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

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Scaredmom_2
Would be grateful for any helpful strategies to get my 17yr d, diagnosed Nov, to eat more. In FBT. Initial progress to wt restored in 3 months,  but with portion reduction,  exercise (rockclimbing and 50min walk from school) and restarting school in Feb,  decline with wt loss. Recently found out was wt manipulation and not eating lunch at school.  This week stopped exercise and school.  But now refusing to eat snacks as not exercising and refuses any change in previous meals i.e additional food. She is very calorie savvy.  Trying re-presenting food and hitting a wall e.g. stayed with her and snack for over an hour and she just refused.  Any suggestions would be welcomed.  I'm really concerned! Thank you.
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tina72
Hi and a very warm welcome from Germany! Sorry that you need to be here with us but also glad that you found us.
To reduce portions and to give back control too early is a common "mistake" in phase 2. Often it is the professionals that force us to do these things too early.
You need to go back to phase 1 until she is doing better again and do not start phase 2 until nearly NO ED behaviour is left. We also did it too early and had to go back to phase 1. I would not start it until you saw a big change in behaviour after true WR.
Tell her it was too early to start phase 2 and she is not ready as she cannot make good food decisions (she showed that already) and therefor you need to take over again until she is ready. She will go through the roof but you know what to do and it is needed. 3 meals 3 snacks. We still have that 2 years in recovery here. My d needs that just to maintain her weight (she is 19 now).
If she refuses to eat what you serve give her a supplement. If she refuses that too bed time and no TV, smartphone, anything. If she refuses for more than 24 hours or if she refuses liquids take her to ER.
Come back to ask all your questions and if you need ideas what to do, we are here to help you.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom_2
Thank you for your reply
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tina72
Can you stopp that walk from school for the next time?
Can you supervise lunch at school or take her home for lunch?
Do not trust ED with anything. Charming nice intelligent girls start to ly and trick you out forced by ED.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom_2
Yes,  and will be very cautious
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teecee
I agree with Tina. You were successful at getting her to WR and you can do it again. My D relapsed often in Phase 2 but is now at a stage where she is evidencing to us she can make good choices. We are still working on encouraging wider variety and less anxiety around social eating but we are moving forwards. If I felt we were going backwards steadily I would step in and take control. She’s maintaining but with less input for us now than before. I liken it to when she was a toddler....initially when they learn something they need closer monitoring but then we relax when they’ve nailed it....our kids are learning to feed themselves again that’s all. 
Virtual higs. Xx
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Kali

Hi Scaredmom2,

Welcome! It does get a little tricky. If your d. was weight restored and now that she has a little more freedom is losing weight, then usually what parents have found is that if they tighten up the loopholes they can get back on track. It might be a little difficult right now in the beginning because you have just started again and she has been cutting back, but you can get back to the place you were before with some persistence. 

As far as increasing her food at home you can keep her out of the kitchen and prepare her food. I'm not sure if you already do that? You can then make sure that there are the right amount of calories for what she needs to be eating in her meals. Also I don't know if you do smoothies, but a good smoothie can help meet her nutritional and caloric requirements.

I found that not discussing what was in the food and not discussing calories or weight was the best way to go. Also trying to increase variety and introduce more foods into her daily meals helped to decrease the rigidity over time. We took it slow, for example we had some meals that I knew she would eat and I made those over and over and then I tried to serve a "new" meal each week or so. 

How much do you figure she is now eating each day? What on the ground help do you have; do you have a team you are working with? There are ways to increase the calories while maintaining a similar "amount" of food which might be helpful right now. I added benecalorie to some meals and used oils and heavy cream liberally whenever possible. 

I also used incentives where ever possible. Incentives could be things like: let's go to the craft store and get some materials to make something after lunch. Let's go see this new movie after dinner, etc. Or letting her go out with her friends AFTER she ate, etc. Or let's go online and shop for  ____ (fill in the blank) after lunch. Or let's play this game AFTER dinner. Sometimes we watched TV and ate in front of the TV. (something we had never done before she got ill) Especially snacks were more easily eaten in front of the TV while watching reruns of Friends.

warmly,

Kali

 

 

Food=Love
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Scaredmom_2
 Thank you all for your helpful and encouraging comments.  Your support gives me more courage to persist. 
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tina72
Courage is the most important thing you need and so hard to have. But the day when I decided not to accept ED any longer and to say NO with all consequences was day 1 in my ds recovery. I think it was Ellesmum that said to her d "you are not allowed to have that ED any more" which was funny and she said it in a moment of frustration but that is indeed the point you need to get to.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom_2
Trying to stay strong but it's so difficult. Will keep trying with thought suggestions.  My D has refused snacks and will only eat what she prepares for breakfast. Sat with her for over an hour with snacks and she just says no, you can't make me. Today took away her phone while waiting for her to eat snack which she didn't have.  Presenting the snack at meal time didnt work either. Feel like I've hit a brick wall. The feeding also feels different to the beginning as she is so portion, food, exercise and calorie/energy savvy now.
Re: smoothies - yes can do but she just refuses
Re: incentives - she's not interested unless it's exercise I.e walks longer than 20mins.
Re: meal preparation - yes I did that without her, except breakfast. 
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tina72
What is she doing all the day? Is there anything she is interested in? What about internet and whatsapp? Contact with friends? Can you get her with money? Some did pay money for every meal eaten. Some did pay for Ipad games or something like that.
So she eats her own breakfast but you plate lunch and dinner and she refuses to eat any snacks? Can you add more for lunch and dinner to compensate that in a first step?
This "you can´t make me" is hard. I started to say "yes, I can make you eat that or you will not do anything but lying in bed because you have not enough energy for doing something" (Life stops until you eat).
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom_2
 She likes rockclimbing and going for long walks,  her phone and Instagram,  visits from her boyfriend. Since I took her out of school last week, she has spent time in her room on her phone and computer. 
Yes re: meals, but now refusing milk or juice with them.  Had a day or 2 of having  some snacks and now refusing them again. 
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scaredmom
Hello,
As I read your story, I am getting quite concerned about your d’s medical stability.
Does she have medical follow up? Do you feel she needs to be assessed urgently? If she is losing weight or not eating much at all or not drinking I would consider taking her to the emergency department for assessment.
I think for me this comes first. 

Would it be helpful to have the boyfriend come at snack time? My d ate really well when other people were around. 
Jist throwing ideas out.
I may have missed this , but are you doing most if not all the cooking?
XXX
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)
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tina72
Scaredmom_2 wrote:
 She likes rockclimbing and going for long walks,  her phone and Instagram,  visits from her boyfriend. Since I took her out of school last week, she has spent time in her room on her phone and computer. 
Yes re: meals, but now refusing milk or juice with them.  Had a day or 2 of having  some snacks and now refusing them again. 


Serve a drink that is caloric with every meal. If she does not want milk she can have juice or a fruit smoothie. Give her 2 options and ask her to chose one.
Check her phone and what she is doing on instagram. There are some challenges going on there where ED kids fight who has the thinnest gaps or the lowest BMI. Or the less eaten yesterday... if she is doing something like that, cut internet. Same for computer, check the history what sites she is on there. There are a lot of dangerous sites that trigger ED kids...
Try to reduce the time she is alone in her room. ED is getting stronger there. If she cannot eat what you serve and refuse snacks no internet, no phone, no computer. She can get her phone back when the meal is finished. She can "earn" computer time in the living room where you see what she does with it when she is compliant with meals.
Rockclimbing and long walks are not possible for incentives as she will lose too much energy with that. As long as she is not able to eat enough and to gain weight no exercise at all.

I also thought about asking the boyfriend to come around for meals and or snacks. Some eat much better with whitnesses and normally the boys are good eaters. Invite him for supper today!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum. Sorry that things have taken a turn for the worse. Unfortunately it is not rare for eating disorders to go backwards again after weight restoration. In part because weight alone does not heal, but also because commonly our children hide how much their struggling in order to please their ED thoughts. 

It sounds like you have quite a lot of leverage to help get your D to eat what is required. She wants to do things, have her boyfriend over, phone and instagram. These are all good things to work with for every meal to be completed as YOU require. 

Her ED requires her to keep counts of calories in her head. You require her to eat what you think she needs to regain weight. This requires tough parenting. You can't make her eat, however you can require her to eat as much as you require her to do anything else as a parent. 

I agree also with Scaredmom that if she is restricting a lot she may be becoming medically unstable and may require more urgent assessment. 
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.
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momAmanda
I am in a similar situation with my 17 yr old d who has started phase 2 and ED has started to fight back. Thank you for the post and for everyone’s helpful suggestions. They have given me some strength but also the comment from foodsupport_Aus that d is still struggling with her thoughts and perhaps as I am fed up of Ed I have lost some compassion too.  
Thank you.
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tina72
Hi momAmanda,
a very warm welcome from Germany and I am so sorry that you have to be in this club nobody wants to be member of.
If you like to start your own thread we can help you with ideas to get on path again. My d was also 17 when we started FBT and I know that it is a bit more tricky with young adults but you can do that, I am sure. If you like go on the start page and click on "new topic" and you can see more answers to your questions then.
Many parents started phase 2 too early (my hands up too) and it is needed to get them into very good recovery to have a new start with that. We are 2 years in and my d is really doing great but when she is at home for lunch I still plate the meal (lunch is the big warm meal here in Germany). When she is at home she still prefers to eat with us to make sure she eats enough and to tell ED voice to be quiet (which is rarely around but sometimes now and then). They need help and supervision for a very long time but if you do that and she learns to stick to all the rules (regular meals, 3 meals 2 snacks, good nutrition without any restriction and so on) she will learn to take that to her heart and today my d cannot remember why she ever started to restrict and to eat that "strange" (her words).
Come back if we can help you with ideas to get back on track.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom_2
 Thx for your concern and suggestions.  Yes,  we are under a medical team and weekly therapy.
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Suzanne
With older teens, I think slipping back into giving them control is very luring and natural, however, not always best.  Our son is 18- and the one thing we can all agree on is getting him back to college.  Without this goal, I think we would have been lost... external goal very important for us.

We transitioned into phase 2 too soon and he lost 5 lbs in a week.  Good lesson for us all.   I think the last part of regaining is supper tricky. He feels “infantilized,” (his words) but still has ED thoughts- and luckily, will cop to them.  I think they get very savvy reguradibg what we want to hear...
we had to go back to total supervision- now have found a different way to ease into phase 2. 
Keep at it.  Good luck. 
Love and light,
suzanne
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tina72
Let him take all the time he needs for phase 2, Suzanne, and do not hurry at all, no matter how old they are. We are in year 3 now and my d is in 2nd semester at University (age 19). She is there on a half schedule and the rest of the week at home. In the first semester she ate there 3 days and was at home 4 days a week. Now we increase that slowly to 4 days there and 3 days at home. She plates all meals and snacks but at home I still plate lunch which is the biggest and warm meal here in Germany. She is doing great but still depends on our help but asks for that now.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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