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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Jaychlosat
My daughter 13.5, is early in her recovery program. We have been lucky to get help quite quickly, and she is beginning the steps to wr, which is overwhelmingly terrifying at times, but we are getting through each hurdle bit by bit. She struggles (of course) but her main worry is how it is affecting everyone else. She hates when her outbursts upset her family, which makes it worse somehow. She is constantly struggling with "Why is this so hard," and "I'm so sick of crying."
We have been advised by our team to introduce new foods and lots of them, and she is not allowed to have any control in the decision making of her eating plan, which she finds extremely frustrating. Is this the normal way of doing things?  She is quite good at helping to make sensible food decisions, and can see reason most of the time if she is being kept in the loop.
We have been out of school for a month and have been told today at her weigh in that they still dont feel she is ready to return, even though she is eating everything we give her, and in quite a quick manner. This is also adding to her depressive moods. She has been offered medication, but is not having a bar of it.
Can anyone offer advice on their eating regime, and if I'm on the right track as most days I feel I am just floundering. Please tell me it gets easier??
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Torie
Hello and welcome.  It sounds like you and your d are making really great progress - unfortunately the early days are always super difficult for everyone.

I mostly agree with the advice you have received.  It is great that they support you by telling your d she must eat whatever you serve.  We call that Magic Plate:  The parent plans the meals, shops, cooks, serves, and the ED-kid's only job is to eat whatever has been served - every sip, bite  and crumb.  

The question of tackling fear foods varies from family to family.  It sounds like you are describing the approach we call "ripping off the bandaid," which some find to be the most humane way of dealing with this in the long run.  Others add fear foods slowly - maybe one food per week, say, on Sunday.  In any case, when a fear food been given once, it's important to keep it in the regular rotation to build on the progress.

The only thing that really matters IMO is that she gains at a good clip until she has regained all the weight she has lost, and then most need to keep gaining for a while after that to make up for weight she already should have gained, but didn't.  And then it's important for them to gain a little weight each year through the teen and young adult years as that is normal and expected while bones continue to get denser and organs mature.

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like.  That's why we're here.

And YES, it does get easier.  The journey is long and difficult, but I'm confident that you will be successful in dragging your d back to health.

Keep swimming. xx

-Torie



"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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ValentinaGermania
Jaychlosat wrote:
My daughter 13.5, is early in her recovery program. We have been lucky to get help quite quickly, and she is beginning the steps to wr, which is overwhelmingly terrifying at times, but we are getting through each hurdle bit by bit. She struggles (of course) but her main worry is how it is affecting everyone else. She hates when her outbursts upset her family, which makes it worse somehow. She is constantly struggling with "Why is this so hard," and "I'm so sick of crying."


Hi and a very warm welcome from Germany! It is great that you found us here, you will get a lot of help here. The behaviour of your d is quite normal for her state. Try not to engage in this talk. Tell her "I am sorry that it is so hard for you at the moment. It will get better." and then change the subject. This is ED talk and you can only lose engaging in that.

Jaychlosat wrote:
We have been advised by our team to introduce new foods and lots of them, and she is not allowed to have any control in the decision making of her eating plan, which she finds extremely frustrating. Is this the normal way of doing things?  She is quite good at helping to make sensible food decisions, and can see reason most of the time if she is being kept in the loop.


When she is gaining weight it is time for re-introducing fear food. There is no "right" way to do it, some here did it all at once and some introduced one fear food a week. Everything is possible, you need to see what works for your family. But the quicker they are WR and the faster you get them to eat all they ate before AN the better is the outcome. So if she is eating the fear food like the team suggested (although she is complaining about it, they all do that) I would go on with that.

"She is quite good at helping to make sensible food decisions"
That is surprising in that early state. Normally they are not good in making food decisions and that is the reason why they are underweight...

Jaychlosat wrote:
We have been out of school for a month and have been told today at her weigh in that they still dont feel she is ready to return, even though she is eating everything we give her, and in quite a quick manner. This is also adding to her depressive moods. She has been offered medication, but is not having a bar of it.


Can you ask them about going back to school on helf schedule or something like that? We started with half days and no lunch at school and no tests.

Jaychlosat wrote:
Can anyone offer advice on their eating regime, and if I'm on the right track as most days I feel I am just floundering. Please tell me it gets easier??


Do you know Eva Musbys book "Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders: How to Help Your Child Eat Well and Be Well"? It is wonderful and you will find ideas to solve every situation you will have to manage...
If she is eating all that you serve and if she is gaining you are doing great. All that you need now is patience. It takes time to rewire all these damaged brain connections...
Come here to ask all your 1 million questions and to vent if needed. We are open 24/7 and we know what you are talking about...

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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ValentinaGermania
I forgot to say I do not understand the headline of your post?
What do you think she should read or not?
If you mean ATDT: NO! NEVER!
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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krae
I'm with Tina72 - if it is to read ATDT: No AN child should ever have access to this site.
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Enn

Jaychlosat wrote:
My daughter 13.5, is early in her recovery program. We have been lucky to get help quite quickly, and she is beginning the steps to wr, which is overwhelmingly terrifying at times, but we are getting through each hurdle bit by bit. She struggles (of course) but her main worry is how it is affecting everyone else. She hates when her outbursts upset her family, which makes it worse somehow. She is constantly struggling with "Why is this so hard," and "I'm so sick of crying."
We have been advised by our team to introduce new foods and lots of them, and she is not allowed to have any control in the decision making of her eating plan, which she finds extremely frustrating. Is this the normal way of doing things?  She is quite good at helping to make sensible food decisions, and can see reason most of the time if she is being kept in the loop.
We have been out of school for a month and have been told today at her weigh in that they still dont feel she is ready to return, even though she is eating everything we give her, and in quite a quick manner. This is also adding to her depressive moods. She has been offered medication, but is not having a bar of it.
Can anyone offer advice on their eating regime, and if I'm on the right track as most days I feel I am just floundering. Please tell me it gets easier??


Hello and welcome, from me too!

I know no one wants to be here, but it is really the best place to get info and support.
You say that she worries how her outbursts are affecting you- poor thing, she is so worried. Try to reassure her that YOU are all OK. And show her, even if you need to fake it that you are calm and cool and collected. That will help her. She needs to know that you can "shoulder" her outbursts. That is a kindness you can give her. She has strong ED voices and it does come out in the early part as you are on top of it. This is normal, unfortunately.

What are you feeding her, what does she fight over? We can help with that. You having the control over what she eats, even new foods it usually the way. As noted above, there are many ways to do the "fear foods". We each find our way. It is by trial and error sometimes.

I know you feel you are floundering, but what I hear in your note is that :

1) she is eating well
2) she is able to pick out sensible foods
3) you say you are getting through hurdles
4) she wants to go to school

These are very positive points! I want you to hold onto those! Really they are great at such an early stage. 
It does get easier, but you may not recognise it when it happens. It is slow, slow, slow AND it does get better!

XXX

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight +/-the "right" meds= healing ---> recovery (---> life without ED)

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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Jaychlosat
Thank you everyone. We are right in the middle of the eye of the storm. Refeeding and introducing fear foods. Eggs on toast this morning has sent her into a very depressive mood and I feel like I'm watching her like a hawk waiting for her to self saboutage. She is exhausted, as are we all. I know the only way to recovery is forward, but I'm struggling with how to do that calmly when EVERYTHING including her poor sisters lives have been turned upside down. I feel like I'm failing them because theyre just off handling themsleves for the most part while nearly the whole day is taken up with eating schedules and tantrums and tears. I know it's not going to be like this forever (that is our new repeated daily saying), but how do you manage things like depleting financial problems. I have been off work now for a month, but I HAVE to return after next week. My husband is going to take the week after off if need be, but she only seems to want me at the moment, and I really dont know if he has what it takes to get her to eat the food. Maybe I'm wrong. I dont know. 
I have told my boss exactly what is going on so she is aware of why I need so much time off, but other than that, nobody else knows as we are concerned that she will become a target when returning to school which will hinder recovery.
Thank you all for your support, It helps a lot to know that people are listening
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Jaychlosat
Thank you mimi321
We have only had 2 weigh ins so far, as treatment has only just begun after the process of Doctors visits and blood tests and Paediatrics and Mental Health consults.
She gained 800 gms last week and 1.4kg this week which is great, but I have to up the anti on her calorie intake. I’m just not sure how to do that. Maybe a smoothie every night??? We haven’t tackled milk yet. They are wanting her to get to 45 kgs, but I think that’s too low and I’m waiting for the fallout when that info surfaces.
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ValentinaGermania
I think the weight gain is fantastic for the first weeks! Go on with that!
If she does not drink milk up to know you can also introduce a fruit smoothie with canola oil (rapeseed oil) added. It dissapears in the blender. It looks more "healthy" than a milk shake and is therefor often easier to introduce. You can tell her for example "it is for your vitamins".

I would not discuss target weights with her or even let her know what the target weight is and I would think about blind weighing.
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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