Bizarre eating habits...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I've noticed recently that my difficult child's eating habits, while always odd, have become downright bizarre and wondered if this is a difficult child thing or just something unique to her.

    This is NOT a battle that I'm choosing to fight, so I say nothing ...just observe and secretly scratch my head.

    She lives with her dad but spent last week with me. One night I made two batches of lasagne; meat for her and vegetable for me. My thinking was I'd freeze individual portions of the vegetable for myself and either freeze a few portions of the meat for her for when she comes to visit or maybe send some back with her to Mr. Ostrich's. We had it for dinner on Monday and on Wednesday morning , she had consumed the entire 13x9 pan! I honestly didn't mind ... she was only here for a week, but SHEESH!, that's a lot of lasagne in a very short time.

    On Thursday, I made Tiramisu for a dinner I was to be part of on Friday (it was a charity auctioned Italian feast to benefit our teen group at church). Due to a huge storm, the dinner was postponed. Tiramisu will not keep for a week, so I'd planned to be the dessert fairy and take a few pieces to various friends ... and, of course, enjoy some with her. Within two days - with me only having one piece - it was gone.

    She has also consumed - on another occasion - two packages of refrigerator crescent rolls that I'd planned to use to make an appetizer for a party. I honestly think she did not cook them (blech!), as she ususally makes a mess when she cooks and there was none....just the phantom and unexplained dissaperance of the packages!

    I've found tubs of cookie dough and empty cartons of frosting in her room...(and I have put my foot down about that because of the likelyhood of critters in her room).

    But when it comes to a normal meal, she often will say she's not hungry ...she'll eat later. She used to eat a variety of things, but now she turns her nose up at chicken, any vegetable and almost anything that isn't pasta, ground meat or carbs. She seems to eat mostly after I've gone to bed....leftover pizza doesn't stand a chance and I can't buy pop on sale to stock up because she will clean me out.

    Do share...

  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I would say it's not over the top unusual, but take that with a grain of salt considering the source since I'm a weird eater. But teens can eat you out of house and home, that much I know.
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Ah, but did I mention that her physical activity level is .... ZERO? It's not like she's working or still in school playing soccer or doing ANYTHING except texting....
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Not so weird really. Nichole could do it in a heartbeat.........and she was never even overweight. Travis for sure could and he came up with really strange things to eat.

    I'd be a little worried about her keeping such eating sort of secretive than the eating itself.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Is she actively hiding some the eating, or just used to being able to eat whatever, whenever, and where ever she wants to? If that's how she eats at her Dad's and isn't used to informing anyone of what she eats because they notice it and put it on grocery list, it's different than hiding it.
    Could be a growth thing, could be the munchies. Hard to tell with teens sometimes.
  6. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I've rarely said anything about her eating, but she has been secretly eating since about 8th grade. I've tried not to make it an issue in hopes that she wouldn't go underground, but she still does. Other than the stuff I've found in her room (and I only addressed that because of the potential critter problems .....what I said was "You can have anything you want, but - please - no food in your room unless you take your plates downstairs right away"), I say NOTHING. She does not have to account to me for what - or how much - she eats. Her habits are equally strange at DEX's. He told me she ate an enire Cotsco sized jar of pickles - in a week - at his place.

    I think eating raw crescent dough - and raw cookie dough (in a tub ...not just making cookies) is strange.

  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I used to eat the layer biscuits without cooking and as far as cookie dough goes - I don't even bother turning on the oven, it's not going to make it that far. She ever had her thyroid checked?
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    If she has, HaoZi, it's been awhile. What would we be looking for with thyroid? She is fairly overweight - not morbidly obese, but well beyond what would be considered healthy.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Is she on any medications right now? Or is eating the only thing she feels she has control over? She does need to find out if there's an underlying physical cause or if it's psychological in nature. Or maybe both. The docs will know what to look for if she asks for a thyroid check.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Dash - you're describing Onyxx. Down to the entire pan of lasagna, hiding food in her room, eating at all hours and not hungry at meals.

    husband and I determined it was psychological. Snacking's one thing. Five cups of yogurt in one day is not.

    It may be a control issue... Sweet (very very sweet) and salty (VERY salty) seem to be Onyxx's thing. She LOVES hot sauce - which to me tastes like vinegar... (pickles, anyone?)
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    It is common for people with mood disorders to crave carbs...particularly sweets and starches...items made with flour.

    Our daughter has done similar things...particularly when she was a teen.
  12. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I'd never heard that, Nomad, but it sure fits where difficult child is concerned. The secret eating is what bothers me the most. When she was living here, I'd send her to the store with a list and my atm card. I'd say "if there's something you want that's not on the list, go ahed and get it." She'd return, put the stuff away and run up to her room. A week or so later, I might run across a half empty tub of cookie dough strategically placed in the wastebasket (not thrown away...hidden) with a shirt draped over it. Was she stille eatingit after a week? Who knows? Even though she was told to get what she wanted, there would inevitibly be a can of frosting or something hidden after one of these trips.

    When she was a junior in HS, she would go around after her soccer games and collect everyone's unwanted snacks. We'd get home,she'd declare that she was too tired to eat and go to her room and chow down on six pop tarts and a bag of cheetos! I didn't find out about this until about a month, when I opened a drawer to put away some clothes and found it crammed with empty wrappers of all sorts of odd things.

    She had on piece fromt he 13x9 pan of lasgane in front of me. The rest of the pan was eaten (in less than two days!) when nobody was watching.

    Mostly this is dad's problem now, but it sure was hard to count on something being in the fridge or freezer when you needed it. I did have a pretty good trick that she never caught on to
    ... I'd make a batch of cookies and, partly to keep her from eating the entire batch singlehandedly and partly just to have a small stash if she had friends orver later or someone dropped in, I'd wrap up a handful in aluminum foil, lable it "Asparagus" and put iti n the freezer!

  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've done that.

    I took chocolate chips, stuck them in an empty lima beans bag and stick it in the freezer. Plain sight. Months later, I could make cookies...
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If she's overweight, if she has a thyroid issue it would be hypothyroidism. Some symptoms for that include dry skin and hair, fatigue, increased appetite (easy child said she was "starved" all the time), issues with menstrual cycle being irregular or absent. I think there are a few more but I've not had enough coffee yet and can't think of them off the top of my head. easy child had all the ones I listed. She wasn't morbidly obese but after Darrin's birth it was obvious that even with much effort she couldn't shed the weight. Since we have thyroid issues in a big way in the family I bugged her until she got it checked. I wasn't surprised that she has it. Even with medications she hasn't returned to a normal weight but it has stopped the steady increase. Of course she had 2 babies in 2 yrs too and that didn't help at all. lol She's watching diet carefully and increasing exercise to try again to reduce her weight. The first thing she noticed when medications were at the right level was the ravenous appetite vanished. It takes a while for them to get the level right.

    You could also have them check her for any vitamin or mineral deficiency as well.......people tend to crave unusual foods when this is a problem. I tend to go low on iron and will crave tuna and them both, but not how I eat them when I'm running low on iron. lol I've seen people eat chalk and dirt due to this too.

    You may not have drawn any attention to her eating, which is a very good thing, but others might have.......and we all know that society does. It may be she craves these foods in these amts with no knowledge of why she does.......and she's a bit embarrassed by it.

    Raw cookie dough is fairly common. Both my girls love raw cookie dough.......ewww. lol
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dash -

    To me? It sounds like she's craving carbs & sugar (kinda hand in hand) and that would explain the overweight - which can ALSO explain the ZERO exercise habits because when you crave carbs and hidden sugars? You sloth. This was me - I shot up to 298 lbs. I didn't crave the sugar - but I had the hidden carbs thing going on. It wasn't that I wanted tons of food either, just a little more here, a little more there.

    I would ask the doctor (based on my own person experience here is all ) to do a glucose tolerance fasting test on her. The thing I'm getting at with all the sugar is - pre-diabetes. It's a relatively easy test to do, but the hard part is lifestyle change BEFORE she becomes full blown diabetic. It sounds to me like her body is at war with itself - the lasagnae believe it or not is sugar - (carbs in the noodles) and the pasta gives her that. Tomato sauce is also sweet. I did the sweet salty thing too.

    The cool thing about catching it? I'm sure she's beautiful - and being a teen? If she is at risk - she saves herself from taking a dive into more health issues. Also - weight loss is helpful for self-esteem issues. Do a little googling or binging about pre-diabetes and see if this fits her body type, mood swings, food cravings. As far as eating that dough? Okay hate to say this - but I think that's just teen -lazy. Sounds like something Dude would do. OH - I want crescents and cookies - - I have to wait 20 mintues AND bake? I'll just eat dough. Screams teen to me.

    Hope this helps.
  16. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Thanks , all. I can honestly say I hadn't thought of thyroid or pre-diabetes. When she was younger, she was always on the big side, but not overweight. In part, because she was more active (dance and soccer) but also becasue she lived with me and had to conform - to at least a degree - to the food I served and bought. Yes, she'd binge with her soccer friend's food and at school or parties, but I served healthy meals and expected her to eat them.

    At her annual checkups (pre-age 18) her doctor would gently address the weight and I know she didn't ordder any tests then, but I wonder if she might not have at her last appointment. She's pretty savy and daughter has probably put on 70 pounds since high school graduation. I will wait for an opening to suggest it (so sensitive of a subject ...especially coming from a mom).

    Star, I didn't know carb binging made you sloth ... very interesting.

    She is a beautiful girl and I hate to see her pack the weight on like this. I also hate to see her feel she has to hide her eating. I don't think eating cookie dough is weird (I'll grab a spoonful myself when I can!), but a HUGE tub, hidden in a wastebasket and let around for a week ... that is weird.

    I know she doesn't want to do this, but it is so hard to reach her. Believe me, back in HS with the hidden soccer food, I DID address it. I took her to a nutritionist and have tried to model good eating habits. She's never been receptive to help and now, at 19.5 years (and living with her dad, who is not exactly svelte or healthy himself), it is hard.

    I've learned alot from your answers ... thanks so much.
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Though it does work very well to clear up a yeast infection before it gets a foothold if you can eat it in those amounts for a few days. Stupid antibiotics taught me that.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For a teen to eat a tub of cookie dough is not unusual. teens are strange eaters. It sounds like there is more going on with her. Lots of this sounds psychological. At one point when Wiz was just out of control he kept getting really sick - vomiting, diarrhea, cramps in his entire digestive system, etc.... At the same time I noticed that ALL of my spices disappeared and the indiv pounds of meat in the freezer did too.

    I kept pounds of meat in the freezer both cooked and raw so it was easy to grab to cook a meal. I finally went in to clean his room because it smelled really gross, more than just teen boy gross. I found not just packages from cooked ground beef and taco meat hidden, I also found old ziplocs with RAW ground beef int here. He was covering them with tons of spices to try to "cook" them and kill the germs and would eat off of a pound of meat for five to seven DAYS while keeping it hidden in his room!!! No wonder he was so sick - it is a miracle he didn't end up with a serious e coli infection and/or killing himself!! He was also using the spices to make some type of magic spells which for him was a sign of seriously delusional thinking (you cannot create, call, control or kill demons with mixtures of chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and other household spices. But he honestly believed he could.

    Of course he also beleived that putting these spices on raw meat would cook it and kill the germs. NOTHING worked until we dealt with that thinking but it was an unusual case.

    In your daughter's situation it seems like she may be binge eating. It may or may not be combined with purging (is she using laxatives or vomiting often?) but it can be a sign of an eating disorder. MANY people with eating disorders are NOT underweight or even at a healthy weight. My bulimic roommate was NOT underweight and my bulimic ex sister in law was very overweight at times evenw hen it was very active.

    I wowuld ask ehr dad to keep an eye on it and then not keep stuff around that you don't want her to eat if she is at your house. Or keep the stuff in another room behind a locked door when possible.
  19. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    That must have been terrible! I was nearly gagging just thinking about it! I'm glad tha's no longer going on. He really is lucky that he didn't get e-coli.

    Most of the stuff she was binging on (raw cookie dough, cans of frosting) are things she bought or had someone else buy. I buy very little packaged food - the crescent rolls were for a specific recipe (that I never got to make, but oh well!)

    During the times she's here, I always ask if she needs anything from the store and she almost always says "no". I don't keep things like chips around unless I'm having people over. There's lots of fruits and vegetables, which she does not touch. I did notice that when she went to her dad's to feed the cat, she'd bring things back from there but she at least didn't hide them.

    Asking her dad to keep an eye on her is a total waste of energy. Unless it directly affects HIM -as in he would not allow her to stay there while he was on vacation....not because she'd host sleepovers and pot smoking fests with her boyfriend ... but because his cleaning lady was coming and she is a slob! I'm dead serious.

    I'm pretty sure she isn't purging. She's a major drama queen and if she has the flu and vomits she acts as though a plague of locusts have descended upon her. The slightest cut, hangnail, anything is cause for much hollering and moaning. Also, we share a bathroom here and it's right next to my bedroom. I think I'd know.

    She definately has issues with over eating and I suspect she does much of it in private because she's embarrased. I don't want her to be unhealthy or overweight, but I'm no longer in a position to do anything about it. When she was younger, it was easier... you may have one can of pop, not seven ... stuff like that.