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.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

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.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:

I wanted to post an update, mostly because when we were in the worst part of the disorder I was desperate to hear stories and details of what early recovery looked like and the timeline of recovery.

My 13 year old d was diagnosed with RAN in August 2017. I think it began in about Jan or Feb of that year and depression rode in at the same time on it's back. Within weeks of beginning FBT, the depression worsened and she began cutting and having thoughts of suicide. At this time practically every minute of my d's waking life was monitored. Every meal was of course plated for her. My husband and I took turns going to her school to have lunch with her in our cars in the parking lot. We were spending hours and hours a day at our dining room table until her meals were finished. Also, I laid with her every night to talk to her about comforting things as she went to sleep because ED terrorized her with painful thoughts about herself at night.

Her school work tanked as she spent hours looking at her ribs and hip bones every evening plus there were the nightly interrogations of my husband and I as to whether or not we thought she was fatter or had gained weight. She would demand a dozen times a night that I pinch the skin on her stomach to see if she was getting fatter. These questions, thoughts and demands invaded every single interaction with our daughter for months. (The answers to these questions were always NO YOU ARE NOT FATTER!) And as so many people here have shared, we fought the monster ED everytime our daughter faced a plate of food.

It was mostly two steps forward, one step back but in general, she gained one or two lbs most weeks. We reached weight restoration in December. She ate what we plated at this time with little pushback but other than that there was very little improvement in behaviors at the time of WR. Anti-depressants were added too.

I waited weeks to begin to see improvement and very slowly, in about 2 months, the body checking began to slowly disappear. I realized she asked me to check her stomach less and less often and over weeks she stopped asking us if she was fat all the time.

She found a new passion in ice skating and her mood improved immensely, due to both the medication, activities she enjoyed, and the brain healing, according to her therapist. The last time she cut herself, about 3 months post WR, she came to tell me about it and said that she regretted it and she wanted to find better ways of dealing with her emotions; a big change from hiding the cuts in shame!

At 4 months post WR things had improved to a point where she was able to rejoin her friends in the school cafeteria and shortly after that, she began taking back more control over her breakfasts. She could be trusted more with her food.

And then one day after skating, my D and her friend went into a convenience store for snacks. This usually meant chips and candy for the friend and water for d. I was always careful about not pushing things too much when her friends were around because i would get the calories in her later. But on this day she comes out of the store with a cup of guacamole dip and chips. On the way home my anorexic daughter was in the back seat eating pretzels with guac and she and her friend are feeding each other bbq chips. I was trying hard not to have a reaction but in my head I was doing back flips. This occurred about 5 months post WR. It was as close to flipping a switch as I could have imagined.

Things continue to improve, she is embracing sweets again and says she is enjoying being "normal". The gray and black sweatshirts and hoodies have been put away and replaced with florals and flouncy blouses. She took an all day school trip, being resonsible for all her meals and has been able to go to slumber parties because i now feel confident she will get at least most of her calories when i am not there to watch her.

We still have some disordered behavior to overcome and she will likely stay on anti depressants for some time but I feel like we can see the light. We will continue with therapy and hopefully address other self esteem issues in the future. I honestly thought things would progress faster once she reached WR and want the carers out there to know that it takes longer sometimes and not to lose hope.

What a wonderful, hopeful post. This is so great! Congrats to your whole family!

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)
Congrats to you & your d juditab!

It is wonderful to see the progression of 'normal' behaviours, and how very much improved life in your home is today from last fall.

Recovery can be a long road; longer than any of us wishes for either our loved ones or ourselves.  But sharing your journey helps others in the trenches to know what the road ahead may look like.

Enjoy each sweet step on the recovery road!

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Hi Judithab,

This is wonderful and inspiring news! 
I'm so happy for your daughter and your family.


What a wonderful update. So fantastic that your D is doing so well. Congratulations to you all on your hard work. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
WOW, THANK YOU, I needed this. We are only 1 1/2 weeks into refeeding and we are in the gray/black/everything sucks stage. Your post gives me hope. I needed hope. Thank you and bless you and your precious child.
Thank you for the wonderful comments and thank you to all the contributors here. Finding this place helped my family immeasurably. You are saving lives here!
Great job Juditab! It is wonderful to see our children coming back to us. Thanks for sharing [biggrin]
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
Such exciting news -- I could feel your mind and heart doing flip flops in the car as the girls shared chips and were just so "NORMAL."  Thank you for adding the part about the meds - it's helpful to read posts where they have proven beneficial.
Thank you so much for sharing - and all the best to your family!!
What a lovely update, thank you so much for sharing! I am also in the deep dark trenches with my D, this has really uplifted my spirits and resolve that there is a light at the end of the crappy dark infested stupid AN tunnel!

You are amazing and so is your D.

D15, Restrictive AN. 5' 8" and 51kg. Diagnosed and hospitalised in Sept 2017 for 9 days. At home since in recovery/relapse/recovery. In the trenches and tackling FBT. Not a vegan anymore!
Well, that update put a smile on my face. [biggrin] Well done. [thumb]

Warm wishes,

2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
I am so encouraged by this post, it came along at the exact right time for me. I’m thrilled for you <3