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Re: Racer (possibly ED triggers) » WaterSapphire

Posted by Racer on September 19, 2008, at 13:50:07

In reply to Racer (possibly ED triggers), posted by WaterSapphire on September 19, 2008, at 7:55:40

> I hope that my approach to this does not come off as something that would hurt your feelings or wish to help and be a part of your friend's wellness.

No worries. I'm pretty good at taking well meant, generously offered, constructive criticism, and you're offering a genuine and sincere concern. I respect that.

> First, does your friend even have a problem with the way he/she eats personally? Does he/she complain or talk about this a lot?
> Is it affecting his/her weight?
> Perhaps you could come out and ask your friend simply...

Actually, we have spoken about this. Most of our discussions have come up with him bringing up the problems he has with not being able to control his eating, and his struggles with body image, self-image, and other issues related to disordered eating. That's why I was hoping for some advice on how to offer help.

As it is, whenever he does bring up his body image and self image issues, I offer back my experience of him. Yes, he has gained weight, and I am shocked when I first see him these days because he has become -- I have a real problem with the "F" word, because I think it has taken on a much more judgmental and negative meaning than a neutral description, and yet I have to admit I'd use it to describe him now. And once I've been in his company for a few minutes, he goes back to being a man I care about a great deal. And I have told him I find him very sexy, and that his weight worries me largely because it has become such an issue for him, and because it makes him unhappy. He is very sexy, and he makes my mouth water -- even at his new size. (This isn't a boyfriend, by the way -- legally, I'm married.) He's a wonderful man, he's got almost everything in the world going for him, and the weight is a concern for him. And his happiness is a concern for me, regardless of whether I have that right.

He is the one who's brought it up with me, is what I'm trying to say. I've been pretty open with him about my anorexia, largely in hopes it helps him feel open to bringing up his concerns with me. Also, because I got so heavy on some of the anti-depressants I've taken, I know how it can feel to be around people who are thinner. So, I've also been open about it in hopes he won't feel ashamed of his weight around me.

Bottom line of what I'm trying to say here is that I promise -- cross my heart -- I'm not just projecting my own anti-fat bias here. I am not thinking, "oh, how can anyone stand to be overweight? I'll have to step in and tell him how to fix it." I really am trying to figure out a way to offer him support, respectfully, and a place to discuss his concerns with someone who cares about him a great deal. I think there's a misapprehension about anorexics -- yes, some are biased against overweight in anyone, but because my self-image is as someone who is heavy, and because I grew up hearing I was fat, I relate to heavier people better than those who are naturally slim. Ironically, I'm the size acceptance zealot, *because* of my eating disorder and my own body image distortion.

(Remember, Anorexia Nervosa is a mental illness. I know that I am crazy. I know that what I see in others should apply to me, as well. I know that what I see in the mirror is very distorted. And it's still real to me. It does not mean that I apply it to anyone else. I see other women, and think things like, "she's too thin," or "she's so lovely -- but I'll bet she worries she's too fat, which is a crime." And I feel fat and lumpy, despite *knowing* that I am not, objectively, fat. It's a mental illness, not an attitude.)

> It might work. This way you are not saying anything that might spark a negative response by your friend. I hope Racer nothing I have said here has sounded harsh.

Not at all, and I hope you'll feel able to offer your perspective to me without the disclaimer next time. What you have to offer is valuable, and I appreciate it.




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