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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EDAction
D is in Phase 2 and doing well.  She smiles and laughs.  We are able to enjoy each other.  She is taking the initiative and pursuing activities she enjoys.  A fragile peace and happiness are tentatively creeping back into our home.

But there are still fear foods to contend with.  I unwittingly stumbled onto one tonight by serving it with dinner.  And ED roared back  . . .    It was short-lived and we handled it better than before and so did D.  But I HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT.  It still takes a toll on all 4 of us.

I know we have to confront the fear foods.  But can I tell you how much I DON'T WANT TO????  

Those of you who've been there, or are there, how did you do it?  How did you confront fear foods?  One a week?  Did you tell your D/S that it was coming?  Did you give D/S a choice of which to confront?  Did you go back to LSYE if he/she balked?

Thanks for sharing.
DD diagnosed with anorexia at 14; FBT at home with the help of psychologist and medical dr; 3+ years later and doing well (knock on wood)
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ed_newbie
I found what worked for my d was telling her ahead of time that the fear food was coming.  Sometimes I found it easier to face a fear food at a restaurant instead of at home.  I'd say "we are going out for burgers tonight, do you remember how much you enjoyed them?  Are you feeling ready to face that fear?  What can we do to help you feel ready?"  

I didn't have a schedule but I found that once we were in the groove I tried to capitalized on that momentum and went as fast as possible through them.  I also celebrated when she accomplished each one. Nothing too elaborate, more like a recognition of her bravery in being able to talk back to the internal voice and enjoy what she really wanted, how normal it must have felt to have that burger, etc.

Good luck!  

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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moonlove
What a timely post.  I am very new here, diagnosis 5 weeks ago.  My 12 YO D has been home a week after 4 weeks IP.  We thought we were moving along swimmingly then introduced a scary food at snack last night, ice cream. The ED came out full force after the snack and the rant lasted for hours.  The only difference was in my response, now knowing that I am dealing with a disease and not my beautiful D.  It was still very very difficult and left her silent and angry in bed. 

Our T suggested introducing these scary foods now, early in the process and offered to be there for this introduction if we felt we needed support.  I may indeed need support. Lots!

We are preparing to send our D back to school next week and are wondering if this is too early considering how strong her ED voice remains.  
12 YO D, Diagnosed Feb 14, 2017, RAN, 4 Weeks IP, Currently enrolled in OP ED program supporting FBT at home, Stage 1
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome moonlove. There is no easy or right way to do this. Yes feared foods do need to come back into the diet, but the amount and the pace varies for most as there is a wide variety of presentations and illness, along with degrees of resistance. I think we all hate poking the beast, but it does have to be done.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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EDAction
Thanks All.

After thinking about it more, I know that my D is at the point where I need to talk to her about facing the fear foods, and include her in the planning (somewhat) to do so.  I like the verbiage: "Are you ready to try it?  What can we do to help you be ready? etc . . ." although I think she will look at me like I have 3 heads when I say it.   Trying it at a restaurant is an interesting idea.  I might try it and see . . .  

On another note, we've successfully increased variety in what she eats, and we are gradually giving her more control (i.e. she prepares some of her own meals/snacks while we are present; she eats the lunch that I pack for her at school; she occasionally eats dinner out with a friend; etc).  But if I don't pay attention the variety decreases.  I think I'm going to go back to keeping a daily log.  This time it's purpose will be to help me keep track of the variety in D's meals/snacks.  




DD diagnosed with anorexia at 14; FBT at home with the help of psychologist and medical dr; 3+ years later and doing well (knock on wood)
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cbmum
Sounds like we may be at a similar stage to you, EDAction.

Our D doesn't have many fear foods, and is I think also reasonably stable and in Phase 2.
I would like to know from the lovely ATDT experts, what is the point of reintroducing fear foods?  That's not an antagonistic question, if it sounds like that. 
To me seeing D accept (or even, bliss, ask for) peanut butter on toast (which used to be a favourite) would be a good sign, but should it be a target in itself?
Is eliminating fear foods part of the progression towards wellness, and therefore something that we should push? 
D, b.2002, diagnosed with depression, anxiety and EDNOS Spring/Summer 2016.
Some restricting, some vomiting, some self-harm for good measure.
FBT, CBT, now on 3rd type of anti-d's.
D is "cured" of the ED but still on low dose of anti-d's. Will I ever be cured?

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Torie
cbmum wrote:
To me seeing D accept (or even, bliss, ask for) peanut butter on toast (which used to be a favourite) would be a good sign, but should it be a target in itself?
Is eliminating fear foods part of the progression towards wellness, and therefore something that we should push? 


Just my opinion (as always):

The main thing - the most important thing BY FAR - is getting the weight back on.

And then there's the rest of the ED crap.  

Fear foods are clear evidence of ED thoughts.  And stamping out ED, fully, 100% is what needs to happen. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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mjkz
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Is eliminating fear foods part of the progression towards wellness, and therefore something that we should push?


How many normal kids you know who are afraid of food?  You want to eliminate as many ED things as possible for full recovery.  I did it while restoring weight too but I really think it is as essential as restoring weight and eliminating other Ed behaviors like overexercise, etc.
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Foodsupport_AUS
I agree with the others. Eliminating fear foods is definitely a goal of treatment. Food itself should not be fearful, especially if it was previously enjoyed. How quickly it should be tackled is a different matter, there are so many variables.

Torie has summed it up beautifully. 

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The main thing - the most important thing BY FAR - is getting the weight back on.

And then there's the rest of the ED crap.  

Fear foods are clear evidence of ED thoughts.  And stamping out ED, fully, 100% is what needs to happen.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Torie
There are good arguments in favor of ripping the bandaid off and tackling fear foods relatively early in re-feeding.

There are also good arguments in favor of waiting - for example, some have found that the fear lessened with time (even without exposure.)

Where I think you will find agreement is that you have to do it, sooner or later.

Fear foods are part of ED.  ED needs to go, 100%.  What's that saying? Whatever ED dragged in has to be dragged back out. Something like that.

Keep swimming. xx 
[animal0028]

-Torie



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