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

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Enn

Hi everyone, 
I have read around this topic on the forum and it seems so vague to me.
I was wondering how those with strongly recovering kids are doing this. 
My D still eats 3 meals and 3 snacks per day and there is no time to eat "extra". I am scared to decrease the number of times to eat, for sure. 

I know it will take a long time. She is one year WR and doing well. I have tried to set out bowls of candies etc. and she may take one, but not a handful. I think she just does it to appease me. She only will eat another candy if I suggest it, but will not do it on her own.

Any suggestions or stories that can help me gain some perspective on this perplexing issue.

Thanks
XXX

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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Warrior1
Hi Scaredmom,

My understanding of intuitive eating is eat when your hungry and eat to your full. This is unachievable to a certain extent as life often gets in the way of this, I have noticed for example that at weekends our eating times and habits are different than during the week in the sense that during the week we often have to eat around work and school. My kids also seem to eat lots one day and not so much the next. With regards to my ed D returning to intuitive eating she is beginning to take extra things to eat here and there and I also don’t sweat it if she doesn’t finish her meal each time, now sometimes she finishes her whole plate (and occasionally asks for more) although maybe not the next day. I figure it all balances out.

I read my D the Tabitha Farrar blog that was posted here about intuitive eating and that seemed to help her understanding of what we are trying achieve. I have tried to add things spontaneously like I’ll randomly bake something or today I made plum jam so got all the kids to try some on little pancakes out with ‘normal’ meal and snacks. We are still just at the start of encouraging intuitive eating so would also welcome some suggestions. Xxx
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Enn

Thanks everyone,
Toothfairy a great post again! thanks

Warrior1 and edhater: thanks for your input, I see it that way too. 

Now I  see in Tabitha Farrars blog that "intuitive" for us means eating when hungry and that is what I want for D. To be able to eat when hungry the right amount and to eat when NOT hungry just because chocolate is nice, and so are chips, candy, pop corn etc...even all on the same day. 

I see that AN may not let her just eat anytime as the ED voice may say that is always too much? Does that get better? according to the blog, it seems she HAS to eat no matter what and just has to "shut the ED voice up" by eating what she knows she has to  (ie the toast and not the apple ,example she uses) rather than what she would "want" to eat ie the salad or less. That is a bit daunting to think about for me. 


So ultimately, I want for D, to eat properly when hungry and I want her to WANT to eat even when not hungry because food is good!

Does that happen?

I really hope so.
XXX

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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Enn
Oh I would jump up and down for joy if/when she asks for seconds or (may I be so hopeful) thirds!
XXX[wink]
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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Enn

Thanks TF, 
It is complex and knowing  that they still have ED thoughts for so long is helpful- not happy about it, but it will help me stay on top of her for a looooong time. These articles are great!

Now seriously, how do we get all your videos and resources in one place and categorised?  Should we contact a moderator?

I, and many others really value these links etc... Having them readily accessible, would be so helpful. 

I appreciate the time you take to give good information to help all of us! 
Big hugs.
XXX

 

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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Enn
toothfairy wrote:
Hi scaredmom, 
Thank you, I think that it is being worked on at the moment with the new website.
In the meantime if you use the search bar with the  topic you are looking for and my name , its easy to bring up the threads that way.


Perfect
XXX
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
Hi scaredmom, It's GREAT that your d will sometimes take a candy.  I would say that definitely counts as a Gold Star Moment.

What your d needs to learn is that she needs to eat a certain amount every single day, no matter what.  Knowing that is what will keep her safe.  It is also something that is possible to hammer into their brains.  (When they have reached a certain point toward recovery, of course.)

Some sufferers never do regain hunger cues, and that's okay.  And anyway, I don't think there's anything we can do to impact that.  They don't need hunger cues as long as they know they need to eat enough every single day and have a way of knowing if that is happening.  For some, eating is never intuitive, and  they go through life following a meal plan.  That's fine. And again, either they will regain hunger cues or they will not - there's nothing we can do about that aspect of it (I don't think).

We can teach and encourage them to eat without hunger cues, like having popcorn at the movies whether hungry or not.  It's great that you leave out bowls of snacks and treats.  I trust that you also set a good example by letting her see you grab a handful on your way past.

Honestly, I would encourage you to mostly try to not worry about this.  What matters is that she knows she will need to gain a little weight each year through the young adult years, and that she does that.  

Just my opinion. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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kazi67
This is SO hard
My d therapist told her to eat intuitively after being discharged from an 8 week IP stay,seriously!???
She had managed to practically starve herself to death and T tell her to do this??
This is when you ask yourself do they realise what they are saying
Also for me makes it hard now for me as she is 19, so I’m supposed to “treat her like an adult”
Ummmm this adult got herself so sick she needed to be in hospital for a total of 4 months
So while you have control IMO stick to the meal plan!
All I do now is constantly worry from one fortnight to the next hoping d hasn’t lost weight when d goes to her appt and is weighed
As well as try to remind her “to eat more”
So bloody frustrating!!
Some days I feel like pulling her from the appointments but then I have a flash back to her corpse like
body lying in that hospital bed

Still held hostage by this bloody illness grrrrr!

Rant over lol
xx
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Enn

Thank you Torie for your words of encouragement. I am so grateful we are here now and not "there" like last year. I will try not to worry and keep at her with her nutrition. When you say :"What your d needs to learn is that she needs to eat a certain amount every single day, no matter what.  Knowing that is what will keep her safe.  It is also something that is possible to hammer into their brains.  (When they have reached a certain point toward recovery, of course.)"
I see her doing some of that, she reminds ME that it is time for snack. She grabs an appropriate snack and when out with friends can get a snack from Starbuck's. Granted it is the same, but I can work on that too with her. I need to remember just how far we have come and that even though it is still early, she has done so much in the ways of getting better. 

kazi67, I am glad that you ranted! All our stories help to build the full picture of AN and timelines and recovery, and information. 

I learn so much from everyone, everyday. I am sure with all the learning and research we all do, we should get a PhD or something.[biggrin]

Love to all 
XXX

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
scaredmom wrote:
she reminds ME that it is time for snack. She grabs an appropriate snack and when out with friends can get a snack from Starbuck's. Granted it is the same, but I can work on that too with her. I need to remember just how far we have come and that even though it is still early, she has done so much in the ways of getting better. 


Scaredmom, it is posts like that that keep me here on the forum.  It's kind of like when you see a little kid you haven't seen since last year and are amazed at how they have grown so much, while to their parent there is no dramatic change. It is often much easier to see the progress from afar compared to being the one on the ground in the daily slog.  Your d is doing so well.  You are killing this.

Keep swimming. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Heretolearn
In the early days of recovery I remember D not feeling satiated after eating a meal . This alarmed our D - it fed into her fear zone proving this recovery business was sure to be a disaster. This particular symptom signaled to her Dr. there was a likelihood ED had provoked temporarily hypoglycemia. Labs confirmed this and with adjustments to her eating schedule eventually her values normalized. We were following The Kartini Clinic's meal plan. We all hope for intuitive eating to return. It helped me to remember how very crazy horrible bad things had been, then ask myself how it compared to our "new normal". I began accepting that there is going to be aspects of her eating that may never return to "normal" which includes intuitive eating. Our new normal will include checks and balances that ensure weight restoration holds. A mindfulness about what she MUST eat to maintain that weight restoration has become routine. She accepts that these measures are far more reliable than hunger signals and/or feeling full. Good for you for asking about this - you will be armed with knowledge. Don't be pressured by the ED or family members who think you may not be letting go enough or soon enough. Unfortunately, it will take a long time to extinguish this code red fire. BUT, life can feel WONDERFUL and your child's future full of promise! Keep going. You're doing great and saving her life.
Heretolearn

A mother here to learn.....
D diagnosed/hospitalized for 2 weeks January 2013 --Accepted as a patient at Kartini Clinic--IOP for 12 weeks--Discharged from Kartini summer of 2014. WR June of 2013--Our daughter embraces recovery and is reclaiming her life with wins large and small!
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Kali

Hi,

I found that if I placed cookies, chips, granola bars, chocolate covered almonds, etc and other snacky things on the counter in the kitchen that at some point (and it took awhile) my d. started to help herself. But it took awhile for that to happen. Perhaps 1.5 years into treatment.

Kazi, I think the concept of intuitive eating is tricky for someone suffering from a restrictive eating disorder since their inclination will be that they think they are eating enough even when they are not. Their brains may be literally tricking them into thinking that their portions are large enough or that they have eaten enough. Or they may be too frightened to take that cookie or piece of candy. So you are always free to discard any advice which someone gives you which is not working! I found that encouragement worked, and also modeling the behavior I wanted to see helped. (going over and taking a cookie for myself and then offering one to d. at first for example) Then after doing that for awhile, the day came when she helped herself to something. Even though your daughter is 19 if she is living at home, we all have had better results with continued meal support. Yes I was also told to back off by a professional at one point with the result of guess what...weight loss. So I stopped listening to that advice and kept up the meal support with better results. Meal support has nothing to do with treating someone as an "adult". There are plenty of areas of her life where you can do that. And IMHO it has everything to do with keeping your daughter healthy and fed until she can, one day, start to be able to make those healthy decisions about her food without such intensive support. 

Scaredmom you have helped your daughter make so much progress...and it is so wonderful to hear....you may have to change your name soon!

warmly,


Kali

 

Food=Love
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Enn

I have been reading these replies a few times today to absorb it all. 
Torie, Thank you for seeing the growth and helping me see it too.

Heretolearn, 
Your statement "A mindfulness about what she MUST eat to maintain that weight restoration has become routine." Thank you for that. It is statement that helps me see that she has to get into the routine, always and that she CAN do this.

Kali, I will put more out, I was just putting stuff out sometimes. I think I will keep extras out all the time and see what happens. Great advice!

Having you all, who have really been in my shoes, helps me soooo much!

Love

XXX

 

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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deenl
Hi scaredmum,

Like everything else human there are all sorts of normal. In our family intuitive eating is not a goal at all.

My H, ED son and youngest son have never had very strong hunger cues and are quickly satiated. So we have always had regular meals and routine amounts of food. For them, eating to fuel their lives has always been a routine affair. Of course, the non ED guys will eat between meals when visiting, have seconds of yummy stuff and eat too much at Christmas, just like most of us. 

Eldest son and I, on the other hand, could eat non-stop. If food is in front of us and is tasty, we will eat it. If I ate purely according to what I felt like I'd finish each meal with a cuppa tea and a chocolate bar/biscuit. Again, the routine and habit of defined meals with sufficient and varied food helps us.

This is our family's normal and I reject advice from professionals who want to guide us to 'intuitive eating'. It's just not the right option for us.

However, I do not want my ED son to be restricted in his life. What that means for me is that while he may never choose to eat McDonald's if his mates are going there he can eat something without severe negative feelings. When he can do that I will be one happy mom.

Julie O'Toole from Kartini Clinic has posted a blog on this topic here.

I think the vital issue is to consume enough food in enough variety for continuing health. Anything else is icing on the cake and is dependant on your family's and your child's norms before ED which can range from totally loose to more structured. Trust your own gut.

Warm wishes,

D
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.
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kazi67
Thanks Kali
What you say makes perfect sense
I guess the tricky bit is deciding wether the professional help actually helps
I’m back at work now, life kind of getting back to normal
If I pull her from appointments (as part of me wants to as meal/quantities etc I feel I know what she needs
and I’m not at the appointment) my d is getting told to eat intuitively
But on the other hand without the safety net of physc support I feel alone in our battle, plus take the pressure of me as physc does the weighing etc
I guess I have to look at over all picture of d is actually doing quite well
Physically, socially, emotionally d is even looking for a job now
Will just keep soldiering along one foot in front of the other being a dolphin gently nudging her in the right direction and loving and supporting her
Food plus love = kick ED butt out of here
x


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debra18
I had a similar question. My daughter always ate very little but before AN she had no issues with food. She ate whatever she was served, and had foods she liked. However, she always ate mostly on a schedule because in school she was on a schedule and at home I cannot be busy serving my kids. So we have scheduled eating times at home too. Also, she rarely asked for more. She ate what she was given and that was all. Am I supposed to expect her to ask for seconds if she never did?
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deenl
HI debra,

Each and every patient is different as is each and every family. The clearest guideline is 'state and weight' So is your daughter FULLY weight restored and gaining a little to fuel growth etc up to the mid 20s? Is you child engaging in life without the restrictions on and anxiety about food that ED brings?

Historical norms are a helpful guideline but also lead to our kids getting an eating disorder. So I used to assume that my son's appetite would match his body's needs but now I know that that process is not reliable for him so he eats a minimum to keep healthy and is encouraged to eat some more when he especially likes something.

Find your own way but make sure they eat enough for health, no matter what.

Warm wishes,

D
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.
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debra18
Yes I can see that. Her weigh was always on the lower end of the BMI scale which the doctor said was healthy. While my other daughter was a healthy weight and the doctor said she was 10 pounds overweight. I know now she needs to stay in a higher range.
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