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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timely_US_IL
Our son is fifteen and has been diagnosed anorexic.  We started taking him to our family doctor in September because we were concerned about his weight.  It was about the same time his brother went away to college and they are very close.  After continuing to lose although not quickly, he made us go to a child psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders and children.  He was at 17 bmi at that point.  They wanted to admit him, but we have been fighting it and medicine.  We have been seeing the psychiatrist since November.  Our son has been removed from the swim team and pe at school and is now also seeing a counselor and a dietitian.  Too many appointments!

He has managed to regain 3 pounds although that hasn't been consistently kept.  He is making improvements although he is very anxious about eating and not cooking all the time.  When he lost swimming, we allowed him to spend all his time in the kitchen because he was calmer.  Turns out that was bad.  Now we are supposed to reduce his time in the kitchen and they want to start prozac at a very low dose.  

This has been a roller coaster and so fast.  We have two older boys who are very tall and were linebackers on the football team.  Big guys.  We thought he was like his dad at first and just thinner and going through a growth spurt.

We would like to know how long others had to go without sports.  These were big in his life.  Running and swimming.  He wants them back, but manages his diet plan only every few days.  Gets upset every time there is a weight gain.

He does eat though.  He just controls how much and what is chosen.  He also likes to stand all the time and sneaks exercise.  He will sit for meals and doesn't like to ride in the car.

Any pointers would be appreciated.  The counselor is focused on helping him which is great, but we don't feel like we know how to help too.  There are not many services in the area and no support groups.

Mom and Dad in Central Illinois
3 boys (21,19,15)
Parents of 15 yr old boy
Recovering but slow
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum, sorry that you have had need to find us.

Congratulations on getting those first few pounds back on him, it is a start. It sounds as though he has a long way to go though. Please read around the forum, in particular read around the Hall of Fame at the top of the page and also look at lots of the FEAST information. It will get you started with loads more information. 

Now for those questions. Generally it is advised that sport should not be resumed until some time after full weight restoration. His two sports of choice, are also probably not ideal for someone recovering from an eating disorder. They are relatively solo pursuits and will often get into the obsessive mindset of those who tend towards ED. His anxiety about missing sport, controlling the kitchen, gaining weight are all part of his eating disorder. Ideally trying to manage these for him, although it will initially peak his anxiety, will move him fastest towards recovery. 

As much as you feel you don't know anything, you know a lot. You do know what he needs to eat. You know that he needs to eat more than he is, to add more fats to his diet. He needs to be helped through the anxiety of gaining weight. 
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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mnmomUSA
In my opinion, no sports until full weight restoration (which is often higher than anyone thinks!).  Even then, when we allowed D back to dance (as part of a musical theater program), it was with the proviso that she eat ADDITIONAL calories at least equal to the amount of exercise she was undertaking.

I heard a presentation by Dr. LaGrange and this question was asked of him "my child LOVES "x" sport...won't letting them return be a motivator to them?  Without it, she is depressed and unhappy." 

His response:  If your child had cancer or a broken leg and was under medical orders NOT to participate in sports, would you let them?  Of course not.  It is no different with anorexia.

Fortunately, for us, my D's pediatrician was willing to "order" no dance for a period of months.  That helped a lot, as it took the burden off us from being the "bad guy."  The pediatrician was more than willing to be the heavy.  

Interestingly, her interest in dance has waned considerably since we've been refeeding.  I don't think this is a coincidence.  My D always claimed to "love" dance, but I wonder whether it was ED who "loved" dance as it provided a ready way to burn lots of calories.  My D still loves theater, but more just regular plays, not so much musical theater (with attendant dancing).




D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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AUSSIEedfamily
Dear timely_US_IL,

Welcome here although sorry you have to find us.

Your first really good step is your decision to work together as you will both need to learn heaps of stuff about eating disorders & learn to tag team together when ed tries to play its games.

A great pocket guide for you to read is Throwing Starfish Across the Sea, I have just received it & read it already & I think its a really good guide for parents written by two parents that have been through the ed mill, Laura & Charlotte. It will give you a great insight into the basics of being an ed parent and the basics of what you can do & how to find good clinicians & some of the stuff to avoid.

The statement ""Food Is Medicine"" is one that is really important for you to understand & learn how to get your child to take the medicine.

I second all of Foodsupport_AUS suggestions

In regards to sport this is often an avenue of undoing food. Some have been able to use the sport as an incentive to get the child to be compliant with full nutrition while others have had to stop all sports. If your childs sport is undoing food all sport needs to stop.

One of the things mentioned in most Family Based/Type Treatments is that parents take full control of nutrition including preparation. You may need to consider a much less amount of him doing his food preparation & even stopping it completely. Introduce "Magic Plate" you can read the F.E.A.S.T What is Magic Plate page.

Early & speedy restoration of full nutrition & getting the body to optimum healthy body & mind/brain ""State"" is being widely recognised by families, clinicians, ed science researchers  as one of the best ways to achieve recovery & get sustained recovery.

Warm & Kind thoughts to you
ED Dad
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Torie
timely_US_IL wrote:
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We would like to know how long others had to go without sports.  These were big in his life.  Running and swimming.  He wants them back, but manages his diet plan only every few days.  Gets upset every time there is a weight gain.

He does eat though.  He just controls how much and what is chosen.  He also likes to stand all the time and sneaks exercise.  He will sit for meals and doesn't like to ride in the car.

Any pointers would be appreciated.  The counselor is focused on helping him which is great, but we don't feel like we know how to help too.  There are not many services in the area and no support groups.

Mom and Dad in Central Illinois
3 boys (21,19,15)

Welcome, Timely.  So sorry you needed to join us here.

Also sorry to tell you that most here have found it is a lo-o-o-o-n-g time before ed-kids can return to sports.  The whole journey takes about a bajillion times longer than one would expect.

Have you seen this video by forum member Eva Musby?  It helped me a lot:

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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AriUS
Hello, Timely,
Sorry you have to find this forum.
My d was dx at the very beginning of September, 2013, right after her 13th birthday. She used to participate in sport very actively but after dx everything was cancelled, not only sport but all her other activities as well. She was not allowed at the kitchen, decide the amount of portions, we are still doing LSUYE and Magic Plate.
She was wr in late spring, but with many pounds above so called target weight. During summer I added even more. Only now she starts doing sport little by little, and we do not even think about team sport anymore. Everything is still very hard. I do not want to sound negative, but that is the reality of ED.
You are doing great by putting a few pounds on your s already, read through this forum, my d would not be with us without it. On the bright side I want to tell you that today situation is much much better compare with where we started more than a year ago.
Nothing is more important than our kids health, neither sport nor school. Keep feeding.
Sending you hugs and support.
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