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Around the Dinner Table Forum Recent Threads

Normal behavior with fear foods?Open in a New Window

Hi, curious if this is a normal part of recovery with overcoming fear foods.

We challenged my 16 yr old s to eat chicken Tuesday night (animal protein being a major fear food) It took about 2 hours for him to finish the meal along with some colorful language. Lots of f**k you's and I f**cking hate you and punching the wall. He has NEVER spoke to us like that but I wasn't surprised and prepared for it from reading posts here. I could actually see the anxiety and agitation build up in him right before he ate the chicken - like the extinction burst. He ate and basically went to bed. We stayed calm, cool and collect and went over consequences with him if he didn't eat the chicken. One of his consequences was if he didnt eat the chicken with us we would bring it to the RD appointment and he would eat it with her. This seemed to work...this time.

The next morning he looked pretty angry before school - no surprise there. Later though it was like a totally different kid... back to talking nonstop with his dad about football and school (he'd been giving us the silent treatment for a few weeks after telling him he is no longer a vegetarian) very polite and kind with me - talking with his sister - it was the kid I know. It was like the episode the night before never happened.

So my question is do they go back and forth between these major swings when moving through fear foods while refeeding?

I just want to add the night he was more himself we had fish - which he has no problem eating so maybe he was less anxious about dinner and the ED was quiet??




'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Scotland: Grab this opportunity to drive improvements via ParliamentOpen in a New Window

Grab this opportunity to drive improvements in Scotland


There's going to be a debate in Scottish parliament about eating disorders!

This is a good time to write or talk to your MSPs so that they're clued up and effective ahead of a debate that will take place in Scottish Parliament on 28 February.

It's a great opportunity to drive improvements. An MSP has lodged a Motion to get eating disorders discussed in Parliament during eating disorders awareness week

So here's what each of us (in Scotland) can do:
  • Write to your MSPs to ask them to sign the motion (Motion S5M-09834)
  • And to tell them something specific you want government to do
Otherwise the debate may be poorly attended or the talk might all be about 'awareness' without any... action!

The video link below shows you the attendance at a debate on diabulimia a few months ago (click on it to jump to Shona Robison's speech).
Writing or speaking to even just one of your MSPs means they can make things happen.
They can speak up in Parliament. Even long after the debate they can make requests from ministers using Parliamentary Questions.

On my website I created a section for Scotland to give you details (and some hand-holding on writing to MSPs). 
Do contact me if you'd like to be on my mailing list for this kind of thing.

Also, have you signed BEAT's petition?


BEAT's petition for waiting time targets is still gathering signatures. Get everyone you know to sign because with petitions, numbers matter. The petitions are all here on BEAT's campaigning page.

It seems that in Wales, there's already a very positive outcome - the assembly has decided to investigate the situation with waiting times and whether there is a need for targets. I think that's exactly the kind of consultation we'd benefit from in Scotland, since we have no statistics on waiting times for eating disorders.




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'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


weight restored but HAUNTED by EDOpen in a New Window

I’m sorry to upset parents who are at the beginning of this journey but I need some late-ED advice.

By all appearances my 23 year old D is fully weight recovered and has been for 2.5 years. In fact, she’s in the ‘overweight’ category in terms of BMI. I only mention that bc her weight gain accelerated after recovery and the ED restriction voices have pivoted into ‘I’m fat” self hatred voices. Her former team of doctors assured her that once her weight stabilized she would stop being haunted and find a ‘set weight’ in line with her growth chart. Instead she has jumped from the 50 percentile (where she’s been her whole life except during ED) to 75th. The self-loathing is so intense that she is inconsolable and frequently gets into a cycle in which she eats to punish herself for being ‘fat’. She says this will never end and her body is now on its way to obesity - fulfilling her worst ED nightmare.

My question is whether I can allow her to work with a nutritionist to LOSE weight within a target set by a doctor (with a contract) - not by restricting but rather by wholesome meal planning.

Any guidance? - and also resources for weight recovered ED suffer?


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Kicked out of residential for exercising - any suggestions?Open in a New Window

Hello. I have been away a long time but I am back for my friend. She and I have fought our daughters' EDs together for the past few years. My d has become well, but her still suffers terribly. She is 23 and has been ill many years and finally agreed to be admitted to a residential facility at a bmi of 14.7. She wanted help. She has a very severe exercise compulsion and while she was very compliant with eating food at the facility, she was unable to stop exercising when unsupervised (which was a large part of the time) and refused to be in program all day because she needed to exercise during that time. She is unable to stop the exercise without help. In the two weeks that she was there before they discharged her due to exercising, she did not gain weight. Rather than help her with the exercise compulsion ie. with counseling, medication, supervision, they simply discharged her.
My friend is devastated because this was her last resource. She has tried for years to get her d into treatment, she has tried home hospitalisation (Maudsley and FBT), but at 23 there seems to be little left that she can do. Her daughter wanted help finally and agreed to go, and this is the outcome.
My friend's d has been advised to go to EDC in Denver. This is out of country, not covered by insurance, but my friend will find the finances is necessary. Are there other facilities that can help her with this exercise obsession rather than just discharging her. She is not able to comply without significant help.
Thank you for any suggestions.

For those of you who remember me, my d is now in university doing well and happy and no signs of the eating disorder for at least 2 years now. We are thankful every single day.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Newbie questionsOpen in a New Window

My 14yo d has recently been diagnosed AN restrictive and compulsive exercising with anxiety and depression (pre-existing) and we're doing outpatient treatment after a 5 day hospital stay at the end of January. She's currently restricted from physical activity.

We recently caught her spitting out chewed up food in various rooms of the house so we're now questioning most, if not all, of her behaviors. Also, she did not have the expected weight gain at her last appointment so we're wondering if something is going on. We're not sure if the following are "innocent" behaviors or red flags so please let me know your thoughts/experiences with these:
  • drinking a lot of herbal tea but we make sure it's after all meals and snacks have been consumed, usually 3 cups before bed
  • today's shower may not have been warm and wondering if she's now using cold showers to lose weight (don't have proof, just a suspicion); we have bathroom door partly open so also not sure if she's purging or exercising during shower
  • how do you know if they're exercising at night? Door is open but we do fall asleep! I have had her sleep with me the last 2 nights to be sure.
  • walks around the block after dinner--I've been going with her but now think we should probably wait at least a 1/2 hour before taking walk.
Thanks, in advance, for any tips, insight...


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Role of a Practising Dietitian? Need some Pro's and Con'sOpen in a New Window

Hi Families and Carers,

I am hoping to get some honest opinions, your experiences and a pro's and cons list of working with a dietitian for my daughter?

If you were to sum up experiences, what would it be?

Hope you can help. 

eatlovepray from Australia xxxx


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Exercise Allowances?Open in a New Window

Hey, I have not posted on here much...I only posted an introduction. I am the nanny of a 10 y/o boy whom I'll refer to as FS (not his initials).

FS was allowed to start exercising fairly quickly after beginning treatment...1.5 weeks after treatment started. That lasted one week before the treatment team reinforced he could not start exercising that soon. Three weeks after that he started doing 30 minutes of (moderate to heavy) exercise every day. He stayed on that schedule for a bit before they started integrating more physical activity like going to parks and whatnot...this kid plays hard.

Last week he started the new after-school schedule, and it went from zero activities to four or five scheduled athletic activities a week, plus the same amount of exercise he was previously doing (or more); he's eating fear foods as part of his therapy now, but it seems like he's burning off everything he eats and more. 

What I am wondering is, how long after the initiation of treatment were your children allowed to begin exercising again, and how often? I can't imagine any situation where this would be a good thing for an over-exerciser, so I wanted your opinions.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


A lovely thingOpen in a New Window

Here's a lovely thing that happened recently...

My D's cousins came to stay last week and brought their Wii with them so they could get into the spirit of the Winter Olympics.  My 13 year old nephew came into the kitchen, looking a bit worried.  His mum asked what was up, and he explained that they needed to put people's weights into the Wii to make the balance board work, and he didn't know if he should ask my D what her weight is.  I said perhaps best not to ask her and told him the weight, and he put everyone's weights in while she wasn't around.

What a thoughtful lad to even think of that!  So lucky to have him, and the rest of his family, who really 'get' the ED thing.  His mum (currently on Slimming World diet, which she keeps low key around her kids) even managed to lose some weight, despite having to spend a few days in our high cal, full fat etc household!


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Ongoing struggle of refeedingOpen in a New Window

This morning I was making my 13yo daughter's oatmeal. Milk not water and a nice fat glob of butter. It's the first time she's had it in a couple of months since we upped her breakfast to frontload her calories. I offered her two packets and she declined. I told her one wouldn't be enough and she'd need to have a piece of pie as well. She accepted with little protest. The same with the applesauce cup I gave her to round it out.

A little later I told her she needed a morning snack and offered her a cookie (big fat sandwich cookies I found at 200 cals @) or a butter sugar tortilla. She asked if she could skip straight to lunch and have a can of spaghettios, something else she hasn't had in a while. Had to lean on her a bit to get it down, but she did it in time. 

I reflected back that once upon a time, the glob of butter in her oatmeal was a desperate effort to squeeze more calories in. Now, it's a matter of course in addition to pie. According to the can of spaghettios, there are 2 servings. Certainly not a full serving for me and not enough for a normal 13yo, much less one refeeding and actively gaining weight. But I remembered the times where it would be a knockdown brawl to even get half a can in her.

But still, we are pushing to increase calories and variety and reduce the time taken. The fights are less frequent and less intense, but they are still there. I still brace myself for every meal and snack to get ready to be bigger than the disorder. To stay stoic in the face of whatever the new excuse will be. I try to remind myself of how bad it used to be, even though the same struggles are there. I sigh and wonder when she will be "better" and able to eat the amount she needs on her own without me watching her. I just take the little victories as they come and get one meal/bite down at a time, knowing that could be months or years away. Particularly with her still growing and needing more and more calories.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Candidates for research requiredOpen in a New Window

A female researcher based in the UK is looking for research candidates, 18+ years who became vegetarian/vegan prior to anorexia nervosa illness.  They can be recovered or with ongoing illness, still vegetarian/vegan or meat-eating now.

If any of you have loved ones who would be willing to participate, please contact me initially and I will put you in touch with the researcher.

All confidentiality and ethics around the research available for perusal in the research document.

Questions are provided, but the researcher would like telephone/Skype interview with candidates, lasting not longer than one hour.

Candidates can be of any nationality but must speak fluent English.

Thank you,


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Separating the child from the illnessOpen in a New Window

Please help me understand why my child fights this separation. She is adamant, a year and a half in, and WR, that it infuriates her when we point out that ED is doing something, not her. I thought she would be relieved that we know she's not behaving badly, ED is. She says it's condescending and belittling and it makes her very upset. I don't get it. Every resource tells us to separate the illness from the child. Are we doing it too overtly and it should be just in our heads and hearts, never verbalized? I feel like she needs to hear that whatever behaviour/word wasn't okay, but we know it's ED, so we understand. We try to explain that if she had done/said that and she didn't have an ED, she would be disciplined. Does that make sense? I don't feel like I'm being very articulate. I just don't understand why she wouldn't want to hear that she's not being nasty on occasion, ED is.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Re-feeding - the movieOpen in a New Window

Just one month after posting in desperation on ADTF, we have started re-feeding, on day 2.  We prepared ourselves as well as we could and plunged in.

The meals have been varied, some disconcertingly peaceful, but in between has been frightening, D is terrified and furious and in despair as she realises that we are serious.  It has been particularly awful at night.  Have already made some classic blunders (breakfast today, once we managed to get her up - she is 16 and on half term - she refused to eat the muesli, I negotiated and ended up cooking her an fried egg on toast IN FRONT OF HER aaaaaargh, never meant to do that, all disastrous, then she refused to sit at the table and sat in the corner beside the rabbit's litter tray with her back to us, ate it, stormed out, then I saw she had deposited the yolk on the floor.)

Lunchtime she went awol but surprisingly she texted to be collected 2.30 instead of staying out all afternoon (instead of 1pm, lunchtime), I went and got her and she ate her lunch in the car, though she threw the tomatos out of the window. 

later...supper-time, she refused to eat the pastry on her pie and squashed it all down and poured water all over it, so I made her a piece of toast to eat instead.  She poured lentils and water all over the floor, pulled books form the shelf.  She stuffed the toast whole into her mouth and tried to leave the room but my husband stood at the door, not restraining her but it had that kind of vibe.  She was pushing and kind of sobbing and my heart feels broken.  We let her out, she stormed upstairs to the bathroom, turned on all the taps, tried to get in (there is no lock), she screamed at me. I don't believe she has ever purged but it feels like she might start just to kind of punish us. 

How she hates us right now! I understand it is the anorexia hating us not her etc but... it's her too, right now.  So hard to bear.  So frightened of what she might do.  She has now left the house, in the dark.  Probably to go to the gym.  My husband has suggested I go out to a friends music event, which I will do. 

Lord have mercy.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Home support for meals UK?Open in a New Window

Hello all,

Does anyone know if there is any home support for meals available in the UK?  This is to help us with care for our 12 year old daughter who is not making progress under the FBT regime from our local ED centre.

They are on the point of offering "enhanced care pathway", which seems to mean us travelling to them for meals sometimes, but my daughter finds this so stressful that it ruins the meals on either side. So, she eats well at the centre, but then not at all at home before and afterwards.

I feel it would be more useful to us to have someone come and help at home for some meals.

This could be private; I was thinking of how you can get nursing support for elderly patients, and wouldn't it be good to be able to get access to mental health ED nurse for home visits.

Any ideas????



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


tired parent needing support from the isolationOpen in a New Window

Hi, I'm new to this forum but not new to ED and anxiety - my daughter has been struggling for four years now.  However I'm at the point where I just need to talk to people who 'get it', as I feel I have no-one to vent to in real life - people don't understand the challenges of ED and anxiety and as my daughter looks (to the unknowing) well and pretty and 'successful' they don't realise the grim reality underneath.  I haven't got a peer support network, my friends don't understand the true nature of this illness or how brutal it is on the caregivers.  So just needing some vent space and any tips or suggestions.  Quick summary - daughter is now 20.  First 12 months was restriction but then, after being threatened with removal from her school, became bulimia/EDNOS as she struggled to keep her weight high enough to stay at school. Accepted she had a problem, after 12 months of false starts we have an excellent doctor, and a psych she trusts (though I have no idea if she's any good - but at least my daughter is willing to keep going back to her).  Had a medical hospitalisation 18 months ago which traumatised her and she vowed never to go back - did really well and doctor was very happy for the next year but in the last three months she has started struggling again.  Add on to this severe anxiety - she sees this as a separate medical issue and believes it was the precursor to her ED, which I think is a fair assessment.  As she is now 20, I have less control than I did when she was at school, although she does still value my opinion even under the outbursts which are regular.  I have accepted that she must take control of her recovery and we are renegotiating, slowly, the support framework but it's tough.  I am trying to rethink my own 'recovery' as I have finally accepted the toll this awful illness has taken on me - anxiety levels sky high, ability to enjoy life and friends always compromised by daughter.  To make matters worse, she seems to the outside world normal and popular, but in truth has no real friends because of the walls the illness/anxiety builds, and so she relies on me to be her best friend/plus one at social occasions, weekends away etc. I feel like the outside world then sees me as the overbearing mother always with her daughter and I do worry if the amount of time we spend together is good (unconditional support and fun) or bad (dependence etc).  Anyway, would be interested in your stories, tips etc.  And I'm in Australia, I've contacted EDA about peer support but happy to have any other suggestions about finding peers locally who 'get it'. 


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Carers' Conference, March 10th in Glasgow, ScotlandOpen in a New Window

This years Carers' Conference which SEDIG, Scotland's national eating disorder charity, holds annually will be held in Jury's Inn in Glasgow.  Details can be found on the SEDIG website.  

There will be two streams, one for parents/carers of longer term sufferers and a second stream for parents/carers of younger children or who have only recently started on their journey.  There will be presentations from two of Scotland's leading experts in long term care and FBT, with workshops in the afternoon.

At £30 per head and £50 per couple, which includes lunch, the conference represents great value and gives an opportunity to get together with other parents/carers as well.

You don't have to live in Scotland to attend.  Bookings are being taken now, via the website.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers

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