22 June 2008

"Eating Disorder Mentality" Part 1

That's what the dietitian said was wrong with me.


When Little C (now 3.5) was very young, around 3 or 4 weeks old he developed a nasty rash on his face. Yeah, I know lots of babies get the hormonal rash thing around that age and it goes away, but Little C's didn't go away. It just got worse and worse. Around the same time he developed nasty reflux and I quickly became a human advertisement for baby vomit-scented clothing.

So being the good mum I am, I thought I'd try giving up a few foods to see if that helped him at all. I started by getting rid of dairy and wheat, then removed egg, and then gradually got rid of almost everything from my diet until I was eating only chicken and rice and drinking water. Little C improved a bit, but not much, and I lost around 30kg in 4 months. Woohoo, you might think, but it was not a healthy or fun way to lose weight.

Now the logical thing at this point would be to say "Stuff it, this isn't working. I'm going to start eating again". Unfortunately, every time I tried to reintroduce foods back into my diet Little C and I would both have bad reactions. It seemed as though excluding foods had actually made us more sensitive.

After many tears on the phone to the allergy clinic they eventually decided they could fit us in, so off we toddled expecting at least a plan of action to get us back on track and to stop me from losing any more weight. After five and a half hours of tests and lectures they sent us home with two tins of elemental (protein-free) formula. I cried and cried and cried. I had breastfed Mr T until he was nearly four and was a former NMAA (ABA) Counsellor for goodness sake. How could I give up on Little C at only five months?

So I weaned Little C... then I unweaned him the following day. I drank the revolting elemental formula myself, and continued on with my chicken and rice, gradually introducing a few other things along the way. If you've never tried elemental formula it tastes absolutely disgusting but is also bizarrely filling. I continued to give Little C a small bottle of formula every day or so. The allergy clinic people and some online *friends* had scared me enough with stories of kids who couldn't eat anything but refused to drink elemental formula because of the taste, so had to be tube fed. Ugh. Anyway, that's why I continued with the one bottle a day thing for Little C. I preferred for him to have a bit of the formula so that he would cope with the taste later if he was unable to tolerate solid food.

Stay tuned for Part 2.


The Broken Man said...

I take my hat off to you - drinking the formula yourself takes some committment!

The Broken Man


eating disorder said...

The most positive way for parents to influence their children's eating habits and to prevent weight problems and eating disorders is to have healthy eating habits themselves.

Blogger design by suckmylolly.com