Everything was going smoothly as regards me explaining The Plan to Ben yesterday lunchtime when - ROAR! - in comes a huge Sherman Tank in the form of my husband who began to say a ton of stuff that was probably best not said right there and then. Or not said at all, probably. Result? Lots of yelling and crying.
Thankfully, things calmed down after a while. But it has meant having to make a slight compromise on the calories front which I have agreed to do for ONE WEEK ONLY, weighing on Saturday to see how things are going.
The agreement is that if he hasn't put on at least 0.5kg by Saturday then we go up to the original calorie total I wanted.
I have told Ben what (minimum) weight he needs to be by the end of June in order to get the go-ahead for university. If he doesn't achieve it, then we'll take another year off. Ben is uber keen to go to university in September and I believe this is proving an excellent incentive for him to work towards this weight gain. We need to make the decision then because of applying for accommodation.
I have also explained why, now that he is older and young males' BMIs need to increase with age, this week's weight loss could quite easily put him back into the "danger zone" if he isn't careful. I explained how easy it is for the anorexia thoughts to creep back in and said I refuse to let this happen.
He is refusing to let it happen, too. The last thing in the universe he wants is for the ED to creep back in and steal more of his life.
In an ideal world I'd want him to throw caution to the wind and say: "Sure, I'll pig out to ensure I put those kilos on as soon as possible, no problem!" But the fact is that he still finds it hard to increase his calories by a high amount in one go. "It would make me extremely anxious and I'm worried it might trigger a relapse," he said to me.
And a 0.5kg average weekly increase (which he already knows is what the NICE guidelines say) is just about manageable for him. Crazily, if he increased by, say 1kg, in one week, even though he needs to put on 4 or 5 kilos by the end of June to get where I believe he should be on the charts for his height, age and build, this would prove too much for him to handle. Absurdly he is still terrified of spiralling out of control and getting obese.
But Mama Matty will intervene if we ever, even after a couple of weeks, end up in a situation where he increases by 0.5 one week, then decreases by slightly more the next, and so on and so forth. Like he did during that crazy year at CAMHS.
It is so very frustrating that he still thinks like this four years after the eating disorder began to emerge.
But I still have a load of leverage tools in my bag which, because of my husband's Sherman Tank, I never managed to discuss.
And I will be bringing the Contract back to the forefront of things for the next month or so.