Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Not To Say To An Eating Disorder Survivor

hi my most gorgeous friends! 

{ps. this week is the week of afternoon/night posts due to scheduling, please bear with me!}

This is the kind of post that I have had in my drafts for a bit just trying to make sure I get it right and post it at the right time. I think that with eating disorders comes a lot of misunderstanding. While I do believe most people have good intentions it certainly doesn't always come off like that. So today is one of those days where we dig deep and have a heart blog, I know these can get heavy but I hope that this one can either enlighten you, relate to you or just benefit you in the future when dealing with people that have this certain disorder.

I really want to make sure I get this right for myself and for my community because these are beneficial facts that I feel like people without eating disorders wouldn't necessarily take the time to research how important it is to watch what you say and I don't just mean while they are 82lbs and trying to gain weight...I'm talking the minute it comes to your attention that someone has an eating disorder and never stop. See eating disorders are one of the only addictions that really get set to the side once that person has gained some necessary weight back. The outside world won't put ED's into the same category as a Drug/Alcohol Addiction. I heard someone talking about Drug/Alcohol addictions like, "The moment you think you've overcome, just be mindful that you're addiction is gearing up in the next room ready to take you down." You don't overcome addictions, you manage them and the minute that society can realize that with ED's..then the world will be a much better place. I don't care what my weight is right now, I have an eating disorder. I am not and will never be skinny enough to my standards, I could literally be on my death weighing 76lbs and wouldn't feel skinny enough {I'm saying this from experience]. So I manage it. I manage it because I want to live. I manage it because I think one day I can have confidence. I manage it to fight any type of body dysmorphia I could possibly pass on to my children. I am fighting.

Okay so I got a little side tracked, but I believe because of how we view ED's and the brings about some comments that are not and will NEVER be acceptable to say to someone recovering [someone with an ED is always trying to recover FYI].

-I think the number one thing most people say to me that triggers me would be- Complementing how much I eat/ate. This is not only the #1 comment I get but to me, it is the worst one. Please don't ever think that complementing my appetite or clean plate as some kind of positive comment to ensure my well being. In fact, it does the opposite. It makes me realize what I just ate, how much I just ate and how fast that is going to turn into pounds on my body. Added fact, it also makes me very coherent to the fact that you are watching my plate which I don't need to know. 

-Complementing my weight gain. Again, I think most people believe that these complements are encouraging but in NO WAY will I ever take "you look so much better than you used to now that you have meat on your bones" or "your face is so much rounder than it used to be, it looks good" as a positive note for my self-esteem.

-I am constantly thinking about my body image, whether it's when I weigh too little and realize how gross I look or when I weigh too much and realize how gross I look. It's a never ending battle, so this one is opposite to the one above but please don't make negative comments about unattractively skinny someone with ED looks. Body shaming of ANY sorts is the opposite of helpful.

-"I wish I had to gain weight." This one is just PLAIN stupid. Please don't ever say it, it's not easy in fact it will wreck your mind trying to fight this battle.

-It was too hard to be your friend when you had ED but I'm back now. I actually lost friends when I was going through my intense therapy at 13, but later on they wanted to come back in my life. In fact, I actually had one of the mom's of my friends tell my mom that her daughter couldn't be around me because she didn't want her to catch my eating disorder. We will never get over this nor or we trying to give it to anyone else. Anyone with an addiction needs a support system so think of all the good you could bring to that friend's life {this is when the whole "treat others how you want to be treated" should kick in}.

I hope this doesn't come off as harsh and I realize that my brain works differently than someone that doesn't suffer from an ED. It's such a sensitive topic and a vulnerable one for me to share. I hold a lot of embarrassment for it but I hope that it just makes you more aware of how your words can hurt, whether you mean for them to or not. Please say everything intentional. 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'll admit that I've wondered if some of these things are acceptable comments to make towards people who've had eating disorders and I appreciate you sharing and teaching me! It's so important to remember to consider others' feelings. Thank you.
    The Rad Wife

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this part of yourself. These are all great things to keep in mind - some things I probably wouldn't have realized!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Especially number 1. If you just posted number 1 and nothing else. I would still love it. I don't say hate often, but I hate when people look at what I eat, or sometimes my dad will say "well, ya hungry" and it seriously just pisses me off. Like, leave me alone. My old boss used to ask me every single day what I was eating for lunch because she thought she was "so fat" and knew I couldn't eat lactose/gluten. Just leave me alone. Sorry i'm venting, it's just been a serious struggle for me recently. I just wish people would stop commenting on that kind of stuff.

  4. You are an amazing writer/blogger and the most "real" of any blog that I read. And I think I yelled out loud when I read that your friend's mom thought she could "catch" your eating disorder - gah!!!! You are so right that "you don't overcome addiction, you manage it". Thank you got always opening your heart! - a reader from Detroit, Michigan

  5. I don't have an eating disorder, but I seriously struggled with my weight and body image in college. I got way too small for my frame and it was really hard to come back to a healthy place. I'm here now and I can't say I love my body. I really relate to the points that you shared above (especially how much/what I ate and how much better I look now) even though our experiences are different. Thank you for sharing :)

  6. Wow, what a tough but informative post to read. I've never had a friend that had an ED but I know friends of friends that have. I'm sorry you had to struggle through this and friends weren't there for you.

  7. You're so brave for posting this and I applaud you for it! There's somebody somewhere out there who needed to read this, and even if it just helps one person than it was totally worth it. Thank you so much for sharing. :o)

  8. This was an awesome post and I definitely needed to read it. Recovering from an ED myself, I can relate to each of the topics mentioned above and they are all so accurate.

  9. This is such a thoughtful post, I wrote about my story on another blog as a guest post and it was tough exposing myself like that. And I can so relate to what you're saying because I was there. I still am, everyday is a choice, a choice to live or not.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with all of us! As hard as it was, I know that someone will read this and feel that they are not alone, and THAT is a wonderful thing! You go girl!

  11. There are many suffering from eating disorders in today's society. The Aspire Wellness Clinic offers the best outpatient mental health care without judgement. They help improve the quality of life for their patients and help them take the first steps positive mindset. With the highest quality of care, one could entrust their mental health to these fine professionals.

    Margaretta Cloutier @ Aspire Wellness Center


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