It’s been a bit of a hectic afternoon here. I had a nap because I was really ridiculously exhausted, ate some easter eggs to boost the energy and decided to go for an afternoon stroll. I barely made it to the bottom of the driveway before some boys who were holidaying nearby came running up asking for help – an elderly lady who lives around the corner had fallen on the driveway and smashed open her head. So spent the next half hour holding her head, cleaning blood up and waiting for the ambulance to come. Needless to say, I didn’t go for a walk – and that was probably a good thing, I already went this morning.
So – as I was walking down the driveway to go on this afternoon stroll Y, the lady who I am currently house sitting for asked me if I was going for a walk. I told her I was and she replied with “good for you”. Which is also what she told me yesterday when I let her know I was going for a walk. SO it got me thinking – why do we praise people when they tell us things like how much they’ve been exercising lately, or about the new diet that they’re on? Does it not seem a little wrong? Because the eating disorder sufferer is going to use your words of encouragement as motivation for them to continue losing weight and remain in their eating disordered pattern. I think it makes a world of difference to say something along the lines of “enjoy your walk” than insinuating the person is somehow better because they’re heading off to do some exercising. We don’t need to be making people feel like they’re superior.
And let me be honest here, of all places please – I thought I was superior when I was anorexic. I had self-control, and other people didn’t. Let me just tell you now that having that sort of thinking and/or encouraging that sort of thinking is deadly dangerous, a load of crap and disgustingly wrong. I obviously was not superior. I was not better than other people simply because I was exerting self-control (over food, which is exerting self-control in the wrong manner). I think this just highlights how sick the person is, if this sort of thinking is occurring.
And man, don’t get me started on the ‘praising someone for their diet’ question. If someone is overweight and they choose to lose weight in a healthy manner and not be restrictive and don’t feel insanely guilty for eating a chocolate biscuit every night with their cup of tea and they feel good about themselves in the process of doing it, and they’re seeing a dietitian or doctor along the way and they’re flexible and patient with themselves – yeah, it IS good for them. Encouragement in that circumstance is often necessary. But don’t make out that exercising or eating healthily somehow makes them a better person – because it doesn’t.
And if you really think that it does, I suggest you reconsider the issue.
Sorry if this is a little harsh, but people make me mad sometimes. As you can see.
Drinking tea, eating a jam bikkie now. Life’s pretty good.
Love, Bek Xo.