When I was struggling with an eating disorder, I did not want anyone commenting on my food. One of the most hurtful things was when someone joked or teased me about what I was eating. One of the hardest things was hearing comments from people I loved. Comments like:
“You eat like a bird!”
“Aren’t you going to eat more than that?!”
“You’re going to eat all of that?!”
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize that these phrases and comments truly hurt—ESPECIALLY when they’re made to someone who already struggles with food. It’s not helpful to hear comments like this—so I get it. If someone says things like this to you, it may make you angry, it may hurt you, or it may just be really irritating. Please know that these feelings are okay and valid.
“Allow yourself to feel them, process them, and move on.”
Also, try to have a little grace with these people. Most of the time they truly don’t know what they’re doing.
I think most of the time when we’re struggling with something, we don’t want others to notice—let alone say something about it. So, first off—please never say these things to people. Or if you catch yourself saying something along these lines, apologise and tuck it away as a learning experience. It is okay to always be learning and trying to be/do better. But also, if you are struggling, remember that it is OKAY to struggle and not be perfect. Everyone has their own struggles, and a lot of people struggle with the same things that you do. So don’t be afraid, to be honest, and real about your struggles—sometimes the most beautiful connections are made this way.
There are a few things that you can do to also be proactive/stand up for yourself if you are struggling with your relationship with food and people are making these comments to you. First of all, if you are struggling with an eating disorder or your relationship with food, please know that you are not alone. You are not the only one who struggles and you are not the only one who hears these comments. You are not being singled out—more likely, the person does not realize the hurt that they’re causing you.
“If someone is intentionally bullying you/saying hurtful things, please stand up for yourself.”
Either have a hard conversation and set a boundary or stop letting that person talk to you in that way—aka, cut off communication. I know that this is a lot easier said than done in most situations. But you are worth taking care of. If it is someone you love who truly loves you as well and doesn’t understand what the comments feel like to you, have a different hard conversation. Explain to this person how these comments make you feel and ask them to stop making them. I know this can also be scary, especially if someone does not know your struggles. But again, you are worth taking care of.
The bottom line? You are so worthy. You are so worthy of being taken care of and taking care of. Take care of yourself, and also have those hard conversations so that others can help take care of you as well. You are not meant to do it alone. And you are not a punching bag for others to throw hurtful comments at. You are not alone; your relationship with food can become more accessible; your relationship with food is not everyone else’s business; food is your friend!
A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.
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