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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peacelily
UGH, I'm so frustrated at my d's insistence to keep counting calories. She no longer uses weightloss apps or websites anymore which is a step in the right direction. But she still looks up nutrition facts online of food(One day I put peach in her daily oatmeal instead of banana and she lied that she was playing a game on her iPad but instead was looking up calories in peaches [crazy]) Still fights to look at the back of packages, Secretly guesstimates what is in and how many calories are in the meals we give her(Usually guesstimates are way lower but she tries), I've even found little bits of paper with addition problems that are clearly guessing how much she ate in a day.
I try to tell her food is not numbers but give you energy, keep you nourished. I've tried just telling her to stop. But she Just.Wont.Stop. Because she says she can't let go of that just yet..She seems to be accepting of eating 2100+ everyday at the very least that's something
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mnmomUSA
The best thing I did was remove all labels from food.  Sometimes, this meant pouring it into a different container, sometimes taking a sharpie to the label to obscure the information.  Beyond that, I used a LOT of multi-ingredient dishes, such as casseroles and soups. I had the luxury of preparing this largely out of D's presence so she really couldn't tell what was in something (especially soups...a blender stick works wonders), and I would give only vague responses....tomato soup, for example was "tomatoes and onions and broth" with no mention of the HWC, butter, etc that were also in it.

My D still is acutely aware of the number of calories in certain prepackaged items, but she seems to have now abandoned all hope of figuring out exactly what she is consuming because it is impossible to do so.  Tonight's dinner, for example, was ravioli with roasted veggies and pesto sauce.  Pesto sauce was homemade, roasted veggies were liberally doused with olive oil before roasting, and the ravioli container went in the trash before she had a chance to even see it.  I have no clue how many calories were in that dish, and I made it.  LOL.  She doesn't even try.  And, she ate it all and loved it.  :-)

ETA: Is it possible to block websites with nutrition or calorie information?  I know inmy wifi router, I can put in websites that are off limits.  



D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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trusttheprocessUSA
When I was refeeding my child I noticed if I asked him a question and engaged a different part of his brain it interrupted this loop of counting etc. So at every meal I had "would you rather cards", riddles, "worst case scenario cards". It really was remarkable how his ED was in a part of his brain but not in other places - like reasoning. Try it and look for a glimmer of her mind switching from counting to thinking. Make it up - ask her for advice, a gift idea for someone you know, how to celebrate someone's graduation etc. once you discover what works have similar things at every meal.

Good luck !
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
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Psycho_Mom
Hi,

You may like Tamar Chansky's Help Your Child with Anxiety (that is not the exactly right title). 

You may also consider taking control of that computer and any other sources of calorie info she has. Interrupting harmful behaviors is an important intervention that many caregivers have had to do early on. We had to limit mirror time, which was awkward and strange, but so what? These behaviors are harmful to your child and you need to protect her from them, and when she whines about you controlling her computer usage you can explain it that way, and also explain that it is only temporary. And then distract with something fun.

best wishes,
D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
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mamabear
Trusttheprocess- that is done fantastic advice!
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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deenl
trusttheprocessUSA wrote:
When I was refeeding my child I noticed if I asked him a question and engaged a different part of his brain it interrupted this loop of counting etc. So at every meal I had "would you rather cards", riddles, "worst case scenario cards". It really was remarkable how his ED was in a part of his brain but not in other places - like reasoning. Try it and look for a glimmer of her mind switching from counting to thinking. Make it up - ask her for advice, a gift idea for someone you know, how to celebrate someone's graduation etc. once you discover what works have similar things at every meal. Good luck !


We use a website http://either.io/ with lots of would you rather questions. But probably best if you read them out, there has been the occasional one that was not great for someone with ED.

Have fun,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • 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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trusttheprocessUSA
great website deenl thank you for sharing....
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
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peacelily
We have a new rule of no electronics at the table now and try to side track with talking, Games. I don't know if it's helping much but every bit we can I suppose.
I try to make the food completely uncountable but unfortunate she knows how we/I cook. Pre-ED she use to help cook most nights and knows I put lots of butter, cream/milk, oils, ect. She accounts for it and has a very developed taste that knows even if I don't haha, Plus she has memorized so many food labels it's insane, Even stuff we don't regularly buy. I just hope she'll eventually be able to accept everything and let go finally. She's been okay with not weighing anymore so that's a big step, I hope the calorie counting will be the next to go
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Psycho_Mom
Hi,

No electronics at the table seems a basic rule of politeness anyway--good job. If later you need more ways of keeping her from counting calories, you could vary portion sizes, and serve a couple smaller snacks instead of one big snack, and serve things in different size bowls and containers, and just generally change stuff up so it's harder to keep track. 

I'd never counted a calorie in my life until d got sick. But then I started counting everything, because it helped me make sure she was getting enough. And now, three years later....I can look at any plate of any types of food and make a very good guess at how many calories it has. Ask me anything, from peaches to nuts to Trader Joe's wheat bread, I know how many calories it has! 

I dunno that it's possible to erase info in the brain, but I do know that most of the time I don't count anymore because I don't care. Maybe it will be possible for your d to "forget" caloric info tho, because she learned it when she was sick and her brain is going to change a lot as she gets well. ...

best wishes,
D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
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