« Eating Disorder Chronicles: Sometimes Laughter IS the Best Medicine | Main | Eating Disorder Chronicles: Armchair Psychoanalysis »

March 06, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


So many thoughts swirl with each post, but they all land in the same place: that I'm glad you guys have each other, as the no-nonsense servings of love that you detail in your posts are so heartening.

I had not known about the baking tendency/symptom with eating disorders. But it makes such sense. I was talking to my husband about all this yesterday, and his first response was, "Like your sister deciding at Christmas that she'd send everyone gifts of all the food she wants to eat but won't let herself...so she decided it would feel like she was eating it herself if she knew people she loves were doing it for her?" And I went, "Yea. YEA. Exactly like that, with my sister who has big food issues that wax and wane." She sent us a big Chicago-style cheesecake in three different flavors.

The other distressing part of these symptoms is the reality that many women would view SB's daily diet as a pretty darn healthy one, not knowing enough to see the lack of essential nutrients and a baseline of calories and fat. As well, I see from yesterday's photo that she looks like mainstream America's ideal--like a whole bunch of my students, for example. So much of our larger culture has gotten skewed, in terms of its perceptions, that even extreme thinness is no longer a warning sign.


Your family seems to be on the right track with helping each other with the healing. How wonderful that laughter is part of your healing process. Is there any correlation with the timing of SB being the only child left in the house?

Little Miss Sunshine State

When a girl you have nicknamed Social Butterfly doesn't want to socialize? That must have sent up some red flags.


You are BOTH doing a great job at fighting this war. I admire your courage, honesty and love that you show toward each other.

gary rith

oh man.... wow, what a story

Jen on the Edge

I've always known you are a fabulous, hands-on parent, but your quick observation of and reaction to SB's eating disorder and the way you handled things puts at the top of my list of world's greatest moms. Most of us would not have been so on top of things.

Busy Bee Suz

I too am amazed at how quickly this began and got to where it did.
Again, so glad she has such smart and intuitive people surrounding her...I can see why so many people get so deeply into this; what with a distracted family at home... Isn't that so common these days?

And again....I'm glad to learn of these signs, this is all eye opening to me as well.


I know this won't be a popular comment but I thought she looked wonderful in the pic you posted of her and her Dad. I didn't think she looked too thin and WAS envious of that killer body. And yes, models ARE 10 pounds lighter!

I'm 5'6" and so is my sister and we were both 105 lbs in our late teens. Unfortunately the 20's puts on the pounds (and then they mercifully go away as you age) and we both missed being so thin.

America has become a fat country, the fattest in the world. I grew up in an era when we were all thin. We had one fat mom in a 20 mile radius and she stood out like a sore thumb. We always felt bad for her kids, one of whom is my age. That girl today is now as fat as her mom was!

I hope this is just a phase for SB and that therapy will out whatever is bothering her.

Karen (formerly kcinnova)

I continue to be amazed at how quickly this ED showed itself. Four weeks. Wow. And as Busy Bee Suz wrote, in a family with many distractions and less communication, this could have gotten much worse before being discovered. I've wondered why I didn't go this route (and wished on occasion to be bulimic, oh the demons rear their ugly heads!) and the genetic predisposition is the only answer that makes any sense to me.

Your SB always had a healthy athletic look about her. In the picture taken with her dad the other day, she had lost that athletic look. I long to see that look again. With your support and the great care with which she is being surrounded, I am confident that SB will again be the vibrant picture of active health.


This is so interesting to watch as you chronicle it. I appreciate that you and she are sharing this information. I lived with a woman in college who was bulimic and it was devastating to see what it to her. She is healthy now, 30 years later, thank goodness. By sharing your story it can help save lives.


Everything har already been said - but you might want to visit my blog to see what my penny's worth is...


Oh, and Karen (kcinnova) said just what I wanted to say, but I was too chicken.
"...SB always had a healthy athletic look about her. In the picture taken with her dad the other day, she had lost that athletic look. I long to see that look again..."


I had not thought about the baking thing because, of course, we would eat what we baked and she wasn't apparently.

When I was in HS I ate very much like she did but I did it so I could feel "normal" when I socialized. I wanted to be able to go out for a Coke (pre-diet soda days) and fries or whatever with friends but keep my weight down. When I tried to go out and not eat it was not acceptable to friends - so I understand why she wasn't going out.

But, wow, 4 weeks seems so fast - good thing you are such a vigilant mom.


4 weeks. wow. you're to be commended for how observant and in tune with her you are. she's a lucky girl with you as her mama.

Cassi Renee

It's interesting to me the distress it caused SB when you and the doctor tried to have her eat the way she did before she started that initial diet. How our brains change.

When I have dieted, it has always been obsessive: I'd eat the same thing for each meal, each day. But somehow that restriction didn't lead me to successively more restrictions --that just goes to show how this is a disease, and like alcoholism, some gene combinations will be susceptible and others won't.


I haven't been around for a couple days, but I've been thinking of all of you. I'm so glad you caught this early, and that she has such a great support system and parents who communicate with love and laughter.

Green Girl In Wisconsin

It sounds like your doctor has been a fantastic resource during all of this, too. I'm so glad you guys are holding her up during this time.

Aunt Snow

I am surprised about the baking thing, too. That's fascinating. My son, who's now 23, was such a "narrow band" eater as a child that we feared for his health, and he only started broadening his menu after getting interested in cooking.

I wonder if there's something about gaining mastery over food that works both to the benefit and to the detriment?

JCK (Motherscribe)

SB is so lucky to have you, Jen. You not only tackled this with loving care, but your obvious research and hunger for answers shows in every post.

I wasn't aware of the baking thing, but it makes complete sense to me.


Wow. I am so glad that you are all so with-it and aware and that things haven't yet developed to the point of actual anorexia. I'm also glad that you're writing about it. I've learned quite a few things about eating disorders in he last few minutes that I've been reading.

My best friend in high school had bulimia. He was 5'8 and got down to 90 pounds. I had no clue! Luckily, his parents did though.

With all of this going on, you have still had time to kick my ass time and time again in Words With Friends!


Great post with lots of improatnt stuff.

shrink on the couch

Four weeks, really? Wow. Wow. Wow. Had no idea it can develop so fast.

I remember you mentioning the social withdrawal and that was shocking to me... me who doesn't know her but has teens who would die rather than spend an evening with we "awk" parents.

Thanks for this list and the link. Will keep this in mind. I have occasionally wondered with one of mine.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

A Cause that is Near and Dear to my Heart

  • A Cause that is Near and Dear to my Heart--Please click!

email and flickr

Cast of Characters

  • Danger Boy
    20 years old, plays water polo for Gannon University in Erie, PA. He's the strong, silent type. Studying PoliSci.
  • Grown-up Girl
    Dr. GrownUp Girl is happily home after finishing pharmacy school in Chicago. Busy building a post-student life with Dr. GrownUp Guy.
  • GrownUp Guy
    GrownUp Girl's husband and a most-excellent son-in-law. Oh yeah, he's Dr. GrownUp Guy, PharmD.
  • Mr. Fix-it
    Husband and father extraordinaire. He is gone more than he is home, but all his frequent-flyer miles keep this big family connected.
  • MVP
    23 years old, graduate of Colorado State Fort Collins with a major in Wildlife Biology and a minor in sustainability. He lives in FoCo with his girlfriend, Mandy, and their dog Rosy.
  • Social Butterfly
    18 years old, attends Northern Arizona University, majoring in psychology. She's my snuggle bug.

Blog Designed by:

  • Photobucket


  • Google Analytics
Blog powered by Typepad

BOSSY'S No-Book Tour

  • I am on Bossy’s (No) Book Tour