Friday 21 April 2017

"Nearly at target weight but mindset is way off... what now?" My 3rd post from March 2010 on the ATDT parents' forum.

One of the first things I did, when we found ourselves sitting in front of our local CAMHS team all those months into my son's escalating anorexia, was to ask if we'd be given an Eating Plan. This was met with some surprise, but in the end the nurse rooted around in her briefcase and pulled out a 'typical eating plan'. It was entitled Eating Plan 6 (I've no idea how it differed from numbers 1 - 5). Rightly or wrongly, yet desperate for my son to put on weight, I embraced Eating Plan 6 with a vengeance and did my best to implement it. But without any support, indeed CAMHS were quite resistant to what became known as 'Mum's Eating Plan', it was never going to work. My son refused to eat anything on the Plan, so I found myself having to tweak Eating Plan 6 considerably. But I did manage to get some weight onto my son during those early months with CAMHS. In late March 2009, I posted the following on the Around The Dinner Table Forum, asking the question: Nearly at target weight but mindset is way off... what now?

My son has sneaked through into the "healthy BMI" range and for the first time for MONTHS actually looks pretty normal (if still quite thin). (Thankfully he never got lower than XXX BMI at any one point on this horrible journey...)

The trouble is... his mindset is way, way off "healthy" as you'll see from my other posts... which means we're faced with a new "demon" as all the previous "you must eat to put on weight" stuff becomes obsolete and he panics that he's about to spiral out of control and become a complete blob.

It also makes it masses harder to make him eat anything with fat in it. ("I've put on weight WITHOUT eating fats so why should I eat fats now?" blah blah blah)

It also means we have more "poky / proddy" and looking in mirror sessions than ever as he develops "rolls of fat" on his belly almost by the minute not to mention umpteen "double chins" etc etc etc as he becomes convinced we are dead set on transforming him into Michelin Man like some kind of warped child abuse...


Already the dietitian at CAMHS has become the "goodie" and mum's enemy because "she says I've reached my ideal weight"... unfortunately the psych, too ("Congratulations!" says the psych, all smiles, "Your weight is healthy again!") How can mum's instinct be right when "the professionals" imply he's virtually there... hey...

Every pound gained results in mum's life being made hell on the drive back home. But to our dietician's credit, she did talk about the w/r where your weight kind of settles. I don't believe we are there yet, but she obviously thinks we're much closer than I do. Conflict isn't good - and my son is sure to take her side, not mine.
This was a really tricky period for me and I was desperate for the professionals to be behind me. Yet because they were kind of sitting on the fence as regards putting on weight, I wasn't sure whether or not I was doing the right thing.

On the one hand I had them - the CAMHS team - feeling strongly that my son wasn't too bad, weight-wise, and that it was his mind that needed attention, not his body. On the other hand, I had my new friends on the ATDT forum, along with the books I was reading, saying that 'Food is medicine' and I needed to get my son back to his pre-eating disorder weight with a balanced diet that would assist his brain in recovering.

With such polar opposites when it came to views on eating disorder treatment and a son who appeared to have completely lost the plot, I simply didn't know who was right or what I should do next.

What I did know, however, was that 'the anorexia demon' (as I'd begun to refer to it) was gleefully siding with the people who weren't insisting that my son eat and put on weight.

It was around this point that I began to think of myself as 'Big Bad Mum' and Eating Plan 6 as 'Mum's Eating Plan'.

And, as you'll know if you've read my book Please Eat..., Mum's Eating Plan was about to be ditched in dramatic form...

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