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Why I Am Thankful to F.E.A.S.T.

By Jenni Gaines

It’s a blur-the very beginning of my daughter’s eating disorder. The traumatic moments stand out as things I can’t forget. The kinder and gentler moments stand out as things I want to remember.

Something that I will remember, although I don’t recall the exact moment I found it, is F.E.A.S.T. It has become embedded in my memory in a hindsight kind-of-way that grows in significance over time. To describe what F.E.A.S.T. feels like to me 5 years into my daughter’s eating disorder journey, I would say that F.E.A.S.T. is warmth. The F.E.A.S.T. volunteers and the resources they provide are like a glowing light at the end of a very dark and a very cold corridor. I am grateful to F.E.A.S.T. for lighting what can be a very dark path for parents of those with eating disorders. 

Thank you, F.E.A.S.T., for generously giving of your experience to help me shape my approach.

Thank you for letting me borrow some of your confidence in my ability.

Thank you for the knowledge you provided in the form of trustworthy resources.

Thank you for your honesty when I needed to hear the toughest things.

Thank you for your humor, even on the hardest days.

Thank you for your resilience, your courage, and your strength.

Thank you for being the community I couldn’t find. 

Thank you for showing me abundant humanity in a scarce time.

There is something very special about a united group of warrior-parents who stood beside their kids through their eating disorders and have decided to support other parents on the same journey. These are tough moms and dads who are tender in all the right places. F.E.A.S.T. knows how to manage raw emotion and stay steady for those of us turning to them when we feel vulnerable. What a great feeling to find F.E.A.S.T. and know that everyone understands exactly what I’m going through! 

I am eternally grateful for the immediate community I found in F.E.A.S.T. The volunteers at F.E.A.S.T. showed me that informed and empowered parents make a difference. I appreciate F.E.A.S.T. for going beyond providing practical information to help parents of those with eating disorders. F.E.A.S.T. also offers personal and powerful support in a compassionate and respectful way. Thank you to all who have collaborated and contributed to make F.E.A.S.T. such a dependable fuel for parents to keep going and to keep believing. When I think about how well my daughter is doing today, I am immensely thankful to F.E.A.S.T. for lighting the way.

Are you thankful to F.E.A.S.T? Please tell us what F.E.A.S.T. means to you and why you are thankful for F.E.A.S.T! You can reach us at #givethanks2FEAST


  1. Katy

    Hear hear. I am still in the thick of the battle with my daughter, but I feel FEAST is holding my hand every step of the way, and is particularly good at helping me back on my feet after the many knocks. I can’t thank all the volunteers enough.

  2. Jenny

    So very true, the place to turn when no one; not your doctor, therapist, sometimes not even your spouse can help you through the turmoil. This is the safe place. Thanks to you all! <3

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