Most of the time when people think of eating disorders they think of restricting, not eating, or purging. But there are many other eating disorders out there that also include over eating.
However, people with eating disorders have a hard enough time during the regular year, but once holiday time comes around, it can be much, much harder.
If you’re getting together with family this holiday season, try not to say these things to people around the dinner table.
What Not to Say to Someone With an Eating Disorder This Holiday Season
I’m not saying to avoid every topic with certain people, or to just not talk to people at all during the holiday season. I’m asking that you keep in mind some of the things you say in and around the subjects that could make someone with an eating disorder, whether you know it or not, uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Overall, calling out how, what, or why people are eating things is just one way to embarrass someone else and make them feel bad about themselves in general, so I highly suggest you don’t do that.
“Are you sure you don’t want more?”
This is insulting to anyone trying to lose weight or are on their way to recovery from a restrictive diet.
Those of us who are trying to lose weight know that we’re probably eating a lot less than normally or less than most people at the table. It could be that we’re saving calories for dessert because who doesn’t like Christmas goodies?
If someone is on their way from recovery that may be a lot more than they normally eat. They could be putting in a lot of effort to look “normal” around the family and you’ve still called them out on their lack of food.
Regardless of the reasoning, calling someone out for the lack of food on their plate lets them know you’ve noticed something is different or wrong. Just don’t comment on other people’s eating habits. Just don’t.
“You’re eating ALL that!?”
Again, just don’t comment on other people’s eating habits. It’s not nice and makes the person you’re calling out feel in the spotlight, embarrassed, and just plain bad about the food they’re eating.
Some of us with a binge eating disorder or have trouble with overeating have issues with food regulation, especially around the holidays. There’s so many options of delicious foods to choose from and you want to try them all! But having someone call you out on your eyes being a bit bigger than your stomach can make you feel like shit and wish you could put back some of the food on your plate.
Someone could also be bulking up and trying to gain weight, so having all that extra food has a reason!
Save yourself and the other person the embarrassment and just keep your mouth shut.
Related: I Traded One Addiction for Another
“Do you think you should be having that?”
Are you the food police?
Your opinion about what someone else eats is only important to you and no one else.
Chances are, the person you want to comment on is waiting for someone to mention something about it and is cringing at the though. So please, just don’t comment on what others are eating. What you think has no bearing on anything so just keep your mouth shut.
“You look like you’ve put on weight since I last saw you.”
If you’ve noticed we’ve gained weight, more likely than not, we have as well.
We’ve most likely realized that months ago and could be in the throws of trying to figure out how to get our eating and exercise under control.
Calling someone out on their weight like that literally only just makes someone embarrassed so what’s the point of saying that out loud in front of other people? That just makes you an asshole.
If you’re genuinely concerned with this person’s weight, speak to them privately about it. But like I said, we’ve probably noticed.
“You used to be so thin!”
Yes, we know.
More often than not we’re trying to fix that. We’re trying to get back to the way we “used” to be for various reasons including health and how we’re viewed in society.
Letting us know that we look different than before really doesn’t help. Someone could have been making great progress towards weight loss and your comment could set them back days or even weeks because they feel like shit. So, thanks for that.
Related: This is What Depression Looks Like
I’m sure there are other things people shouldn’t say to people during the holidays, but these are what I could think of that would really harm my mental and physical health. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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