National Eating Disorders Association

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Miggi
I hurt someone

So today my grandpa came home and surprised me with a fattening food. Now, I like this food, but I feel like I can't have it. I didn't react in the best way and said, "Don't buy food for me if I don't ask for it." I didn't mean to come off that way, but I said it. He was really hurt and I feel very bad. I wish I had a good relationship with food. I feel bad when people get hurt because of this obsession.

horseshoecrab
Oh boy I've been there too

Yup.

Or someone will buy something *slightly* different than what I asked for, but the difference is important, and then they're upset and I'm upset.. I suppose it's another good reason to work on our relationships with food.

Does your grandpa know about your situation? With people that do know, I try to be comforted by the fact that maybe they'll understand and be forgiving. Plus I know it feels weird to apologize for something like that but still I think it's worthwile.

Brief random thought -- I think the interpersonal significance of food in mainstream culture is fascinating, even across cultures. In general, we try to feed each other almost past what's appropriate (you know, the traditional grandmotherly figure who always wants you to eat one more bite), and we're offended when people rebuff those attempts -- it's like refusing a hug, or something. I don't know whether that's a good or bad thing, or even really what it says about us -- I just think it's interesting.

julesthefox
Food has always been a part

Food has always been a part of culture; even since the “caveman” days. Food represents community and survival. It represents comfort and strength. It represents care and love. That is what I see in both these situations with grandparents - extensions of love and care at the most basic level. One of the most insidious factors of EDs is that they strip us of that culture, that connection. EDs not only take away the pleasure of food and the good feelings of a strong, nourished body, but they strip away our culture. In the place of care, connection, safety, comfort, and love, we are left with fear, self-doubt, guilt, and shame. There is no comfort in the “culture” ED tries to provide. It leaves it disconnected and alone. And yet, it is so strong and draws us in so easily. What keeps us going back? Why is the fear of allowing ourselves to réengage in our true culture so strong? Those are questions we may never have answers to, but that is why we fight. That is why we fight those ED thoughts, fears, and behaviors. That is why we fight the toxic messages of “diet culture” in the media. That is why we fight for recovery. To regain our culture. To regain our identity. To regain our connections, care, and love. To regain ourselves. I wish you both strength to keep fighting against the ED fears. Maybe next time something like this happens, take a deep breath before responding. Think about where the fear is coming from. Reach for your authentic self, and allow yourself to be.

Purple65
Just try to explain it to him

Just try to explain it to your grandpa. Tell him him you have issues around food and your body image. Tell him that many people have these issues. Ask him not to take it personally and express your love.

Miggi
I really appreciate people

I really appreciate people caring enough to respond. I have kept my ED in the dark, and no one knows, well... I think they know because they ask me why I don't eat or why I am awkward with food, and I just say lol IDK. But, I really connected with the culture thing fromjulesthefox. That's a really introspective thought. Thank you.

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