Monday, March 7, 2011

Parents say the Dumbest Things

I'm really frustrated with the dumb things parents say that leave a lasting scar on their children. I have received countless letters, phone calls, e-mails. ect... from people all over the world and everyone without fail will mention some comment, usually said by a father, that hurt them deeply and ended up being one of the triggers for their eating disorder.

I've mentioned this in my book and I often tell this in my interviews, but as a teen I picked up the message from my dad that being heavier was not ok. I saw his looks of disapproval when someone had seconds on desert, and heard comments like, "do you really need that." It was nothing extreme but enough to add to my triggers of having anorexia.
I tend to think most the comments are made in ignorance by a parent or loved one not realizing how sensitive someone with an eating disorder (or tendency toward one) is.

That is why I'm doing this post. Awareness is power when it comes to eating disorders.

A sad thing is I have talked to several girls who have relapsed because of a comment. The comment, "You are filling out nicely," can have good intentions behind it but to someone battling with anorexia she hears "you are getting fat." And this can cause a relapse.

The best thing to do if you have a family member with an eating disorder is not make physically comments at all. It's too bad but true with any physical comment, even one meant as a compliment, someone with an eating disorder or who are self conscious about themselves will always twist it in their mind to be a negative comment. You really can't win so just steer away from physical remarks.
Often it doesn't even have to be an actual comment but body language, or a message sent unintentionally.
Another comment that really drives me crazy is when someone says, " I wish I had an eating disorder for a little while" as they pat their belly implying they could use it as a "tool" to loose weight.
I'm just asking first of all, be aware of comments you tell your children about their weight and food. You never know which comment will stick with them and cause problems down the road.
Second, be sensitive. Obvious comments about food, appearance, and diets are something my associates and myself are extra sensitive to but being aware and in control of your words could really help prevent heartache for those around you.

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