Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You can't keep a good girl down

Sunday went fairly well for DJ, as well as for Bulldog and me.  She slept in until a luxurious 8 in the morning and followed that with a good breakfast.  Timely mealtimes and snacktimes are a requirement for her program.  The goal is to gain weight in a healthy manner so as to encourage healthy eating habits even when her weight has reached a healthy weight.

We are changing many of our habits to accommodate DJ, which really will benefit us, as well. For instance, I tend to wolf down my food.  This is not good for anyone because it takes roughly 20 minutes for our stomachs to tell our brains that we feel full.  If we eat quickly, we will eat again, and again, sheesh, and again, until we hit that 20 minute mark, at which point we may have eaten double or triple the amount required to actually feel full.  When I eat with DJ, however, I am aware that she is uncomfortable if she is still eating after we have finished.  Consequently, I have slowed down my eating so that we are at the table for roughly the same amount of time.  Maybe I'll drop a few pounds in the process since I am also avoiding helping myself to seconds, or, I can be a glutton.

Also, DJ's program advocates paying attention to portion size and eating from the various food groups.  Bulldog informed me the other morning that DJ informed him an apple in the morning will make a person feel more alert than a cup of coffee.

 "That's nice, " I replied, "but will it do anything for the headache that will follow when I don't have my cup(s) of coffee?"

"No, but you just have to withdraw from the caffeine," Bulldog replied.

"No way.  I tried that once and it's just not worth it."

Anyway, Bulldog has now discovered apples.  This is hilarious because it's like he's stumbled across buried treasure that's been right under his nose these past (nearly) 50 years.  The man doesn't really like fruit, until recently, unless it's slathered across a cheesecake or baked into a pie.  Oh wait, he will eat fruit in its raw form if it's part of banana split.  But DJ's healthy eating habits rubbing off on her parents,  is a good thing for her two aging parents.

DJ's outing with her friend was a bit of a letdown for both of them, I think.  I suspect each of them had expectations of the other that weren't cemented in what was realistic.  They are so young, and naturally a bit immature, so they are fearful that this could signal a problem with their friendship.  Both Sister Chromatid's mother and I are encouraging our daughters to ride it out. They have each been through some tough times lately, and often, given a little space, friendships can rebound from disappointment just fine.

DJ is finding more and more activities that she wants to explore to keep her hands and mind busy when she is not engaged in a finite pursuit of something.  Mimi will be thrilled to know that DJ wants to learn to crochet and knit.  And this will be a great opportunity for DJ to spend some time with Mimi without feeling self-imposed pressure to keep a steady stream of conversation going, which is something DJ has been worried about with nearly everyone she knows and hasn't seen regularly in the past six weeks.

What is most encouraging is seeing her have a "bad" or "tough" day, or part of a day, and watching her help herself by finding something to keep her occupied.  She doesn't realize what a huge and important step that is, but apparently, that is part of the problem underlying anorexia-she is very aware of her "pitfalls" but is "indifferent" (to use her word) about her successes.

She's talking about and asking about being discharged.  She's not expecting or wanting it immediately, but is hopeful about it, which is really encouraging. That DJ is one plucky girl.