Monday, 8 March 2010

Running and triggers

Many thanks to Katilexis and to Jennifer for their insightful comments regarding my last posts.'s very tricky - I have been running nearly all of my life, and increasingly over the last 4 years as the children have grown old enough to leave for periods of time. It is part of who I am and I would find it difficult to give up lightly... I am booked up for one triathlon already in the spring and am planning a second.

I have taken on board their advice that my running could well be triggering to Waif, and they are right that her health is my topmost priority. BUT, and this is a big but, I am not sure it is right to subsume my whole life to Waif's illness, and also the healthy wellbeing of the rest of the family - should I stop my husband from cycling, and prevent my other daughter from pursuing ice skating?

We have always been a sporting family; exercise is important to health just as much (or nearly) as being a healthy weight. In my ideal world, this time next year Waif will be in the normal weight range and enjoying a normal range of sports. She is very good at running, incidentally, and loves her tennis and swimming. Yes, she will need to eat more than children who do not exercise as much but I think of it as helping her to develop a healthy appetite and a love and respect for her body with its healthy musculature, rather than a desire to starve it. I want her to view her body as something that enables her to live life to the full - like a machine that she treats with respect - and not something that has to be stick thin to attract praise. Her body is not there for others but for herself.

I have told Waif that if she has not put on weight today then sport will stop until she is managing to regain weight. In the meantime, I let her run the 2k yesterday - the whole event was a day out for the family. My H and I ran the 10k, as did some of our best friends and their children were all in the 2k. We then had a big slap up meal at one of their houses. It would have been difficult/ embarrassing for Waif not to run and it would have been harsh to stop her. She ran a very good race and we will be getting the results soon. She was proud of herself.

Katie and Jennifer: I have not completely ignored your points of view! I am going to talk to the psych at the Maudsley this afternoon and get her views. Hopefully, we will also be able to ask Waif whether the exercise is triggering. And I am taking your advice on skipping meals and not do it - although I am going to stop having the chocolate bars (which I dislike anyway) that I eat to keep Waif company. I shall explain to her that she needs to eat enough to gain weight whereas I simply need to maintain my own - and explain that her diet sheet will change once she is healthy again. It must be important for Waif to stop seeing eating and weight as some sort of competition and instead to see eating as a pleasure and a way of staying healthy and feeling good, strong and full of vitality. Having said that, I really will check this out with the Maudsley this afternoon.

Meantime, Waif has hacked into my husband's restaurant booking account and booked a very expensive restaurant for the family on Mother's Day. She has simply blocked out the diary putting "Don't book anything - trust me". What a sweetheart even if she shouldn't be using H's account! I only found out as the restaurant phoned to confirm.

Please, please keep your fingers crossed for our Maudsley weigh-in this afternoon. H is certain she has not put on weight.

I have 3 things to ask:

1. What does the psych think about my running.
2. Can we increase the diet sheet to include eggs and/or rice pudding at least on weekend mornings, as the rest of us often have a cooked breakfast whereas Waif is just eating 2 pieces of dry toast.
3. What does the psych think of Waif always wanting to buy and eat ready meals (with calories printed on the sides of the boxes) rather than eating home-cooked family meals with the rest of us. I don't really mind but note that it is not normal behaviour. Perhaps it is a phase whilst Waif needs to count calories to feel in control.

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