Monday, 21 February 2011


I took Waif to the orthodontist today.   Her teeth are as crooked as a sevenpenny piece and she has a horrendous bite.  I had told her that there was no way she could havebraces until she was a proper weight.  Her current target (95% of her recommended weight for age/height) is 51.5kg.  At her last weigh-in she was 47kg on the nose.

Anyway, she has been eating brilliantly for the last day or two.  She made me proud yesterday by having GRAVY on her roast potatoes which is something she has not done for 2 years.  Her older sister said, not unreasonably as Waif has spent 2 years saying so,  "I thought you didn't like gravy" and Waif flatly retorted that she did, like it was a known world fact.

Anyway, I had told Waif last week that she needed to be 47.5kg for today's appointment but didn't push the point, and although I asked her a couple of times if she had weighed herself and if she was 47.5kg, she chose not to give me a straight answer and I still took her to the appointment thinking that this was not the final crunch point.  But the upshot is that I have coughed up a few thousand pounds and the braces are due to be put on on 31 March.

Waif looks well now: although still thin, her skin is glowing and she has a liveliness and spirit back.  The psych was immensely reassured that Waif's periods have started and is now much more relaxed which has rubbed off onto me a little. big dilemma is whether I stick to demanding 51.5kg by 31st March (which seems a very tall order and one that could cause conflict) or settle for continued slow weight gain, and I won't even cross the bridge of her simply maintaining 47kg as that is not in any of my acceptable world views.  My inclination is to be happy with normal, varied eating and a steady gain even if she doesn't make the 51.5kg figure but I do want to lay down a marker in the sand right NOW so that I can forewarn Waif and also make myself stick to it by reading back this post.  Perhaps 48.5kg??

Meantime, I am training hard for the London Marathon but weigh more than I have ever weighed really......I am 10lbs (4kg) heavier than pre-Maudsley and this is not good for a fast time!!!  In my ideal world I would do sub 4 hours but at current weight, I reckon it will be closer to 4h25.   Basically, I am secretly aiming to get DOWN to 51kg whilst I want Waif to get UP to it.  I am 4cm smaller than her so it would not be too thin for me, but just right.  However, I am not sure if I should be open about this and explain that I am NOT having pudding because I am trying to LOSE weight but that waif MUST have pudding because she needs to GAIN weight, or whether that would be a trigger for her.  Obviously, her health comes first but I can't stop my own life impinging a little (I am not perfect).

In all this, I can't keep from feeling such utter relief that my current dilemmas are not of the same order of magnitude or worry as those of a year ago.  We are lucky.


  1. Ended up reading your entire blog (since I'm writing a novella about eating disorders). Great read, shame you and your family have had to go through this. You've done admirably and I'm glad you're on the home straight now (hopefully).

    Dilemma 1: I don't know if Waif's susceptible to bribery and corruption, but if so, I would suggest promising some sort of reward / privilege proportional to how much weight she gains by 31st March (or whenever). That way, she's got incentive to gain more, but there should be less stress if it doesn't work.

    Dilemma 2: Although you certainly deserve the right to be in the shape you want and Waif may buy your logic, I think it's a really bad idea to let her know: triggering aside, given that you're older than her, she may see fit to be somewhat lighter than you (as teenagers are generally lighter than their mothers). I would recommend eating the same as she does in her presence and exercising and choosing healthier meals when she's not around, and not letting her know your weight.

    Just out of curiosity, is it normal amongst your age group to use kilograms and metres? I'm 29 and British and although I learnt about them at primary school, I switched to stones and feet as soon as I was capable, so my parents and their generation knew what I was talking about.

  2. Ok, I am happy that things are going well and that Waif is maintaining and hopefully slowly gaining.
    As someone who is now "almost" in recovery, after a loooong time with severe anorexia, I would still be, perhaps wrongly, upset and extremely triggered if someone in my family told me they were aiming to lose weight when not overweight in the first place, while my whole life has been taken up battling this illness!!
    If you really feel you have to lose down to 51kgs, I would NOT TELL Waif, despite it being a lie, I cannot see how it could possibly NOT affect her badly.