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

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My 13 yo d has been diagnosed for about 6-7 weeks now with AN. She is in an intensive outpatient program. Today is not a good day. For a year and a half she has been progressively more moody and mean to her little siblings and to us. We figured typical puberty moodiness. With ED, the moodiness is amplified and her nastiness reaches a whole new level. She started Prozac a few weeks ago and that seemed to be helping but too early to tell. She has been compliant with the meal plan and things have been okay but today I lost my cool because of her swearing and yelling after I didn't buy her a specific "zero" calorie drink she likes. They are expensive and she has no ability to ration them. She'll drink 3 or 4 a day because she doesn't want to drink anything else. And she leaves the empty bottles in her room and doesn't bother to put them in recycling or even in the trash can 2 feet from her. She insists on "zero" calorie gum and if she doesn't get it or she chews a whole box in a day and wants more, she whines and complains and again and uses it as license to act horrible. I'm tired of her being so mean to her siblings and using the "f" word. I just can't handle it right now. She is supposed to be eating right now and I am so frustrated I can't be in the same room with her at the moment. I have to get it together. Is this really life? It's living on a 2-3 hour time schedule in the kitchen: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Of course, I love my daughter. But right now I've had it. 
Dear ytamar,

I'm sorry you have to join us here.

As you probably realize, the 0 calorie drinks and the gum chewing are eating disordered behaviors to help your daughter feel fuller without actually ingesting any actual calories.

I was in a similar situation at one point my d. started drinking coke 0.
I had to confront that one head on and let her know that zero calorie drinks were not appropriate and insist that she drink caloric drinks as well as full fat milk.

It was a battle but my firm insistence over a period of time worked. It sounds as though you have started on that, so keep going, let her swear about it, and try keeping your cool the next time! As they say on ATDT, be a brick wall. Or another I've read here: Be a rock in a frock.

All I can say is it is a very difficult time for you right now but please find a way to recharge your batteries and practice some self care. Can you plan something enjoyable for yourself? Life is dismal when in the trenches but is there anything you can do to pull yourself up a little?



It’s so hard, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, the swearing, meltdowns and rudeness is hard to bear.

I had to ban zero calorie cola, if that’s what yours is having as the caffeine is so bad for sleep and stops the absorption of nutrients and it can make people jittery.

Rock in a frock, I love that!
The ED makes monsters of our lovely kids but it’s important to try and detach and know that they’re really screaming for help as they scream at us.
I'd say don't encourage the bad behavior by buying the stuff that causes it.  For instance my daughter had foods that I knew she wouldn't eat normally or that she would binge on. Rather than sit and stew over her breaking something into 10,000 little pieces or microwaving something until it was burned, I just stopped buying that food.  Don't buy the expensive diet drinks or the gum.   Yes, short term you'll get some kick back and that is hard to swallow but it will save you and your family so much stress in the long run.
Well, I’m in a pickle. My husband drinks nothing but diet and also has a big habit of sugar free gum. Don’t know how to get around that.

Some have been quite clear with their children that their needs are different from yours. You and H are not growing and she is. Could your H drink water when around her? And hide the gum. Or maybe for a while H does not have those things in the house?

There really are so many roads to Rome, as they say. I hope that there is something here from all the others that you can use or tweak to fit your needs.

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)
We'll have to figure it out. Here is the thing. My husband is always watching what he eats and he exercises. All in a good way. But at the moment, I know having those zero calorie things in the house will lead to more fights. I wish I could ban them. But I would fight with my husband. If they aren't banned, my d will fight. Tired of the fights. 
Hi Ytamar

I can sympathise with you, we used to be very conscious about what we ate and had a treadmill in the living room. Then ED moved in, we got rid of the treadmill and ate everything without judging or shaming it. Yes, we gained weight, but we had to pick our battles. My is now WR, so we got a new treadmill, but only use it when she is not at home, and it is in my hubby's home office. I do some exercises when she is at school and our portions are smaller than hers. Now and again, she would complain, but I just explain that she has a high metabolism and needs more food than the rest of the family. We also banned chewing gum and zero calorie drinks.

Now back to your original question about the behaviour. D's sister (who doesn't have an ed) used to be so rude as well. I realised I spoiled her too much, I did too much for her and catered to her whims. Now I'm very strict and took away a lot of her privileges until her behaviour is good again. No netflix, no internet, no fun activities etc. She has to be well mannered for 3 weeks. She gets 3 strikes every day. If she is rude, strike 1, if she complains, strike 2, if I have to ask her twice to do her chores, strike 3. When she gets to strike 3 during the day, she goes to bed at 8pm and the 3 week period starts again. The 3 strikes reset every day. We are currently on day 6, and this morning I caught her with her tablet, strike 1. Usually she would complain or be rude or swear, but she only said sorry (yeah!). I also don't explain myself when I ask her to do something, since she ends up arguing with me, "because I said so" is my new mantra.

I realise you are in a different position as I am, since your priority is to get her to eat. I excused a lot of ED daughter's behaviour when she was so anxious during refeeding. Maybe you can focus on only one behaviour you would like to change, like the swearing. I know this is hard, please come here to vent, we understand.

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
ytamar wrote:
Well, I’m in a pickle. My husband drinks nothing but diet and also has a big habit of sugar free gum. Don’t know how to get around that.

If he wants your d to get better (and I am sure he wants that) it would help if he can stop that, too. He can drink water. Sugar free gum in big amounts is not normal to eat all day and he should try to stop that to support your d.

For your d you are right with refusing to buy these things. No money spend for ED behaviour.
It is ED who is swearing and yelling at you and not your d and that will get better when she sees that you mean business and she will not get that drinks and gums again.

My d also dank zero coke and chewed gums the whole day to not feel hungry. Your d is so hungry inside that she needs to do that, like an addiction. You can help her to stop that.

"My husband is always watching what he eats and he exercises."
Is there any way he could exercise without your d noticing it? Can you explain to him why it is so important to have no low calorie items in your kitchen at the moment?

Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Ytamar, I wonder if it would help to explain to your h that however difficult this may be for him, it is WORLDS more difficult for your (his) d.  It took me a long time to grasp that, but when I finally did, my compassion and patience skyrocketed. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
I always made it clear to my daughter that everyone's needs are different so if your husband can't give up zero calorie stuff (which water is by the way) and sugarless gum, then make it clear to your daughter that those things are his food and not hers.