Friday, 4 September 2009

second day of term, slipping already :-(

I put a croissant and a hot chocolate on the table for Waif at 6.30 this morning. She announced that she no longer likes hot chocolate and wanted a bowl of bran flakes not a croissant. I told her that she had to eat TWO things for breakfast, not one, so she said she would have the bran flakes and an apple juice. I saw her pouring a medium small bowl of flakes and then carefully replace half of them back in the box. When I turned around she put her apple juice carton into the recycling. There was something about it that made me go and check. The carton was still full. I called her back to the table and insisted that she drank it and told her that she relaly must eat TWICE as much as she is currently doing.

I asked Waif what snack she would like to take in for morning recreation. She said that she had already packed biscuits in her bag. Only yesterday she told me that I had to trust her so I did. But older daughter called me into the other room and told me that Waif had packed only ONE small biscuit. I checked. It was true. I put two more in and told Waif that she must eat them AND eat lunch. SIgh, I am not sure if the biscuits are a good idea. I believe that sometimes when Waif eats smething she perceives as a "bad" food (biscuits, chocolate, sweets, pudding) then she tries to make up for it later by skipping a meal. She would be better off with the meals. Next week I shall send her off with healthier snacks eg tuna sandwich or cheese.

Waif has a rollerblading party after school today. I have not yet got to the stage where I am banning her from going out but am seriously worried that she will not eat any food today beyond the bowl of bran flakes. I am going to weigh her on her return (yes, I know it has only been 2 days since I last weighed her) and if she has lost a kg or more since Wednesday then I plan to ground her from after school activities next week so that at least I can supervise a snack at 5pm and supper at 7.30pm.


  1. Hope,
    My long experience tells me that you can't trust the eating disorder. And that's who's in charge right now--the anorexia, not Waif herself.

    The heart of the Maudsley method is empowering parents to take charge of their child's eating. There are no magic answers there. You must do this, now, for Waif's sake.

    I've also learned that giving someone with anorexia a choice about what to eat or how much puts them in a terrible bind. The part of them that wants to get well--and there is such a part, even if you can't see it right now--can't prevail against the ED. Choices, I've come to believe very strongly, are cruel.

    And talking, I've learned, is pointless, at least when it comes to talking about food. Serve Waif matter of factly what she needs to eat. Have consequences for what happens if she doesn't-consequences you're prepared to follow through with, like not going to school, not taking a shower, not talking on the phone, no computer time-whatever it is that she enjoys. You're fighting for her life.

    Email me privately if I can be of any help--harriet at harrietbrown dot com. Hang in there.


  2. Harriet, thank you so much for your comment. It all makes immense sense, especially the choice part. I will mail you, if I may, once I have collected my thoughts.