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

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Hibiscus
Ok, so d  nearly 14, with anorexia largely weight restored however suffering from anxiety and restricting outings and activities due to anxiety about her appearance. She acknowledges she is not fat but says she is not skinny enough. She wants to keep eating ( and does this but nothing extra and tries to keep low calorie)  Wants to go on a diet. I say no. Husband says she just wants to skip morning and afternoon tea which he thinks is reasonable as she will still eat meals. We are arguing about this. Can you please share your knowledge and thoughts for my husband? 
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ValentinaGermania
I would suggest you make your husband read "Decoding Anorexia" by Carrie Arnold so he understands the biochemical processes behind this disease. She needs to eat every 3-4 hours to keep her blood sugar level constant or ED thoughts will come up within very short time.
My d skipped a meal last November 2 years in recovery and had so strong ED behaviour for a couple of hours that we did not see before for more than a year.
If your d skips the snacks it is very probably that she can relapse. Too big risk at this state. We are 2 years in recovery and still eating 3 meals 2 snacks (never had late night snack here). And he must see that she is growing for a lot of years to come and has to develop a female body.
If she still says she is not skinny enough and wants to go on a diet that are ED thoughts and ED is not done. She might need more weight to start brain recovery.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
If your daughter was really well it may be reasonable to see how she went with three meals a day. The problem is she is incompletely weight restored from a restrictive eating disorder. Her fear of going out is related to her illness, but giving into this is not going to help her get better. Letting her go on a diet is not going to help her get better either. 

Decoding anorexia as Tina has said is a great book which talks about the biology of eating disorders. I would also recommend When your teenager has an eating disorder which talks a lot about what is required for recovery. They need high calories for at least six months post full weight restoration and at 14 your D will need to continue to gain weight until her early 20's just like other young adults. Unfortunately they need vigilance and attention for some time to reduce the risk of relapse. She will slowly but surely improve but only if she is maintaining/increasing her weight and has regular meals. 
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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Enn
Hibiscus wrote:
Ok, so d  nearly 14, with anorexia largely weight restored however suffering from anxiety and restricting outings and activities due to anxiety about her appearance. She acknowledges she is not fat but says she is not skinny enough. She wants to keep eating ( and does this but nothing extra and tries to keep low calorie)  Wants to go on a diet. I say no. Husband says she just wants to skip morning and afternoon tea which he thinks is reasonable as she will still eat meals. We are arguing about this. Can you please share your knowledge and thoughts for my husband? 


Hi Hibiscus, 
You have said a few things here that make me think she is not at all ready to have control/eat less:
  • largely but not WR
  • Anxiety about appearance
  • Not skinny enough
  • wants to go on diet
So, I truly don't think her "state" is there. Until she does not have those thoughts (listed above) I am not sure I would let her eat less. 
At 14 too as you know, she needs to grow for 6-7 more years. 

For your husband, I understand it feels more normal now but it is still too early in my opinion. My H felt the same at around the same stage you are at, if that helps your H to know, then please share that. She looked better so he thought she was better and had a hard time understanding how she looks is only part of it and not the whole story. I did discuss the brain and nutrition with him (he will not read much so I show him passages from the readings I have done).

Hope this helps somewhat.
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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ValentinaGermania
Maybe you can explain it to him like she is having diabetes (AN is genetic directly besides diabetes and shizophrenia). If her blood sugar is well set with insulin you would not get the idea that she now can leave some insulin and skip it because she is better at the moment.
Food is her insulin.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Hibiscus
Thank you. I am actually aiming / working on further weight increase without announcing this. I read your replies to my h who shrugs and accepts. I tried to get him to shoulder responsibility for this decision with d, but blame always seems to come back to me. I am exhausted from doing this alone, and worse, my d is still highly distressed and I think tortured.  She is stunning but can’t see this, I know this is ed, but am exhausted from doing this without husbands back up. Thank you for your support. He won’t believe me but accepted your feedback. 
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ValentinaGermania
I can imagine that you are exhausted. Fighting on two sides at the same time is really not necessary. His backup is needed and he should support you or at least not make it more difficult than necessary. "He won’t believe me but accepted your feedback." That is indeed a very sad sentence. What is he afraid of? Is he afraid she wil get fat???

Increasing without announcing seems a good solution.

You will see the change in mood when she is at a good weight. It is not happening from one day to the other but you will notice it.
Do not let anyone blame you for what you are doing. It is the right thing and you know that. She will hug you and thank you for what you have done later, I dare to promise that. And hubby will do, too.
Keep swimming. You are on the right path.

I send a big hug!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
Hibiscus, 
We all understand the burden of this illness. My h took a long time to “get it”. I have had to be blunt and say I am the ED expert in the house and that he needed to follow my lead. Honestly, it really only clicked for him when d became her happy self and one full year was behind us. 
They seem to think so differently about things then we do, and mostly that is great. 
Would he consider talking to her doctors/therapists? That way it is a bit removed emotionally from you? 
When h could not understand that d had to eat more than him, I told him he can discuss with me in private but I was doing what I had to do. And last year he actually thanked me, for making  her better. 

It is in retrospect sometimes that the real learning is done.
Sending my support, 
You are doing a great job Mom! You really are! 
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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Mamaroo
Brain healing takes time. We were also disappointed when WR arrived and d's thoughts and anxiety were still as bad as ever. But give it time, continue feeding, don't lift your foot from the pedal and after 6-12 months you will start to see improvement in her mind. Don't stop now, you are so close! Sending you lots of hugs!!!!
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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