Eating Disorder Pet Peeves

I’m not feeling very well today. I think I’m sick and I’ve just had a fairly emotional week thus far. Because of that, and because this is my blog and I do what I want, I’m going to write about being cranky. Specifically I’m going to talk about those things that drive me and my eating disorder CRAZY. I assume they drive other people with eating disorders crazy too, but I’m not really sure. So here they are, my eating disorder pet peeves, aka things not to do around someone with an eating disorder:

1. When I say that I ate something, this is not an invitation to comment on my weight.
I mean really actually nothing is an invitation to comment on my weight unless I actively invite you to comment on my weight or unless you’re my doctor or dietician. Otherwise you can piss the fuck off because when you ask me how I’m “so skinny when I eat ice cream” I feel both like a fraud, and like I’m completely crazy. I also want to yell at you “BECAUSE I NEVER EAT”, so please just don’t do it.

2.Don’t talk about how many calories are in things or how bad they are for you or how sugary or fatty things are.
Again, just WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? I’ve had a near stranger come up and comment on how many calories are in my food. Why? All you’re doing is making people feel guilty and drawing attention to something unnecessary. Counting calories is a really unhealthy way of controlling your diet, it’s incredibly triggering, and it’s really just not helpful to anyone to talk about calories. If you’re a calorie counter, then count your calories! Hooray! Just don’t tell me about it.

3.I don’t need to know about your workouts. I really, really don’t. I am competitive and exercise is a trigger. Please just don’t tell me. I come up with enough overzealous workouts all on my own.

4.Don’t give me that special look. You know the one. The one that says “is she going to blow up today?” or “did I break her?”. I’m not a doll, I’m not fragile, I’m not on the edge. You can talk to me. Use your words if you think I’m having a bad day, don’t just give me the concerned face. Don’t tiptoe around. You can say words to me.

5.If you expect me to take care of myself, I sure as hell expect you to take care of yourself. Don’t act all worried and terrified if I don’t eat and then turn around and skip meals. In particular, your workaholic nature and your negative self-comments affect me.  They normalize treating myself like crap. It’s important that you understand this.

6.DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use the words “depression” or “anorexic” in casual conversation as vague descriptors of things. It trivializes hell to me. Just don’t.

7.Pretty please ask before physical contact. You don’t necessarily have to use your words but like…instead of a sudden glomp you can open your arms and wait for reciprocation. That’s cool. I am a tad sensitive about my body and sudden contact freaks me the heck out.

8.Please don’t make fun of me for being physically incapable of things that seem easy to you. These include things like running a mile, staying awake for more than about 15 hours at a time, or having enough energy to go out and socialize. My body is tired. Respect that. If you can be aware of it, that helps oodles too. I will push myself to keep up with others, and if someone doesn’t notice that I can’t keep up it’s fairly miserable.

Most of these things seem self-explanatory to me. Generally avoiding topics like weight, appearance, and exercise are a good idea because those are stressful and triggering to me. In general, those are also things that you have no business butting into other people’s lives about, so overall I don’t know why we have to have this conversation. Just don’t do it.

5 thoughts on “Eating Disorder Pet Peeves

  1. Eliza_Mariah says:

    I don’t need to know about your workouts. I really, really don’t. I am competitive and exercise is a trigger. Please just don’t tell me.

    THIS! I’ve had to block several friends from appearing in my timeline on Facebook because of their constant updates about exercise. I’ve only just stopped exercising compulsively myself and I find it unbelievably triggering. It’s really difficult to talk to people about this because the exercise=good discourse is so powerful in our society.

  2. […] Eating Disorder Pet Peeves (taikonenfea.wordpress.com) […]

  3. csillanani says:

    I love this list that you created. As someone who has also struggled with an eating disorder, many of the pet peeves you listed can be very triggering for me.

  4. Great list! These are all such good points that also bug me.

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