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

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lovingavocados__21

I made a post yesterday about some rapid weight gain my d was experiencing after getting on a consistent higher meal plan after a small relapse. 

last night, we had a massive argument in which ended in her telling me the reason she doesn’t want to recover is because I want her to. She says she would be ok with gaining weight if it didn’t make me “happy”. What on earth am I supposed to do with that??

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Enn

You let it just pass and continue to move through it. Just pretend that she was speaking a different language that you don't understand. There is no come back to say to her that will make her see it your way. You and she will need to tolerate the distress all of this brings. 
How long have you been dealing with ED? If you give us more information we could be more specific.
How old is she? What is she eating? What are the challenges?

There is no recovery without weight gain. When they are so ill they don't know how ill they are. Unfortunately, she won't be happy gaining weight until it happens.
Sending my best.

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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lovingavocados__21
She’s 16, had an ed since she was 11. Started recovery last January, was almost weight restored when she stalled out and then lost some over the past few months. I and she both understand that weight gain is necessary, however she claims that because I’m happy when it happens, she doesn’t want to do it. Of course I’m happy when she gains, but she claims that I’m “smug about it all week”. 
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Enn

That is ED talk and normal, really. Don't let it get to you. It has to happen.  So she has never been WR? We all learn to have a poker face when good things happen ie weight gain. 
I think Kali had mentioned in your other thread that blind weighing may help your d. She does not need to know what her weight is right now. You just need to know in order to ensure you are on the right track.
Do you have an ED team of specialists? Do you feel they are supportive of your efforts?

 

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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Foodsupport_AUS
Such a typical ED thing to say. You won't persuade her otherwise, but put at least a little doubt in her mind by adding - letting her know that you are happy with each step that she takes towards recovery, if that stops her  from recovering she doesn't want recovery at all. 
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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lovingavocados__21

We have a therapist and tried a nutritionist for a while but it didn’t help much so I started managing the weighing and meals. D is veryyy savvy and has always found a way to know her weight when we tried to do blind weigh ins, so we made a deal that she can know if I know. 

she was w/r for a brief period in ‘17. No idea what happened but she just woke up one morning and decided that she didn’t want to restrict anymore, ate on her own (NO therapy or anything), and recovered. Then she started highschool and went through some trying times with some family drama and began losing again. 

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Enn
EDs take a long time to get over. Changes in life like high school and other issues can cause bumps in the road. Just keep going with what you know to be the right thing to do. Get the weight up and hopefully with help with her other issues and continuing to keep her weight up and appropriate weight gain for her age, it will get better.
🌳 
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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MKR
Hi @lovingavocados__21,

First of all, well done on getting things improved by taking over the feeding and weighing!  Especially the feeding.

This terrible illness forces us to behave in counterintuitive ways. It won't even allow us to show our relief at progress... Eva Musby has a chapter in her book on how to keep a poker face.

In the thick of ED in our family, the ED got violent and misinterpreted innocent and well-meaning facial expressions. My daughter would lash out with her fork at the nearest person at the table because their smile appeared to "mock" her. It showed me how lonely my d must have been feeling and what battles were raging in her mind.

And even non-ED teenagers wish to assert themselves. They want to make an effort, but not to be told what to do. Besides, these are the years when parents are temporarily seen as uncool. Nothing we seem to suggest is appealing. 

I'd say, change the subject after each weighing, after each good meal. Pretend it's no big deal (of course it is for us parents!) and distract with something your daughter might feel good about.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Barberton

lovingavocados_21, My d has said exactly the same to me! Even the bit about being "smug". At first, I was so shocked (and hurt) that I argued against this. "I am not smug, I'm relieved!" But then it dawned on me that this is one of those totally skewed view things about EDs. But it's super hard when you feel you cannot win either way. 

We are in exactly the same place regarding weekly weighs. She and I look together (but I'm sure she sneaks a look during the week too) and I know that no matter what I say or don't say, she will react negatively to. So I just keep it as factual, yet positive, as I possibly can. 

For my 14yo I think it's a difficult concept to accept that she has 'a voice' influencing her behaviour and that it's easy to think in terms of her thoughts and actions being in opposition to me. Blaming me rather than examining her own thoughts and actions or taking responsibility for them. My d is SO diligent and reliable, that she could NEVER see herself as not being responsible to herself. Today she was banging on about a quiz at school that in the middle of a pandemic is really not that important. So I said with as much kindness as I could, "Perhaps you need to have something else in your life, like a hobby, so you are not so consumed by school work." She said I was "rude" and she is probably still brooding over this hours later. But sometimes I feel like I just have to speak the truth and hope that some of it gets absorbed. 

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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lovingavocados__21

barberton, my d is also consumed by school work! Crazy how similar our situations are! I have no doubt d weighs herself during the week too but she did decide on her own to move the scale from the bathroom to under her bed so she was “less tempted” to weigh when she was taking a shower everyday, so I’m at least proud of that. 

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Foodsupport_AUS

barberton, my d is also consumed by school work! Crazy how similar our situations are! I have no doubt d weighs herself during the week too but she did decide on her own to move the scale from the bathroom to under her bed so she was “less tempted” to weigh when she was taking a shower everyday, so I’m at least proud of that. 



The thing about scales is they give us feed back when trying to look for recovery but they torture our children. It is worth considering removing the scale altogether. Placing it under her bed may not be much less of a temptation. She may be even weighing more often. She does not need to know her weight. There is a theory that weighing once a week helps them to cope with seeing weight gain but I have come across many who have recovered who never wish to look at their weight ever again. In the end it has no meaning. 
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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Barberton

Thank you for that advice Foodsupport_AUS. Perhaps at this time of isolation, the pressure of a weekly weigh is not important. We had been in the process of needing to reach a WR figure before our d could return to school. But that's not going to happen for a while now, so maybe it's something we can ease off on for right now.

lovingavocados_21, my d sometimes does something that on the surface appears like she is taking a positive, proactive step towards recovery, but then I realise it is just the ED playing a new trick. I'm not saying this happens all the time or to everyone. I'm just saying that in my own case when a new request/action/approach is initiated by my d, I take a beat to think about it before I react. I try to remember to see things from her (and EDs) perspective and not my own. It makes me sound so cynical, but so many times I've thought she was taking control only to realise it was the ED trying to wrangle control instead.

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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lovingavocados__21

Barbeton, easing off wr for us is not an option, unfortunately. She has recently lost weight and would continue to lose if I did not keep pushing.  Additionally, her weight is too low for her to be healthy. No period, and she doesn’t look her age. 


she’s been doing well with the scale under her bed. Today is weigh in day, so I’ll be curious to see if the rapid weight gain has tapered off any

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Torie
I have been thinking about FoodSupport's comment about the scale under the bed being a potential temptation, and I am sure that would have been true for my d.  Would it be safer to store it under YOUR bed?  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Torie
Barberton wrote:
We had been in the process of needing to reach a WR figure before our d could return to school. But that's not going to happen for a while now, so maybe it's something we can ease off on for right now.

Ease off?  Why would you want to do that?  The best results are generally associated with quickest return to full nutrition and weight restoration. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Barberton
Torie,

You are correct that "easing off" is not something a parent should consider for a child who is not WR. But these are very uncertain times and managing the stress in the household with weight restoration is a delicate balance.

My d eats 90% of what she needs to. I am constantly pushing for the remaining 5% in all sorts of different ways and one of the most effective ways is to be as relaxed as I possibly can in front of my d. The ED already has her on full alert so my job is to not let her see my fear/panic/anxiety about whether or not she will eat enough. So I'm not easing off on the 5%, I'm trying to create an atmosphere where she feels safe, un-judged, and relaxed about eating more than the ED wants her to.

I have to also add that for my own mental health I have to back off some days. If she won't eat all of her afternoon snack or she will only take a teaspoon of ice cream to put on her dessert, then I just let it go. It is exhausting to constantly be nagging. I could tell myself that pushing harder might get us out of this hole faster, but at what cost to the rest of the family? Perhaps I am far enough along on this journey that I know where we are and I know the ED tricks well enough that I don't feel as panicked (although I was up most of last night with worry). So please don't think I was advising others to "ease off". I was simply expressing my thoughts for our household.


Barberton xxx
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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Torie
Barberton, it's not for me to say what you or any other parent should do.   But I can say that in general, eating "90% of what she needs to" is a recipe for prolonging the suffering (for everyone involved) and seeing the ED become more entrenched.  

I am really grateful that when we were in the thick of things, the good folks here encouraged me to push push push for that final 10%.  It is unlikely that feeding 90% today will make it any easier to feed 100% in the future - on the contrary, it will most likely make it harder.  Of course, it is also true that requiring 100% today will make today much more difficult.  It is nothing short of h*ll.   It is also usually the only way OUT of h*ll. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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MKR
Hi ladies,

I wonder if making bigger/ richer servings would get the weight up quicker, while still allowing ED to leave that dreaded last mouthful behind? This would work well in the beginning, when calories matter most, and before the work on the cognitive part, ie tackling fear foods.

The message to ED should be "parents know best" and "eat what you are served". The child should learn to trust the parent and not the ED.

My way with snacks was leaving on display lots of options, like muesli bars, dried fruit, nuts, biscuits and more often than not my child would choose more than one, without my prompting. I have to say, this was because she was more relaxed.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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