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countrymama05

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello. I am a mother to a 20 year old step daughter with AN and now BN. She has not been living with us for the last year and half, and was back home with us for only a few weeks before her Doctor wanted her to go inpatient for a few weeks to stabilize her vitals.
It was about a year after my husband and I married that DD started regressing in her recovery. She had developed AN around the age of 12-13.(before I was in the picture) When DH and I married she was almost 16. After we moved, a year into out marriage, is when we really noticed a change in her. When she was 17 1/2.
During the time my husband and I have been married honestly has been the most stressful time in my life. More than my divorce in my previous marriage. I have lived my life stuffing my emotions down with food and have struggled with my own disordered eating. I lost a large amount of weight over 2 years and felt I had conqured my coping with stress by eating, but after DH and I married and my stress went up, i found out differently. I began during to food again and over 2 years gained over half of my weight back.
While DD was not living with us I took the time to work on dealing with my own feelings and emotions and not turning to food to cope. I am following a 12 step programs for Over eating and it's working for me. But it consists of a meal plan and food that is weighed and or measured. I'm also suppose to be accountable for what I eat to a support friend which I have been doing. Journaling my meal plan and commiting my food for the next day. I've decided not to weigh myself anymore and get rid of our scale. Though it's not triggering for me i don't want to stumble her.
My worry is when DD comes home from treatment she will at some point see me weighing my food, which is part of my plan. How do I handle this? How do families handle it if someone (friends at church) says "Hey have you lost weight?" In front if her. Some people know, but not every single person has been informed. And even if they do know sometimea people say things without thinking. I just want to do my best to care for her needs. But also my own. How do you handle it when someone in the family does need to lose weight?
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #2 
I can imagine how stressful it must be having an eating disorder yourself and at the same time being a (step) parent to someone with a different eating disorder. 

Few parents here have been in the place where we needed to gain weight when re-feeding our children with eating disorders. Many with BN still need to gain weight as weight suppression can contribute to their illness. Eating different portion sizes is part of being normal and healthy for all of us. We all have our own individual needs, and I would always use this as the first response if the discussion about portion size comes up. 

I would question how helpful in the long term closely weighing and measuring food portions is for any of us. Meal plans ideally should be rough guides rather than something to be slavishly followed. That in itself is disordered. 


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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.
tina72

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi countrymama05,
that is a very interesting question and I can only tell you what we do in our family:
my d (18) has RAN, my FIL (82) who lives with us (both do, MIL, too), has too much weight and needs to eat low fat and low sugar because of a heart disease and diabetes. So my d needs to eat much fat and I want her to eat sugar and my FIL should not.
We do it like Foodsupport said: She knows that they have different diseases and that everybody in the family needs his own special amount of food. To see that my MIL weighs the food for FIL gives her some reassurance that she is no alien and that we all know what we are doing and that everybody in the house gets right what he needs.

To have a meal plan and to be sure she eats right what she needs is important for her, too. Maybe you will need different amounts, but it might help her to weigh and messure part of her food to be able to plate herself. My d has a cup to measure muesli and so she knows how much she must eat. Long-term aim will be to get rid of that cup and that she knows with her eyes what a normal amount is, but as long this doesn´t work we take some crutches to walk if needed. For lunch and dinner we do the plate:3 rule. 1/3 of the place in the middle of the plate with noodles/rice/potatoes, 1/3 with vegetable, 1/3 with meat. That works very good and if you need to increase portions because she lost weight you can take a bigger plate for her and a smaller one for you. We have plates in 3 sizes now [wink].

I would suggest that you get in contact with the IP before she is discharged and learn as much as possible what she has learned there and how they are plating there and find the right amount and then you can do that 1:1 at home with her. That will help her a lot. Take as much routine from IP to your home.

Tina72
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