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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » family & boyfriend prefer me skinny/disordered

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Author Topic: family & boyfriend prefer me skinny/disordered
camiro2
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Member # 76755

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TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses eating disorders!


Hallo all,

I used to have an account here when I was in high school, but it's been ages and I can't remember the password and don't have that old email anymore, so I made this new one. My old username was camiro, I think.

The worry that's got me back here is pretty mundane, I guess, but I can't shake it:

Like many people, I've sporadically struggled with disordered eating - nothing too extreme, I was never diagnosed with anything - but for the past few years there have been periods in which I fasted and overexercised until I was moderately antisocial and pretty dang unhappy. Other than this behavior I was doing well professionally, academically - and eventually, with help from different sectors, I finally broke out of my unhealthy food/exercise habits. I gained twenty pounds. Sometimes it bothers me, but most of the time I don't think about it. The problem is that my family, who are really supportive of me most of the time, constantly discuss weight and definitely prefer my previous appearance. I'm not overweight, just bigger than they'd like - and no matter how often I tell them I don't want to talk about weight, it comes up again and again. Other than this, we all get along. I don't want to pick another fight about it, but I also can't be around them - it's bad enough that I'm thinking about not going to a family wedding I really want to go to, just to avoid them. The comments aren't even mean, really, just -- obvious.

My boyfriend is super sweet and supportive. He's a big part of why I got over those behaviors in the first place, always tells me I'm pretty, and he'd never ever tell me anything negative about my weight or my body. It's clear, though, that he's not as attracted to me this way. He won't leave me or anything, that's not what I'm worried about - but I want him to want me. He doesn't even look at me in a lusty way, he doesn't seem to want to look at my body at all, actually. All this makes me feel like it might be better just to go back to how I was, avoid fighting with my family and feeling judged, feel wanted by my boyfriend and stop being self conscious about the little belly I've developed.
I really can't think of a good solution. Let me know if you can? I'm on the verge of going back to how I was, even though it sort of sucked.

Thanks yo.

Camiro

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Camiro, it's wonderful to see you. [Smile] I certainly wish it was under better circumstances, but it's cool all the same.

Would you say that your family is eating disordered? Probably sounds like a pretty obvious question, I know, but since so much disordered eating is learned as we grow up, or triggered or enabled (sometimes even directed) within the family, and your family members are reacting this way, I think it's important to look at.

In terms of your boyfriend, can I ask where you're getting the ideas you have? have you two talked about this together, and he has expressed these things to you? Or are these assumptions you're making?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Jill2000Plus
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Member # 41657

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WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN TRIGGERS FOR PEOPLE WITH EATING DISORDERS

I know what it's like when your family has a disordered attitude towards eating, my mum was borderline anorexic as a teenager (there was a point when her periods stopped), and when ever she put on a pound or two when I was growing up, she'd scream angrily about how she wanted to cut the fat out of her belly. I've been fat since I was a child (partly due to comfort eating to cope with my miserable home and school life, plus I got migraines easily as a child so exercising was difficult for me and as one would sadly expect I was teased about my weight in P.E./Gym Class and didn't really have much confidence when it came to playing sports), and she would constantly go on about my weight, she told me my face wasn't pretty anymore because it had gotten too fat, and she would go through the trash in my room to find out what I'd been eating. I keep on telling her I don't want to hear anything from her about my weight again even if it is "encouraging" because she made my life a misery about it when I was a kid and so she long ago lost the priviledge of being able to give me advice on the subject. I have all sorts of unhealthy eating habits as a result of my mother's attitude towards food and weight. I'm trying to adopt a HAES (Health At Every Size) attitude, but every time I try and adopt healthier eating and exercise patterns, my brain starts going on about how it will make me thin and that's a good thing and that should be my goal and then I don't even want to change my habits anymore because I want to eat healthily and exercise for the sake of my health, not for my appearance or weight. You are beautiful the way you are, and if you know this is a healthier weight for you, then that's what matters, not whether your family understands or not. I second what Heather said: talk to your boyfriend if this is all stuff you're assuming, because nobody's psychic. And yeah, if your family is reacting this way, they may well be eating disordered.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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camiro2
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Hey there,

Thank you both so much!

Heather, both of your points seem like ones I should have thought of but I hadn't! My mom, who's the source of most of the comments about my weight, is definitely eating disordered. She's very badly overweight - it's rare for me to see her NOT eating - and she literally never exercises. She talks constantly about how fat she is, often even as she's finishing off an entire block of cheese. She was very thin when she was my age and she has several sisters who all run marathons and are about as physically healthy as people can be, so I know she feels implicitly compared to her former self and to her family. Her comments about my body definitely stem from insecurity, so it's hard to be mad at her - it's just equally hard to be around her.
My brother, who makes the other comments, is just being a weird, sexist young man who thinks he's got a right to inform me whether I'm attractive or not. But like I said, neither of them are mean, exactly - just faintly snide, or at times even friendly/concerned in a way that makes me really question myself. I know about HAES - I went to a really left-leaning liberal arts college - and I'm all for it when it's applied to not judging others' bodies, but it's so much more difficult to not judge my own.. I'm not sure how identifying my mom's disorderedness helps, though.

I haven't asked my boyfriend what he thinks, and you're right, I might completely be projecting! Yesterday he told me he likes how strong my shoulders and thighs are, and I took offense because I thought he was saying they were huge and muscly and unfeminine ( I work out a lot, which, combined with that weight gain, means I'm pretty stocky. I often feel brick-shaped and brick-textured, and I'm pretty insecure about how unlike the wispy blond woman-elf in every advertisement that is) BUT obviously he was just paying me a complement. So yeah, I guess I'll just ask. I feel like he'd never tell me if my weight gain bothered him, though, you know? and he's extraordinarily traditionally attractive and I'm a scruffy, short-haired brick of a tomboy who is frequently and understandably mistaken for a man or a stereotype of a butch lesbian. Now that I'm typing all this I'm realizing that I'm so much more insecure than I thought in this relationship! Like I'm worried WispyBlondeWomanElf from every Anthropologie ad is going to show up and make him realize he's crazy to be with me. I'm being crazy! Oh dear. I'll just ask him, he's the sweetest creature, I should have done that in the first place.

Thank you so much. It's nice to have solidarity and an outside perspective.

[ 08-30-2011, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: camiro2 ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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quote:
I'm not sure how identifying my mom's disorderedness helps, though.
Well, if you think about this as something you likely learned that is about someone ELSE'S body and sense of self, but you -- not knowing or understanding that -- internalized and learned to consider to be about you, does that change anything about your thinking at all?

Mind, it's not like that or anything else could make massive changes overnight, but they probably will over time. Heck, maybe even just being very blunt and asking yourself if you really want to invest energy in feeling negative about yourself so someone can work out their own crap on you might trigger the start of some changes.

You know, I think WispyBlondeWomanElf from every Anthropologie ad is WAY too busy restricting her calories and killing herself on the treadmill to try and keep herself at a size her agency will accept so she can stay employed to have the time to pursue your boyfriend. [Smile]

[ 08-30-2011, 04:23 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Just an extra FYI? Family therapy for eating disorders is often suggested by people who work with those with EDs, because it is much more common than not for EDs to run in families.

So, I don't know if that'd be something you and your Mom would both be willing to look into or have access to, but if so, it could likely make a big difference for both of your lives. (As well as potentially improving your relationship a good deal.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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