re: anorexia questions

lindycatDecember 9, 2001

I am not sure if this is the correct forum for this or not.

At Christmas, I will be seeing my sister in law for the first time in over 6mos. She is anorexic. She should be a size 12-14 & weigh about 150. According to the family she weighs a proud 105 & a size 3 is too big.

My question is- how should I greet her? Mention that 'wow you look skinny" or say something about how terrible she looks- in a nice way? or just ignore the fact that- according to the family- she looks like a bag of bones? I don't want to make the situation worse. She is in denial.

Thanks for the imput.

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Lynnie

Since your sister-in-law is an adult she is the only one that can decide to help herself. I suggest you simply greet her with a simple, "Hello, how are you"? "How've you been"? "It's great seeing you". There is no need to mention what she "looks" like. If you feel you must comment on her appearance comment on how nice here hair looks, her outfit, etc.,

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 8:25AM
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susan1

I agree with Lynnie. She's probably heard it all before and is actually dreading the holidays because of all the comments she's sure to hear. Let her enjoy herself. If you're not someone who sees her on a regular basis then I would stay out of it. She probably would only be offended and end up avoiding you in the future.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2001 at 9:56AM
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WendiD

As a reformed anorexic, I can tell you how I would have felt. With me, and most anorexics, it is mostly a control issue. I got a sick pleasure out of being told that I was too skinny. Comments like those gave me a sense of achievement. I wanted to control my weight and I was obviously doing a really good job.

What finally got to me was an intervention thrown by a bunch of my friends. Once I realized that everyone around me was preparing for my death, I woke up. Comments on how I looked only made me feel good about what I was doing to myself. HTH

~Wendi~

BTW, I am now 5'3", 115# and feeling a lot better about myself.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 1:32AM
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susan1

WendiD,
Wow, was I off on my assessment. I had no idea that an anorexic actually liked the comments. I just remember when I was in high school and was sooo skinny that people (even mere acquaintances) would come up and hint around about my eating disorder or tell me I was anorexic. If they would have just seen how much food I could put away they would have congratulated me on my fast metabolism instead. Anyhoo, it made me feel very self-conscious and ugly when I should have been enjoying being thin while I could (not so today).

I guess there's a big difference between having control over your thinness and being that way naturally.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 9:32AM
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lindycat

Thank You All for your comments. I think we all are preparing for her death. The family members who live near her have done a intervention thing & it has not worked. Her kids have talked to her. She is 40. Kids in their late teens. I agree that it is a control issue. Her & I used to be closer, but since the eating thing- she has withdrawn from family. She has had a lot of upheaval in her life in the last 2 yrs & this is one thing she can control.
But I will take your advice & not mention it to her. Just a nice hug hello & move on. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 1:31PM
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rits

In what ways has anorexia/bulimia affected your relationship with yourself by telling yourself that you are not worthy?

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    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 11:35PM
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allannelsoon

Lindy,

A simple but genuine greeting will do. No need for fancy ideas. However, if you wish to help her to come out of her problems, you can talk to her about that later. Remember anorexia is not just food and weight problem but many emotional and psychological issues are involved with it too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eating Disorder

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:12AM
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