6 Things You Shouldn’t Say To Someone Recovering From An Eating Disorder

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

woman with eating disorder

Eating disorders can be life threatening and cause ongoing health complications without recovery. Recovering from an eating disorder is tedious because it involves something that every human needs to survive- food. Most of the world struggles with insecurities about food and body image. It is easy to project that onto someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. Here is a quick guide of what not to say, even when you might be thinking it:

  • Will You Lose The Weight Again? Gaining weight is a natural part of recovering from an eating disorder. Most people develop a healthy and balanced lifestyle which includes careful nutrition, regulated exercise, and overall wellness. For those with eating disorders which caused starvation and restricting food, gaining the weight back comes in phases. At first, the body will bounce back, gaining weight at what seems to be a twice as fast rate. It will go through phases of gain and loss- mostly because relapse is common in the beginning phases of eating disorder recovery. ‘The weight’ is something someone with an eating disorder has struggled with their entire lives. They are working hard to make amends with having weight on their body and detaching from their unhealthy relationship with the number on the scale. Whatever Their body needs to do to heal is what it will do to heal.
  • You Should Do This Diet With Me! Diets are a red flag danger zone for people in recovery from eating disorders. Technically, they’ve created a diet themselves, maintaining a balanced nutrition. For those who have disordered thinking regarding control, perfection, and food a diet can be like handing an alcoholic a bottle. They don’t need quick fixes and regimented plans anymore. Day by day they are working to restore their body in a healthy way.
  • Why Are You Eating So Much? One of the best ways to manage hunger and calorie intake is by eating small meals and snack throughout the day. Having once lived in starvation and restriction, those in eating disorder recovery no longer make a habit of denying themselves food. They don’t have to eat servings that are out of control, but can enjoy what they want with healthy portions.
  • Don’t You Need To Know Your Weight? The scale is the enemy to many of those who live with an eating disorder. Trying to break away from the destructive habit of obsessing over numbers, most get rid of their scale. Weight, they come to understand, is just a number and does not define them. Most in recovery will have someone else check their weight to let them know if they are gaining a healthy amount back or not.
  • You Still Look Great! Using the word ‘still’ compares the time now when someone is in recovery from an eating disorder to the time when they were actively struggling with one. Their perception of their body image when they were struggling is disordered. You might trigger an insecurity in them which gets them to thinking that even though they are gaining weight and changing the way they look it is still ‘acceptable’.

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