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

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Scaredmom2019
Hi all,

RAN 17 D. Going on 8 weeks at PHP (40 hours a week treatment). Weight gain is great. Up 13 lbs and nearing original weight status prior to ED. No food standoffs and eats most of what is required (FBT) at program and home. Always fine with optional food if a particular food is tough like Ensure.

No appetite, hates food but eats it without much complaint. Always feels full and creates nausea but she fights through it. Food all tastes like sawdust.

Thought she was maybe further than she is. Talking to her tonight she still doesnt "really " think that restricting is a huge problem. Openly says if left to her own devices she would likely not eat - she has no hunger cues. She knows the danger of RAN but can admit that she would likely tank on her own. Not much preoccupation with body image or being bigger but just the lack of hunger and food is a struggle she would just cave to and quit eating. 

What am I missing? Time? For sure she is depressed and anxious and we are working on that piece - building a life worth living. What more can I do to help her with the mindset? She is making huge gains in weight but very little in terms of her thinking and ability to see this is a problem. 
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Torie
Wow, she is doing GREAT!!!  It takes a long time for brain healing.  A l-o-o-o-o-n-g time.  I would be astonished if she had hunger cues, understanding about the problem, etc. at this point.  Really, she is doing super for this point in treatment. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Torie
P.S. To get an idea how frustratingly long this takes, you might want to look up some of PsychoMom's posts.  (We tried to convince her not to delete them all - I hope they are still there.) xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Scaredmom2019
Thank you! I will look them up. 

And thank you for the praise! It is very helpful to hear that she is doing great. I suppose the fact that she IS telling me how she feels etc is a good sign in a roundabout way...even if the thoughts aren't great; her openness is.
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Torie
 What more can I do to help her with the mindset? 


It still amazes me how this vile illness takes our bright, rational kids and makes them wholly irrational (and dense) about everything ED related (while still bright and rational about everything else).  Time works wonders on that, though.

Hmmm ... what can you do to help?  For one thing, take good care of yourself so you are able to weather the marathon.  For another, and you might be six steps ahead of me on this, is to lower your expectations.  I remember a time when I was pushing my d about some rather routine non-ED thing that I don't now remember, and she burst into tears: "What do you WANT from me???? I'm eating and I'm not cutting!"

Holy cow, I thought, what has happened to my world when the only thing I can hope for is that my d eats and doesn't hurt herself?!?  But - WOW - she is eating and she isn't cutting so I need to be happy with that.

I'm not sure if this is making sense or if it really pertains to your journey.  Your d is going through hell, and she is eating anyway.  That is cause for celebration; it is enough for now.  Your girl is on her way back.  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Scaredmom2019
Oh Torie 🙂 I shed a tear! So well put and makes total sense to me! A perfect reminder to monitor MY own junk and slow MY pace for recovery. Yes. Yes. Yes. 
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ValentinaGermania
I can also tell you that compared to the time you are in your d is doing really great. It is normal that she does not have hunger cues and it is normal that she has no insight that restricting is no good idea and it is also normal that she would go back down the rabbit hole ones there is an opportunity in that state.
Brain recovery starts slowly about 4-12 months after WR. Before that simply forget all your thoughts and try to be patient. You will see bigger progress about a year after WR. Not earlier. She needs to learn what hunger is and what normal portions are and she needs to get used to the routine of eating very often and very large portions for years. Then the brain gets used to that and the relapse risk gets less.
Mine is in year 3 now and it is now that I would say that 2019 was a normal year with no AN problems. And it is now that I start to trust that she will not go back to restricting left on her own. She knows all that now and we can talk about risks and the disease but I see that she still prefers to eat with us and that she does not like to eat on her own. So maybe she does not trust herself up to now.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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mnmomUSA
It takes a VERY long time.  That's my biggest argument with FBT...the notion that you can have 6-9 months of worth of treatment and be all better.  Absolute hogwash as far as I can tell based on our experience, AND the experience of countless parents/caregivers on this forum.  Can you get them "weight restored" in that period of time?  Certainly.  Can you get them to a place where they eat intuitively and can maintain weight on their own?  I'd say that's an EXTREME exception to the general rule that it takes years.  Now, obviously, once you get them weight restored, you are in a good place, and it gets easier, but my view is not to take your foot off the gas and to remain vigilant for long after that!  With my D, we very slowly allowed her more control over her own meals...like choosing from options for snack.  Then, allowing her to have a few meals out with friends.  Etc.  Baby steps.  Sometimes it was too much, she'd lose a little weight, and we'd start back over.  It took a long, long time.  I didn't declare victory until more than 3 years after her initial diagnosis, and even then, my antenna was always up and watching.  To be honest, my antenna is STILL up...even though she has maintained her weight entirely on her own for over two years.  Maybe that sense of caution never goes away.  

You've got this. Keep moving ahead and celebrate where you are, which is better than where you were.  And, one word of advice....young women are supposed to gain weight each and every year they live until they are at least 21 years of age. Don't accept "where she was" as being good enough.  It's one reason that it took my D longer to reach full recovery.  That, and my initial willingness to "put up with" the last remnants of the ED longer than I should have (and that was taking an abnormally long time to eat and leaving the last bits on her plate).  Both of those were signs that the ED was lingering just under the surface and was not fully dead.  You MUST find and root out each and every last behavior of the ED, systematically.  Kill it all.  :-)
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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ValentinaGermania
Nothing to add, great post mnmomUSA! Worth a "Hall of fame" post!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom2019
Thank you all. Your advice really helped me recalibrate my head.  It's been only 8 weeks since diagnosis and shes close to her original weight (she's gained 13 lbs) and she isn't having any body issues as of now. I just feel like shes going through the motions but from what you've said above,  this is ok! In fact overall it's good. She has driven herself to treatment daily for 8 weeks and never been late or missed. She doesn't like it there but also says she never ever wants to go back. I guess all in all we are doing ok and I appreciate your perspectives and words of support for us!!
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mnmomUSA
All in all, you are doing GREAT.  :-)
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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Scaredmom2019
But today was a new day and a tougher day. The nausea and fullness was really rough. She involuntarily vomited after dinner. Ya know she is WR and i dont want to cut back on food but I do wonder if I need to..
.perhaps her body IS telling me enough? I don't know! Oh this is soooo hard!
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ValentinaGermania
NO. Do not cut back on anything. This is a big mistake and a wrong signal "you are eating too much".
Try to make the portions smaller and put the same energy in so it is more fat and less volume. That makes it easier not to feel so full.
Fullness and nausea was there for about a year after diagnose here. The stomach is a muscle and it has shrunk and it needs to be trained likeany other muscle needs.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Scaredmom2019
Yes you are right I know! Thank you. 
Today we went shopping and she had while out a large piece of pizza (a fear food), some breadsticks and an orange soda with me. Yay!!
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sandie
Hurrah!!! Gold star moment xxxxxx
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
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Enn
Scaredmom2019!
that is amazing. I have a great big smile !!😁
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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Torie
Wow, pizza!  That's awesome.

I wonder if it would help to split her dinner in half and feed in two portions.  Do you think that would help with the vomiting? xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Scaredmom2019
We may try that... currently shes eating most meals at treatment and the schedule is tough. 
1pm - large lunch 
3pm- large snack 
5pm- large dinner 

That makes me ill just thinking of that muxh food in 5 hours 
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Foodsupport_AUS
That is a lot of food in five hours, and maybe therefore long gaps in between other meals too. Any options for making things a bit more realistic? Earlier lunch, later dinner?
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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Scaredmom2019
This is what actually ticks me off about her program. They say with adult and kids programs going simultaneously they cannot change to the eating times. I have complained many times. They say: it will always be hard for ED to eat regardless of time in between meals. I say yes but bull!
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ValentinaGermania

Today we went shopping and she had while out a large piece of pizza (a fear food), some breadsticks and an orange soda with me. Yay!!


1:0 for you!!!👍
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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