I used to hear, “you weigh too much/you’re too muscular to have anorexia” when I was really sick. I was an athlete, though, and was OBSESSED with making sure I could keep doing my sport ’cause it was my escape. It was really hurtful when people would say stuff like that to me ’cause I was very sick and it made me feel challenged to “do better” about not eating.
While slipping into anorexia, I was rewarded with compliments from family, friends, and strangers. Our society associates losing weight with health and happiness. However, eating disorders show that this is often not the case.
Instead of blaming those who made unhelpful comments to me, I want to make a list of common but detrimental phrases people often say to someone struggling with anorexia. One of the main things to remember is to not focus on someone’s weight. If you feel the need to compliment a friend, affirm a characteristic that you admire or something that he or she has done recently. Otherwise, if you really how that person looks, then choose another aspect of his or her appearance like an outfit, hairdo, or earnest smile. There are so many other ways to encourage someone besides mentioning pounds lost.
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