I've been mulling over the problem of H's family's haphazard attitude to mealtimes coupled with the problem of not being at home with our usual Eating Plan this weekend and this is the Plan I propose to put forward to Ben:
That we take the breakfast and pudding ingredients with us (cereal, bread, jam, cake, biscuits, etc). This way we know approx how much he should be having for lunch and evening meal. If it's lunchtime and no move is made by the family to eat, we will head to the supermarket and pick up a sandwich or similar. In the evening Ben will eat the equivalent of our usual evening meal (which will hopefully take place!!) (+ the porta-pud).
On the journey there we will stop off for lunch at a service station M&S so Ben gets his calories; ditto on the return journey.
Hopefully this should solve the problem of Ben reducing his intake over the weekend and losing weight.
And, in the event that he does lose weight, we have agreed that 'remedial measures' will be taken in terms of adding calories to the Contract.
Providing Ben agrees...
Post script: He won't play ball...
So Plan C (agreed with Ben) is to weigh him before we go and when we return. If he's lost weight during this time then we will increase the calories in the run up to the CAMHS weigh-in session on the Friday.
Balls. That's the trouble with this illness - what seems like a logical solution to a problem actually isn't, in practice. Sometimes 'thinking creatively' helps, but other times it doesn't.
You might wonder why I don't just put my foot down and enforce this. But I know from experience that this doesn't work with Ben; it can actually have the reverse effect - and ED angst is the last thing we want in a household charged with negative emotion this weekend.
Boy, people who claim to be 'excellent problem solvers' on job application forms have nothing on the experience of a parent of an anorexic teenager. You become an expert at finding practical, workable solutions for the most complex and unsolvable problems only to find they don't work in practice due to the illogical nature of eating disorder thinking...
Ben has promised to ensure he has sufficient to eat in any one day. As this is quite vague, I will be ultra-vigilant and meanwhile will try to think of other solutions. Suggestions welcome...
To 'normal' people I might sound as if I'm making a massive mountain range out of a tiny molehill, but, from experience, I know how quickly an anorexic can lose weight, how potentially dangerous this can be and how many calories they need to have to prevent this from happening - and, believe me, it's A LOT.