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

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pettelly
OK I know I should be happy and I really really am. 18 months ago I would have been crying with relief to know I would even be asking this!

D is now WR on the 50th percentile which is her historic growth curve. She has become an absolute joy in her behaviour and in general - much nicer as a person than she was before the ED (although that might be an age thing!) and very very appreciative and grateful for all we have done for her which is lovely. She had a nasty D and V virus a couple of weeks ago and bravely kept on eating through it as she knew she couldn't not eat. 

However, recently she has started eating as though it's going out of fashion and she's piling on weight and above her curve. She doesn't stop eating! For example, she had her regular breakfast then I sat and played a game with her and she kept on makign herself endless slices of toast and peanut butter. She had some lunch and then went to a party where she said she ate a ton of junk (and I believe her!).This evening she ate a normal dinner, then made herself beans on toast, then honey on toast then rice cakes and honey because she'd finished all the bread! Then she had mozzarella balls with crackers. Then she finished all the ice cream in the freezer. Now I saw she's watching a movie with her sister and munching through a pack of pretzels plus extra snacks. 

Obviously I don't care. The more weight she puts on, the stronger our safety barrier is in my opinion. And she's enjoying the food which is great. But she isn't too happy about the weight gain and I'm really worried she might start restricting if she puts on too much. She's asked to start to go to the gym so we've okayed this (husband will go with her to ensure it's not extreme) as exercise is part of a normal and healthy lifestyle.
 
Is this normal? Anyone else gone through this voluntary and spontaneous eating large amoutns as part of recovery? 
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scaredmom
So I have seen this topic come up a few times. We did/do not have the overeating, so I cannot comment personally, but here is a thread that you may find useful.
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/weight-restored-but-mood-awful-9993989?pid=1307055835

Now I can congratulate you on a job well done! WR and better mood, how great is that!
I know others will be here soon with their experiences soon to answer your questions.

XXX
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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mimi321
Hi pettelly, 

I don't really have any experience with that issue to date but I have read Tabitha Farrar on this issue. She discusses it here:

https://tabithafarrar.com/2016/11/binge-eating-eating-disorder-recovery/

She describes it as a normal part of recovery for some. She also touches on the issue of exercise as a response to this type of eating, considering it a type of purging. 

Another possibility that springs to mind is that maybe she is gearing up for a growth spurt, either vertical or pubertal. They do continue growing into early 20's and their bmi's can increase. My D12 gained over 50 lbs in about four or five months with very little vertical growth, it was mostly pubertal and her body type developed and changed completely. 

Hope this helps!
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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pettelly
I had seen something about the Minnesota study and told D (although I thought they did go back to their normal weights in the end) which reassured her a bit.

We had some binging with some attempts at purging during recovery (in fact, not so long ago) but this is very different. She's eating happily and openly (binging was done secretly in her room and made her feel awful mood wise) and hoovering up more or less everything all day with zero attempts to purge or guilt feelings (other than a general 'oh my god, i am eating so much'). 
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scaredmom
How long has it been going on? If just a short time, it may sort itself out. 
XXX
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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pettelly
It's quite recent. I'd say it really started during a recent holiday to Italy over Christmas (weirdly only the second half of the trip, the first few days she was difficult about things). Kind of assumed it was because, well, Italy 🙂 And at that point she still had a kilo or so to go so we thought it was great. But it seems to have triggered something and since then she's just been eating like crazy with no prompting from us and has gained about 3 or 4 kg since beginning of Jan despite having had 2 weeks with a nasty stomach bug! 
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mimi321
From Tabitha Farrar and her experience with binge eating:

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Many of us in recovery from eating disorder experience binge eating. I certainly did, and I wrote about it extensively in my book, Love Fat. I consider it to be a pretty normal phase in eating disorder recovery from illnesses such as Anorexia.

Here’s the deal. Your body has been starved for a prolonged period of time. It has been starved and malnourished so long that many of the “normal” feelings a person gets have been shut off. Hunger signals stop in many of us with Anorexia.

Then, you start eating again. Your body starts to get some energy into it. It starts to fire back up again. What’s next … that body is hungry! It is SO hungry. You feel ravenous.


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What if I put on too much weight?

There is this thing called “overshoot” that is part of recovery. We know this from the Minnesota starvation study. The subjects in the starvation study “overshot” their pre-study weights when they began eating again. BUT they all returned to their pre-study weights in the year to year-and-a-half after they started recovery [A. Keys et al., 1950].

It is a natural and normal part of recovery to overshoot your usual pre-eating disorder weight. If you stick with eating regularly, your body will return to your pre-ED weight.


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And yes, exercising counts as a purge

Don’t let your eating disorder trick you into thinking that exercise is not purging. It is. In fact, think of exercising after a binge being just as bad for you and your body as restricting after a binge would be. Do not allow your eating disorder to tell you otherwise. Exercise is a form of purging and it is an eating disorder behavior that you must not allow yourself to continue to do in recovery.

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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pettelly
This is a very different beast to the binging we had before. It's not a specifc event and D is not ashamed or embarrassed. Maybe it's still classed as binging but I'd just call it eating a lot! She says she wants to exercise becuase she's now WR and wants to slow the weight gain and be more healthy but also is enjoying eating a lot and wants to keep doing it. Maybe it's purging but, again,  it doesn't sound like it to me, she sounds normal and any gym exercise will be supervised by her dad as they'll go together so he'll make sure it's not excessive. I hope we're getting this right and it's not a variant of  binge/purge!
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mimi321
You are there and are the best judge, but from what I understand it is okay / expected to have "overshoot" and that is considered healthy for someone in recovery. It is also normal before a growth spurt. It is hard to know sometimes, but you can always take it slow or change direction if you think it is necessary, or even put it on pause for the time being if you're unsure. Hopefully others will have experience/ wisdom to share as well. I think some might say if her body is experiencing hunger, it is for good reason. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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mimi321
Just one last thought, if her body hasn't resumed regular periods, the body can require a lot of extra energy to kickstart that, and exercising can definitely delay that process.  Not sure if this applies in your daughter's situation, but definitely something to keep in mind for others who may be in a similar place. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Mamaroo
You already got some good advice, I can only add that if you are worried you can restrict 'binge' food, which is usually carbs (bread, sweets, crisps etc) and stock up with food full of fat and protein, such as nuts, peanuts (not salted), frozen yogurt, full fat cheeses etc. If she goes to the gym, let let do more weight training that running on a treadmill. If the gym had circuits, that is also good as it rotates through different exercising equipment and has a definite start and finishing time.
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. 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. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her.
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melstevUK
Hi petelly,

When my d finally recovered she started eating a lot and I have to say that I was quite anxious because I knew the weight would start piling on more than she would have wanted.  There was one point when (for her) she looked almost fat.  But I knew that it would have been disastrous to say anything at that stage.  It took well over a year until her weight settled - and during that time she started going to the gym.  She didn't like her new body - she seemed to realise that she had gone too far, and now doesn't restrict at all, but is just careful in a normal kind of way about what she eats and how much.  She is fully recovered, but wants to be toned and has found a pretty normal way of managing her life.

I knew she was recovered when she gave up the vegetarianism - and there was a time when with sheer joy she ate every meat going - including rabbit and lamb.  Now she has found a balance - she will eat chicken and fish, loves prawns and smoked salmon but prefers to eat red meat only occasionally.  She will not touch lamb or rabbit because she is still hugely loving of animals and now tries to balance health with her beliefs.

Personally, I don't see your d's exercising as purging - and as long as she keeps up with the eating, I would not encourage any kind of restriction at all - she will find it in her own time.

This is quite a tricky stage to manage and you just have to keep observing and monitoring and deciding is this a return to good health or back to illness.  

I don't know how old your d is but this definitely sounds like recovery to me - with the self-awareness that overeating to such an extent will bring its own difficulties.

I think my d's over-eating period probably lasted around three to six months.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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