A lot of people don’t understand eating disorders. To some, food is just food and their physical body is not something they focus on 24/7. Even worse can be their complete misunderstanding of food/body/diet comments.
When I was new to recovery, it was hard to ignore these comments. It almost felt like people were somehow making comments about my body or my food if they made a comment about their own.
BOY how wrong was I. Nowadays, when people make triggering comments, I can recognize that it’s a reflection of their own food/body/diet issues, and honestly, I feel bad for them.
Isn’t it unfortunate that the only interesting thing you can say to someone is a comment about dieting? Or your body shape? Or something along those lines? I’m exhausted from all the damn diet talk. We get it.
People hate their bodies.
But how do you ignore these comments? Well, sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. There have absolutely been times where someone makes a *dumb* comment to me about my body or my food or something. I’ve had doctors, friends, and family alike made comments that can be triggering, disordered, and downright insensitive.
The key to dealing with these comments isn’t pretending they don’t hurt you or trigger you. The key is moving on with your life knowing that people will always be body obsessed, but you, at least, are smart enough to recognize how disordered these comments are.
The other day, I was shopping with my friends for bridesmaids dresses for one friend’s wedding. Her mother and grandmother had joined us, and we all paraded in and out of the dressing room in various dresses. I tried on one dress and then another very shortly after.
When I came out in the second dress, my friend’s grandmother came up to me and made a comment about how different dresses accentuated different parts of my body.
I almost laughed out loud. What she really meant was that she liked one of the dresses better than the other. While I didn’t agree with her phrasing and didn’t like the way she commented on my body, I decided it wasn’t worth trying to educate her around body acceptance or diet culture.
Could I have said something more direct about how I didn’t appreciate her comment? Sure. I decided I’d rather help my friend find her wedding dress and enjoy the afternoon.