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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I have not been on the forum in a while as I didn't quite have figured out what to say in this post, but wanted to make one recognizing this: We reached the four year mark of daughter falling ill in January, and in March the four year mark of her starting treatment.  I had a hard time at the 3 year mark because we weren't "done" yet and so many are then.  Well, we're still not done but I am more sanguine about that as my daughter is doing well.  She just continues to need help to get enough food, and some pitched pressure to keep eating meat and not become a vegetarian.  She often enjoys food and can help herself to snacks and takes care of many breakfasts independently, and can maintain when off on a multi-day sport trip with her team. But we still need to do a fair amount of minding or she drops weight.

In sum, we are not done yet but things are really pretty good.  When I think she might  be slipping back based on a particular tough meal, she consistently turns out to be doing OK.  

I rather wonder if she still needs this support because she is still growing and in puberty.  She fell ill at 10 and is now 14 1/2.  We are a late developing family and she is right on track with where I was at her age in starting her period at 14, and has it regularly now. She grew 2 inches in the last four month time period so she is doubtless needing a lot of extra cals to fuel that growth. Maybe this is why she can't maintain without me coming home at lunch each day and feeding her a big lunch! In fact it is probably a great sign that she called me one day when I was at work in early summer and said I needed to start coming home and giving her lunch, she wasn't doing enough by herself.  We still do desserts daily and hi cal cooking, the whole rigmarole.  I am very tired but on the other hand, thrilled by her growth, her obvious health and her frequent expressions of pleasure in the food I serve her for dinner and dessert.  

I think we are getting there, I think she will get there, but I wish we were there already!  Hmmm.... that wasn't so hard to explain. I think I have felt bad that we are still slugging away on weight gain when all the people who were on here actively refeeding when we began in 2013, omg it was 2013  [frown][rolleyes] all seem to not be here any more in feeding mode.  We are still in feeding mode. I have noted that in the last 6 months it seems that her incredibly high caloric needs are slowing down a little bit.  Phew.   On the bright side, I have in 4 years found many new good hi cal recipes which I would love to share!  Just yesterday I found a new recipe for an upside down cake with blackberries that was completely delicious, easy and very hi cal (Mark Bittman, upside down cake).  My whole idea of healthy eating now is anything hi cal that involves fruit or vegetables. So with my four years, along with helping my daughter to grow about 11 inches and gain 60 pounds, I've gathered a lot of hi cal recipes.

I do plan to write a detailed post about my daughter's wonderful mental health recovery. She is a bit of an angsty teen girl and has some social struggles, but nothing very out of the ordinary.  And, my friends, as to psychological recovery.. well there is so much winning I am tired of winning. Not actually tired of winning but anyway you get the idea!

So for anyone else who is still working the program many years along-- you are not alone! And for me, this forum is a huge support even when I don't read it or post for a while cause I know you are all here and I know you are on my secret team. We are a winning team and I thank you all so very much for your help.
Thanks for dropping by.

You have done an amazing job with your girl. The growth in part explains the difficulty in keeping up with her needs. 

Lots of teens I think struggle with the demands of keeping up with growth, that is why the end up all long and lanky. The problem is we can't afford our kids to get into negative energy balance. The other kids just catch up over time but with kids with eating disorders we have to really push to keep the weight up. 

Hopefully as her growth slows  it will get a little easier for you. 

D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Hi momon - You have done a great job keeping your girl on track these years.  It seems that every journey is different, and one never knows what tomorrow will bring.  I bet your d will get the hang of independent eating once her growth slows down and she gains a bit more maturity.  In the meantime, she is so, so lucky to have you!

Thanks for the update.  Please keep us posted.  xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Momon, I could have written your post several years ago myself.  My daughter actually grew several inches after the age of 21 (unprecedented but then everything is until it happens).  Chasing growth was crazy and she couldn't handle it.  The good news is that since she stopped growing, she has done amazingly well with very few blips.  Our entire long haul has been measured in decades due to old school treatment early on.  You are doing so well.
Hi Momon and thank you for posting this update.  I am looking forward to your post on mental health recovery as my d (also 14 and a half) although doing great on the food front continues to struggle off and on with depression and anxiety.  It is such a tough age, and so hard to know what's normal teen angst vs. outside of the norm.   

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  


15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
These updates are so helpful and important!! Thank you, and MAZEL TOV!!
Laura (Collins) Lyster-Mensh
F.E.A.S.T. Executive Director
Thank you all for your support. I haven't been on the forum lately because I am just tired! But it helps to hear of others down the same path who got to the destination we desire!

mjkz, I hope my d turns out to be like yours when growth slows!

You rock momon!

What a challenging journey you & your family have been on, and so fantastic that you are all doing so incredibly well.  I hope you can truly stand back and congratulate yourself for all the amazing work you've done to get your d into recovery.  

And 11" and 60lb of growth....my word!  Yes, you have been fueling for growth and puberty, & I expect the hi cal needs will continue for a while.  You seem to be providing the perfect scaffolding for your d at this point in her life.

It's true that we all wish the timeline for recovery could be much shorter.  But I am doing a 'happy dance' for how far you have all come.

Thanks for sharing your update, as it is so helpful and hopeful for others beginning this journey to know that recovery is possible.

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
I so understand your post.
And you are exactly right, until full growth and full puberty have happened,they will have very high needs. And when you are constantly just trying to keep on top of it all and keep up, they still need a ton of support.
I guess the silver lining for my kid was that we are not late bloomers in my family. So we fed 6000 cals from 11-14 but then we were able to cut back and her ability to eat intuitively and gain independently kicked into drive.

It will happen for you... just keep going. You are doing such Heros work every day.

My d just got her wisdom teeth out this am and since waking up keeps begging for food lol.
Full recovery is beautiful!
Persistent, consistent vigilance!