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

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My daughter 17 is pretty well WR. She continues to struggle with low moods and anxiety- present way before ED.

Im really thinking that some light exercise or walking would be good for her overall well being and sense of self. She has never been interested in exercise so this was never an issue. I haven't brought it up to her as I wanted to run in past you all first. I was thinking maybe her and I could join a gym and maybe twice a week just walk a mile or two? We are in dead of winter so outdoor walking is a no go for me! Hate it. 

Certainly a little apprehensive about the idea but I believe it would be good for mental health. I also think if she was having some sort movement outside of school attendance, she might find the large amount of food consumption a little easier with early fullness between an issue. 

I welcome any thoughts! Thank you!!
Some ideas:

It must be clear that any movement needs to be made up with food before. So any exercise here means a double snack before.

I personally would prefer a team sport with a limited time and a start and and end and some social activity with peers. Volleyball or badminton or something like that. Something where the team decides to go out for a pizza afterwards...🙂
Gym is not the best idea I think. It is not limited, you do most exercises alone, there are a lot of mirrors and you will compare youself to all these super fit and super slim people there...

Just my 2 cents...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
I know. Thank you!

She is 17 and past the option to join team sports...which really ticks me off! She played and loved volleyball in middle school but didnt make cuts to high school teams. Sadly there is no team sport option for her. Really sad because she's a kid who would love to do that and make friends that way.
We would definitely NOT join a trendy gym. It would actually be a Y or something that tends to cater to older/ less exercise obsessed folks who look like us 🙂 
Whatever you decide to do ,be mindful, as I know you already are, of a few things.
  • Duration of exercise 
  • frequency 
  • intensity
  • obsessive thoughts
  • changes in eating patterns
  • behavioural issues 

Alway remember to have a plan if thing don’t go well. Then I think you are ready to go.

well done! 


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)
I know. Thank you!

She is 17 and past the option to join team sports...which really ticks me off! She played and loved volleyball in middle school but didnt make cuts to high school teams. Sadly there is no team sport option for her. Really sad because she's a kid who would love to do that and make friends that way.

That is sad that team sport seems to be a question of age there...here that is not. You can join a football team even at age 75 🙂.
Is there an option to learn to dance? My d dances standard and latin dance and loves that. And she gets in contact with other girls and boys there.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Another thought might be to look into yoga, maybe hatha or flow especially.  It is gentle exercise, incorporates the concepts of mindfulness and often recommended for people recovering from anorexia.  I would check out the class first though to make sure it is centered on the experience rather than having a competitive aspect to it.
I second the yoga idea. If you look into restorative or hatha yoga, those are very gentle and can be wonderful in ED recovery. It can be a good way for your d to be gentle to her body while appreciating what it can do. Plus, classes are usually only 45-60 minutes and you could maybe try it once a week. Maybe have her rate her anxiety before and after the session if you do a gym or yoga class? ED can manifest in different ways,.. exercise was not always a big part of my D’s Ed until suddenly it was and she couldn’t stop exercising. We are still working on that one and it seemingly came out of no where, 
D is 23 with restrictive anorexia since age 13. Purging tendencies shortly there after. Currently underweight and struggling with restricting as well as purging. 
Yoga sounds great! I used to love it, I should go back to it myself. My D (14 and WR for almost 7 months) does aerial dance (the one with the hanging thingies). It's not exactly a team sport but there is social interaction, is not really competitive and they have turns so not exercising all the time, the other girls (and one or 2 guys) are not necessarily thin (some thin, some muscular, some not so thin or muscular). She enjoys it very much but if we can't make it is not the end of the world. Like your D we didn't have a problem with compulsive exercise.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
Great ideas! Thank you!
I think yoga might be the ticket! 
And come summer time we can walk a little outside. Maybe too soon for a "gym" but yoga sounds like a great idea! 
I would also think hard before doing the gym route.  Does she know her weight?  Would have easy access to a scale there.  Also, lots of people with bodies that might trigger ... either bigger people she wants to not look like, or super thin fit people she wants to be like.  

On the other hand, at 17, part of what you are doing is getting her ready for the real world.  Maybe ease into the idea of exercise with yoga and walks and let her continue to heal and reassess actual gym membership in a year or so?  Just my thoughts from reading around this place for years. I am not sure I have read of someone regretting waiting so long to begin giving back the reins, but lots of stories of wishing they waited longer.  
Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth.  UPDATE:  July 2019 diagnosed with PANS. Dr. said likely started first PANS episode at less than 1 or 2 years of age.  On long-term daily prophylactic antibiotics. BMI now about 16 after period of intense refeeding prior to PANS dx,  followed by stagnation as we sort out what is next. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
What ATDT31 said.  If you ease in slowly, you will not be in a position where you have to make a dramatic backward change if things start to go pear shaped.  xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Reading this post with interest as my D is 17 and has been WR for a few months now and is doing really well. She also has low moods and anxiety which was present pre ED so they are very similar. Before Xmas we had a dilemma about her going back to the gym - at college they have do one extra curricula activity a week. Up until this point she was doing a creative class with her friend but it turned out to be very uninteresting. Her friend decided to leave and do a gym class instead which my d then said she wanted to do as well. It also freed up one afternoon so she could come home early from college. So we either had to say no and make her continue the boring class with her best friend gone (she would not have been happy) or say yes to the gym. Camhs also had said previously she could go to the gym again as long as she had an extra snack before. Now my d is slightly different in that she had exercise compulsion before but this has now gone completely. So we decided to let he try the gym - had a big talk beforehand about how unhealthy these places can be for those recovering from EDs - hearing people talk about losing weight, body shaming, exercising in front of mirrors, viewing calories burned etc. There was a LOT of anxiety for us the day she had her first session. But I think she really got a lot out of it - she was anxious herself beforehand - also probably worried about ED thoughts returning. But she says he felt a completely different person than before - not interested in calories burned, no ED thoughts and there certainly has been no evidence of her wanting to ramp up the volume of exercise. It's just an hour a week and that will be all she is allowed so I don't think it's going to do her any harm and, as others have said, I think it's enabled her to realise she really has got on top of the ED. She says she hears people talking about their weight and body shaming themselves all the time - it's just what teenage girls do sadly - it's not just in the gym so it's something they just have to get used to. She actually told her friends off recently for such talk which I thought was great. She wouldn't touch yoga with a barge pole! It's not cool or trendy for her age group and as much as I think it would benefit her along with the mindfullness it really is a no go activity for her. So I guess we were pushed into this and would have steered her away from it if we could but now she has been I've realised that there is a lot they can get out of it but just be aware if she does go of any ED behaviours it might trigger - you'll know if you see them.
I definitely wouldn’t allow joining of a gym just yet. 
Slightly hypocritical of me I know, given what our S is doing but if I could I’d stop some of it.
Agree with the yoga and walks suggestions. 
I like the idea of you and your daughter doing it together. Life is hectic as it is, and taking time for a relaxing activity you both enjoy is valuable. 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
I had same conversation with our HCPs. They said it should be with other people rather than solitary, so classes ideal, and should in no way start with the gym as the machines have calories on them. My trouble is getting her to do it. We did do yoga together for a while but she got bored. 
Tennis was a win for our girl- a no-cut sport at her school, team atmosphere but without the pressure, found some reasonable local lessons at a nearby college. I do think that learning to “exercise”, move one’s body with joy, is important for all of us!
We can do hard things well...