Every Body is Different
It is important to remember that every body is different. We all have different genetics. Even if everyone started eating the same things and did the same amount of exercise for a whole year, we would not all look the same at the end of the year. This is because each person’s genetics influence their bone structure, body size, and weight differently.
Warning Signs For:
Health Consequences of:
How to Help Someone with an Eating Problem
- Don’t be surprised if the person reacts with denial or even hostility to your concerns. Denial of the problem is one of the symptoms of an eating disorder.
- Be prepared to approach the person multiple times. Although it may seem that you are not doing any good, people who have recovered from an eating disorder usually say that it was important that family and friends kept trying to reach out to them. The messages of concern will accumulate, and eventually, they might make a difference.
- Don’t make promises that will endanger the person’s well-being (e.g. don’t promise you “won’t tell” if you feel that the person’s life might be in danger).
- Encourage the person to seek help from a trained professional. Let them know that you are concerned about their health and well-being. The Counseling and Personal Development Center can be reached at extension 1090.
- Know your limits. Don’t try to provide therapeutic help for the person yourself. You do not want to become a substitute for professional care.
- Don’t offer advice and simple solutions. Telling a person that they will feel better if they eat, or that they just need to refrain from throwing up, is usually more harmful than helpful. You don’t want to minimize the struggle the person is facing.
- Don’t dwell on food-related discussions with the person.
- Don’t try to change the person’s symptomatic behaviors. Coaxing a person to eat or trying to lock them out of the bathroom so that they can’t purge will only make that person feel more out of control. Feeling in control tends to be very important to people with eating disorders.
- Do no comment on the person’s weight or appearance (or your own). Don’t compare them to others. Your comments may be interpreted the wrong way.
- Learn all you can about eating disorders. Your understanding will help you cope with the frustrations of watching someone who has an eating disorder, especially if they are refusing help.
- Consult a professional for advice and to get support for dealing with the problem. The Counseling and Personal Development Center can be reached at x1090.