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

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dailystruggle
Our d is sitting at the table refusing to eat her chicken. She is screaming saying I cant eat it at the top of her lungs. Do you just sit there and let her scream or do you make her go to her room until she calm down? Are do you say if you refuse you do not exercise tommorrow? Suggestions. Thanks WE ARE NEW AT RE-FEEDING!
Sherry Savage
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SamHeinous
Stay calm if you can.  Fake it if you have to.  Tell her you will sit with her until she can eat it, because she must eat it.  I don't know whether your daughter has the compulsive exercise, but I know with my daughter I wouldn't allow exercise anyway, so I can't say whether telling her she can't exercise is a good thing or not.

What is your plan if she does not complete meals?  Do you require her to supplement?  You might try distraction as a way to get over the wave of anxiety she's dealing with right now.  A board game (yes, I know, at the table!) TV, reading her a book, or something as simple as holding her hand if you can.

It may work, it may not.  I'm not exactly in the best position to offer the advice right now, since my kid is in a treatment center, but I'm repeating some of the stuff I've seen mentioned here before, because I sense that you need an answer right now.
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mec
Slmsavage,

I wouldn't send her to her room. Please do NOT let her exercise. I would bet that if you cut off the exercise the anxiety will decrease sooner rather than later. Exercise feeds the disease and makes it work against what you are trying to accomplish with the feeding. Just stay calm and keep saying you need to eat... And pretend that the screaming doesn't bother you. Though you could say calmly "you need to settle down and eat". It helped my d if my husband cuddled her in as big near hug and made shushing sounds while stroking her hair and back.

Hang in there and do let us know how it goes....
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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YogurtParfait_US
Sherry,

My daughter is doing the same thing right now. She's screaming that it has bones. (It is chicken and corn in cream sauce over rice ...). The rest of the family, three of us, gobbled it up.) She's screaming that she won't eat it. She's screaming that she hates us. Etc. etc. etc. The monster is the same monster that is making your daughter scream.

What we are doing:

My husband is at the table with her while she screams. She is screaming right now. He is remaining calm. She has a weekend campout coming up, and he did tell her that he can't take a girl who won't eat. That made the screaming worse, but it gives a consequence which might be helpful. She does know that we follow through.
I am upstairs in my bedroom, door closed, with my son. He is watching a movie. When she starts this, one parent evacuates with son.
Now we wait it out. I will take turns with my husband.

It is exhausting.

YP
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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YogurtParfait_US
My girl is still screaming ... I can hear kicking, too ... It is amazing how long she can keep this up. It seems super-human to me. It makes me understand why some people believe in demon possession ...

YP
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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mamabear
Exercise cannot be made into a carrot. For her, exercise is part and parcel with the disease. My daughter had severe exercise compulsions. We literally had to take doors off of hinges and follow her around 24/7. We also had her bed in our room for over a year so we could keep her from exercising in her closet at night. D could not even get the mail because she would turn everything into an olympic cardio event.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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suet
We learnt the hard way that we should have stopped all exercise from the beginning. I naively thought it would act as an incentive and help her to keep eating. In reality it just made it take longer to re-feed her and I never received the gratitude I thought I would. All you can do is stay calm (easier said than done) and stay close as she is presented with food and expected to eat it. I found playing cards at the table the best. I would start playing solitaire and she would end up 'helping' me as I am so useless at it! She would eat as we played. Many many a time food would be thrown (and still is at times 1 year down the track) and we would present it to her again and again until she ate. We were lucky in that we did not have to endure the hour after hour marathons some families do but it is still incredibly sad and tiring. 
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YogurtParfait_US
I also monitored my daughter to prevent compulsive exercise ... and as she was recovering we also didn't sign up for things she'd done in the past (like soccer and ballet), and added less strenuous activities to her schedule (like golf, circus class, art class, drama class, chorus, baseball--of course, not all at once, but these are some of her activities, seasonally!!!) ...

YP
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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dailystruggle
I should clarify we do not let her exercise at will.  She is only allowed 30 minutes a day total on the trampoline. That is only if she eats everything the day before.
Sherry Savage
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mec
I agree with YP. Right now, so early in refeeding and before you go to UCSD to get some more support, get the calories in any way that you are able to. As long as you have a good amount of protein and fat and if she will eat, do that. Nut butters, oils , heavy whipping cream, cheeses, avocados, etc are AWESOME at providing lots of great fats and calories. If meat is making her be SO anxious at this early point, then try all of the other stuff. Can you hide meat creams and sauces? I am thinking of a souffle or a casserole where chicken can be shredded and even blended in. Now, just be watchful that if she realizes that you are backing off on meat, for example, that she doesn't come up with a plan that other foods will become foods that she is phobic about and then this will backfire on you. So, play it by ear and see how it goes. I also second YP and giving her a shake or Ensure as a supplement for food not eaten. My d HATED shakes so she generally opted to eat rather than have a shake.

I did have the support of a FBT and we did one challenge food per week. We typically did it on the weekend. This was VERY early on. After a while, foods were fair game. Also, after a challenge food was introduced, it would be reintroduced on a regular basis.

Hang in there. You are doing GREAT. Please tell your husband not to give up. I wish that early on I would have seen the presentations, by Peds that specialize in EDs, where they showed us the damage that malnutrition and undernutrition causes in our growing children. They showed scans of their brain where the gray mattar shrunk and filled with fluid. The ovaries shrunk, the bones thinned out, etc. If I had seen these presentations, I would have not allowed my poor 9 yo baby to go for 18 months undernourished.  I don't mean to freak you out but I just want your husband to realize the seriousness of this disease. Every day that your d gets in enough calories is not only a win against this horrible mental disease but a win towards regaining ground in terms of her organ growth, her brain development, her bone density, etc.

I would not let her do 30 minutes on the trampoline. It burns a ton of calories and it feeds into the disease. There have been studies that compare the anorexic brain to hamsters on a spinning wheel. The disease drives them to move and move and move. Allowing her to jump on the trampoline is working against her/you not for her. As you can see, it is not helping to diminish the anxiety but it adds to it instead.

Sending you hugs from a distance.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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mamabear
My daughter has now told me how relieved she was when we stopped her exercising. She literally said " I was so relieved because Ed would not let me stop mom". No matter whAt your daughter says, it is her disease driving her trampoline time. It is torture. I went through this all two years ago. I thought I was letting her "burn off a little stress/steam" but really I was aiding Ed in torturing my daughter. Those calories cannot be afforded....every bite matters. Why make the refeeding hell last any longer than necessary?
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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YogurtParfait_US
daily exercise is compulsive. I wouldn't do 30 minutes of the same thing daily. Slow and steady instead--30 minute walking dog at slow-medium pace with mom and dad. 30 minutes of practicing putting. 30 minutes of foosball ... changing it up. 

My daughter did monkey bars compulsively. She also exercised in bed. And, when we walked the dog, she had me bring a ball and throw it and she would run and chase the ball.

Later I asked her if all of that was fun, and she said that she had to do it because "mean voice" told her to.

She does like monkey bars, but now that she is over compulsive exercise, she just does them a few times and then plays doing other things, too.

YP
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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