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pantherr
12-19-2011, 09:14 PM
Today I saw a friend I haven't seen in a few weeks...I'm going to preface this short story by saying that I've been doing better than ever in my recovery. Sticking to meal plans, holding myself accountable, eating healthily, eating ENOUGH, getting my exercise in, and I feel like this is the first time I've been truly happy in a good six months. Like really, really happy and content in the way my life is.

Over finals I was extra stressed, so yeah, I lost a little bit of weight (weight that I had put on earlier in the semester from pretty much perpetual binge eating). I am on the upper end of a healthy weight anyway, so losing a little bit of weight might be part of my weight restoration, I don't know. Anyway, when she saw me she gave me this really judgmental, almost disgusted look and said - "every time I see you your legs just get skinnier and skinner. They're like two little twigs now."

And I brushed it off, because she's made comments like this before, but after I dropped her off I realized how much it bothered me. First of all, I happen to really like my legs! They are strong and they let me run and cycle and do the things I love every single day. And I also happen to like the way they look. But that's beside the point I guess. What right does she (or anyone) have to judge my legs or any other part of my body?? It was just so sad to me, like I've done all this work not to have those judgements about myself and to have someone else cast that on me was just not ok at all.

I'm not sure if I should say something or what to say. Every time it happens I'm just shocked so I NEVER say anything. I've always thought it was something I needed to work on handling, but I'm starting to realize this is really on her. And it really made me want to binge eat (considering she was also basically forcing cookies/chocolates on me) - but I didn't!! I had **** cookie and a couple chocolate covered almonds and I enjoyed them but said no thank you after that. :yay

Anyway, I'm just curious what your thoughts are on this. Anyone ever have a similar experience? It's just bizarre. She's a very smart girl so I don't know if she's being malicious (I don't think so) or if she really is just oblivious.

sflathinker
12-19-2011, 09:30 PM
Trust your instinct. If you don't believe she's being malicious then she's not. Chances are this is HER issue and she's either concerned or so weight/body image conscious that she is looking at your body because she's worried about her own. Like you said...you like your legs, better yet, you appreciate your legs. You don't owe her an explanation of why you may have lost weight nor do you need to show her that you aren't bothered by the comment. Next time you can say that those comments bother you and you are sensitive to comments about your body. I've been on both ends of that spectrum. My best friend is an over exerciser and I've watched her go up and down and find myself telling her what I think about her body, yet I get frustrated when she thinks I am too thin.

iKiwi
12-20-2011, 04:16 AM
When you're insecure (as she may be) it is SO hard not to judge another woman on their body alone. I have a friend who is in recovery and she must have had such a hard time of it. But sometimes when I'm feeling like Big Mrs Jabberwocky I find myself looking at her and thinking it's so damn unfair that she's so skinny and pretty and blah blah. It's really unfair on her for me to think that though. I don't think I've ever made a comment about her body but once or twice I've drunkenly said how pretty she is (but probably in a quite a bitter way). If you have a different frame and body type to your friend, chances are she probably can't even evaluate where you are on your healthy weight scale. Eg my friend is really petite and will always be "skinny" in my eyes whether or nor she's high or low on the BMI scale relative to her frame. I actually don't pay attention to her body enough to even notice, if I'm honest.

It's only really recently I've noticed how bad this distorted thinking is in myself and how easily I can put it above my compassion when my self esteem is low and my guard is down.

I'm pretty sure these comments always come from an insane spark of burning jealousy and insecurity. These things lodge in our hearts like embers of hot coal. It's shit really. You could try talking to her. But you need to prepare yourself for the fact that sometimes, not even the calm empathy of knowing another is capable of equal suffering is enough to dull the flames of an irrational jealousy and bitter self-doubt which ends up coming out when it shouldn't. I don't even want to look like my friend especially, all I know is that my bitterness can really f**k with me and could very well be hurting her. But how would I know if she doesn't speak!? She could be silent because she feels so threatened in recovery... or maybe because she has barely even noticed. It's a screwy world. It sucks but I think it's normal. I'm rambling now, sorry.

It's not about you though, probably just your friend's distorted view of herself. Sorry, this is a ramble.

SnowbuddyM
12-20-2011, 10:42 PM
Does your friend know about your eating disorder?

Oftentimes, our friends and family do not know how to properly express their concern. I'm not saying her way of speaking to you was right, it certainly wasn't. However, she may be concerned that you are losing weight and is at a loss as to how to express that concern to you.

I would suggest being honest with her and telling her exactly how her comments make you feel when they happen. Her response will let you know whether or not she is saying them maliciously.

pantherr
12-21-2011, 12:19 AM
Thanks everyone for your responses. I do agree that this is about her issues, not mine. She does know about the ED, and I think she's smart enough to know that if she wanted to express concern, it should not be by making me feel bad about my body. And I've talked to her recently about the ED to let her know that I've been doing really well (and I was hoping that by doing so, it would end comments like that). I feel like I let her know about my ED because I want to be honest - and I've never regretted anything more in my life. She's been nothing but judgmental ever since.

This bothered me so much that when I saw my boyfriend later that evening he had to ask me **** times whether I was ok because I was apparently being really quiet.

I do think I should talk to her, but I know myself well enough to know I probably won't. But I don't want to keep feeling miserable and to dread hanging out with her, so maybe I'll have to suck it up and just do it.

As far as jealousy and judging other people's bodies: I really do believe that people's bodies are amazing and beautiful in incredible variety. In my recovery I have been able to look at other people without feeling jealous and appreciate their (and my!) ability to function and to live. So commenting on how another person looks, unless it is to say that 'that color looks great on you!' or 'I love the way you did your makeup' or something to that effect, is just off-limits to me. I think my ED has made me particularly sensitive to it. But I also think that it's basic common sense to know that commenting on another person's body in the tone-of-voice she used is NOT okay. To tell your friend she is pretty is one thing - that is a compliment. To tell someone essentially that they look bad (which is what I heard from her comment) is not.

I'm much more angry about this than I thought I'd be. Thank God I have therapy tomorrow because I really need to talk it out. Honestly I feel like a) bursting into tears out of frustration and/or b) punching her in the jaw.

Neither of those are really productive.

morae
12-21-2011, 12:35 AM
I am so envious that her comment offended you. I do not consider myself to be in recovery yet, although I am working in that direction. If someone would have made that comment to me, I would have been so happy (which is not a good thing, I realize logically).

Second of all, the other night my sister made a comment to me about my eating which is probably your equivalent of body comments. She came over, watched me make my dinner (which I unfortunately weigh out my food to decrease anxiety), and proceeded to say "Wow, are you really weighing out your food?" and I said "Yep, I am", and then she seriously said "Wow, why can't you just eat until your full like NORMAL people do?" and I said "Guess I'm not normal, and IDK why." and just walked away to eat in a different room. My sister doesn't know about my ED, but either way if she recognizes this why would she ever think it's appropriate to confront me that way?

I have realized that I need to start telling people exactly how I feel about it. Especially if your friend knows about your ED, you could always explain to her that you are finally feeling comfortable in your own skin and it's really hard to hear her comments on your body right now. I have realized that I need to be more blunt because (unfortunately) people never really know what I NEED to hear.

pantherr
12-21-2011, 05:29 PM
Well, it was the way in which she said it - I think it would have offended anyone. It was very passive aggressive. I was talking to my parents about this and my dad made a good point:

Maybe she's upset because I violated the 'misery loves company' rule.

She and I both gained weight during our freshman year of college and we sort of enabled each other as far as eating poorly and not exercising. I made a big lifestyle change, and she didn't, and now she's stuck and she has expressed that she 'feels fat' and I...don't.

And Morae, wow I'm so sorry your sister said that to you. I wish I knew what people were thinking when they decide to say stuff like that. And I think you have a good point about being explicit in what you want from people, because they're not mind readers (although I sure wish friends/family could at least be sensitive and empathetic).

decembersecond
01-07-2012, 08:14 PM
there is one thing in particular that people say to me that nearly drives me UP THE WALL.

you look so tired.

i feel like saying, well no kidding, if you knew what i was going through inside, perhaps you'd understand the sleepless nights. people don't stop to think before they speak.

it's such an insulting thing to say to someone. i think most people are saying in a harmless way, not to be malicious, perhaps out of genuine concern, but i think telling someone that they look awful (which pretty much sums it up) is an uncaring thing to do.

it really bugs me.