National Eating Disorders Association

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Why are last pounds so difficult to gain?

Hello I am a new parent but have been following this forum and finding great help in it since my daughter now 18 was diagnosed with anorexia two years ago. She has recovered all weight but her therapist and nutritionist want an extra push of a few pounds to have her well in range and stay there so that menses finally arrives. It's been EXTREMELY HARD but we have managed to come this far but these last few pounds are proving to be impossible. We are following very rigorously a high calory meal plan (and no exercise) and couldn't understand why she didn't gain anything and just stayed at bottom of range until she acknowledged today that she's walking as much as possible to compensate the extra calory intake. Why are these last few pounds so difficult to gain and what does it take to finally get rid of this horrible ED? Her ED lashed out big time at dinner. Something that hadn't happened in a while.....Thank you for any advise.....


Hi Lorena -

Welcome to this forum. I'm glad that you've already found it helpful, and that you've decided to become a poster in your search for advice in how to finally bury the ED. As you certainly already know, ED's are very, very stubborn and can maintain a foothold in places you don't initially see it. It sounds like you're daughter was managing to comply with the nutrition piece but had figured out she could undermine the weight gain that might otherwise lead to by engaging in surreptitious exercise. Maybe your daughter really isn't yet comfortable with the weight goal you her treatment professionals have set. I'm afraid that as I lay person, I don't have any advice for solving the problem. But I would like to suggest that she discuss this exercise abuse (not sure what else to call it) with the therapist. Maybe together they can get to a point of real commitment to the exercise restriction. In any case, I think the therapist needs to know that this is going on so that they can continue their work together to eliminate the roots of the ED. Please keep posting and letting us know how things progress.

Thank you last pounds so difficult

Thank you for your reply. Indeed the ED finds loopholes wherever it can. Therapist and nutritionist have been informed. The funny thing is that the day after I couldn't find a way forward, we had a serious conversation w my daughter regarding how all her ambitions will be blocked if she doesn't fully recover and stay there (college etc) and she seems to have " surrendered " in a way and is following the very ambitious meal program w serenity and maturity. That is as of now...... I cross all my fingers and eyelashes.....