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Recently my D has started following instagram "foodies" that post "healthy" foods. (The ingredients are all good: nuts, grains, avocado, seeds, etc.) But of course it doesn't include, pizza, pasta, pancakes, etc.

I think it reinforces the idea of good food/bad food. Although my D hasn't directly said this. And it might not even be consciously but an underlying message. (Kind of like what triggered this whole mess to begin with...wanting to be "healthy".)

I am inclined to tell her not to follow these posts because I don't think it is helpful for her to look and think about food more than she does already.

What are your thoughts?


Dear hopefulyetscared,

Not sure what I can give you on this although give it a try & see what result you get.

Be prepared for any push back from ed & have some possible answers back although dont get into too much discussion as ED loves to have responses for everything that opposes what you say.

Try to have lots of love, compassion, empathy & understanding in your conversation & answers.

Try to make it short & sweet to avoid any detailed engagement & conversation with ed as thats typically a no win argument ed has all the answers all the time even when they are stupid & wrong.
ED Dad
Dear hopefulyetscared,

If I read your bio correctly, then d is about 13. I highly doubt she pays for her phone and Internet, so you could limit the time she spends on media in general. I don't know what else is happening but you could say it is about life balance or her studies or just because too much screen time is bad for kids.

ED Dad is right in that you should expect lots of argument.

In my experience, those sites and posters were almost an obsession when our kids are sick. My d's interest in them dropped off as she gained the weight she needed to start brain healing.

I can hear her in the next room crunching on corn chips out of the bag right now. There is hope--just keep that weight going up!
D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
As long as you pay for things like internet and phone, you get to decide what is appropriate.
When my d was starving herself she was obsessed with food pics on Instagram and websites and watched TV shows about cooking.  Her focus was on food ALL THE TIME.  She looked up healthy foods.  She looked at pictures of decadent desserts ("food porn").  She talked incessantly about healthy vs. unhealthy foods.  She was basically obsessed with food in general because she was severely restricting her access to the thing her growing body needed most - FOOD!  

After she was weight restored I would still find her looking up different diets, calories info, nutrition info, etc.  She also suffered from an exercise compulsion and immediately tried to work off any calories consumed after she ate a snack or meal.  We decided to try medication.  A few weeks after starting on a low dose of Fluoxetine we noticed a marked decrease in obsessive behaviors and thinking related to food and exercise.  I was doing the happy dance!  For a while.

With medication and continued weight gain (well past her original target weight) we were able to overcome the obsessive thinking about food and exercise.  It literally almost vanished completely in a matter of weeks.  

But her obsessiveness then shifted from food and exercise to comparing herself to pictures of thin, attractive females (i.e. Instagram celebrities).  That's when her underlying issues bubbled up to the surface - low self esteem, depression and anxiety - which I suspect played a part in triggering the onset of AN about a year ago.  

We discussed these concerns with her nutritional therapist who suggested we limit d's time on Instagram and other websites.  We talked about how these images are not realistic.  How looking at this content was making it more difficult to recover from her ED.  We redirected her to other websites - ED recovery stories and stories of hope, body acceptance messages, positive thinking, etc.  We found other activities to try to limit her time on the internet and social media. These adjustments, along with a bump up in her medication dosage, have definitely helped.  We are now getting her back into individual therapy to treat the depression and anxiety. 

Although I agree with the others that you could try to limit her access to this content, perhaps there are other things (additional weight? medication?) that may help her overcome these challenges?

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


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.
My d is also a huge Instagram fan, and follows a lot of posters about make-up, nails, fashion and - yes - food.  If anyone knows of any particular "red flag" users that our chn definitely shouldn't be following (ditto you-tubers and vloggers, I guess), or ones that are good, I would really appreciate that info!
D, b.2002, diagnosed with depression, anxiety and EDNOS Spring/Summer 2016.
Some restricting, some vomiting, some self-harm for good measure.
FBT, CBT, now on 3rd type of anti-d's.
D is "cured" of the ED but still on low dose of anti-d's. Will I ever be cured?