National Eating Disorders Association

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Best friend making things worse...

I've been recovering for about a year and a half now. It's weird because I don't look or feel like the same person I was at that time, yet talking about it all is still really hard. I continue to struggle it with varying degrees of severity on a daily basis. I've only ever told one friend about it. We are SUPER close and she's like a sister to me. She gets on my nerves sometimes, but, at the end of the day, I love her. My problem is that she has recently become super invested in food. Every other sentence that comes out of her mouth is about what new healthy recipe she wants to make. She seems to be taking in enough food, it's just that she has become super obsessive with how much and what type. I keep trying to hint that what she'd doing is triggering me, but I don't want to be rude and she seems clueless. I honestly don't know if her perfectionism will turn into something bad. I'll I know is that it's slowing my progress. It's also important to note that she has always been extremely fit and I've always been obese or so underweight that I don't have any muscle, so hearing her criticize her perfect body really gets to me. I couldn't bear to lose her as a friend, but I don't know how much longer I can go on pretending that I'm okay with all of this. This whole thing probably didn't make much sense, but any advice or words of wisdom would be amazing!

Hi lilaclady,

Hi lilaclady,

What you are describing makes a lot of sense. I can relate to what you are going through. My first suggestion would be to talk to her openly about it. It sounds like you have tried to subtly convey how her behavior is impacting you, but you may need to be more direct. It is definitely not rude for you to explain what you are struggling with and how she can support you by refraining from talking about food around you. If that doesn't work, I think you may need to find a way to distance yourself while you continue in your recovery. I know that sounds harsh, but surrounding yourself with the right people during recovery is really important. It doesn't mean you wouldn't be friends with her anymore or couldn't eventually spend a lot of time with her again. It just might be helpful to take some time away until you are in a place where he comments wouldn't trigger you.

Are you working with a therapist or nutritionist at the moment? Have you discussed this with them? It may also be helpful to explore why her behavior is specifically triggering for you. Sometimes getting deeper into things with a completely objective third party can be helpful.


I told her about it more directly and she got pretty defensive, but did tone it down a bit. She hasn't completely stopped talking about food, but the judgement in her voice seems less. I had a nutritionist for a while, but it wasn't a great experience and it felt like she sort of abandoned me in the end (before I felt recovered even). I've stuck to therapy a lot more consistently. It's always been hard for me to be completely open and non-filtered with my therapist. This past week when I spontaneously brought this topic up was the first time I really dictated where I wanted the conversation to go. That was extremely helpful and a big moment for me. So yeah, we'll keep working on it step by step. Thanks for your help!

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