National Eating Disorders Association

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"Helpful" friends.

Ive gained some weight lately. More than I ever have in such a short time. Did the weight gain come before the slide back to purging or is it a result of it.. it's hard to say. But being attacked for being unhappy about my weight gain is not appropriate. Does anyone else have this problem?

I'm still not a big person but I do have a petite frame and extra weight shows in obvious, unflattering ways. Even though I exercise, I'm not toned. My body is what it is. And when I'm at the weight that I feel the healthiest, I love the way it looks. Love is a strong word. But you get it. When I gain, even if my friends think it's up to a weight I "should" be, I feel bad. I have low energy, low self esteem and overall just don't feel like myself. And I blame the weight. What choices I made to lead to the gain. It seems fair.

When someone tells me the weight I'm at is still too low, how can you tell? I'm not extremely thin. You can't see my bones. You couldn't before I gained the weight. What does it matter what number the scale says or my pants say of I FEEL UNHEALTHY. Telling me I have a problem and I'm crazy and it's all in my head doesn't change how my body feels. I know I get upset, I know I have issues, I know I obsess. But when I mention I've gained this weight in two months, don't tell me I'm at a healthier place because some chart says I should weigh more. Don't give me lectures I didn't ask for. Don't tell me what is healthy without a PhD to back it up.

I have problems with stressing out and purging. Which leads to more of the same. It just seems like two completely different problems. The purging is what's unhealthy. The purging probably caused the gain. The purging is the problem, not the number I "should" weigh. It's obviously not right for me. Why is there so much love and support for people being fat shamed, and people trying to make it clear that our "normal" is different for every body, but I'm always being shamed for my small size? When I'm doing things the right way I'm naturally smaller. When I am clear minded about my ed I don't look or feel like this.

How is that not my normal? How is that not my "healthy?"

Hi austenite,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time dealing with your friends' comments. I'm sure they're only trying to be supportive, but it's obvious that they don't really understand the nature of your ED or have any real medical insight into your recovery. Are you seeing any sort of ED-specialist, currently? One strategy to deal with your friends' "help" could be to politely explain everything you've laid out in this post, but prefaced with the authoritative approval of your treatment team. For example, if someone tells you that you shouldn't be complaining about feeling unhealthy at present because you've gained weight, you could say "Actually, my doctor tells me that there are a lot of important elements of my eating disorder that I still need to deal with, completely independent of my weight." Having a treatment team will also, most importantly, provide a source of legitimate feedback surrounding your current level of health and the steps you should be taking to stop the purging and feel yourself again.

Best of luck!

Thank you so much!

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this constructive advice. I guess it just helps to feel validated sometimes so I can step back and calm down. Sincerely, thank you.

I think a lot of what Cosmia

I think a lot of what Cosmia said rings true. Its important to stand up for ourselves when we feel that we are being mistreated, especially by people who may be uninformed. That being said you can always direct the people in your life to NEDAs website so that they might be more informed. The parent tool kit has a lot of good general information on EDs ( I think that often people's hearts are in the right place but they don't put things in the nicest terms or they are simply mis/uninformed. NEDA also has a hotline if you want to vent to someone in real time. And I hope that you feel heard austenite. We're here for you, to support you.


Think recovery

So sorry to hear that you are having a hard time with input from so many people. I have recovered from restrictive ED and found that as I healed, I quit talking about my weight to people because it wasn't the real issue, and so nobody else said anything to me about it either. Since you said you are still struggling with purging behavior, perhaps your focus should be on your recovery instead of being bothered by what others think. Being assertive was a skill I learned in my recovery and you can always tell people it is not healthy for your well-being and recovery to discuss your weight or body, and you are focusing on accepting yourself no matter what you weigh. When we are assertive it allows us to get our needs met in a way that is non-confrontational and so much healthier than passively accepting treatment that is not good for us. I hope you have a therapist or support group that you are utilizing to heal whatever it is that drives the purging, because this is very hard to battle all alone. I found therapy and 12-step meetings offered the most help and I dealt with issues that I used restricting food behavior to avoid for years. I'm still in therapy weekly and work the 12-steps continuously as a way of living now. Hopefully you can be honest with the people commenting on your appearance so that you can focus on the things that will help you stop purging, and find peace with yourself no matter what a scale says.

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