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

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atdt31_US Show full post »
Pandamom wrote:
She loves to cook and can talk an hour about trying different recipes.

That is what they all do, the question is, does she eat what she cooks? 🙂
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Our daughter was diagnosed at 13 years old in the summer of 2018.  Terrible exercise compulsion, panic attacks, throwing food...the whole spectrum.  I never thought life would return to normal.  Here we are, 1.5 years later, and I still shake my head when I remember what we went through. It is all like a bad, bad dream.  She is a healthy, happy, nearly 15 year old teenager.  We still weigh her from time to time and she seems irritated that we still do this.  Not upset to see the weight, more like just frustrated that we still think it is necessary.  She eats like a normal teenager- nachos, pizza, Starbucks- happily goes out and eats with friends.  She is fully engaged back in sports with zero restrictions.  It is really like it never even happened.  I know when you are in the trenches you cannot even fathom such an outcome.  I know I couldn't and wouldn't believe it if I hadn't lived it.  I thank God each day for the health and happiness she has right now.  Whether it will last a lifetime or whether ED will rear it's ugly head again...I can't answer that.  I know it will not have full control of her again without us knowing it is there and helping her fight it from the start.  We learned so much through the process.  I know we will be better prepared if it attempts to overtake her again.  Hope this helps some.
What a wonderful update, edengirl, thanks a lot for that! That gives a lot of hope to those who are battling the beast at the moment.

"I know it will not have full control of her again without us knowing it is there and helping her fight it from the start.  We learned so much through the process.  I know we will be better prepared if it attempts to overtake her again."

I think that is in fact the secret of FBT. That you learn to do what you need to do and that you can wake up that wisdom again at any time when you need it. That takes away a lot of fear.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Yes, so inspiring, @edengirl! The ideal outcome (child's health and parents' knowledge and wisdom).
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
@camusicmom, oh no, sorry to hear that. But you didn't let it get the better of you, you caught it and took action. Could it be a sudden growth?

Thank you for the warning, ww should take even the smallest signs of ED seriously  

I have faith in your wisdom and strength. May this temporary relapse be short!

Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
EDs are so weird, aren't they?  A friend of mine, whose daughter also suffered from an ED, and I call it the "great shape shifter".  Just when you think you have them figured out, they morph into something different.  My daughter was diagnosed in February 2015.  She is now 20 years old, engaged to be married in April, and doing very, very well.  She was a stubborn one, who had at least 8 short-term hospitalizations, three residential stays, and was even kicked out of her program at this state's only ED center, after being told my the director/head doctor that she will be "a chronic case and never get better."  Well, she proved her very wrong!  

Every so often now, we get a glimpse of what we remember to be an "ED thing".  She has absolutely no recollection of probably 80% of what she went through.  She doesn't remember most conversations surrounding ED, the hours long meal times, throwing away and hiding food, etc.  She eats completely on her own now, fixing her lunches to take to work each day. She has breakfast in the same room as me, but I'm not watching her, as I'm getting ready for work.  On Saturdays she likes to sleep in, and she now skips breakfast on Saturdays.  At first that really bothered me, but I am confident that she makes up for it through the day with visits to an ice cream shop or another snack.  Also, my other daughters don't usually have breakfast on the weekends, so I chalk this up to being a normal 20 year old who likes to sleep in very late.  There is no such thing as a fear food anymore.  She very much looks forward to pizza and movies with her fiancee on Friday nights, which would have been a major battle when ED was still around.  She still usually drinks water or diet drinks, which is what I was talking about when I mentioned glimpses of ED.  

She is not at her goal weight anymore.  In fact, she was overweight as a child, which is what started us on this whole journey. She wanted to be healthier to be able to carry her marching bass drum in summer drumline.  She began to lose weight, and it spiraled out of control quickly.  She is now under her goal weight. She is aware that scares me, and assures me she is fine.  I keep going back to "state, not weight".  Her state is great!  She is maintaining her weight on her own very well.  Her body image is still something that she thinks about.  We've talked recently about what will happen when she wants to have a baby in the future.  Her fiancee is a fantastic guy who we've talked about ED to very thoroughly.  He knows what to watch for, and has told her that he wants her to talk to a counselor before they even begin trying for a little one.  A lot of times she won't come out and say she's hungry (and a lot of times she will), but if she asks her fiancee "do you want a snack?", he knows that means she wants one, and I've never heard him say no.  God bless him!  

Life after ED looks very much like what life looked like before ED came to our home.  At the same time, I believe her Dad, her sisters, and I all have a bit of PTSD from ED's long visit.  We are working through that.  When I was in the middle of it with her, if someone had told me where she would be now, I'm not sure I would have believed them.  I will be vigilant and watching her like a hawk until my dying day, and she knows that and she has told me that helps her feel safe and secure.  What more could a girl want?  
I find all these posts helpful - and insightful. The one reoccurring theme - is we always are on the look-out - and yes that is PTSD. But it is necessary. 

Perhaps this exists somewhere - but I've not seen it, some research that shows the similarities between behaviours of any 'recoverer'. By this I mean, families of recovered alcoholics or drug abusers probably watch carefully, identify stressors and know that there will forever be triggers - how their child handles it shows how well recovered they are - but I think this is the key - recovered not removed. I think ED probably is always there in some form - our goal is to put it firmly in remission so it doesn't come back.

My daughter exhibits mostly independence around food - but I agree - when she asks if anyone wants a snack - that means she does! This tiny thing shows that as great as she is doing - there is some residual bit of ED that says maybe having a snack is bad. 

Interestingly, my daughter remembers almost nothing - again another research opportunity. Their brains are so nutrient starved they can't lay down new memories. I believe this is one of the trickier parts of post-recovery. We remember EVERYTHING and we're likely frightened or horrified by it - but they've sort of moved past, and that is yet another reason to remain vigilant - and provide lots of good food and junk food and praise. 

To the folks who've posted about relapses - I send loads of strength and hope that your skills (which you likely wanted to mothball) are out in force and you're fighting the demon with all of your superpowers.

It is funny that sometimes the behaviour and symptoms are so alike when our loved ones are malnourished and yet there are still differences. My son was at an extremely low weight and unfortunately remembers every single thing that happened to him. He has, however, totally forgotten any news or world events from that period. He still will say 'WHAAAT, when did that happen?' and can't believe he doesn't remember. 

This is something I wrote on another thread about intuitive eating in our house.

Like everything else human there are all sorts of normal. In our family intuitive eating is not a goal at all.

My H, ED son and youngest son have never had very strong hunger cues and are quickly satiated. So we have always had regular meals and routine amounts of food. For them, eating to fuel their lives has always been a routine affair. Of course, the non ED guys will eat between meals when visiting, have seconds of yummy stuff and eat too much at Christmas, just like most of us. 

Eldest son and I, on the other hand, could eat non-stop. If food is in front of us and is tasty, we will eat it. If I ate purely according to what I felt like I'd finish each meal with a cuppa tea and a chocolate bar/biscuit. Again, the routine and habit of defined meals with sufficient and varied food helps us.

This is our family's normal and I reject advice from professionals who want to guide us to 'intuitive eating'. It's just not the right option for us.

However, I do not want my ED son to be restricted in his life. What that means for me is that while he may never choose to eat McDonald's if his mates are going there he can eat something without severe negative feelings. When he can do that I will be one happy mom.

Julie O'Toole from Kartini Clinic has posted a blog on this topic here.

I think the vital issue is to consume enough food in enough variety for continuing health. Anything else is icing on the cake and is dependant on your family's and your child's norms before ED which can range from totally loose to more structured. Trust your own gut.

We are in our fifth year and it's not such a big deal to maintain 3 meals / 3 snacks for everyone. Like anything you do very frequently it becomes habit. We never have meltdowns or tension at meals. Eating is totally habitualised at this stage. We do have an issue with ED son serving himself sufficient amounts still when he is free to serve himself. Therefore, most meals are eaten with the family or are habitualised (e.g. school snack and lunch are pretty standard and what most kids eat so he jsut eats what is there)

Warm wishes,



2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
camusicmom wrote:
My thought is that as parents we still need to be vigilant even when it seems like ED is in the past.  At least that has been our horrible experience recently.

Oh dang, what a terrible lesson.  It is a really good reminder that we never know what tomorrow will bring.

I'm glad your d is getting the help she needs, but so sorry that she needs it. xx

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