Tuesday, November 29, 2011
We did allow our daughter to do sports while we were re-feeding as long as she gained 1.5 to 2 pounds a week.
In hindsight, I have to say I agree with Maria - it is like making a deal with the devil.
My d gained the weight, but the exercise slowed down her MENTAL recovery. It reinforced the brain pathways for compulsive and compensatory exercise that had been established by the ED while she was restricting.
She would literally come in from a three mile run and immediately ask to go ice skating, or be allowed to ride her bike to the library, or she would literally "bounce" around the house on this rubber ball style jump toy we had.
I thought the exercise would be a means of releasing anxiety, but it turned out that no amount of exercise was satisfying to ED. We finally stopped all sports and restricted other forms of movement towards the end of re-feeding, as those last 10 pounds required every trick in the book to get the weight on. -midwestmom
See more on the Role of Exercise
Monday, November 28, 2011
Last year for Thanksgiving I took my D on a trip to the beach. That was her first taste of feeling more comfortable in her new body but she had comorbid depression and had lost all her confidence in who she is, her abilities, and that she would ever have a life free of ED. After all, she'd had Ed living in her for over a decade.
Yesterday, my D and I had a wonderful meal at home and she said what she is thankful for is that I never gave up on her for both the AN recovery and finding the best treatment for ongoing depression/PTSD from early trauma.
She also told me that my encouragement of her tackling her fears, finding out who she is, what she wants, has helped her in developing confidence again. She always valued her intelligence but had forgotten about all her years of straight A's, her quest for learning new things, and that she is a valuable young woman.
Now she is her own best advocate at work, with peers, her boyfriend, and in identifying her future academic/career plans. She has been grieving all the lost years to this illness and finally sees that her future can be one that she has the opportunity to shape.
What a difference a year makes. - wenlow
See FEAST's "Defining Recovery" page for more information.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I have spoken to T (therapist) who will tell you that the illness (anorexia) is a biological brain disorder, etc. YET, will compromise on the rate of weight gain because it scares the living daylights out of the patients if they gain too fast.
Actually, the opposite is true. Given the all clear from a physician, the compassionate thing to do is bring up weight quickly not drag it on for months and months.
So, even if a T has the theory of the latest scientific findings, they can STILL be manipulated by the disorder. This frustrates me to no end. -Maria from the thread "Weight Restoration"
For more information see this Study: Rate of inpatient weight restoration predicts outcome in anorexia nervosa. (Improved outcomes were indicated at gains of over 0.8 kg/week, or 1.75lbs/week.)
Friday, November 25, 2011
I am so thankful for the turn-around my D has had in this past year. She went from despair after so many years of suffering from various EDs, to connecting with a new therapist in a way she has never done before, and believing that she can recover and actively working towards it. Yes, she has some crippling comorbid conditions and, as she describes it, totally out-of-whack brain circuitry, but she is working on that, too, and feeling positive.
The most important things I have learned over these years are that:
there is always hope
evidence-based treatment is always worth a try
there is so much variability in the human brain/mind/emotion/thinking that I wasn't aware of before
"normal" is so very precious a state
I never take any kind of health for granted - either mental or physical.
-AnnieK from the thread "So Thankful"
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Yup, no way around it, the Holidays are like waving big giant tarantulas in front of an arachnophobe and expecting them to be calm and happy!
I agree that lowering your expectations that the holiday can be like ones in the past is essential. Make it the best it can be, but it is probably best to keep it really simple and only invite those who are aware of the ED and how it manifests itself. Of course, expectations vary depending upon the stage the recover-er is in, but especially early on, low key is best.
Also, avoid all of the nonsense about not eating all day long, so you can feel comfortable eating a huge meal. Maintain a normal eating schedule, and don't expect your child to eat extra at the main meal, as many do on Thanksgiving. Think about better Holidays ahead without ED.
-cheryls from the thread "Holidays....any suggestions?"