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Posts: 67
Reply with quote  #1 
My 14 yo D is almost 2.5 years into the recovery process. I've been given amazing support and information from all of you here which has been invaluable to getting us to the place we are at now.

Based on the feedback I've received here, I am more comfortable in continuing "feeding" my D the majority of the time. I struggled with to what extent I am enabling the ED by being the one in control of so much of what she eats. Because she is only 14, I do have time before she is living independently so I am going to use these years in keeping her at a healthy weight. (I do continue to challenge the ED with new foods, etc.)

My question to you now is regarding insight. My D cannot acknowledge she has an ED. She feels since she maintains her weight and is back to her activities (i.e. dance, soccer) she is healthy. She will say she use to have an ED but now she is healthy and totally dismisses the fact that I am still in control of her food. She refuses to have a conversation with me about ED. She does see a therapist who also agrees that my D has very little insight.

Part of me thinks that she may have more insight than she'll admit (to me and herself) because she is willing to go to therapy and does say that it is helpful and also the fact that she knows most 14 yo don't have their moms constantly telling them what to eat, reminding them to eat snacks, asking them to finish last bits, lasts sips, etc. 

Is it necessary to recovery to be able to acknowledge her ED and to demonstrate insight?

I don't talk about ED with her. I allow her to participate in her activities and make sure she eats what is required to maintain a healthy weight. Am I giving her a false sense of recovery? (Even though our engagement with food is far from normal and demonstrates ED support.)

Thanks again for all your help.


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Posts: 3,836
Reply with quote  #2 
Her refusal to take responsibility for eating says a lot about how active her eating disorder still is. So I would say yes there is a lot of work to be done. My D took more than three years to be able to even start to feed herself. 

She will need this insight in the longer term because I assume she is not going to stay at home with you feeding her for ever. So short term not an issue, long term yes it is. 

A few possibilities. Is she truly weight restored? What would happen if she gained some more weight, would that help improve her thinking? 
Can you require her to feed herself a snack and then if unable put in some restrictions to her activities ie. before you go to play soccer you need to get yourself an adequate snack, otherwise you can't go? Requiring her to do normal teen self feeding is appropriate and normal. Can she go out with her friends and eat without your supervision? 

Don't battle the whether or not she has an ED, but battle the absence of normal behaviours. 

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.

Posts: 67
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you Foodsupport_AUS. I appreciate your suggestions.

She will take her own snacks. And she is suppose to be working on initiating them, but I tend to have to remind her. And she does take appropriate snacks and I usually let her eat what she chooses because it is "enough" but she favors food that feels "safe" to her.  So if she was healthy person, it would be okay, but since I know why she is choosing it I feel I need to intervene.

I'm just starting to try to get more involved in the snacks because I think her ED needs to be challenged more. For example, if left on her own, she would choose for example, bars everyday rathe than toast with peanut butter or avocado. Calories are the same but the bar feels safer.

And yes, she eats out with friends often, unsupervised. I just have to believe she is eating what she tells me. But again, she eats familiar, safe foods.

When I am with her and I ask she will eat just about anything now. But I have to ask it of her. I just can't shake the ED away from her!!!

She is still gaining weight. She is 14 and growing so we are not standing still on that one either.

I'm just frustrated on how to push her to rid ED. 


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Posts: 1,547
Reply with quote  #4 
For example, if left on her own, she would choose for example, bars everyday rathe than toast with peanut butter or avocado. Calories are the same but the bar feels safer.

Stop buying the bars. My daughter went for all the safe choices until I stopped buying them which forced her to start branching out.

And she is suppose to be working on initiating them, but I tend to have to remind her.

I found that for my daughter when she was at that stage we had to treat it the same as not eating.  If she forgot about her snack and I had to remind her, she lost her phone until the next meal or snack.  Positive reinforcements never worked with my daughter.  When she lost something she wanted, she was able to remember things like snack much more readily.

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Posts: 2,452
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi there,
Your Daughter still sounds quite entrenched in her anorexia, as mentioned above I would definitely question if she is weight restored. Also she should be gaining weight into her 20's.
I would get her weight right up and then see how she is,  you describe active anorexia above, not recovery.
This video is brilliant

Food is the medicine. Recovery is possible.
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