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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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dailystruggle
My d insist that her 11 year old sister must eat whatever she does. We have been giving ed d whole milk for about a week.  We give everyone else skim.  She figure out tonight that we had been doing that and refused to drink it. She yells you give my other d skim milk.  This goes along with everything else. If we give ed daughter ice cream little sister must have some too. 11 year old is at a very healthy weight. There  is no getting into ed daughter that she is the one underweight and she needs more. In fact she watches what everyone eats and someone does not finish their plate she wonders why she has too. Is this another AN behavior? Any suggestions.

Thanks
Sherry Savage
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GiveMeStrength_US
How old is your D?  Sounds like my house.  My ED-D (18) has a very hard time eating with or watching her sister (12) eat.  Younger sister is on the heavier side (just big-framed and very tall for her age - same height as older sister and still growing, but wears sizes larger than big sister) and D thinks that if she eats like her sister, she will get "fat" but, at the same time, will see her sister eat something or skip a snack or whatever and say "it's not fair that she gets to lose weight and I don't."  Her perception is so skewed and irrational sometimes.  It drives me crazy.  My younger daughter is not losing weight, nor is there any reason for D to think she is, but D finds her especially triggering.

"Food is your medicine.  Your sister does not have an eating disorder.  Everyone gets what they need." is a lot of what I say to her. Sometimes I say, "when you eat like your sister, then we'll talk" (meaning no fear of pasta or desserts or anything artificial limits on intake).  Another line is "compare and despair" and this goes for everything - what people eat, how skinny they are, etc.

We have two milks in our fridge - a whole milk only for D and 1% for the rest of the family (I actually used to have skim, but increased it to 1% because I felt my younger kids needed milkfat).  It is unfortunately incredibly common to compare!  I would just stick with simple and quick answers - you are the one with an eating disorder, this is what we need to do.  They watch everything - just yesterday my D told me that I had a lot of pasta on my plate for lunch.  I asked her to stop scrutinizing my food please.
Mom to D 21 in November, behaviors started at 15, hospitalized at 16, IP at 17, FBT at almost 18. Finished second year in college; now abroad in treatment program to deal with co-morbids.
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Disneymom
My daughter's therapist told me that d watches everything I eat so it is important that I eat as much as her if not more.  This is really hard for me as I do not need the same calories as d.  Not sure what other's would recommend, but I thought I would share what our ED therapist suggested.
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dailystruggle

My ed d is 14 and always have been small and smallest/shortest in class. My 11 d is big boned and tallest in her class and loves food!!! So she enjoys all the stuff dad and mom are cooking. lol

Sherry Savage
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GiveMeStrength_US
Disney, with all due respect, I'm not sure that is such great advice.  I am in my 40s and I don't have the same metabolism or appetite as an active teenager so my intake doesn't necessarily have to match hers. I am sensitive to D in that I time my meals and snacks to hers so she doesn't have to eat alone - I probably eat more than she does anyway, but I shouldn't have to.  I actually asked this very question of my team and wondered what happens if I'm simply not hungry and don't want that much or, if it's a snack, I don't want anything at all and they said that it is OK to differentiate as she is the only one with an ED, therefore the only one that MUST eat 3 meals/2 snacks daily no matter what.
Mom to D 21 in November, behaviors started at 15, hospitalized at 16, IP at 17, FBT at almost 18. Finished second year in college; now abroad in treatment program to deal with co-morbids.
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mec
I agree with Lili. Disney, the advice your T gave you makes no sense for several reasons.

1)It validates the illogical reasoning of ED.
2) It allows ED to rule your family and control you. It needs to be the other way around.
3) It could be potentially negative for the people who do not need the extra calories, etc.
4) It doesn't show self-care which is what you want your sick child to work towards.

I have heard several ED experts say that you do NOT give in to ED's demands. In your shoes, I would say "your sister has different needs than you - this is your medicine not hers". Then, ignore all the drama and just carry on with the good work that you are doing. What would any of us do if one child needed insulin and the other one didn't? Go stick the healthy child and draw blood for the sake of the other child? I think not!

We got caught up in this web of confusion in our home. It wasn't so much that d complained but rather we didn't want to restrict anything at any time. Therefore, our eating became unorganized and disordered with lots of junk food and high calorie foods for all. As a result, son put on a ton of weight, which he didn't need to add and so did husband. I didn't do that and just told her "I am in my 40's and my metabolism is different than an 11 year old. Therefore, this is Not my medicine". Finally, we caught on to the idea that it wasn't healthy for us to eat whatever, whenever and we moved towards a more ordered eating plan.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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Onedayatatime_USA
My ed D is 12  and her younger sister is 10, they are now the same height and weight but ed D would always say why doesn't sister have to finish her dinner?  I told her that she has an ed and that food is her medicine.  Once she got closer to WR and even now when she says something, I just tell her when you start eating like your sister does (little sister eats good except picky about vegs), then you can leave some food on your plate.  She usually just says fine ok then,

It's all normal.  I did however switch all of 3 of my girls to higher calorie/fat milk.
Having fun in Tween Land.
DX--11 yrs 5 mons (5/12), WR--12 yrs(12/12)
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Resolute_Dad
I have probably gained 15 pounds since refeeding started (not a good thing for me). I find myself eating more because D eats more slowly and I don't want her to be the only one eating. Mistake. We have certin higher calorie ingredients Lili is cooking with which doesn't help. And finally, the stress...

It is not uncommon for parents engaged in refeeding to gain weight but it is not necessarily the right answer.

Eating because D has to eat is appeasing the ED. We don't appease terrorists.

It's hard and I am talking to myself as much as to you, but the more you can attribute thes requests to the ED, the easier it is to deal with them rationally.

E
Dad to 24 yr old D - recent relapse but relieved that she reached out for help.
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Disneymom
I agree, I questioned her advise as I don't have the same nutritional requirements as my daughter, but this is what the FBT therapist recommended.   She said we need to be supporting her while eating and actually told me to eat as much, if not more.  For some reason it is only me that my daughter questions.  She never says anything about what her brother or sister are eating.

When we saw the dietician, the d told as to add butter and oil to daughter's pasta, vegetables etc. as she needed more calories than the rest of the family.  Go figure, she works together with the therapist, yet their recommendations were different.
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dailystruggle
I agree. I feel like I am sacrificing my youngest d to get the ed d daughter better. The youngest does not need all the extra calories but she seems to relieve the ed d anxiety if she is next to her.  I like the comment about the insulin. You would not give to the other insulin because the other needs it.  My h and I will have to tackle this next.
Sherry Savage
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Iris_US
My h and I have gained weight too. My D makes the same comments if I haven't finished eating. Finally, I said "I don't have the same nutritional needs as you". Seemed to make sense to her, or at least she stopped questioning me for that meal.
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JangledUSA
It's in our treatment plan like so:

- Parents will eat according to their own personal nutritional needs. They do not need to eat the
types and amounts of food that Autumn eats.

- Autumn’s parents will exercise according to their bodies’ needs in order to maintain their physical and mental health, and are not confined to the restrictions of Autumn’s exercise plan.

(This is from our phase 1 treatment plan when this was a big deal.   Now that we've been through that phase our daughter doesn't complain or say much about what and how much my wife and I eat.)


 
 
 
A dad.
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smatts_AUS
We have all gained a bit of weight in my house, as T's advise was to model good eating and have a meal / snack when my D does.  This way she is not the only one expected to have between meal snacks. 

It did reduce the anxiety for her.
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suet
I am grappling with this problem too as I have suddenly realised just how much weight I have put on since we changed the type of food for the family meals. Now I am feeling really uncomfortable but am loathe to change as I want the message "all food is good" to be communicated. I think D does realise why she has to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks and she also comments that she feels bad her Dad and I have both put on weight. However we would need to change our regime substantially to lose weight now I fear and this is likely to be very triggering. 
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YogurtParfait_US
I've gained weight, too, more from stress than from eating when/what my daughter eats. Simply put, eating is relaxing. I'm also exercising less, because I do not want to exercise. That, I think, is a result of mild depression ...

I would like to lose the weight, but I fear comments about how great I look ... which is what people tend to say to folks who lose weight. I have this daughter who wants to cut off her tummy because she can pinch fat, and I don't want her to hear someone say to me, "Wow, you've lost weight! You look great! Good for you!"

So, methinks I'll maintain where I'm at .....

YP
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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