How do you handle it when well-meaning people make comments on your weight gain? I know that I need to gain weight and that it's a good thing (well, logically I know this, but there is the AN part of my brain that is screaming that it's not ok), but when someone other than my dietitian starts a conversation about my body, it really upsets me.
I was out at a restaurant for a family celebration with 8 of us sitting at the table and my aunt turns to me in front of everyone and asks how many pounds I've gained. Didn't ask "how are you doing" or even "have you gained weight" but asked for an outright number of pounds. All eyes were on me and I tried so hard to not show that I was bothered and dumbly gave an actual number because I didn't know what else to say that was appropriate and would be well understood.
I didn't want to make a big deal by saying that I am blind weighed and am not to discuss my weight or something, but this is not the first time she or others have asked me how much I weigh. It has really thrown me into a bad emotional spot as I'm already struggling to cope with my gains and I am starting to dread seeing these people who feel so comfortable to discuss my weight like this. I then beat myself up because I probably shouldn't let it bother me, but eating disorder or not, weight is such a touchy subject for most people. It's not like asking someone if they got a new hair cut. It feels icky and upsetting and yet of course people are going to notice.
What can I say when I'm no doubt asked in the future?
I've actually found that people are telling me I'm looking 'more fit,' not heavier!
I honestly don't think many people will ask you. Most people with even the slightest amount of respect would not ask you, or ask you so openly.
You should just tell them the truth and that you don't know. Or tell them the number really doesn't matter and that you feel better and are making mental progress :)
I gained a huge amount so during the process,after,and even now I still get comments. Now being more comfortable with everything I am ok to hear them and see that it is a good thing. During recovery it was a very scary,anxious,and unknown time so any comment really upset me. First I would tell people you are under care to get healthy but would appreciate no comment or questions because that would help you move forward now. Then self talk with in and remember the goal is to gain to health and to have a full life. Also people in general no offense to your family or friends can be clueless and say some weird things. You can't self destruct or use that as an excuse to engage in ed. I promise you it will get easier if you stay strong
omg... that's so terribly mortifying!
She is your Aunt, right? Then have your associated parent (mother or father) speak with her and tell her that it is inappropriate to address your weight at this time as you are recovering from an eating disorder and doing so causes anxiety. There is no reason why something that is so private should so rudely be discussed at the dinner table... IMO. It's one thing if you're sitting at the kitchen table with your mom and dad and are speaking about it, but it's another thing if it's a big family dinner... what she did (and has done in the past too?) to you was inappropriate and shows a total lack of sensitivity.
All that being said, the next time someone asks just tell them, "I don't know. I'm under doctors orders not to weigh myself."
Yes, I agree with Sarah, I think it was a totally rude thing to ask and most people would not dream of asking such a direct and personal question.
People might enquire out of concern for you or out of curiosity (most people have a weird relationship with weight).
If you have been / are very thin you might find that people can be rude as you are a bit different and stand out. I've had the same thing with weight and with facial piercings and anyone who's been pregnant will probably attest to perfect strangers seemingly at home asking all sorts of very intimate questions in public about breast-feeding, staying at home, etc. and offering their mostly unwanted opinions on the matters aswell!
Best answer, 'I don't know.' 'Nuff said, anything else is none of their business!
Ask them how much THEY'VE gained.
Generally shuts them up. No need to lay out for all to see if you feel uncomfortable about it.
My mom has asked my aunt not to bring up such topics, but my aunt just doesn't get it and then my mom tells me I need to just let it go because she means well. It's a pretty tough thing to let go though and balm, you're right, if I asked how much my aunt gained she'd be mortified ... but then I'd be in trouble for being rude. Hmmm.
Totally agree with the things everyone has said! People just dont seem to understand that although we want to recover and are happy to be getting better, the whole gaining weight thing is still very very hard for most ED suffers.
I have people saying to me "you look so healthy" and you "look so good" as very rarely do they say things like, oh wow your putting on weight!! lol Normally when they do start saying all this, I just say, please can we not talk about it, im not really comfortable with being bigger yet and normally they back off.
Having said that, I do feel sorry for them, people find these things hard to deal with and I think that makes a lot of them very uncomfortable. They just dont know what to say and think they have to say something!!
I think thats why its important to support organisations that help give information about mental illness and eating disorders specifically!
Oh and congratulations on your progress with recovery! I hope you are feeling better inside everyday.
tangerine dream, i write a blog and just did a post on this a few weeks ago...the link is in my profile and if you would like to take a look, i hope it will help. One of my co-workers made the "you look so much better" comment to me a few weeks ago and i had a lot of trouble handling it. fortunately i made it through by a lot of reframing and positive self-talk so i really hope you can do the same. remember, they are commenting on you as a person, your new glow, rather than your shape.