Imagine this: you’re out with a dear friend you’ve not seen for a while, catching up over a meal.
During the meal the friend makes several comments about how they’re being ‘bad’ because of their food choice, they really need to lose a few from their [body part], they really shouldn’t be eating this but it’s so delicious, and how they wish they could be as comfortable as you (who is over the fat talk phase of being female) clearly are in just enjoying food as food.
You do the usual steer-away-from-weight and change-the-food-conversation stop-the-fat-talk tactics, because that’s what you do now that you’re aware of the ‘normal’ but so falsely-comforting conversations we women have about our bodies and our weight.
You even manage to get your friend talking about the stuff that’s important to you about her – her dreams, challenges at work, precious shared moments with her loved ones, the trip she’s planning or the deeply moving sometimes hilarious movie she recently saw.
You’re feeling quietly reconnected with your friend, have satisfied the part of you that needs nurturing with loving bonds, and enjoying feeling like you’re part of the life of someone you respect and care about.
You both decide that your friend will go inside to pay for the meal and you hand over money to cover your share.
Enjoying the fresh air and embracing sun, you’re delighted when your friend returns and hands you a gift – two perfect cupcakes in a container.
Expecting to share them, you open the container and offer one to your friend. “Oh no,” she says. “I could never eat anything like that, it’s way too fattening for me. I bought them for you.”
Is This Disordered Eating?
Is your firend giving you a real gift? Or is she vicariousy satisfying something else?
I know that seems a bit paranoid maybe but I’ve noticed a few people do this (and no, not just to me :)) They buy food for others that they would never ever permit themselves to eat because of the risk of ‘getting fat’.
Is it satisfying enough to do that? Does buying the food lessen the desire enough that the craving is eased enough to allow willpower to reassert itself?
I am really curious about whether other people have noticed this, and if you ever do this, what’s going through your mind?
Please share below so you can help me unpack this, so that my seeing-disordered-eating-everywhere lens doesn’t filter it…