After two years in Texas with only four phone calls and an hour of emails once a week, we were thrilled when N returned home in July. His jaw was squarer and his beard a bit thicker. There is nothing as sweet as being reunited with a child after being apart for so long! He had held steady at that 185 weight through his return home and even put on a bit of weight during the month that he was here.
Starting college and moving back out was trickier than we thought it would be. For him, the issue hasn't been overt restriction, but neglect. He is busy working 20 hours a week and attending classes full-time. He doesn't make eating a priority. And so we've watched his weight creep down to a low of 172.
His OCD has ramped up significantly. He is counting calories and salving his OCD through exercise (though not excessively). He isn't spiraling, but I feel like he is on the edge. The good thing is that he is much more self aware. He has agreed to maintain the 185 - though he did initially argue for a lower standard because he had so far to go. He also can tell that his OCD gets worse when he loses weight. Just this last week, he was calorie counting (which I know is almost always an over-estimate) and was certain that his weight was on its way up. But I could tell that his OCD was worse and I suggested that he was probably fooling himself and that it was probably down. Sure enough, at this morning's weigh-in, his weight was down.
He didn't have a scale there in his apartment, so I finally purchased one and sent it to him. We've agreed to a Saturday morning check in where he weighs himself and texts it to me. That way I'm not always asking him about it. I really dislike that our conversations always come back to his weight. I'm making an effort to limit that mostly to our Saturday morning check-ins, so I can also engage with him about different issues. But it's especially hard because as I see him struggle with life in general, I recognize that so much of it could be easier if he were up to a higher weight.
I happen to also be taking classes at the university. So each Monday and Wednesday when I'm on campus, I drop off a lunch. His dad is a professor there so he also keeps nuts and other foods on hand so that he can share when N stops by (which is usually daily). We're researching the on-campus food plans for the future. I think N will eat better if he doesn't have to cook. I know that this isn't a long term solution, but a temporary one. I'm hoping that we can help him to create new patterns for himself with an awareness of how they contribute to his well-being.