I'm an over eater.... and I know I'm overweight.... I know what i am doing to myself and at times I get upset by my appearance but in the same breath I am thankful that I don't have an eating disorder. I am not plagued 24-7 by what I eat or how I look. I recently acquired a copy of a letter form a book that I thought I would share with you. the book is "hope help and healing for eating disorders" though it doesn't ring true for me there are points to ponder in it and maybe you know someone or are the someone who could benefit from this.

" Dear_________
I am coming to you and asking for your love,support, and understanding as I recover from my eating disorder. To enable you to help me better, I have listed 9 positive steps that I would like you to keep in mind. I think it would be especially valuable for you and me to discuss these ideas after you have finished reading them.
1.Please understand that you cannot "fix" me. It is important for you to resist this tendency at all costs. As a person with an eating disorder, I already have an unhealthy tendency to look to others for acceptance and validation. This healing journey must be mine alone to take. You can help me on my way, but you cannot walk it for me.
2.Please operate from a position of acceptance. This does not mean that you agree with my behaviour: it means that you accept my behaviour as my way of coping with some sort of pain. Condemning me for choosing this faulty mechanism will only add to my pain and loss of self esteem.
3. Please read all you can on the subject. Be familiar with treatment programs and therapy methods available.
4.Please talk to me about my problem without adding the burden of judgement onto my shoulders. Operate from a position of love and concern for me. Make it "safe for me to talk to you.
5. After we have talked, avoid minimizing my pain and experiences. My problems may seem so clear to you that you may be tempted to offer "pat" answers and instant solutions. Just remember, I have experienced years of suffering and aloneness. Pat answers may only reinforce my suspicion that no one understands. It would help me most if you could just listen to my feelings and emotions without making value judgements
6.If you are one of the people I hold responsible for the pain in my life, please try not to react with hostility and defensiveness when I share my memories of the past with you. Accept my version of the events and how I feel about what happened, even if you remember things differently. Allow me to work through my healing journey and come to the point where I understand my need to forgive you. Don't try to force me understand your "point of view" at this stage. I'll eventually reach the point where I can listen to you.
7.Guard against becoming my "warden," policing my actions and making demands on me. Fear of the damage I am doing to myself may entice you to want to get a handle on my behaviour quickly, but forcing your desires on someone already struggling may increase, instead of control, destructive behaviours. People do not change because of force.
Be careful not to constantly watch what I eat, discuss my food intake with me, or make a point of always asking me how much I weigh. You can not "will" me to get better by using your own will to supersede mine. I "want" to get better, but I must be allowed to make decisions on my own.
8.Don't feel as if you have to back down in a conflict. State your opinion, clearly and honestly, but state it as an opinion. Allow for differences of opinion between us.
9. Finally, please understand that my behaviour took time yo develop, and I must also be allowed the time I need to accomplish my healing journey. Pressuring me to "get well soon" will only retard my progress.
Thank you for caring enough to listen and help. I need your understanding and support very much as I continue on my journey to recovery.

To the "Helper," from Dr Jantz
At the core of all these steps is loving the individual.( to avoid awkwardness, I will assume that the individual is a female, though of course this is not always the case) Loving the individual means doing what is best for her, not what will make you feel better. She needs to be allowed to express her anger and pain, even if its painful for you.
While dealing with an eating disordered friend or loved one, it its important not to neglect the other relationships in your life. ..............
Also be aware that your actions and attitudes are very important to the one with the eating disorder. If she is a member of your family, what you think about her essential to her. If she is a friend, she needs your love and acceptance. It is especially important not to compare her with other people, especially siblings. Her self-esteem is already in questions: it doesn't need to be battered further by unfair comparisons.
Constant questions of " how are you doing?" "How are you feeling?" or " How is it going?" can aggravate the eating disordered person's feelings of adequacy. She may have numbed her feelings for for so long that she is unable to articulate exactly what she is feeling. Allow her to tell you what she wants, when she wants. Being open and honest are "new skills" that she is mastering. Let her work into than as she continues on her journey.
Along with loving the individual comes trusting the individual. She must be allowed to find her own values, her own ideals and standards, her own answers, rather than being required to accept yours.
Whether family or friend, someone with an eating disorder desperately needs people around her who love and accept her. She needs the safety of that love and acceptance to venture out into the reality of her painful past. Being there for her, accepting her, listening to her can give her the support she needs to start and continue on her healing journey.
So there you have it I found a few points very helpful and I also found that I had a clearer understanding of what someone could be going through. Hope it was helpful for some of you.
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1 Response
  1. Jenny Says:

    I know I have an eating problem...I eat WAY too much!!LOL!
    Thanks for sharing. Hopefully if someone were struggling with this they would find the help they need.
    Have a great day!!