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

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rixi

We finally had some decent weather here and it is beautiful outside. We took our D out this weekend - A walk for a cause on Saturday and a stroll in a festival. Yet ED crept in. She almost did not eat dinner on Saturday(she claimed that she does not like the food from the vendors on site) or lunch (2 dumplings and two spoonfuls of pulled pork) on Sunday. I was astonished to find that she even lost 3 lbs during the past week. 

I was very upset before dinner on Sunday and urged her to eat a big dinner, and we had conflicts. During that time, I could not think anything else except the fact that she did not eat well during the past two days and she started to starve her again. I could not keep my anger down and finally, let it out. I drove my car to a parking lot and cried straight for 30 minutes. I felt helpless and blamed myself for not being able to help her. I am also very guilty of my anger towards her. I am very ashamed of myself afterward.

My D accused me of not leading by example. She confronted me by asking how come I don't eat as much as she does. Both of us said a lot which we probably regret now. 

 

How do I differentiate the disease from her?

How do I push her to eat in a way that she can accept and I don't lose my mind?

She failed the first week of our plan (at least one lb weight gain per two weeks), and we had to confiscate her phone until her weight is gained till the level we all agreed. I understand the confiscation of her phone is a leverage, but it looks like we don't have any other way.

This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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tina72
rixi wrote:

We finally had some decent weather here and it is beautiful outside. We took our D out this weekend - A walk for a cause on Saturday and a stroll in a festival. Yet ED crept in. She almost did not eat dinner on Saturday(she claimed that she does not like the food from the vendors on site) or lunch (2 dumplings and two spoonfuls of pulled pork) on Sunday. I was astonished to find that she even lost 3 lbs during the past week. 



Events and outings are too much for many patients at the beginning. Try to have all days the same routine, that makes it easier. It is also easier to control her intake then. Leave that for a better state.

rixi wrote:
I was very upset before dinner on Sunday and urged her to eat a big dinner, and we had conflicts. During that time, I could not think anything else except the fact that she did not eat well during the past two days and she started to starve her again. I could not keep my anger down and finally, let it out. I drove my car to a parking lot and cried straight for 30 minutes. I felt helpless and blamed myself for not being able to help her. I am also very guilty of my anger towards her. I am very ashamed of myself afterward.


These things happen. It was not your fault and not your ds. It was EDs. Try not to blame yourself or her and have a better start tomorrow. It took us about 6 weeks to ge into a routine and have her eat all she needs and see steady weight gain.
Try to distract yourself for your own sanity. It was good that you drove to the parking lot. You need a place to cry. I used to cry on short walks. Hubby used to cry in the shower. It is o.k. that you feel helpless at the moment. You will feel better when you get into a routine and see that refeeding works.
I said a lot of things that I regreted later. We are humans. She forgot most what she said and did and what I said.

rixi wrote:
My D accused me of not leading by example. She confronted me by asking how come I don't eat as much as she does. Both of us said a lot which we probably regret now. 

You do not need to be an example in amounts, you should only be an example in not restricting if possible. You do not need to eat as much as she needs because you do not need to gain weight I think. So she has to learn that different people have different needs. I did eat the same as my d and I gained about 5 kg while she gained nearly nothing. This is something I would do different now. You do not even need to eat the same meal than she does. That is o.k. You are a good role model as long as you do not restrict and do not eat a diet in front of her.

rixi wrote:
How do I differentiate the disease from her? How do I push her to eat in a way that she can accept and I don't lose my mind?


It helped me a lot to read Carrie Arnolds book Decoding Anorexia to understand how this disease works. I compared it to diabetes. That helped me to seperate my d from the disease. People with low blood sugar do strange things, too.
Have a strict meal plan and follow that on a daily routine. No exeptions. After some days fighting it gets better and then she will follow that routine without much stress after some weeks. That helps to not lose your mind [wink].

rixi wrote:
She failed the first week of our plan (at least one lb weight gain per two weeks), and we had to confiscate her phone until her weight is gained till the level we all agreed. I understand the confiscation of her phone is a leverage, but it looks like we don't have any other way.



To take away the phone for such a long time is not really a good idea because long term leverage does not work normally (they cannot think that long distance). Have a routine of taking the phone before each meal and give it back immidiately after she has finished the meal. Short time leverage is the secret. You want to watch TV? We can watch the series while you are eating. If she stops eating, you stop the TV. You want to go for a walk? We can do that immidiately after you finished your afternoon snack. Do you know what I mean? You cannot get her with something which is at least some weeks away in this state. She does not think she will ever get there so why should she fight for it.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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rixi

tina72, thanks for your reply. I personally do not want to take away her phone as a leverage as well. Yet, It seems that nothing gives her the incentive to eat well (i.e. eat the food we provide and eat them all.) Only when she needs to go to friend's house either for a birthday celebration or just hang out, she would eat a good meal beforehand. 

toothfairy and mimi321 - thank you for the videos/ Thank are really helpful. 

 

This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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tina72
And does it work now when you have the phone? Are there any other things she might be interested in? What were her hobbies?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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rixi
tina72 - today is the first day that she does not have her phone. We do not know yet.  She loves drawing, writing and hiking. 
This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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tina72
Aah, o.k. I did not know that.
Drawing would be great for distraction. Can you buy drawing books or new materials (aquarell or something like that) for her? My d also did a lot of puzzles while in the dark days. TV was also a great help. Never watched so much Two and a half men and Big bang before...[wink]
Hiking you can forget at the moment but you could get some catalogues of hiking tours and watch them with her and plan some fictive hiking tours you can do together next year when she is better. You could even look for hotels on the route. We did a lot of fictive room decorating and went to furniture shops to plan renovations we never did in fact just to distract her and do something not food related together.

And I bough a lot of books. She did not read at the start because she was too sick to concentrate on anything but when she started reading again I got her also with books!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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tina72
Just thought about something, did you try to invite her friends or some family members for meals?
Mine did not well with others around but there are some families here that had progress with "whitnesses". Their kids did eat normal when others where around because they do not want to be "strange". Worth a try?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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rixi
Unfortunately, she eats very little when she eats at dinner party either at home or a friend's house. thanks for your thoughts and suggestion. We will definitely try puzzles. 
This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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rixi
scaredmom - thank you for sharing your story with me. I've also have lost my temper more than I should. I will try some deep breath tactics. 
This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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Ronson
I agree with Tina - at the beginning (hard as it is) it is better to stick to routine - we did some outings but took picnics - the vendors can be overwhelming choice and it is then hard for you to calorie count.

I also lost my temper more often than I should - we are only human and it is hard

X
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Foodsupport_AUS
It is really tough getting the refeeding process going in a positive direction, and very disheartening when it doesn't go the way that we want and need. For my D I found that making eating the number one priority was the only way forward. Nothing happened if she didn't eat - that is no school, no going out, no watching TV, no phone. It didn't always work, in fact my D spent many months in hospital but when she finally was discharged and stayed out getting the food in had to still be the utmost priority. My D struggled with any foods that were not in her meal plan. We had a list of snacks and a list of meals and she would only eat those. At the time the priority was not increasing variety but to make sure she ate, and ate enough to gain weight. 

Like Tina I would suggest not linking phone access to weight gain. I would link it to compliance with a meal. I would suggest lunch and other meals should be similar in size each day, not a big meal sometimes and smaller others, with every day an expectation that it is completed.

How to keep your sanity? Take some time out away from ED. Reading, relaxation can help. Learning some skills such as mindfulness can help you stay in the moment and then move on. This is a very slow journey and we can only take one step at a time.
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
Hi rixi
I ‘lose’as well, it’s natural as it is all so stressful . Crying is an awesome way to let it out. I often cry in shower even when things ok.
Just a few thoughts
When we go out I pack ‘acceptable ‘ foods as an alternative in case there is nothing my d will eat. Great if she does but I have bases covered if she can’t.
I also used electronics as a ‘ consequence ‘ in early days when I was desperate ( at one stage she didn’t eat for 3 days) . I tied it to a meal instead of a week. To finish a meal all good, not finish a meal device withheld till next completed meal. I feel guilty about doing it but then d understood pretty quickly so didn’t have to do it for long. Don’t know if this was the best strategy but just what I did at the time, in desperation.
When I get worked up I read different parts of Eva musbys book, I find it helps. From this it reminds me to try to remember that my d is scared and not in control of her eating. She is not having a good time either. But right now she doesn’t have the internal resources to do differently.

Take care
🌺
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debra18
It's a good idea if you are going out to take her food with her. How do I keep my sanity? I discovered that I love coloring. I do it before and after stressful meals and most of the time my daughter joins along. It was a pleasant time yesterday coloring with her on the couch and sharing the box of crayons. One meal at a time!
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scaredmom

rixi,
It does take time to get your rhythm. ED challenges us to change our parenting styles quite a bit.Such an uncomfortable thing!  So be kind to yourself.

Making it easier to eat than not eat is the goal. Some use incentives. Find your child's currency (ie phone, computer, netflix, shopping etc..). Then you can say "One you have eaten you may have, or do X" 

Once you establish a routine of eating and gaining,  then it does get easier. I think for me it was the powerlessness that I felt that was incapacitating: that was the hardest. It made me vulnerable and so the emotions were always at the surface. It is such a responsibility what we do. It is ok to let it go, to cry to scream etc. That is what helps to get it out.  The forum members were so understanding and helpful , they held me up.

What is she eating? We can help you to add calories to what she is eating and then with more weight gain it does get better. Add oil, cream, cheese to whatever you can. Then over time you can increase the volumes of food. I added oils etc to keep the "food print"(volumes of food) small. That way it did not overwhelm my d. Once I established a good caloric intake (for my D 4000-4500 cal per day) to gain weight weekly,  I felt better and she felt better. 


As for taking care of myself I love the music I grew up with. When I am driving I am "rocking out to my tunes". It really helps my mood. It reminds me of a time where I had no cares and it is freeing if only for a few minutes per day. So rock out to your favourite tunes, get your hair done, get a massage, go out with a friend. Do something non ED related, remember there is a life out there, a good normal life. 
You need to fill your cup, in order to give. 
mjkz, a member on this forum, has a lovely quote on her avatar, "you cannot pour from an empty cup". That really resonates for me.

This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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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Mamaroo
Hi Rixi, 

I'm sorry this is so hard, we've all been there.

Like the others have said, keep to a predictable routine and organise activities around snack and meal times. For a long time we were unable to do anything else. We made turns taking out d's sister to give us some reprieve from the illness. We didn't go on holiday until after WR, restaurant meals were rare and there was no socialising. I always carried 'safe' food with me when going out in case we were stuck in traffic and she needed to have a snack. 

As for coping I would go to school a half an hour earlier, park in a side street and have my mental meltdown, wipe off my tears and go and pick up the children. It is very normal (and good) to let the emotions out. We all had times where we lost it around d and meal times. I still get very upset if she doesn't eat what I give her. I make sure she knows that not eating is not an option, even now, since she still has a high metabolism. My d would ask me why she has to have a snack and I don't. I would tell her it was because she had been sick, still growing and had a high metabolism (she likes the last reason).

Another tip I learned here was to reward behaviour and not weight gain (which she can loose again). You can reward her for consistently eating all her meals and snacks. My d was allowed to go on the ipad after each completed meal and got points for completing a whole day's meal plan, with extra bonus points for completing a whole week's meal plan. This didn't happen immediately. It took us 7 weeks before she was able to follow the meal plan.

Here is Eva Musby's compassion video:





Sending you lots of hugs!!!
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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harmonymom
Hello, I do not post much but I wanted to say a few things here.

My daughter after dx did not go to hospital bc I had an episode of anorexia as well as my mother so I was super aware of watching her when she wanted to lose weight. She was over weight, had been bullied by one particular boy at at school and wanted to lose some weight. So she did. When she went below the weight I had agreed she could go to, alarm bells went off in my head. I immediately talked to her about maintaining her weight and found her HIDING food I was giving her. For those of you who are new to this, my daughter hid food in the following ways:

1. emptied a tissue box of tissues and hid food in the bottom and put one tissue on top.

2. Took plastic baggies from our pantry , like 20 of them, and hid them between her mattress and box set so she could put her breakfast in it and throw it out on her way to school.

3. When I found our all of this, she then just started taking toilet paper to wrap her breakfast in and stored it in the back of her closet. Needless to say, ALL meals were in front of me after this.

Whilest we did not have the fighting many of you had, our daughter seemed so happy to have permission to eat. I could see it in her face. She was so happy to eat. While I did not like our dietician in the end, in the the beginning, she said one thing that made all the difference in our daughters recovery. She said, " YOU WILL EAT EVERYTHING YOUR MOTHER GIVES YOU". She said it very forcefully and my daughter burst into tears when she said it. But it a way, she took the burden off of me.

The reason I stopped going to this dietician in the end was bc after finding this site, she did not agree with adding items to cooking without the child knowing and the only way I got my daughters weight up was by ALL the ADVICE on the wonderful FORUM. She said, " if your daughter ever finds out, she will never trust you." Well, we are weight restored about a year...and maybe my daughter sort of knew or never knew but I do not think she cares."

I did not do alot of taking privalages away BUT we did do a special trip that she was desparate to do. You Tube and her IPAD were terrific ways to distract during dinner and I let her watch EVERY dinner. We played games, we did projects like gardening and quite of bit of retail therapy and beauty days at the hair and nail salon. While I did not have to pay for medical care, I went through $10,000 in a year for beauty, clothes, hair, dietican, therapists and drs visits. AND alot of clothes as her weight went up.

In the end, I held that original overseas trip my daughter was desparate for. It was 6 months from when I found her hiding food. If she was not weight restored by the time of the trip, it would be cancelled and she knew this Mama Bear meant every word. In the end, we did do that trip and she actually got her period back during that trip.

Every child is different, for my girl, long term incentives that she really cared for made the difference. Also, we had a bit of a episode of trying to relapse BUT I just went back to adding the secret ingrediants and it got her back on track. Fats and food really are medicine.

I also want to say I LOST IT MANY TIMES during trying to weight restore my daughter. I worked the whole time and my husband worked from home SO WE both had our moments. Me way more than him. Because I was so much more involved, I knew so much more about eating disorders as I had suffered and watched my 60 year old mother suffer as well as other relatives...like functional eating disordered people, I knew how much was at at stake. Believe me , I yelled at her, told her I was having a heart attack, she was ruining my life, I was exhausted, on the verge of a nervous breakdown etc etc. My husband, her Dad, took her aside and said..." will you please give your mother a break blah blah blah.....I really do think the 6 to 8 months of actively refeeding were a true test of parenting for me. AND I didn't go through what so many on this site go through with violent behaviour.

Please try incentives...really big ones instead of taking away privelages. It is worth a try.
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rixi

Thank you ALL for your posts!!! I really appreciate them, especially that almost all of you suggested incentive/rewards instead of taking away privileges. 

harmonymom - thanks for sharing your story with me. 

Mamaroo - thanks for the videos 

scaredmom - special thanks for the last sentence of your post. I will use it as my signature for this forum

debora18 - I will try coloring as well

For all the other members that I did not mention your names, please know that I am grateful for all your insights, suggestions, encouragements and especially the story you shared. 

 

I am not sure if your kids also do this - since my D does not like carb at all, she usually spills the rice/noodle/pasta on the table or wraps some in the napkin during the meal, not a lot, but always a little here and there. Should I tell myself, "Please look at the big picture, say, if she eats 8 dumplings I give her, just not all the dumpling wrappers." or should I ask her to eat ALL. What about the rice/pasta/noodle spilled on the table? Should I add more rice/pasta/noodle according to how much she spills?

This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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scaredmom
Rixi.
I think you need to ensure she is not hiding or dropping food etc and replace what she does not eat. This is where we as parents need to do it. You could go slowly with what she eats and ensure she is getting enough calories to gain. With weight gain it does get better. I always taught that ED lives in the last bite and to defeat ED all the bites, every single last one has to be eaten.
Get the calories up, take away napkins, hoodies, animals that will eat the dropped food. Get armed with more food to replace as needed. It takes a long paradigm shift in our approach to do this.
What can we help you with.
You can do it!
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 Rixi,

Unfortunately, there are few rules that work 100% for everyone. We did allow our son to leave the last mouthful on his plate. He was able to eat the rest of the meal, it was never more than 1 bite and it reduced general resistance to eating.

Many parents do find it worthwhile to fight over the last bite. If you do decide not to the important thing is to ensure that the amounts are tiny. It is also important that she eat carbohydrates of some sort. They are the day to day fuel for the brain.

Warm wishes

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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Ronson
Sorry I should have said that is just what we do and everyone is different - we get an eye roll when we tell her to finish it but that is getting less and less often
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tina72
We also had no napkins on the table and I only needed to ANNOUNCE before meals that food spilled around on the table would be replaced or added to the next meal and it got better with every meal. If you have something in back add it again. The spilling is ED behaviour to eat all and if you can make her realise that she will need to eat it no matter what happens it gets better.
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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rixi
Another Q: How do you guys find a nutritionist/dietitian who knows/understands FBT? What if there is none closeby? 
This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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scaredmom
Well that is another question that is unique to everyone's experience. The dietitian with our team,was not at all helpful. So when my D was in hospital, I knew that last calorie count (2500cal per day) then added a few hundred per week until I figured out how to do it (here on ATDT) and had to get to 4000+ cal to see good weight gain. 
Some have found that the dietitian was not helpful, others did find them helpful. It depends on what you need, I would think.

I will find and bump a thread on what the members here feel that dietitians should know about ED. 
You need someone who knows ED.
I mean really knows ED.
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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rixi
scaredmom - that's what I mean. I don't want to meet a so-called dietitian who has no idea regarding ED or FBT. I notice that information is really unclear when I am trying to collect more information about dietitians...
This is a stage in your life, this is NOT your life.
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scaredmom

hmmm, do you have a FBT team with a dietitian? 

Some have done it without a dietitian. I hope I am understanding your question correctly? Our team had a dietitian- not helpful even though her "specialty" was ED.


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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