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

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uccellinika
Hello Again,
My new question is my daughter is eating fine in front of every one in the immediate family but still refuses to eat in front of others, like friends and her tutor. I had to make her eat in front of her siblings about a month into refeeding. Her afternoon snack is at about 3-3:30 and her tutor showed up right when it was time to eat. She refused to eat it and started the tutoring session. Now by the the time the session is done it will be time for dinner. Do I force her to start to eat in front of others like I did with silbings or wait to talk about it with the FBT therapist when we see her next week?  And do I add the snack to dinner or add it to the  evening snack and make it one big snack at 8:30?
Kim

15yD, restricted for 7 weeks, 4months in, weight restored but mentally still not there
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scaredmom

Hi, 
It may be too soon for this. I wonder if you can have her eat before the tutor comes or she can step away from the tutor and eat in a separate area  if the tutor is there already. 

It does come over time. Is she more comfortable eating with her siblingsnow? If so then I think over time it will happen. The eating comes first and you will tackle the behaviours as you have started doing already. So to add the calories she missed, if there is time you can add another 'snack' time or add a bit to supper and then to evening snack so it is not a whole lot at one time.What do you think would be the least upsetting to her?
For others outside the family, you could try bringing one of your friends over for a snack first. That way if you and your friend are engaged, she may not feel self conscious. Then do that more often, then make it a meal, then have one of her friends or her sibling's friends over. 
And yes discussing with your FBT therapist may help you come up with options moving forward.
It takes a long,long time. But remember how far she and you have come!

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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uccellinika
Yes she is very comfortable eating with her siblings and family members. I know with her, you have to force things sometimes or she never jumps over the hurdles. She has been eating great for 3 months now and has no behaviors except this regarding food. 
Kim

15yD, restricted for 7 weeks, 4months in, weight restored but mentally still not there
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scaredmom

Then you can try and force it next time.  
You can only try and see. I hope it works. 

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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sk8r31
The motto 'feedback not failure' comes to mind.  Try what you think is the best way forward for your d, based on what you know of her.  And then tweak as needed.  I think scaredmom has given you some good suggestions on what you might try...but take what resonates best and give it a go.  Let us know how it goes...
Sending warm support,
sk8r31
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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uccellinika
I am going to wait until we see FBT bc only a week to wait. Thanks for your input all!
Kim

15yD, restricted for 7 weeks, 4months in, weight restored but mentally still not there
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Foodsupport_AUS
There is definitely always feedback. Before you talk to FBT I think it always good to think how you would like things to go. Not eating because the tutor is there is clearly the worst option. Other options are - making sure she has finished prior, taking her someone separate, or requiring her to eat in front of the tutor, eating after the tutor has been, not going ahead with the tutoring session if she doesn't eat. You mention she still has ED thoughts so ideally a goal would be to continue to make sure that ED doesn't find chinks in the armour like not eating because the tutor is there. 
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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Hibiscus
My D also wouldn’t eat in front of others or even out of the house. We ended up doing picnics, as at least this was out of house, first just the 2 of us, then with family and then had a visitor who we ate a picnic with so I guess a bit of acclimatisation and then accidental social pressure that broke this. It’s tricky and as others say, think about what would work best for your d. 
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melstevUK
Uccellinika,

When my d was at her sickest at the beginning of our journey and I used to observe her - it looked when she ate as if she had all the religiosity as if she was taking communion, and at the same time she looked as if eating was an activity as intimate and not for public display as if she engaged in sex.  I remember being utterly devastated by what this illness had done to her.
So on the recovery journey - well, eating in front of others in the beginning for sufferers tends to be as painful as if they are engaging in an activity which should not be done in public and it is probably worth thinking about it in that way.  I always think that eating and gaining weight are the most important things - and the other aspects - eating in front of others can be dealt with in slower time.  

So for me - I would be fitting the tutor around your d's eating times.  You have normalised her into eating with the family and that is a great achievement  Everything else can be taken in slower time.  Maybe try and get more weight on her before you push her into eating in front of other people. You could maybe discuss that with time she needs to be able to do this - and prepare her for it, rather than throw her into a situation with no preparation.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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scaredmom


 
melstevUK wrote:


When my d was at her sickest at the beginning of our journey and I used to observe her - it looked when she ate as if she had all the religiosity as if she was taking communion, and at the same time she looked as if eating was an activity as intimate and not for public display as if she engaged in sex.  


Melstev, 
What an image you have conjured up for me! I think that is the perfect way of looking at it. It is almost as if they are shameful- and I believe they are feeling shame. So, so sad. That was my D too. 😥 Our poor kids!
Thank you, for painting the image so well with the brush strokes of your words.🙏
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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deenl
Hi uccellinika,

My son too could not eat in front of others. I agree with melstev and scaredmom that it was as if he felt guilty and eating itself was shameful, either way it was horrifically stressful for him. We used a ladder approach over a very long time to eliminate this behaviour.

In the beginning he ate separately in the living room with either my husband or me supervising. We found this to be the only way he could eat. The additional benefit was that there were less traumatic melt downs and even then his brothers were in a different room with the other parent.
Months later, when the habit of eating at each meal was set, my husband would eat in the room with him. Mysophonia was a big problem and my husband was less triggering.
Then, I could eat in the room with him.
Next, the other brothers could wander in and out of the room when they had finished their own meal. They were great, just throwing in an everyday comment about some computer game or such and easing him back into normal interactions.
He was still super resistant to joining us at the family dinner table so I started having the odd tv dinner where he ate at his table and we ate sitting on the couch.
By then he had gained significantly so we wanted to start socialising again. He still could not eat outside of the house or with other people (apart from 1 of the grannies and 1 of the uncles but at our home) so I did choose to skip an afternoon snack once a week and have an outing to the cinema or a friend come to visit. Of course, I made sure the other meals compensated for the missing calories and I was not happy with the number of hours between meals but I judged the steps back into normal life to be more important at that stage.
We are at the two year mark at this stage and he hasn't been to school but is just about WR, he was getting bored being home. He saw a once in a lifetime weekend event and really wanted to go so we did. We loaded up the camper (Hubby and I having made lots of backup plans!) and the whole family headed off for the weekend. I was the most perfect weekend of my life and everything that could go right did go right. And he had to eat with us in the confines of the camper.
When we got home he did try to go back to his old place but I was having none of it. "Nope, sorry pet, you ate with us over the weekend so you can eat with us now. We're not taking backwards steps."

Dealing with this is one of the ways that having parents very involved is beneficial as no one route is going to suit everyone. And much depends on the phase of recovery. In the early stage nothing, but nothing, stood in the way of 6 meals per day. And, of course, much depends on the family situation - are there other kids, do the parents work, which spaces make hiding food, running from food easier and multiple other factors. And finally, how much does it bug you. We are allowed to choose our priorities.

Wishing you success in finding a way forward.

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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uccellinika
Thank yoy so much for your reply. My question is she is weight restored and actually above the mark set for her and had been for about 2.5 months.   I had to force her so to speak to eat in front of family and that worked. Feeling like I'm going to have to tell her that This is going to happen, like i told her before first meal with family and just get it over with.  This is the craziest illness I've ever seen.
Kim

15yD, restricted for 7 weeks, 4months in, weight restored but mentally still not there
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tina72
I would give it a try. I announced these changes one day before so she was prepared and then we did it. We faked that we are sure she will get it and eat with xy and she did.

"This is the craziest illness I've ever seen."
Yes. Nothing to add to that...😉
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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