Eating Disorder Survival Guide for Parents and Caregivers
Eating Disorder Survival Guide
The Ultimate Guide on Eating Disorders for Parents and Caregivers is a labour of love.  It has been created to help caregivers navigate their way through the eating disorder journey from beginning to end.  When I started my journey with my daughter, I wish I had known half of the things in this Guide. This guide is written to honor my daughter’s journey with an eating disorder.  She is a true warrior, a trooper, and an inspiration in my eyes and we have ridden the waves of the eating disorder together.  As a parent, I knew there were huge gaps in the resources available for those supporting a loved one.  This is meant to fill in the gaps until your loved one can get into treatment and to provide you a quick reference in the meantime.  You are my hero “Blackout” – keep being your amazing self. Love, Mom She has overcome insurmountable obstacles in her way including anorexia nervosa and hospitalizations.  Without her, none of this would have been possible.  She shared with me the secrets she held when she was ill so I can pass along them to others to be aware of.  She’s opened her life in the creation of this to try to help other people suffering in silence.  I love  you more than you know and I’m thankful you let me in when you didn’t have to and it was uncomfortable. I would be amiss if I didn’t write that it is critical to recognize that eating disorders affect young and old as well as every other demographic imaginable. She often told me how all the literature she read made it seem like eating disorders were “skinny white girls” – her words.  Everyone is affected by eating disorders so please remember to be kind. This is a living document that means I will be adding personal experiences throughout as I go along including YouTube videos for those topics that cannot be adequately conveyed in writing.  It will not stay the same and as I learn more, I will add or change it.  I do not purport myself to be an expert in eating disorders, simply a mom who cares about their daughter.  All of the information in here should be viewed from that perspective, not as a scholarly paper.  It will evolve as the evidence does, and I will attempt to keep up with the relevant updates. In closing, I want you to know that full recovery is absolutely possible.  Be the light for your loved one so they know you believe in them too.  You may be the only source of hope for them and shine your light brightly.  It doesn’t mean to say you won’t get discouraged, you most certainly will along the way.  But know too, that there is an army of other parents like me behind you willing to walk the journey with you and provide a map as best as we can. DISCLAIMER:  The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.  Please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. The Living in Grace Foundation expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this material.    

Eating Disorder Survival Guide and Online Community

1 year of access


Before A Diagnosis

Eating Diagnosis, Now What? 

Things Caregivers Need To Know

Language Matters

Secrecy and Deception

Eating Disorders and Family

Eating Disorder Types

All About Food

Food Police/Rules


Tests And Monitoring

Health Risks And Complications of An Eating Disorder.

Body Checking / Social Media

Eating Disorders And Mental Health

Eating Disorder Myths

Eating Disorder Statistics

Common Therapy Methods

Available Treatment Types in Canada


Road To Recovery

Thoughts Of A Person Recovering From An Eating Disorder


Eating Disorder Organizations

Disability Tax Credit

High Calorie Recipes

Book References


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  • Preface
  • Before A Diagnosis
    • Can you Prevent an Eating Disorder? 
    • How Do I know If My Loved One Has An Eating Disorder?
    • Food Behaviours To Watch For
    • Everything you Should Know About an Eating Disorder But No One Talks About
    • Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
    • What Are The First Steps To Take After an ED Diagnosis?
    • What should you do if you think someone has an eating disorder?
  • Eating Diagnosis, Now What? 
    • What Caregivers Need to Know
    • Securing A Good Team Is Critical
    • Some Questions You Need To Ask After an Eating Disorder Diagnosis
  • Things Caregivers Need To Know
    • You Did Not Cause This – No Blame, No Shame
    • Can you randomly get an eating disorder?
    • What factors can contribute to eating disorders?
    • Dos And Don’ts Of Eating Disorder Care
    • Externalization of an Eating Disorder
    • Setting Boundaries
    • How to Handle the Holidays
  • Language Matters
    • Common Eating Disorder Abbreviations
    • Words Really Do Matter
    • Communication Is Key
    • Giving Loved Ones Permission to Share Their Concerns and Triggers
    • Not Sick Enough
    • Validating Statements
    • Learning to Live with Distress
  • Secrecy and Deception
    • Why Is There So Much Secrecy in an Eating Disorder?
  • Eating Disorders and Family
    • Siblings (The Forgotten Ones)
    • Hope Through an Eating Disorder
    • Relationships
    • Find An Outlet and Self Care
  • Eating Disorder Types
    • What is Anosognosia
    • What is Anorexia Nervosa?
    • What is ARFID? 
    • What is Binge Eating Disorder?
    • What is Bulimia Nervosa?
    • What is Disordered Eating?
    • What is an Orthorexia?
    • What is OSFED?
    • What is Pica?
  • All About Food
    • Meal Support in Eating Disorders
    • Menu Planning
    • Fats, Carbs, Iron, Calcium
    • Vegetarian And Restrictive Type Diets
  • Food Police/Rules
    • Food Rules
    • Fear Foods
  • Exercise
    • Exercise and Eating Disorders
  • Tests And Monitoring
    • Eating Disorder Indications and Blood Work
    • Other Tests Done for Eating Disorders Assessment
    • What Are The General Guidelines for Treatment?
    • Setting Goal Weights
  • Health Risks And Complications of An Eating Disorder.
    • What Is Starvation Syndrome
    • Dental Damage
    • Metabolism
    • Hormonal Changes
    • Cardiac Issues and Eating Disorders
    • Hair Loss / Lanugo
    • Bone Density
    • Gastrointestinal Issues
    • Why Isn’t My Loved One Thinking Clearly? The Brain!
    • Laxative Use
  • Body Checking / Social Media
    • Diet culture
    • Social Media
    • Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD)
    • Mirror Mirror On The Wall. Body Checking
    • Body Avoidance
    • Perfectionism And Its Correlation To An Eating Disorder
  • Eating Disorders And Mental Health
    • What mental illness has the highest mortality?
    • Anxiety And Eating Disorders
    • Self Esteem
    • Eating Disorders And Self Harm, Suicidal Ideation
    • Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse
  • Eating Disorder Myths
    • Eating Disorder Myths
    • Core Beliefs
    • Can I have anorexia if I’m not underweight?
    • Men And Eating Disorders
  • Eating Disorder Statistics
    • Canadian Eating Disorder Statistics
    • How has Covid-19 affected the prevalence of eating disorders? 
    • What country has the highest incidence of eating disorders? 
    • What group has the highest rate of eating disorders in Canada?
    • How many people are on a “diet” or want to lose weight in Canada?
  • Common Therapy Methods
    • DBT – Dialectal behaviour therapy
    • CBT – Cognitive behavioural therapy
    • FBT – Family-Based Treatment
    • EFFT – Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
    • IFS – Internal Family Systems
    • EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
    • Exposure Therapy
    • ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
    • Eating Disorder Treatment Types – Links
  • Available Treatment Types in Canada
    • Treatment Types in Canada
  • Transitions
    • Transition to Post-Secondary and Adulthood
  • Road To Recovery
    • Cycles of Readiness
    • Extreme Hunger
    • Refeeding Syndrome And What to Look For
    • Does an Eating Disorder Just Go Away?
    • Intuitive Eating in Recovery
  • Thoughts Of A Person Recovering From An Eating Disorder
    • Two Stories of an Eating Disorder Journey
  • Resources
    • Mental Health Resources in Calgary
    • Crisis Lines in Alberta and Canada
    • What Calgary Eating Disorder Resources  Are Available?
    • Registered Dieticians Specializing in Eating Disorders in Calgary
    • Registered Psychologists Specializing in Eating Disorders in Calgary
  • Eating Disorder Organizations
    • Eating Disorder Treatment Programs in Alberta
    • Online Eating Disorders Resources Worldwide
  • Disability Tax Credit
    • Disability Tax Credit
  • High Calorie Recipes
    • Links to High Calorie Recipes
  • Book References
    • Books on Eating Disorders
  • Tools/Manuals
    • Other Toolkits, Manuals and Resources
  • New Section