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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If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

KinteacherUSA
Just got it and love the simplicity and yet straightforward and oh-so-helpful tips. Thank you Laura and Charlotte. Especially love the pages on BREATHING and BEARS and their CUBS. Any other comments?
Denise holmes
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Foodsupport_AUS
I too loved the book. Simple but full of gems. I have already passed it on to a family who have a young daughter recently diagnosed with AN. Laura and Charlotte have demonstrated just how important throwing back those starfish is. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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EB
I also love this book - got myself a copy for my shelf and found I needed to give it away almost immediately to someone coming in new to the illness and in need of the confidence and good sense of it.  I should probably buy a little stack of them really if I am going to have any chance of keeping a copy in permanent residence here.
Erica, UK
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mookie
Have just ordered two - one for me, and one for when I need to give one away...[smile]
Mum of 16 year old daughter with anorexia. Weight restored (to my level, not the dr's!), giving control back slowly, under very watchful eyes. 

“When everything seem to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it ....”
Henry Ford


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MarcellaUK
I have just given away both of mine, so will have to order another couple
Fiona Marcella UK
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lemonade
My ex is looking for a book to give to her mum who has in the past not wanted to educate herself on eating disorders.
Would this be the best book to recommend if you were going to give one book only? The other ones she's considering are brave girl eating, Ed said U said, or please eat. We're looking for one that explains what's going on in the head of the person with the eating disorder, so that maybe her mum can better understand. If it helps she's an adult and financially independent and hasn't lived at home for decades.
Thank you.
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EB
Starfish is a book for carers to give them some insight into what they are being confronted with, some of the likely roadblocks (in their own heads as well as in the path of treatment) and a couple of friendly voices to empower parents and carers to act.  Laura and Charlotte are like your two best friends who are going to tell it to you straight - what you might observe, what you might feel about any of that, and how to go on and do the necessary in spite of the apparent problems. 

Knowing what is going on inside the head of a sufferer in too much detail may as much hinder the process as help in all round understanding.  What is going on inside the head of a person suffering may be the rationalisings of someone trying to make sense of what an illness is compelling them to do, and to empathise too strongly with this can be paralysing for carers.  We need to understand a level of fear, we need to understand that there is nothing wilful going on and that there is no choice for the sufferer in how they are behaving - beyond this we need to know how to act ourselves to best enable our patient to get better.

Personally, I don't believe that there is one magic book that will cover all the bases and so would hesitate to tell anyone that any one book will meet all their needs.  Starfish gives us: the confidence to know that this is doable; some idea of how the reality of what the textbooks tell you about may look like in practice, and a strong couple of (hugely capable) hands to hold while you get your head around the task in front of you.  It keeps us focused and, wherever possible, seeing the funny side of what is not an amusing illness - it helps, in short order, to keep us grounded and sane.

There are some reviews for it on the various amazon sites - UK and US - and on Goodreads if anyone wants to read those too.
Erica, UK
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MarcellaUK
I agree this is an excellent book, and a great starter for anyone recovering from the initial shock of diagnosis, or indeed stumbling round in the initial confusion of suspecting a diagnosis.

It is also being sold entirely as a fundraiser for an incredibly worthwhile and relevant cause, Charlotte's Helix, the fundraising drive to bring the AN25K genetic research initiative to the UK and beyond. Please do consider buying a copy or two, and giving in other ways. Here is the link to the book on the Charlotte's Helix site https://www.charlotteshelix.net/fundraisers-for-helix.html
Fiona Marcella UK
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lemonade
EB: you hit on the key issues there. Her mum views it as a wilful thing (someone choosing to get ill).
I guess a 'magic' book doesn't exist!
It sounds like a good book though, especially for someone who hasn't read about eating disorders before.
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trusttheprocessUSA
I got my copy of Starfish !!!and I love having Laura and Charlotte in my ear - Thank you both.

The book I give away most is Give Food a Chance by Julie OToole. I give it to people who are not direct care givers i.e. my parents (my mom has RAN), high school guidance counselor and high school nurse, soccer coach, old school therapist and old school nutritionist and old school pediatrician. I find it is an easy read and since Dr O'Toole is a medical doctor she has a nice way of explaining ED as biological brain disorder that is genetic in nature and tends to run in families. 


Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
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yamom50_US
LOVE this book. Got me to listen to my gut, put on my Big Girl Panties, and insist on FBT for my 20 yr old D struggling with AN. We just found a local, reputable FBT therapist, and are looking forward to being supported in what we're trying to do. Also even though my hubby did not read this or hardly any other book on ED, he tolerates me reading snippets of Starfish because it makes sense to him. Very grateful to Charlotte & Laura for this gem.
Mom to young adult D with AN, 2 yrs into this journey
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boomerUSA
I love it too and love the simplicity!!!   I'm going to order 2 more copies and send one to the pediatrician that dx d and have an extra copy to share with someone when needed!
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perdido
I bought 3 copies and gave one away already. I have to keep a stock of them, never know when you need them.
Well done Laura and Charlotte. Such a wonderful book of love between those two.
Slow and steady
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AUSSIEedfamily
Dear ATDT,

Received my copy of Throwing Starfish yesterday started reading it this morning just finished this evening. A wonderful book & one that I should have purchased a long time ago. Thank you Laura & a special thank you to our darling Charlotte!!

Puts a few new perspectives in my thoughts!!

Do yourself a favour buy a copy!!
ED Dad
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trusttheprocessUSA
It is such a good book glad you got one for yourself one!

Endless love and gratitude to Laura and Charlotte. I attribute every moment of our wonderful, normal life to these women.
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
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