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I had an interesting talk with my D today on the ski lift and in doing so had a revelation.... Here it goes....

My D was diagnosed with anorexia at age ten. She had a very severe exercise compulsion... She did not sit down for about 7 months, was exercising in her closet at night for hours Etc. She had rituals for everything. It was brutal.

Since entering a very solid remission (now 14) she has dropped all sports but softball. She does little activity and spends a ton of time playing guitar and watching series on Netflix. I have no issues with her dropping sports or anything- but the time has come to see her resume a bit more activity. It is about moderation.. And that is not just about food but activity as well.

So on the lift today I said to D " Maybe we should find a yoga class that your sister and you and I could do together. It would be fun and good for us all to stretch and move.
D said " mom, I used to not be able to stop. I know I'm better now, but I still get freaked out about it. "

Me: " but D- you ARE better . It is good to talk about your fears and feelings! And you need to move your body in healthy ways. You need to eat for health and wellness mentally and physically and you also need to move your body. Taking a mellow yoga class with me and your sister would be fun. I think you would find that you would enjoy it ."

D " I guess I could get cute yoga clothes too! And it would probably help my sacrum." ( she had an injury and has been having some pain etc)

So I was thrilled that she talked to me about it all and I had this thought:
This is just like fear foods. We had to challenge Ed with fear foods. We also had to challenge Ed with fear situations ( restaurants, eating with friends, plating food, intuitive eating etc).

We have to do the same thing now with re- establishing that exercising is ok and is good for her mental and physical health. And just like it is possible for her to have a cupcake and also a nice side of broccoli, it is possible for her to go to a yoga class and not HAVE to exercise 24/7. We need to show her that she can do everything in moderation without having to resort to excess. And I think she needs us to help her do that. We had to twist her arm a bit to get her on the ski hill today.... But we had a great day.
So after the holidays I am going to find us some activity. I need it too!

I think for my daughter, her memories of being ruled by her exercise " voice" are far more severe than tge restricting. She remembers how much her body hurt. She remembers how it would not let her sleep or even lay there without arching her hips off of the bed and flexing muscles.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
As always, thank you for coming back to share precious insights with us, mamabear!
18-y-o d dx RAN Mar 2014; WR in 3 mons but continued to gain for another 30+ lbs. ED is mostly gone though some minor remnants are still present; SH finally stopped after 2+ years; started DBT in Jun '15. "Voice in her head", OCD, body image, all slowly chipped away. I am finally breathing again and trying to enjoy life no matter what it brings me.
So happy to celebrate your progress, and also hear the kernels of wisdom. Thanks for sharing :-)
To add to this thread-

D got her braces off today ! Hooray! She was so excited..
On the way home she started asking me about people with anxiety and OCD. She said she understands what it is like but she also can't relate anymore to it. We wee talking and out of the blue she said " Remember when you let me go to basketball day camp after 6th grade? I am not trying to make you feel bad but that was a bad decision. I was a crazy lunatic there. I went to the bathroom to exercise and did a million rituals and it was like my Ed got a vacation from being watched. I look back at that now and I can't believe that was me mom. It's so weird."

That would have been at least 18 months into the refeeding/recovery process- long after we thought she was really having compulsive exercise thoughts.

Interesting talk for sure- she is really letting us in.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
Thanks for this reminder. We are 17 months in and recovery seems far away still.

14-year-old daughter with restrictive ED including symptoms of exercise compulsion and orthorexia; dx at age 11. Weight loss/illness onset due to underfueling for sports.  Still recovering!