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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needhelp
My d has "recovered" and been active in all her activities, classes, and university life.  She is a bit stressed about changing her major and is eating very often.  I feel uncomfortable writing that on this forum - but please know my concern is that she is now showing me pictures of herself and writing about how fat and horrible looking she is and that she can't stop eating. I would love advice - obviously we don't want the pendulum to swing back.  I don't really know what to say - because I don't want to imply anything that could relate to not answering that voice that WANTS to eat. She has added about 15 lbs since weight restored.  She hasn't really had an issue with it until recently - and I think that is because she is now eating so much. Over Thanksgiving she did see her counselor, to kind of check in about some stuff.  When I asked her if she wanted to see her over the winter break she said she didn't want to - that it was kind of nice to just put all that stuff behind her. Then, finals and the major change kicked in and the stress factor increased. I think she might benefit from seeing her previous nutritionist.

Any advice - greatly appreciated.

Wishing everyone and your families a HEALTHY, HAPPY 2020 â¤
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MKR
Hi @needhelp ,

Well done on your daughter's recovery and successful university life!

Looks to me like your daughter would benefit from cognitive behaviour therapy. I wonder if her counselor is trained at this? I believe that coping mechanism needs to be built, strong distress tolerance, so food is not an outlet for any life's little blows.

I am in a similar position, where weight gain is still strong but the food and body thoughts are still very much around. 

While I am researching the best way to tackle this new phase, I am ensuring my daughter (who is still at school and living at home) eats every 3 hours.  This is to prevent any dips in blood sugar which may cause her to either binge eat or try to skip a meal altogether. I know it is harder for you to do this at the moment, with your girl living away. 

In quiet moments (there are many now, although precarious) I am also trying to prepare her for the future and reminding her she needs to eat regularly (3 meals + 2 snacks) for the rest of her life. How much of my droning on will sink in, I don't know...
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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dancinggirl
Not sure if you are concerned about the thoughts mainly or the increased weight,  However I wanted to emphasize that overshoot in recovery is not abnormal.  This is a good post by Tabitha Farrer.  https://tabithafarrar.com/2015/11/overshoot-eating-disorder-recovery/  I do think though extra support just to talk even about everyday stuff, not specific eating disorder focused, could be very helpful.
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MKR
Thank you so much for this link, @dancinggirl !! This blog explains a lot. 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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ValentinaGermania
It is normal that some overshoot for some time and that it needs some time for the body to find its comfort weight zone.
But some also develop some binging and then there is a risk that she starts purging so I understand your concerns.
Is she still eating with a meal plan? Does she have an ununsual number of meals or snacks? Is she eating with you?
Can you help her to get into a better routine with eating a bit less without telling her that she eats too much (which the dietitan might do so I see a risk there)?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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MKR
I think this is a good idea. Perhaps nudge gently towards variety of foods on the plate at meals, to discourage reaching for typical binge foods, like cereal. I sometimes say I am balancing the colours and flavours on the plate to make it more enjoyable (rather than saying I balance carbs vs protein vs fibre).
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Enn

My feeling is this: she is doing well on the eating front, I would let that be.  The anxiety is focussed on her weight bit could it be the stress of school adding to that?  Does she seem to be at a good weight for her from what you recall? 

You mention having her see the nutritionist, I wonder about seeing a therapist for anxiety and maybe consider meds as well as therapy for the anxiety, instead of the nutritionist.

Although her focus is her weight, could it be anxiety/stress rather than her weight? 

I really feel uncomfortable with  suggesting  she eat less ,to be honest. It can be a slippery slope back to ED. I think dealing with the anxiety, thoughts and other stress (like the exams and school), seems to me a safer place to go.

i know for my nonEd d when she says she anxious about x it is always due to something other than x. She has trouble sorting that out in her head and focusses on one thing but has trouble understanding that it was a few  different things that made her anxious. I hope that came out the way I am thinking about it.



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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melstevUK
Needhelp,

This is a really tricky stage in recovery. My own d went through a phase of eating with real enthusiasm and enjoyment and her weight shot up. I remember thinking that she was eating far too much and that she would start to be unhappy and I had been so used to seeing her as a waif for so many years that she actually started to look (to me) fat. I knew it would be disastrous to make any comment so I kept reassuring her that this hungry phase would pass, she would overshoot her natural weight by around ten per cent and then eventually things would settle down. As I recall the overeating phase lasted around six months, she started to realise that she needed to be a bit more moderate again, didn't start restricting but began to eat with a little more awareness. It then took around a year for the weight to drop back a bit and to settle.  She had a struggle with feeling fat and heavy but pushed through it because she didn't want to retreat into an again. 
So maybe reassuring d that this is all a normal part of recovery and telling her that eventually things will settle down will help her.  
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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needhelp
As always - you all offer such wonderful, heartfelt advice - and please know it is all so greatly appreciated.

We had a nice talk, and she really wanted to meet with the nutritionist.  When she was in recovery she worked directly with a counselor who specializes in eating disorders and this nutritionist (they would eat together, prepare food together, etc.).  Please keep in mind, my daughter is going to be 21 - so a lot of independence is a goal.  My D shared with me that she has been eating out a lot (can concur from the credit card!), and has gone totally off any type of schedule.  She said she needs to get back to preparing foods at home in her apartment (and I hope she will go back to carrying snacks).  She has started to exercise a bit in the mornings and that makes her feel good - then she prepares a great smoothie with a nutritious mix and her own fruits.  She also has an oatmeal brand that she likes.  She has always been athletic (still is involved in activities at school and for her work) - and tends to eat better when she gets on this type of schedule.  She is not doing this to burn calories - she actually is building some muscle (and has said she expects that to put on weight, but is proud not to care about that since its muscle - she does not have a scale and does not weigh herself in the gym - which is in her building).  It had also sounded quite good, until she went off her schedule - so she is hoping to get guidance tomorrow from the nutritionist.

But - speaking of scales - that is what starting her getting so upset the other day when I posted.  After I posted she shared with me that when she visited a friend and stepped on the scale in the bathroom it showed she had gained 10 pounds (just as an aside - YES definitely overshoot what the doctors say is a weight goal - she passed that by 5-7 pounds and has been fine with that - definitely good for the brain).  Early this morning she felt very sick - achy, sore throat, cold - I thought she might have the flu or strep, so made a doctor's appointment.  The tech brought us in and it was someone new (last minute call - could not get an appointment with her regular doctor at the practice).  My D turned her back to the scale and I was so thankful the tech didn't say the weight out loud.  Then we went into the examination room, and she took the rest of her vitals.  Then, for some unknown reason she read all the stats out loud -- including the weight and said "WELL, I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE WHO PUT ON WEIGHT OVER THE HOLIDAYS."  If I were a cartoon character you would have seen steam shooting out my ears and everything else on me turning red.  I was so flabbergasted, I was trying  to think of a way to approach her in the hall after she left the room - but I knew my D would know why.  The tech left the room to get the doctor,  and I looked at my D. She kind of smiled and said, "that weight is not so bad - I only put on 4 pounds, and I have my period - not so terrible." Glad she trusted the doctor scale over her friend's. So, in the end, that was a good blunder - but I am still going to call the manager tomorrow and tell her that it might be good practice that if a patient turns her back to the scale that the weight not be shared.  She obviously did not read D's medical history.  I figured my FEAST friends are the only ones who could truly understand how devastating that could have been.

Thanks so much again for caring enough to read and share your thoughts.  I will let you know how things go because I am hopeful that if there is a parent out there who is facing something similar - maybe my D's experience could serve as some help.
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MKR
Thank you for this report! It would be great know how your daughter works towards independence.  Seems like you have a great rapport with your daughter. And she also has a counselor and nutritionist on board (we are not ready for either yet, but getting closer).

Yikes, having the results read out aloud could have had heavy consequences if your child was any earlier in recovery... I guess it's human nature to find it hard to keep things confidential but a bit more awareness among health professionals would be great. Overall, I think there is now less stigma over ED and more consideration compared to even 20 years ago. 

Keep us posted!
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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