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:

After one month of screwing around we finally got our act together with three meals (lots of rich curry, persian rice and pad tai) with three high calorie snacks a day and got our daughter weight restored after two months. Equally challenging was having her discontinue pretty much all exercise save for casual walking and swimming/playing in water for fun not exercise. My H seems to think we've won the battle and can relax now, despite the fact that our FBT therapist has made it clear we still have a ways to go. Friends have told me to get her at least 5 to 10 pounds over her pre anorexic weight.  We caught things pretty early after two months of restricting but more like 8 months of binge/purging and excessive exercise. How to deal with husband who is not on same page. My husband has not done close to as much research as I and is concerned that this incessant stuffing is distressing our D. She is actually quite the trooper and is in a considerably better psychiatric state since WR. But really I'm still not totally clear how phase 2 works. From what I understand we start giving our daughter some more autonomy but still continue to oversea her meals. I find it hard  to imagine that she will have an easy time piling on the amount of food we've been giving her. She was never a three meal a day kid.  Do you start cutting back to 2 from 3 snacks? She was previously running tract, playing soccer and  then added in cycling classes. High school just started and she wants to take afro-hatien dance. I think doing some type of non competitive movement that she never did before might be great but it's also pretty vigorous and think maybe to early in her recovery to start. Any thoughts, i know a bit rambling.
I can share a bit about what we found. The first WR was too low and had to go 6 kg more and three months  to get there to start seeing her brain improve. We found at 10 kg more she was better still. We did not decrease 3 meals and 3 snacks for over one year. I kept calories up and she settled on her weight curve over time. When there was a period of decreasing to 5 meals per day we noticed d lost weight and so now we are back up to 3 and 3 at the same number of calories as before while gaining. 
My d now knows what a good snack looks like as she has had them for so long and can choose well. She worries about her drinks though and many times does not pour enough. We correct when we see but during the summer there are lunches and snacks that she pours herself. For us, so far it is 2 years into the diagnosis and 1.5 after WR. It is not linear and we have needed many corrections along the way. I did not give my d any autonomy for months after WR so I could monitor how she felt about eating and made sure most eating
fears etc were abating well. The brain does not come in line right at WR...
that takes time , a few months.

My h too has not done much reading and I have been the main ED provider in the home. H did help when she got anxious with meals and when there was violence.
But those issues are gone now. At the beginning ,I feel that for my h, when she got WR he thought it was over. I think he needed it to be over in his mind as it was so overwhelming. Of course i wanted it all over with too. I have felt ,however ,this part to be less defined and more an art as to learning the readiness of the child to take a meal/snack. It is our job at that point to go really slowly with few choices, I think. My d has learned to ask for support. ‘How much to pour mom- up to here or here?’ Or “three or two cookies mom?”
I still plate or pack her main meals.
We all find what works or more importantly,
what does not work. You just have to try something and see how it goes. There is no wrong way, it is just another way.
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)
My hand is up as another who took chief responsibility for making & plating meals as we worked on nutritional rehabilitation.  My h did finally 'get it' when we attended the UCSD 5 Day program....mainly because of the science presented by the medical team.  Previously, I was the one reading everything & trying to relay to him, but it was very hard for h to wrap his head around the illness, and that our d was not 'choosing' her behavior.  My h is an academic, he responded well to hearing the info presented by experts in the field.  
Not sure if you could get your h to read Decoding Anorexia by Carrie Arnold, or to watch a video or two.  One of the best videos on explaining this illness, in my opinion, is "What Pediatricians and Parents Should Know" by Dr. Rebecka Peebles of Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.  She is an expert in the field, and also one of F.E.A.ST.'s Advisors.
Sending warm support to you.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
HI scaredmom,thank you for your response. Just wondering how ill your daughter was before you started FBT. How long was she restricting before intervention, any inpatient time and how difficult was it to get her to eat initially? One year of 4000 calories a day seems like a long time.But again we are early into the process at three months. With WR my d brain is mostly back to normal. No more fits, thank god! those we’re really horrifying. Lately she has been a little depressed mainly at not being able to return to exercise which she loves but got super wacky with ( a big part of her anorexia) She was only restricting for two months though, but was binging and purging, intermittently for about 7-8 month prior.
My d was restricting about three months prior to diagnosis, that I am aware of. Most found out  they were restricting a lot longer than we really knew, so I don’t really know for sure. 
The one thing I learned here is that there are times when our kids can regress. Times of stress, school stuff,  social things, puberty. Like a genetic switch. When there was school stress or friend issues   I have found that d would unconsciously restrict, so during those times we had to be very vigilant and keep up nutrition. There is still so much growth to occur at such a young age. We need to fuel them properly for years. Unfortunately, with ED it is not like they get to WR and voila they are cured. There is still work to be done. Your d seems to be doing well and so good that you got her there. But please stay vigilant. This is a very insidious illness. 
If you decide to decrease the caloric intake you will see quickly if the intake needs to be upped again if she loses weight. At this time you are trying to find the right caloric dose that allows growth and no ED behaviours.  
My d was admitted exactly one week after diagnosis. We had our outpatient appointment and she was admitted on the spot. She was transferred to an academic ED unit after one week as we were waiting for a bed and was admitted for a total of 3.5 weeks. In IP my kid was the model patient. She did not hide food or purge she wanted to be the ‘best’ patient, part of the perfectionistic quality of most EDs. When we got her home it was challenging for a few weeks, but I had peer support here and we did well. There was the usual temper tantrums that took is a while to figure out. A big problem we had was that she stood all the time, it was compulsive and that we had to tackle hard. Introduction back to sports was slow and had requirements of extra food for that activity. And we had very frequent appointments while we added different activities so that if she started to lose weight we could catch it early. 

Frequent monitoring with the team can help support this transition in a healthy way.
well done to this point! 
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)
We are now nine years post diagnosis. When first diagnosed we thought she had been restricting for around 3 months. As time has gone on it has been clear that there was probably relative energy deficit for some years prior to that. She was however well and healthy to all who knew her. My D is still not fully recovered, she was very ill mentally as well as physically and it took a long time to see weight gain that we could keep on her. Her need for increased calories compared with many of her peers though is still there. If they are still teens they really need increased food for a very long time. It is normal to continue to gain weight until early 20's. That weight gain is expected. Our kids though often have blunted hunger cues so we have to make up for that with feeding them. Normal teens often eat their parents out of house and home. ED teens don't. 
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.