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

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Frazzled
Hi all, I really need to vent to someone that understands. I’m really struggling lately. My daughter has been eating ok but has recently started to beg me to not give her a milkshake anymore (she still needs this). She is still complaining how disgusting she is etc and it seems to have gotten worse over the last month. She can’t find clothes she is comfortable in and she doesn’t like her changing body. She does not want any friends at this point and doesn’t want to go too many places because she thinks she looks horrible. I know puberty with an ED can be especially grueling but is there anything any of you have done to help your kids through this?? She will be 12 next week so we have a ways to go yet 😬
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workingthrough

Oh man, we are right in a similar place. I’ve wondered, in our case, if we might need more calories? Right there with you, though. We too, have kept a high calorie smoothie/shake for the past year to keep calories up.

How is her school year going? Could it be added anxiety with new classes, classmates, workload?


We’ve tried to re-introduce a few new hobbies. S is really into legos right now, of all things. Do you think she’d get into a new hobby of sorts or maybe a service? Volunteering time somewhere with the holidays where they need/count on her? a retirement home, visiting a children’s group to read books? something small? 


I don’t have an answer, but feel like we’re in a very similar slump. It’s a hard place. Sending a hug. Make sure you’re resting as much as you can - easier said than done. 

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Frazzled
Hi workingthrough, Thanks for responding! Sorry to hear that you are in the same place but I guess we can be grateful that we are past the early days at least. I have upped her calories and I saw no change in behavior. I can push the calories up some more and hopefully that will help. I’ll try anything at this point. Love that your son is into legos right now! I have introduced some new hobbies over the last few months. It’s very hard for me to try to get her into activities outside of the house right now because of her self esteem difficulties. If I push her it makes things worse so I’m not sure if I should continue to push further or be patient. Always guessing, second guessing and trying new things that may help. 
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ValentinaGermania
Did she grow recently? Maybe her body is preparing a growth spurt or a development spurt and she needs more intake at the moment. Has she lost any weight?
If you cannot get her out of the house, have some friends coming around if possible. My d always said she does not want to see them but when they rang at the door she did let them in...🙂

It is a rollercoaster until they are adult and grown out. She has to grow so much and to develop a female body and that will take tons of calories in the next years...You feed them and they get better and then they grow and need more and you have not been fast enough with adding more food and ED thoughts come back and then you feed again...a lot of parents with kids of your ds age tell me that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Barberton
We are in a similar place too with a 13 yo d. It is so difficult to separate the ED from puberty! I just bought my d the Jade Hameister book - she's the young girl who trekked to the Poles  http://www.jadehameister.com/. I want her to hear from  peers who are excited about life and all the things we are capable of contributing to.

I think it's hard for them to get motivated, so our job is to find easy ways for them to join in low key social activities. We play social tennis. Even though I have to listen to hours of "I'm not good enough", she still gets out there and has a hit. My hope is that eventually she will stop looking at the negatives and start seeing the positives. It's really painful/annoying/frustrating and I just want to say, "NO ONE IS PERFECT AND YOU JUST HAVE TO GET ON WITH IT!" ; but sometimes you just have to get on with it. 
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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workingthrough
I’ve been reading the book Scars Like Wings (Erin Stewart) this past week and wonder if it might be a wonderful book to read with your d’s as well? It’s beautiful. Not an ED story, but a girl who was in a fire and makes her way back to school, friends, life . . . so many similar feelings as we’ve experienced with our s through this ED journey. It’s a beautiful, encouraging story - but also spot on with bad days, hard things, etc. as well.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39353216-scars-like-wings
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Torie
Frazzled wrote:
She is still complaining how disgusting she is etc and it seems to have gotten worse over the last month.


Is your d near wr?  That's what it sounds like to me - so often the last 5 pounds are the hardest.  It is SO WEIRD that the cure for these concerns is often more weight, but it was for my d and many before her (and after).  Take heart - maybe what you are seeing is the first glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.  (When you're coming out of darkness, a bright light can hurt your eyes.) xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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ValentinaGermania
Barberton wrote:
My hope is that eventually she will stop looking at the negatives and start seeing the positives. It's really painful/annoying/frustrating and I just want to say, "NO ONE IS PERFECT AND YOU JUST HAVE TO GET ON WITH IT!" ; but sometimes you just have to get on with it. 


I fear that is part of their genetic character that was often there before AN moved in. My d always saw things black and white. She was always not sure if she could take compliments for sure and searched for underying things that could give her a reason that a compliment was not honest.
Today this is much better and she sees more realistic that other people in her surrounding make mistakes too and are not perfect too but it was a long way to get there. Compliments are still a problem when they come from strangers and she cannot estimate if they are honest or only "friendly". But I see progress with that so maybe that is another thing they will grow out from when they get into the 20s.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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kkhrd
I'm so sorry Frazzled, I feel your pain.  My D was late to go through puberty (15-16) because she was so underweight, so like you when things started to improve with the eating the awful hormonal roller coaster set in and sent things flying again.  I took advice from Tina and kept a calendar of her outbursts and I was able to see a trend when she was most emotional.  This helped to predict when her hormones were running the show, and it was easier for me to prepare and separate the hormones from the ED.  

We also relied heavily on high calorie shakes to get the nutrition in and my D hated them as well.  I changed  the flavor of them a couple of times with some luck.  I found that it was harder to get her to drink the smoothy with the banana and nut butter and oil, so I opted for a high calorie ice cream and this was more palatable and went in with less resistance.  I would also make a 20 ounce shake and only make her drink half in the am, this was a little less daunting then finishing the entire thing in one sitting.  Then when she would come home from school she would only have to drink the other half.  It is 2 years later and she has successfully replaced all but 2 shakes a week with food and managed to maintain her weight.  The two shakes a week still get split morning and afternoon, next week we hope to take another shake away.

A word on self confidence...  It is one of the hardest things to see your child struggle with self image, and unfortunately I don't have any advice other than to love her and tell her that what she sees in the mirror is a result of the ED and that NO ONE sees her the way she sees herself.  She will one day soon see the beautiful girl that you see.  When the weight goes on it typically settles in different areas, like the face, the arms or the middle, before dispersing throughout, but it does disperse. My daughter wore a lot of baggy sweatshirts in the beginning of puberty, but now she has a closet full of clothes that emphasize her womanly figure and she LOOOVES to dress up.  Stay the course, it will improve, and know that you are on the right track toward her recovery!

HUGS!! 
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Frazzled
Thanks everyone for responding and sorry it took so long for me to respond back. We had another blow this week. My husband was diagnosed with end stage renal disease so he will be needing dialysis and a transplant in the near future. Still trucking along with my daughter in the meantime. I will get the books that were suggested for my daughter and I (thanks workingthrough and Barberton for the suggestions) Kkhrd, I cannot wait to get rid of the shakes. She has had them for 1.5 years now so maybe soon I will try to eliminate them one by one based on how well she is able to get food calories in to replace as you did. That is a great idea. Thanks everyone again for your support! 
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Enn
Frazzled I am sorry to hear about your husband’s illness and hope they find a suitable match for him very soon. 
How are you holding up?
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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Frazzled
I’m hanging in there right now and trying to be positive. Trying to learn everything I can to help him out like I did for my daughter. When it rains it pours!! Thanks for asking scaredmom 😊
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mamabear

Hi all- this is hard. So very hard.  

I fed a kid through 9 inches of growth, full puberty, and an over doubling of body weight. From age 11-14 my daughter needed 6000 calories a day just to try to stay on top of it. It was exhausting. She’s now 19.5 in full recovery in her second year of college 8 hours from home. She’s doing well. 


my d also had a 2200 calorie daily milkshake every day for 2.5 years. 

All you can do is stay on top of their nutritional needs. Make sure they have as much buffer as you can get for that growth. We were never able to really get that “ extra” ten pounds on her because her body was such a hyper metabolic machine for so long. So we just fed fed fed as many fats as we could get into her. 

Puberty in the best of situations with a “ normal” kid is challenging and hard. They are moody creatures. Their social situations are very volatile. They are under a lot of pressures that we are not even aware of. Social media is a competition. 

Just let them know they are loved, that you’re always there for them. Encourage and help facilitate new interests. My d asked for a guitar at 11. She’s now recording her second album!

We got her a kitten too. That was a godsend. 

it’s a roller coaster ride. 

Just stay the course. Don’t back off. Growth will sneak up overnight and bite you in the butt. 

You can do this ❤️

I bumped up my “ Stages and Timelines” thread. Give it a read- lots of good stuff in the comments too. ❤️🐻 



Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Enn
Big hugs 🤗Frazzled. 
One day at a time!
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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workingthrough

I’m SO sorry to hear about your husband. I wish we could help you out more. Please keep posting, we’ll be cheering you on from afar. Thinking of you so much. Definitely a day at a time. 

btw, do you mix up her smoothies a bit? We haven’t - I guess just the routine of it all. It’s one thing that stayed constant. Anyways, we tried dumping in a bunch more berries vs. banana this past week and s was much happier. I remembered that we loved a strawberry cheesecake smoothie recipe when s was young; I need to go back and find it now. Just wondered if it might help your d as well. It’s all so wearing! 

please, please keep us posted on how you’re doing. 

 

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ValentinaGermania
So sorry to hear that. Please take care of yourself, you can only help him to fight that when you are fit for that challenge! I hope he will get a transplantation soon.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Frazzled

Thanks everyone! Mamabear....Thanks for the bump up. I am very worn out and frustrated by how long this is taking. One step forward and two steps back it seems. You were the one that helped me at the beginning with my daughter so I thank you. You answered a Facebook post of mine and I talked to you on the phone and through messages in the early days with my daughter to help me through. I’m not sure what route we would have ended up taking if I hadn’t talked to you. Very grateful that you take the time to help others ❤️

Workingthrough...I have changed the flavors of the shake a few times but it’s been the same for awhile now. Maybe it’s time to change it up again. 😊

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Torie
Unfortunately one step forward and two back is pretty much the name of the game - would be so much better if progress could be linear!  Please take care of yourself as best you can - with so many people depending on you, you need to make sure your oxygen mask is in good working order, and in use! 

Thinking of you. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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mamabear
it Is so hard and does take much longer than any of us could imagine., (((((hugs)))))Glad to help. I’m always available if you need a phone vent! 
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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