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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ed_newbie
It's been less than a month since I've been thrust into the scary, painful world of ed's. Yet through this forum, the books I've read, and the online content I've been obsessively pouring over there is one thing I am certain of - that genes play a BIG role in my d's AN.

I'm sharing way more than I feel comfortable here but I can't help but feel the need to document some proof:

- How about d's aunt (my h's sister), just turned 50, was reportedly anorexic in her early 20's, now a vegan (was a pseudo-vegetarian when I met her 20 yrs ago) and who refers to herself as "fat" in at least every other conversation we've had since I've known her?

- Or how about d's grandfather (above aunt's recently deceased father), who was a notoriously "picky eater", whose own wife referred to his eating habits as "weird"?

- Oh, and how about me, who in 2014 went to my physical (admittedly after a few years of skipping my annual exam) and looked in horror at the scale and said "oh boy, it's time to do something about this extra weight!", going straight from doctor's office to local Weight Watcher center, signing up that very day and proceeding to drop 40 pounds in less than 6 months to the awe and admiration of my WW leader and every other member at my weekly meetings? 

Does anyone else have similar stories to tell?

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

ed_newbie

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.
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mamabear
At least 5 first cousins ( that I know of). One was hospitalized many times during the 1980s. 2 who are still ill. One has knees bigger than her thighs. Her son eats 4 things at age 12 and looks ill.

My husband has one cousin that we know of who has been battling for 6 years. She's like 22 now, living at home. No one talks about it.

My one sister suffered for about 2 years but never had any treatment. She got way too thin through redtricting and excessive exercise. She chose a job in a greenhouse in extreme heat and humidity one summer and would run there and home. She got herself out of it somehow.

I have battled poor body image my entire life. I remember as a child constantly body checking my thighs and stomach. The year before my d got sick (at 10) I did weight watchers, lost 30 pounds, and was working out hardcore 2 hours s day 6 days a week. I was obsessed. D getting sick smacked me right out of it as I had to stop exercising and drink milkshakes ( and gain back every ounce of the weight).

So genetic? Hell yes.

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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YogurtParfait_US
We adopted our daughter ... so no family history. But there are moms here who have shared similar stories of relatives' and their own ED histories.

Anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses also have a strong genetic component.

It all goes to show--it's not anybody's fault!

Sending warm support!
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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linefine
Me - 5 ft 4 inches and weighed 91lb aged 16....  Lifelong selective eater.  (It never progressed to actual ED, thankfully.)

My mother - always on some diet or other, for "health reasons" not weight.  She does the blood group diet, the cystitis diet, has done the candida diet, the arthritis diet.  It's quite difficult to keep up with what she is and isn't eating currently....  She complains about how boring her diet is, but a lot of it doesn't make sense from a health point of view.

H - No ED, but a perfectionist and high achiever.

Genes are definitely in the mix..... (Which I actually find comforting - nobody's fault!)
Heather

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.
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iHateED
Yes definately in the genes.  Unfortunately for me, both of my daughters suffered with ED's.  I am pretty sure my mom did too.   I was a big dieter in high school and college and through my 30's..... but after going through this illness with both of my girls, I realize that the number on the scale doesn't mean a thing if your not healthy and happy.
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mdmama
My mother told me recently that her much-younger sister (closer in age to me than to my mom) was bulimic in high school. This was the first I'd heard of any ED history in the family. That aunt is still unhealthy (alcoholic, dependent on Xanax).

While I was always extremely healthy physically, I had some (in retrospect) strange eating quirks as a high school student. For one year I did not eat any ice cream, not even a bite, because I thought abstaining from ice cream would help me lose weight. (Of course it did not as I didn't otherwise alter my diet at all.) I also joined Weight Watchers at age 16 when I was perhaps 10 pounds over my ideal weight, with no prompting from my parents (but no discouragement, either). So I would eat one piece of dry toast and a cup of tea for breakfast-- and then have a muffin for lunch (since one muffin was counted as one bread exchange or something) but the muffin was HUGE and probably had close to 1,000 calories. Just not a smart or balanced way to eat.

Interestingly, my high school and college (4.5 years total) boyfriend became anorexic while we lived together during college. He went from being overweight at 220 pounds to gaunt at 120 pounds (5 feet 11 inches and very big-boned). I really didn't realize how unhealthy he was becoming because I was with him all of the time. (He is now a healthy and happy adult; we are still in touch 20 years later.) When my daughter began restricting and losing weight this year it was surreal to eventually realize that again I was maybe not as alert as I could have been to the change in behaviors and appearance because I was with her all of the time and did not see a drastic difference, just a gradual deterioration.

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D diagnosed with AN November 2015 , the week she turned 12. Gaining slowly but steadily, fingers crossed...
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ed_newbie
Thank you all for sharing.  It really helps to know there's so many people out there with the same challenges.  That we are just born this way, and as yogurtparfait says it's not anyone's fault.

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

ed_newbie

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.
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