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

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Frazzled
My daughter has been wanting to only wear baggy sweatshirts and leggings for the last couple months but recently when home she has to have a throw blanket around her at all times. She tells me that she feels bad about herself and isn’t comfortable with her body and that’s why she does this. She is embarrassed by the way her body looks right now. Her motivation is also down. She no longer wants to exercise and states that it takes too much energy and it’s boring. She is still getting straight A’s in school but doesn’t like it that much anymore either and doesn’t feel as motivated to complete work.  All of this is in complete contrast to when she was underweight of course but I am wondering if there are any red flags with her behavior since it’s fairly new. 
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workingthrough

I’d try to challenge the clothing/blanket a bit if you can. We had to do clothing challenges just like food challenges to get back to dressing in typical clothes vs. baggy ones. S will hold pillows over his stomach when he’s struggling a lot (body image). We let him in the beginning as he was eating food, but have tried to discourage as (for him) it’s a ED behavior.

You might check a little with depression. I will say that as S gained weight we noticed a bunch of his more “particular/rigid” behaviors dying off. An example, he always had a meticulous bedroom; now he’ll leave laundry out. He made himself run and run and exercise in the worst of his ED, now he’s just fine watching TV and playing legos. For us, the OCD behaviors really dropped as he gained and ED behavior diminished. I felt like he regressed a little (we did lose a good year of life), but he’s more a “normal teen”, which is a wonderful thing.

Our S is on a SSRI and I feel like it’s helped him quite a bit. 

Not sure that all helps a lot but is our experience. The ED was really driving a lot of behaviors for us.

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PurpleRain
My daughter started using my husband's T-shirts and jeans. I managed to change that by telling her to use something else but also hiding the t shirts. She has been doing much better but today she put one on again (I must find it and hid it I guess). However I ask her to change and she did. For us it helps to challenge the behaviour without pushing too hard (or she would dig her heels) it is getting so much better as time passes (she has been WR for 6 months).
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
 
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Barberton
My d was having a few bad days (we increased her food) and I gently warned her that her body might store fat around the middle before distributing it elsewhere and that if she began to feel uncomfortable in her clothes, I would help her buy new clothes so that she wouldn't feel anxious. This was one of those "Good News/Bad News" conversations. I'm glad I did it even though it unleashed a storm of ED bc I want her to know she can ask for help and doesn't have to feel the pressure of tight clothing. However, if she did begin to wear baggy clothes, I would see that as a red flag. I agree with PurpleRain that gently challenging behaviours is super important even if you get a backlash from the ED.
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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ValentinaGermania
Frazzled wrote:
My daughter has been wanting to only wear baggy sweatshirts and leggings for the last couple months but recently when home she has to have a throw blanket around her at all times. She tells me that she feels bad about herself and isn’t comfortable with her body and that’s why she does this. She is embarrassed by the way her body looks right now. Her motivation is also down. She no longer wants to exercise and states that it takes too much energy and it’s boring. She is still getting straight A’s in school but doesn’t like it that much anymore either and doesn’t feel as motivated to complete work.  All of this is in complete contrast to when she was underweight of course but I am wondering if there are any red flags with her behavior since it’s fairly new. 


If that gets a new ED habit and is not only for a few days I would think about hiding that blanket...

About school, has she ever been tested if she is gifted? Maybe she is completely bored in school...then skipping a class to a higher level might be a solution.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Hating the way that they look, and feeling fat and bad to look at is very typical and normal as they are recovering. Body image changes are one of the last thing to improve with ED, and sometimes they don't truly improve - as per Carrie Arnold in her book. We had a lot of this for a long time. At one stage she kept on walking like a cowboy so her thighs could not touch. 

Depression also commonly goes with not dressing well, and a lack of interest in appearance. 

My D definitely improved with what she chose as time went on. Early on when very ill, it was far too much to challenge. She wore the most horrible jacket, and track pants for a long time. Her old clothes were too big.  It will improve as time goes on as she recovers. How much it needs to be challenged depends on where it is coming from, and how she is going in other ways. Pick the most important behaviours to approach. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Frazzled
I did challenge the blanket/clothing today and she agreed to not wear the blanket and she did so without a problem for the most part. She did have it on for a little bit but I will keep reminding her and hopefully it will become a thing of the past. It is strange because when she was underweight she wore anything. Now that she is at a good weight she wants to cover up.  Her mood is better today but when her mood dips like it did it is usually at night so I believe it is strictly ED beating her up. She is happy and in a good mood every morning and most of the day usually. ValentinaGermania...She is a year ahead in school already and still getting straight A’s and says it’s easy for her so I will be talking to the school and I was thinking about having her study for a CLEP exam or two to earn college credits to give her more of a challenge. I am grateful for all of your input and stories. Makes me feel better after I hear from all of you. Thanks so much.
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Torie
Frazzled wrote:
She is happy and in a good mood every morning and most of the day usually.

Usually, but not always, they do best in the morning, with mood deteriorating as the day goes on.  I always thought that was interesting because with "normal" depression, the reverse is usually true. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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ValentinaGermania
Frazzled wrote:
ValentinaGermania...She is a year ahead in school already and still getting straight A’s and says it’s easy for her so I will be talking to the school and I was thinking about having her study for a CLEP exam or two to earn college credits to give her more of a challenge.


Some find distraction in learning a foreign language...German for example...🙂
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Frazzled
Valentina 


Some find distraction in learning a foreign language...German for example...🙂


That’s a great idea. Thanks!
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