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

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Just thought I'd post an update about our d and share some thoughts/questions about recovery.

It's been about 2 years since d was WR, and she moved out for college/uni in Jan 2016.  Her weight has continued to go up, and we recently relaxed our requirement for regular weigh-ins (with results directly emailed to us).  

She looks great, her weight is good, her grades are wonderful, her life is sweet.  We feel so proud, relieved and vindicated.  She has everything we wanted for her, and our relationship is heart-warming.  

Our only concern?  She's vegetarian/vegan from what we see.  Her B vitamins were low and her Dr has her on supplements.

We hope that as the years go on she has more variety in her diet. Does anyone else have similar experience?

So, just an honest post to let you know that as the years go on our kids DO recover and enjoy their lives.  Our worries are little ones, and I do believe they will fade over time.

Keep feeding, keep up that protein, and keep hope.

D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
Thank you for sharing OTM. Great that your D is able to independently continue to gain weight and care for herself, cooking, shopping etc.. What we all want. I also understand you concerns about even some subtle restriction in her diet. I think it is important to distinguish between vegan and vegetarian. The latter makes it easy to get B12 in the form of eggs, whereas with vegan diets most will need life long supplementation. There are numerous societies around the world who are mainly vegetarian, few are vegan. 

My D is pescetarian - lacto-ovo vegetarian with fish and has been since around the time of ED diagnosis. We are now seven years in. She is a staunch animal lover and was always not keen to eat meat even as a child. She is not as recovered as your daughter, still being somewhat underweight but able to feed herself and maintain her weight. We have had numerous battles over the years about eating meat and so far they have all been unsuccessful, her being willing to eat high calorie supplements rather than meat (chicken/lamb/pork/beef). 

It is so hard to work out is this ED or is this a genuine held value as regards diet. My D is and has always been a sensitive soul. She hated the origins of meat from the day she first found out. I am sure this drives her to avoid meat, but even she has a little nagging doubt at times that ED is driving this at least just a little bit. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Yes, FoodSupport, I did think that if her B12 was low then she was more vegan than vegetarian.

I have great sympathy for vegetarians like your d, having been one for decades.  Even with my ED-suspicious glasses on, I am sure I wasn't disordered.  I really hated the thought of eating animals, and ate indiscriminately of everything but meat!

It's good that your d is so introspective about her motivations.  That shows maturity and insight, I think.

My children ate meat even before I gave up the lifestyle.  I felt it was important for them to make their own decisions about food!  LOL, the irony!

Anyway, at our d's current state of health (barring B12 deficiency), general success and happiness, we have to let this go for now. I am hoping that after she maintains a good weight for a while, she will eventually eat more dairy and eggs.

We truly did get lucky.  It wasn't easy by any means, but she has come out of this experience really well.  I know FBT doesn't work for everyone, but it was just what she needed.

She starts a fabulous new job tomorrow, and says they have a snack bar in the employee area.  Let's hope it has enticing yogurts! 

D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
Thanks for posting your update OTM!

It is so sweet to hear how well all is going for your d, especially in light of the particular challenges your family faced when in the throes of ED hell.

As our kids in recovery get farther along and especially as their brains mature, it is a gift to relax vigilance.  I think we will always have one eye open for any concerning behaviors, but overall, it is truly a gift to realize where we are now and how far we've come.

I must say that I treasure 'the little things' more these days.  The skype calls (our d lives across the country), the texts and 'I love yous' that finish off most phone conversations.  And just having had a lovely in-person visit, I am still basking in that glow.

Great that your d continues to manage meals & snacks and is about to start a fab new job!  Taking a B12 supplement sounds fine for the moment...with a hope that a more vegan diet moves more towards vegetarian.

You have done a remarkable job supporting your d through her ED journey.  A huge fist-bump to you in celebration!

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Thanks OTM for sharing that with us. Its great that your d is doing so well. You can be very proud of yourself and of your d. These little stories of the days beyond ED help us all to go on when we are stuck in the hard days. Recovery is possible. We can get our lives back. It may not be the same lives, but it can be good ones.
I dance a little dance for you here in Germany. Send you a [thumb]!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
THanks for the update, OTM.  I am thrilled for you and your d that she is doing so well.  And, selfishly, I'm also glad because hearing stories like this enhance my hope that my d will manage the transition to college OK come fall.

I dunno what to make of the vegetarian thing, but hey - you're a world-class expert on your kid so I'm sure you will figure out the best way to react.

Please continue to keep us posted.  xx

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

Great news about your d and hearing how well she is doing.  


"We hope that as the years go on she has more variety in her diet. Does anyone else have similar experience?"

Maybe this is something you can address, without talking about giving up the vegetarianism, because of the low vitamin situation.  Can you look at what foods she can eat which will give her this vitamin, so that she is not resorting to needing vitamin supplements?  Although taking vitamin supplements is no bad thing, encouraging the idea that as much variety with food is a good thing, maybe that will be a next step in her recovery.  

For all the parents out there with children who are vegetarian - my d is 25 and although I thought she was recovered last year at 24, it is only now that I know she is completely recovered because she has finally given up the vegetarianism.  She is a big animal lover and still feels bad about it, but over the last year she has got really tired of being different to everyone else and a supportive boyfriend encouraged her to try chicken.   She now feels her brain needs animal protein - she still drank milk and ate low fat cheeses - but she feels that to really be recovered she has to eat meat.  I can honestly say that I never in a million years expected this - and I never put any pressure on her to eat meat.  What I did do constantly was nag about the need for fats in her diet - from any source, such as avocados or nuts.  I think this is a maturity issue and a deeper understanding about her illness, recovery and what she needs to do to stay well.  She also realises how much she denied herself over the years and is happy to try new things.

I can't stress enough that I never expected this transition - and she was the pickiest of eaters from being little.  But it is why I keep stressing the idea of not giving up or losing hope in the teen years or even early twenties.  I feel my d has finally achieved adulthood - and it has taken an awful long time, but I can now see the enormous brain changes which have taken place and how she can see 'the bigger picture' which she could simply not do when she was younger.

You can all be proud of what you have achieved for your children - you and they have come so far.  But it is really important to understand that the brain is still developing into the mid twenties and to believe that further positive changes will occur.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.

That is just what I needed to hear!  I have been hoping fervently that her current choices were on a continuum from awfully ill to fully, 100% free of any residue. I would be so relieved if she continued to mature like your d has.

Thinking back to the ugly days, it seems nit-picking to even mention that an otherwise healthy young woman chooses to be vegetarian. But I have always wanted her to enjoy all that life has to offer, and that includes cheesecake!

She is, like all of our kids, a remarkable person, and I'm sure she will work out what she needs eventually. It's good to hear that the process continues after all the hard work we all put in.

D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]