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

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hbeatsaUSA
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D- 21 w long history of RAN (that seems to be in remission, thankfully)
Me- Stephanie
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IrishUp
In some ways, the hardest part of refeeding is learning NOT to respond to and validate the distress it causes. Experiencing and moving through that distress, is necessary to recovery. So I think the best thing we can offer as parents, in those circumstances, is to model that 
  • Distress - being anxious, upset, uncomfortable - is a normal part of life.
  • This too shall pass. How you feel now is not permanent.
  • There are ways to change how you feel, and move through distressing feelings in healthy ways.
Then focus on helping to provide healthy alternatives. Minimize the time ED has to perseverate on what was just eaten (or what is coming next) by providing activities. Try to encourage them to problem solve distractions on their own. A lot of the time, particularly early on or during a REALLY anxious/emotional period, they won't be able to problem solve. In such instances, you can provide a short list of 2 or 3 distractions, and follow through on starting one of them. IOW, don't let distraction or other coping strategies be optional.

When we are high on the emotional wave, rational problem-solving feels (and indeed, from a neurobiology standpoint, often really is) just beyond our capacity. What our family did, was work on problem solving in calm and or happy(er) moments. We'd put together a list of things to try as distraction and calming techniques. If a list seems too dry, a Self Soothing Kit (ideas here http://psychologiques.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/self-soothing-kits/  and here http://healthofmind.tumblr.com/post/22571448384/self-soothing-sensory-kit    ) is a nice alternative. Make the Kit up ahead of time - adding and subtracting things as they are shown effective/not effective, and keep the kit in easy reach, to be asked for and/or offered when needed.

"Don't be afraid of what ED is afraid of"; the more you try to address an irrational obsession or compulsion directly, the firmer it will wind up being entrenched. Our jobs are to teach our children to work around, anticipate and sidetrack, or work through these issues, so that they lessen their hold over time.
IrishUp
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YogurtParfait_US
"My d is currently eating 3 meals 3 snacks everyday."

Great--pat yourselves on the back. The "noise" is a normal part of things. Keep feeding from that list, and work to broaden it. I found when my daughter complained that it meant it was too early to give her choices.

An example:

Me: "Would you like yogurt with granola or an ice-cream bar for dessert?"
Olivia: "<grumble grumble>"
Me: "Okay, my pick, then. I'll know you are ready to make your own choices when you can do it in a positive way. You're doing so much better. I know you'll get there!" (then, follow up by choosing the snack myself AND doing that for the next few snacks also, and when she accepts my choice for a while with no complaint, again I can start to give her a choice.)

Giving choices can backfire--if it is difficult, it means that ED is still in charge. Taking away options works to weaken ED and to more rapidly put your daughter back in charge. I know it seems counterintuitive, but there it is!
"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
Let us know how it goes after a bit--if she wants choices, she will have to stop ED behavior (of grumping), and by doing that, ED thoughts will be weakened.

Fingers crossed! [smile]
"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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