Saturday 23 July 2011

A virtually ED-free holiday, all in all, and 1kg heavier...

Back home - and I am very pleased about how the week has gone. The eating disorder was virtually absent; the only way you might guess something wasn't quite normal was that Ben was counting calories and I was keeping a discreetly watchful eye on things. Also, Ben is still quite thin. But he IS 1kg heavier than when I last weighed him 2 weeks ago. Compare this to last year when we returned from France having taken CAMHS' advice and "ignored" the eating disorder and "taken a holiday" from calorie counting. Ha ha ha ha, I KNEW I was right all along when my gut instinct screamed that was completely the wrong route to take...

Why didn't I simply disregard CAMHS' advice back then? Because the decision had been made in front of Ben and there was 2 x CAMHS professionals and Ben versus me, "Big Bad Mum"...

Anyway, back to this week's holiday where I managed things MY way and it worked. Our Contract came with us and we continued to do "points" every evening. To save money and make things easier, we had picnic lunches every day. But this lunchtime, Ben opted for the "unknown quantity": a jacket potato with butter and beans at a National Trust restaurant. I was a bit nervous when the jacket potato took ages to arrive and wasn't that brilliant when it did. In the past Ben might have thrown a wobbly and refused to eat it - especially when he found out they'd put butter on it. Today he was just like a normal "starving" teenage boy who wanted his lunch, was fed up with waiting and ate every morsel despite the fact it had obviously been baked earlier and re-heated.

Compare this to lunch at a wonderful country inn on the way to Portsmouth (en route to France) last year. When the meal arrived,  Ben threw a wobbly, refused to eat it because the fish burger had been fried. In the end he swapped it with his Dad's meal (something he did quite a bit last summer...). It was the only way he would eat anything. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. And that was only the start of the holiday-from-hell where Ben lost a considerable amount of weight and the eating disordered behaviour ran wild.

Unfortunately, with an eating disorder, and until you are recovered from that eating disorder, you can't take a "holiday" from the food management side of it. You have to persevere with the Eating Plan, just as you would at home. Sure you can "guestimate" food that doesn't feature a calorie count, but last week we always agreed on the "guestimation" to ensure Ben wasn't tempted to "over-guestimate".

What you CAN take a holiday from, at this stage of recovery, is all the nasty side of the eating disorder - the stuff that completely ruined our holiday last summer.

I am thrilled that we have had a very successful week's holiday, without any tension, resistance, depression, angst or whatever. Apart from the usual teenage stuff, but that's only to be expected with a 17 year old. And you can tell when it's teenage stuff and not ED-stuff.

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