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.

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sotiredofEDO
Hi all,

My d is 16 and has had a rocky road with AN.  Over several centers/hospitalizations and many months, we have figured out that she does not respond to some standard treatment elements.  For example, she was at a top notich residential program and things like sitting with Boost hours on end and having a feeding tube (which she would just pull right out) to motivate did not work for her.  LSUYE is not effective - she will just dig in and wait it out.  We have found that being honest and straightforward and outlining the consequences of her choices (if you don't eat, your vitals will be compromised and you will need to be admitted to the hospital) has been more effective for maintaing weight and making hard choices to eat more.   Trust in what the team and us as parents are teling her is most important.  And she will consider and be open to hearing things, making adjustments that we did not think possible.  

She has an amazing OP treatment team and they have proposed that we allow her to know her weight every other week with a lot of support and therapy.  the ides is that this is more of a young adult model that ultimately will be more suited to what has been effective the past many months.   And while a more tumulteous path, ultimately will lead to more sustained recovery.  And once COVID is over - there will be scales like in the gym locker at school or at a friend's house and she might find out anyway.   Finding out "accidentally" could lead to relapse and breaking of hard won trust.

So my question - when did your child find out their weight in the recovery process?  Any examples of this actually being the right decision?

Thank you!
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Lonelymum

Hi sotiredofEdo

our daughter is the same age as yours and was diagnosed with an February 2019. She has always known the numbers and weigh in has always been incredibly stressful and I have doubted the logic of her knowing many times. She was wr at Christmas but has continued to slowly gain a little and brain recovery is underway. Her response to weigh ins has continued to be difficult but her recovery from the ‘moment’ has vastly improved so I think in her case the exposure has helped . The brain recovery means she seems to be able to rationalise the outcome much more easily. I think like many things with Ed each child responds differently but as you say at some point she will see it for herself and perhaps having support with the inevitable distress may be better? I try and use lots of distraction afterwards which seems to help. 

good luck xx

 

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MKR
Hi @sotiredofEDO,

ED kids have soooo much in common accross the world, yet I see variations in how they respond to weight gain.

We did open weighing at home (no one told us we could blind weigh, eek) but my daughter was aware at all times that I would not stop pushing her to eat until she was a safe weight. However, I always "enlisted" her onto the team. "Help us reach the 50s as soon as possible". (She had dropped down to 47 kg, now two years on weighs 66 kg). So maybe she cooperated to get me off her case?

This difference in response may also be due to the trigger of my d's ED in the first place. She wanted to eat "clean", not less. So it may be that the number on the scales never meant to her as much. She also insists on getting heavy with muscle - which is another problem for us.

We also had weekly weigh ins at the clinic for 18 months, which I believe was blind weighing.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Foodsupport_AUS
How helpful it is for your D to know her weight in part is dependent on where she is in her journey much more than her age. 

You don't mention how well she is eating at present, nor where she is with respect to weight restoration. These would be the most important elements for me. The only reason she needs to know her weight is to offer her feedback as to how well she is managing to feed herself. If she is far off weight restoration it is likely knowing her weight will increase her anxiety, and may make it even harder to weight restore. 

We went through phases of my D knowing and not knowing her weight. Mostly she did not know here weight between 13 and 17. This was when she started to be responsible for her meals and choosing meals and snacks. 
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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Enn
I will tell you what we have found. 
I had the same question recently. We are three years in and d is doing really well. She has never asked for her weight. At the beginning no matter what her weight was, up or even down, I told her she was doing fine. She still does not ask. I do understand why the team wishes her to know her weight so that they can desensitize her. Hard to know. If she learns her weight and freaks out is there a support system in place? If she does not learn her weight ever, does it matter?

That is a good question and as you can see there is no right answer at all. 
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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dtc
We are struggling with same debate with 16 yo. Was in treatment at 12, maintained since with some ups and downs but in more significant relapse now. She's been blind weighing all along but debating when to start changing her overall treatment philosophy getting ready for college and independence. Very stressful, I have no answers.
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Hope42019
We have blind weighed for just over a year now. Our D is 15 yrs old now. We weigh at home. She stands on scale backwards. I hide the scale. She doesn’t ask the weight. Our D did find her weight out in gym class about 5 months into refeeding. She handled it well and said it was pretty close to what she thought she weighed. Well, we knew that she couldn’t stay at that weight and we needed to keep moving upward so for us we didn’t want to have her hyper focus on a weight that she thinks she should weigh because we feared she would restrict if she saw she was gaining. It has worked for us so far but I know we won’t blind weigh forever. I just don’t know when the right time will be for her to see the scale again. We are just figuring it out on our own. Hope you find what works for you because I agree that there is more than one way to do it. 
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MKR
Hi @Hope42019,

It might help - well before you decide to reveal the actual weight to your daughter - to casually mention bone and muscle density that happen all the way into early 20s, and the resulting highet weight. ED kids seem to mostly fear fat, and seem to like having strong bones and muscles.

Just an idea 😀.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Hope42019
Thanks @MKR! Great advice! I will definitely use this. 
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Bobs
My D always saw her weight at the clinic for her weekly weigh-ins and we found we were very much stuck at trying to get her past 90% WFH. Three months of lockdown and no clinic visits or weigh-ins and finally a visit to the clinic and at 99.34% WFH! In a much better frame of mind at this weight so it didn’t seem to bother her. No further visits to the clinic for another 3-4 months unless we need them (fingers crossed we don’t). In retrospect I think we would have moved quicker with blind weigh-ins or weigh-ins far less frequently. I think as her mother it was me that wanted the weigh-ins to prove she was improving. In reality just feeding her and seeing the weight on her with my own eyes and no stressful clinic visits worked better for her. 
15 year old D. Started to feel low summer 2019. Fall out with friends October 2019. Depressed, self-harming and suicidal from January 2020. Diagnosed with AN July 2020. Slowly coming out of it and feeling hopeful for the future.
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sotiredofEDO
Hi all,

Thanks for all of the thoughts and stories.  Ideally she would be completely weight restored for months and then find out her weight.   Have tried talking about bones weight more as you get older and muscles re-build with weight gain but that has somewhat fallen on deaf ears.  

I'll keep you all posted with decision and results.  Sounds like this is a topic that several of us struggle with.
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PurpleRain
We didn't weight too often but did open weights (I was unsure,  I hate weighting myself). She took it well, it was a bit more difficult with sizes, I guess the weight didn't mean that much to her
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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HopeNZ
I can offer a slightly different perspective. My d knew her weight from the very first FBT session following discharge from inpatient. Our therapist explained the value of exposure therapy in the context of recovery and it made good sense to us. Yes, in those long dark months of refeeding, weigh-ins were utterly terrifying for her, and she absolutely dreaded knowing she had gained weight. However during her early recovery, it really was invaluable for us all to have that objective measure of progress. As she started taking more responsibility for her food choices, she could be absolutely convinced she was eating enough, but in the end the scales didn’t lie. Throughout her recovery, her weight targets have been a reliable, indisputable, not-up-for-negotiation tool. Now, well on her way to recovery and looking forward to going away to university, the number on the scale really is just a number, and just another way for her to monitor her overall wellness. For us open weighing was the right thing to do.

*edited to clarify that occasional weighing is to make sure she doesn’t lose weight, not the opposite 😊
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