What I know now, that I wish I knew then.....

Critical advice and feedback from parents looking back to the start of their recovery journey with their children.

There is no easy way to say this, and I think being direct is the only way.

This is serious. It will change your life. This will be hard.

Don’t wait for expert advice, you need to feed your child, and you need to start now.

3 meals, 3 snacks, every day. It is not negotiable.

Weight loss is not just fat loss. It is also heart, brain, liver, muscle loss.

As a teenager grows taller we should see 1-2kg for every cm in height.

Brains keep developing until we are about 25 years old.

A malnourished brain gets stuck and becomes more rigid and anxious.

Eating disorders are dangerous and hard to treat.

Food is the medicine= but the medicine is scary.

What I wish I knew that I know now…..

Words from parents.

  • Take it seriously.

  • Trust your intuition

  • Start today right now do not leave it until "later"

  • I was worried that I would get fat by eating more and supporting my son, but I realised there was no other way, I just had to let go of my own internal battle to help my son, and his recovery helped my own.

  • Consistency is one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox

  • Knowledge up-use the resources out there to understand what is going on

  • Advocate hard

  • Trust your gut.

  • Create a plan and stick to it.

  • Join the Facebook Eating Disorders Support groups you will need the support

  • Understand this is a LONG journey and you need resilience to survive so take care of yourself along the way

  • Share with other parents, try to create a local support group in your region

  • I didn't know how much of my own disordered eating was showing up in my daughter.

  • Separating the ED from your child is huge,

  • Staying united as the ED divides families

  • Patience - try not to get angry, caregivers need to look after themselves, and never trust the ED,

  • The lies that rolled off our daughter's tongue constantly were mind blowing when we knew she would not lie normally.

  • Also there is not a quick fix, when our daughter was diagnosed we said right we will take a couple of weeks off work and nip this in the bud - 9 months later…

  • It’s not a choice to have an ED.

  • It scares me the amount of food my daughter needed to eat, and my fear projected onto her, and that stalled her re-feeding process.

  • Try to be as normal as possible, we let the ED rule our household, we stopped going out, eating yummy food, as my daughter became more and more controlling. Believe me when I say, it does not stop, there is no end point to the ED voice, you need to be stronger that ED and get back to normal eating so you can role model.

  • I went on a weight loss challenge with my daughter, I had no idea that it would trigger my daughters ED.

  • It is hard to know if and when to pull your child out of school/sports, less time at school means more time for ED to get loud, but it is hard to monitor the eating at school, especially with Covid restrictions.

Thanks for the parents who contributed to this.

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