is likely to know more about the calories that are in any of the foods than any of the teaching staff, but this does not help her to get better rather it focuses on numbers and quantities in a very unhelpful way. I did manage to get a letter from the doctors caring for D to give her an absence from the classes, so they really couldn't argue with it in the end. 
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.
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BebraveMummy
Thanks everyone for your advice. Had a stressful day waiting for contact from PE teacher but pleased to say that she was very compassionate and understanding and will make other assignments for D to complete in Library while nutrition talk taking place, will alter tests for her so no inappropriate questions and will contact me before any further potentially delicate matters. I feel relieved. So desperate to avoid going back to the horror that any "mistakes" seem massive. I feel like I have to be on high alert at all times ready to notice any changes, and avoid potential setbacks. Its tiring.
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ValentinaGermania
Great! Another stone away from your route!

"I feel like I have to be on high alert at all times ready to notice any changes, and avoid potential setbacks. Its tiring. "

It is, indeed, but this is the only way to make sure that everything is done to avoid setbacks. It will not be needed forever!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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PurpleRain
Oh yes, it's exhausting, almost as bad as refeeding in a different way.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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PurpleRain
My daughter also went to a small primary school and even smaller middle school and is homeschooled at the moment (not our choice and not ED related). she would be starting high school in a new, much bigger school next fall (she is 8 months WR) and I'm already freaking out, I'll be reading your posts for guidance🙂
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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MKR
....but pleased to say that she was very compassionate and understanding and will make other assignments for D to complete in Library while nutrition talk taking place, will alter tests for her so no inappropriate questions and will contact me before any further potentially delicate matters. I feel relieved...

Many people are well-meaning and kind, and once they get to know the situation they can be so helpful. So glad the PE teacher is one of them. 

We had a similar experience. Open-minded people, when I gave them the basics of what ED is like, were moved to tears, helped me out heaps. 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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