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

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Scarlett81
Hi all, hope your day has been ok.  I've been battling the beast today and boy was it UGLY.
S got weighed last week after finally agreeing to try FBT again.  500g gain in 4 weeks.  Was gutted but at least it hasn't gone down.  Then we also realised that secret pacing was happening while I was making the morning packed lunches, which quickly turned into not so secret don't care if I do pacing, and I was not strong enough physically to intervene.  So today we bit the bullet, H and I both called in sick and we did it together.  Held him and tried to stop him, and then we realised the full hold that this monster has on him.
Angry with myself for failing to stop him earlier.  We'd agreed a low level activity with his friends, for the social aspect and because it was so good to see him interacting with friends again.  This seems Ok, but the pacing we decided is not what he would 'normally' do so we tackled it.  Trouble is, we both came out of it bruised and battered because we really woke the beast.  I need your wisdom.  To all the people that have tackled compulsive exercise, I want your stories, good and bad!  From where I see it, there are the following options:

1. Do nothing.  Hope that WR makes it magically disappear. (I'm doubtful, but keen to hear from you if it worked!!!)
2. Cold turkey.  Pull him from school and literally sit on him for weeks until he gives in.  (Also raises concerns... s self harms when highly anxious and has a pre existing medical condition which he targets when highly distressed.  If he refuses meds this could be life threatening but still v interested in hearing your thoughts)
3. Tackle it like some other addictions, where you gradually reduce.  Slow withdrawal.  It works for smoking, right?  Pros: every calorie saved is a bonus.  May avoid self harming/crisis. Cons: will take much longer to get rid of and reach WR.

I'm prepared to take the physical stuff.  I'm prepared to be hated (not his favourite person right now anyway) but need to keep him safe.

Please share what worked, what didn't work for you... and thank you so much in advance! Xxx
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MKR
Hi Scarlett81,

What a battle! 

Yup, I am STILL the least favourite person in my D's world (OK, I share the honour with her dad).

Unfortunately, this ED behaviour needs to be challenged. It might diminish with WR, but it will also make the job harder by reinforcing the illness.

There are some good tips on stopping/ preventing on compulsive exercise by @Enn.

I am fairly new contributor, so I will share these:
- interrupting whenever I could. It was always followed by a tantrum, of course.
- distracting, like "You can have your phone after you have sat down for 10 minutes".
- ban on school camp.

It took forever, so I am not sure how it will work for you. 

Her father had endless car rides. But that made her want to compensate more, ie she ripped into exercise as soon as they arrived. 

The worst was the 6-hour scenic train journey. Here I'd thought she'd sit for ages. I had brought the wi-fi, books, games. Yeah, right! There was an open platform at the end, for photos. My D spent nearly the entire time there, exercising in the freezing cold. I retrieved her a few times and then gave up because I had squeezed past the rows of passengers enough times. Only when I told her we were not going to Europe until she can show she can sit down for long  periods did she relent (travel is her passion).

Pacing is the most typical ED behaviour.  Tabitha Farrar's podcasts describe well where this compulsion comes from (the hunter-gatherer instincts, reaction to food scarcity).

Amazing how strong the grip can be. But your love is ALWAYS stronger!
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Scarlett81
Hi Zylie,
Thank you so much for your quick reply.  I will follow those links, thank you.  We explained there will be no pacing before school tomorrow or no school.  Right now he is screaming so much I'm surprised the police haven't arrived.
It is just good to know there are people out there who understand.
Xx
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Torie
It's true what they say: If you're getting flak, you're over the target.  Good for you to tackle this! xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Enn
As I am sure you have seen that there are so many ways to tackle ED behaviours.
Some started with 2 min sitting and increased and or gave an ensure drink to make up calories. Sleeping with the child to prevent exercise in the night .
We had to stop it all. No gym no physical activity at home. She first had, was allowed  a short walk of 15 min with dad after supper
but she started running  or even walking  faster than her dad.
my d stood all the time! We did have the doctor tell d she had to sit. We were given advice from the FBt therapist to have her sit for  half hour at a time. The first few min were agony for her but after a few days she knew nothing bad would happen. (Distress tolerance)We did escalate it quite quickly by 15 min every few days. When she was able to sit for two hours per day and gain weight doctor said she could go to soccer game and one practice per week and she is to eat extra. She complied.

we also took her on a canoe ride 3 hours. We drove slowly. It took one week to get started and a few months to stick. 
Debra18 had standing issues as well and she fed through that and then one day her d just sat. Same with Eva Musby’s d. They fed her and then she had come down with a viral illness as I recall ,then she sat. 
It bothered me so much I had to tackle it. 
Good for you taking charge of this! We got your back! 

Oh we enlisted the help
of the teacher to’ tell’ on d .
i gave permission to teacher  to call the standing out. 
I am not sure that the teacher fully understood why and what to do, so I think d stood a lot more at school than I was aware of.
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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Scarlett81
Hi Enn,
That sounds so much like us in the early days! So much standing and leg jiggling... we did tackle it in the first few months.  We then allowed a short walk. Then a little something gentle at the weekend.  But it's the routine that distresses us now. The fact that he CANNOT miss his 15 minutes. Cannot cope with a rainy day and missing his 10 mins of football.  It just rings alarm bells.

Going to sleep now dreading the morning.  He's fallen asleep exhausted and still fighting his corner.  Need to be battle ready!  Thanks for the support x
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Enn

If he CANNOT miss the 15 minutes, then it maybe time to stop all of it. That urge/compulsion is what needs to worked on, the exercise is secondary. 
Same for my d, she had the compulsion to stand, in order to break the cycle, was to sit for a longer time to understand that nothing bad would happen to her.

You will get there, no matter how you do it. It will always be the right way for YOU!

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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MKR
Thank you so much @Enn for listing your tips.

I will save them all now, to have handy.  Yes, we still have some odd behaviours like jumping onto the chair with both feet out of the blue.

All the best,
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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MKR
Hi again @Scarlett81,

One more thing:  best to lock the doors at night because some kids go out for a run on their own. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6220271/MARK-AUSTIN-recalls-horror-daughters-anoxeria-battle.htmlShe began getting up early and disappearing for walks.

Initially it would be 20 minutes or so, but eventually she would be gone for a couple of hours. I locked doors and hid keys, but she always found a way out. She started going out earlier and earlier — 4.30am, 4am, then 3.30am, whatever the weather. I remember waking one morning with thick snow covering the garden. Her footprints marked the route she had taken.

It was 5.30am and my sick, frail, desperately thin daughter was crossing some field or walking along a wooded path, all alone.


I hope your son never will, but you never know ❤.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Scarlett81
Wow @Zylie thanks for the tip!  Yes in the early days we did lock the doors and he did run a couple of times during the day.  Feel more secure now and this is really an urge that happens at 7.30 on school days, he says 'so I can cope with sitting still at school for the rest of the day'. If it wasn't ED it would almost make sense!
Thankfully olanzapine has him sound asleep these days.
6.50am... here we go...
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ValentinaGermania
We had no compulsive exercise but lots of other OCD behaviour with AN and I can tell you from my experience and that of other families with exercising problems that cold turkey was always the best option with all AN behaviour. It is hardest option and you will see the beast in really tough fights but it is in most cases fastes option to get rid of that behaviour.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Torie
Yay for olanzapine!

This is off-topic, but I have a question about locking the doors.  From time to time, a post gives me the impression that some can lock doors in such a way that you can't get out.  Is that correct?  That is never seen in my area (not sure it is even legal as a fire concern), and it is always easy to get out even if the door is locked.  Someone, please help me with my ignorance or misunderstanding. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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ValentinaGermania
Hi Torie,
here in Germany we can lock doors and you cannot get out then. It is indeed a risk if there is a fire but that is what all people have here. Normally people lock the front door in the night for security and place the key directly behind the door. When my d was in bad days and we had to lock all doors in the day as well to keep her from running away we had the key on the body all day and night in case that there will be a fire.
I know these locks you are talking about, they are available here but very expensive and normal families do not have that here.

We can also lock car doors and then you cannot get out from the back seat but from the front seat you can always open the door from inside but not from outside. In the back seat it would be other way round.

It is legal to lock yourself in your own house here for security. Also your under 18 year old kids. It is illegal in public houses like schools or hospitals.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
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This is off-topic, but I have a question about locking the doors.  From time to time, a post gives me the impression that some can lock doors in such a way that you can't get out.  Is that correct?  That is never seen in my area (not sure it is even legal as a fire concern), and it is always easy to get out even if the door is locked.  Someone, please help me with my ignorance or misunderstanding. xx


Here the locks that do this are called deadlocks. You can indeed lock them both from the inside and the outside so they cannot be opened without a key. It is common here also to have window locks so they can also only be opened with a key. Deadlocking is indeed a fire risk if you are inside the house. That being said when my D was suicidal it was far better to lock the doors than not. I did keep the keys with me at all times when doing this, but suicide was by far the more immediate threat. 

When writing this it struck me, I wonder what they do in locked psychiatric units/prisons? I am imagining there it is a system that some people have the ability to unlock doors but the residents don't. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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MKR
Hi @Foodsupport_AUS ,

I wonder if those places have passwords or code pads with buttons...

With windows, I found that all locks had the same key that you can pick up at any hardware store... Luckily, we didn't have that issue.  

Oh the joy of doors and windows!  My husband took the bedroom door off, to discourage exercise. I had it put back on to discourage our D monitoring my cooking. 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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workingthrough

How has today gone so far? We needed to go cold turkey with s. 

Eventually, at school only, he was approved to go to PE a couple times a week - if he was eating and having a dessert each day (once he was gaining and in a better place). 

We had to sleep in s’s room and watch through the night. He’d wake up and do push-ups, do them in the bathroom, another bedroom . . . we had to watch nonstop. It was so hard in the beginning but did get easier in time. We added in video games, tv, electronics, anything to distract in those beginning months. It was/is so much watching. 

You’ve got this. Sending huge hugs and strength. 

One other note, if your s is getting physical/hurting you it might not hurt to have someone talk to him? We told s he absolutely couldn’t hurt/assult us. His team was/is on board that that behavior = higher level of care and needing more help. We still had our very hard days/weeks when he’d struggle a lot, but that was the agreement with physical behavior.  

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ValentinaGermania


Here the locks that do this are called deadlocks. You can indeed lock them both from the inside and the outside so they cannot be opened without a key. It is common here also to have window locks so they can also only be opened with a key. Deadlocking is indeed a fire risk if you are inside the house. That being said when my D was suicidal it was far better to lock the doors than not. I did keep the keys with me at all times when doing this, but suicide was by far the more immediate threat. 

When writing this it struck me, I wonder what they do in locked psychiatric units/prisons? I am imagining there it is a system that some people have the ability to unlock doors but the residents don't. 


Same here, risk for suicide or running away in winter was much more realistic as a fire so we locked everything and had key on the body. Windows also.

For locked psychiatric wards, here there are locked glass doors (double) and a guard sits there and unlocks the door if you are allowed to leave. Windows are locked and in most cases lattice bars in front.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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