Thought Catalog

5 Lies My Friends With Eating Disorders Have Told Me

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Growing up, I thought anorexia only looked like Nicole Richie in a two piece bathing suit running down the beach, but living in New York for the past three years has taught me otherwise. Being either a gay man or a girl means there is a good chance you’re hungry right now. If you add “works in fashion”, you’re just straight up starving all the time. And the most disturbing aspect of it all? It’s acceptable, it’s encouraged, it’s a damn joke. Having a “liquid meal” instead of one with solids is viewed as a good decision. It means you’re disciplined and strong. It’s also totally hilarious! Making references to the fact that you don’t eat is so funny and not creepy at all!

Here are some lies my friends with food issues have told me. If you’ve heard a friend say something similar, keep an eye on them. Things could be getting Karen Carpenter serious.

1. I’m so hungover. I’m craving a kale salad right now.

When you’re hungover, your body wants to eat terrible things. It wants clogged arteries, weight gain, the whole nine yards. And if you don’t have an issue with food, you’ll happily oblige. You’ll eat that burrito from Chipotle and love every moment of it. But when you’re hungover with your friend who has some food issues, it can be a nightmare. They’ll say things like, “I seriously need a salad. My body wants it.” They talk about a mixed greens salad like it’s a Big Mac. And you just have to sit idly by and be like, “Yeah. That sounds so good right now???” Once when I was hungover, I was forced to eat at this macrobiotic place and I just wanted to die. It was like pure slow torture eating this health food when all I wanted was something that would give me cardiac arrest. Lesson learned: don’t ever go out to eat when you’re hungover with your friend who doesn’t like to eat.

2. I’m full. Do you want the rest of this?

You are not full! You barely ate your granola. There is no way that could’ve satisfied your appetite. And no, I don’t want the rest of it. It looks like mushy weird soup.

3. I baked cookies. But I don’t actually want any of them so please have one!

For some reason, people with eating disorders love pushing fattening foods on their friends. They’ll bake cookies and brownies for all of their friends and eat a Zone bar while everyone chows down. What’s up with that? Are they trying to get me fat? Or do they miss the foods so much and this is the only way they can be around it? Either way, it’s creepy and sad.

4. I just love to exercise!

An addiction to exercising can be just another way to conceal an eating disorder. Becoming obsessed with dance, for example, can make it look like you’re just being healthy when you’re actually doing it to burn major calories. “I just love to dance! Can’t stop dancing. Please don’t stop the music!”

5. I know I’m thin but it’s just genetics. You should see me eat!

I’ve noticed that whenever you tell someone they look too thin, they get faux embarrassed and say, “No, I’ve just been really stressed out lately. You should see me eat!” And you’re like, “I do see you eat and I understand why you’re too thin.” To prove a point sometimes, they’ll order a hamburger when you’re out to eat. After two bites, however, they’ll be like “this tastes weird. I don’t want it!” and stop eating. It tastes weird because it tastes like calories.

All kidding aside, the casualness of eating disorders is truly frustrating and sad. It’s scary how okay it has become to have a “little eating disorder.”  Unless you’re looking like death warmed over twice, no one cares that you’ve skipped a meal. In fact, they’ll be envious of you. Decreasing your food intake is seen as something everyone does when they’re young, living in a big city, and don’t want to see themselves get chubby. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting there being like “I’ll have the homemade Oreo for dessert” while everyone else asks for a second drink. Just me and my Oreo all alone in this big hungry city! TC mark

image – Ep.Sos.de

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    • Katgeorge

      I can fit a whole cheeseburger in my mouth at once. Where I come from this is considered sexy. I once did it here and everyone stopped being friends with me.

      • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

        best friends?

    • TheOnlySanePersonInTheUniverse

      I have no fucking sympathy or compassion for these people.  Let them die.  My favorite is seeing anorexics shopping at Whole Foods.  Why pay 3x more for something you're going to puke back up, if it even goes in your mouth at all.

      • Chaoscossack

        That would be bulimia, not anorexia, uninformed-but-opinionated unempathetic asshole., not anorexia, uninformed-but-opinionated unempathetic asshole.

        • Eva

          Not necessarily true, anorexia can also come with puking but I get your point.

      • Guest

        I’m sympathetic because I get how they feel, wanting to be super skinny and not wanting to gain weight except I’m not at their extreme point. Even though I don’t have a disorder, it’s TERRIBLE. I eat some Oreos or a slice of pizza or pasta and feel terrible because it feels so fatty and promise to go on a diet. It never works but that’s a NORAML girl’s response. Think of how extreme it is for them. I can look in the mirror and see, “Hey, 5’4″, 135 pounds isn’t super fat, could trip it down but overall, wassup good looking” but they can’t.

        • trish

          @THEONLYSANEPERSONINTHEUNIVERSE: you are a piece of shit.

    • SisterRay

      I'll come eat homemade Oreos with you, Ryan! And you're totally right about these points. One of my BFFs with “disordered eating” (cause I guess there is a line between that and full-on “disorder”) totally does the baking thing and foisting it off on other people. I don't get it. When I bake I eat all of it myself usually.  Which is why she can fit into trendier and more hipster-y clothes than I can but frankly who cares.

    • http://profiles.google.com/btlcs90 syahmi azri

      i am genetically thin, but my mom somehow alter the DNA sequence by force-feeding me with fat-laden food. all the time.

    • http://twitter.com/h3ll0soshi courtney

      Also grocery shopping takes forever, having to check all the ingredients on every single thing.

    • http://tattoosnob.com Julene

      I like how not eating shit that's awful for you automatically = self-loathing? Give up sugar-laden food products (and we're not just talking desserts & sodas) for a month, then try to eat them again. You'll be amazed.

      • riles

        A Chipotle burrito isn't awful for you. It's a bundle of nutrition with a high calorie price tag. It's especially okay with your arteries if you make it vegetarian.

        • Dfasdf

          The problem with a chipotle burrito isn't the high calorie price tag it's that the price isn't worth what you're getting. If I'm going to eat 800 calories in one sitting I'd rather it be something delicious.

      • Guest

        I did on a diet once. I only liked them the better after not having them for a month. :P

    • http://georgebrostanza.tumblr.com george brostanza

      good piece for it is true and quite funny. In reality in the moment of these actual situations, it is quite annoying just because of the fact that people like this aren't truthful. I'd be the first to admit that i'm health conscious, however there is a time and place for everything. Anyway, it is what you eat the majority of the time that matters. If i eat healthy wholesome meals the majority of the time, i don't feel too bad eating pure garbage after a long night of drinking with friends. Also, fuck those people who only eat garbage, but like specs of it per day. The type of people who eat like gummy bears and mini oreos just to be like “oh hey i eat this and look thin what about u?” you eat that and look thin because you have two fucking bites. That's not living to me. That's not even portion control. That's beyond that. fuck that and portion control too. Just eat real food until your satisfied. Also, nothing wrong with exercise. Moral of the story: be truthful about your intentions as embarrassing as they may be, except know to not tell certain people as certain people are giant dicks and like to see you fail and sad. And by certain people, i mean all people with the exception of your parents or like really good friend you've know since 1st grade or some shit.

      • Greg

        I hate to see even acquaintances fail

      • Ang

        I love this response. Yeah seriously, fuck portion control. It never works and does more damange in the long run (for me anyways).

    • Klaus

      I'm a skinny fat; my fat grows inwards, so you can't see  it, but its there.

    • http://twitter.com/3llen Ellen Grace

      #6: “I guess I just forgot to eat [breakfast/lunch/dinner/any combination of the three]!”

      This used to be my favorite, and it is a downright lie. Nobody actually forgets to eat on the daily.

      • SamSigelakisMinski

        Eh, I disagree… college finals week does that to you. But after that, I am all about eating lots of food. During finals though, I forgot to eat legitimately for almost entire days. Not healthy, but I made up for it when I got home for summer break :)

      • Guest

        On weekdays, I sometimes skip breakfast because I have no time and sometimes I’m working though lunch but I make up for it at dinner. Which in retrospect, is pretty unhealthy, could be why I gain so much weight.

    • http://profiles.google.com/mopeyprincess mopey P

      Having lived with a couple of roommates and some friends with either straight up anorexia or disordered eating, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I prefer the honest “I'm gonna drink my dinner” approach. I hated having to listen to my anorexic roommate talk about how she's full because she ate “sooo much junk food today” when I'd hung out with her all day and watched her eat all of 2 oreos and drink some juice.
      I have some friends who are like “I don't eat” and I appreciate their honesty. It makes it easier to plan things with them (no dinner, only drinks) and way less awkward because we don't have to go through these dumb lies. And you're right, as long as they're not skeletal or fainting, then I don't worry about them, and kind of respect them. My 2 most deceptive and hidey friends with EDs were the ones who ended up with serious problems like fainting a lot of massive downy hair growth on their limbs.

      • Scarlett

        You should still worry about them. Eating disorders come with some serious malnutrition before someone becomes skeletal. Nevermind that these are diseases.

        • http://profiles.google.com/mopeyprincess mopey P

          In theory I agree with you. But I have way too many friends like that to worry about all of them, and the pressures on lady professionals in the city to be thin (just try to find some non-thin uber successful lady execs) are just too great. For me, if they are high functioning and seem otherwise happy, then they can be a little anemic or go on little crash diets to lose 5 lbs without meriting my intervention.

    • Allison

      Sometimes I do crave a salad when I'm hungover, but, like, it's always a big-ass caesar full of chicken.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

      There would be no weight problems if you worked your asses instead of sitting on em. If you really wanna be thin and still eat whatever you want, theres a diet for that, its called the hiking diet. You walk 15 miles a day and you can eat an entire pizza topped with crisco and chocolate.

      • http://somuchtocome.blogspot.com Aja

        Or you could also try cleaning your own house.  I tell my incredibly lazy roommate that all the time when she complains about wanting to be svelte.

    • Pfft

      katgeorge- if you are referring to 'australia' as where you come from that this is apparently considered sexy, you must have been hanging out with some real bogans.

    • Catt

      Why can't girls learn to just eat healthy, eat often, and work out regularly?

      Honestly.

      • Aelya

        It's not that simple, unfortunately. Eating disorders are complex psychological problems that can't just be eradicated by telling someone they're beautiful the way they are and need to eat. Part of the problem is that the reasons for, let's say, anorexia,  differ from person to person. It's a long, long journey to recovery. Some people never fully recover.

        :(

    • http://www.twovisionaries.com Joseph Piccininni, Jr.

      nice observations!

    • vezey

      5. I know I’m thin but it’s just genetics. You should see me eat!
      Be careful with this one. I AM thin, extremely thin, because of genetics and no matter what I say or eat, people think I'm playing mind games with them. If I eat a hamburger, they think it's for show. I can't eat a salad in public because it makes people angry. I would never comment on someone's body, but not a single day passes that someone pretends they're my doctor or my mother. If I could gain twenty pounds to look like everyone else, I would in a heartbeat, but I can't keep it on. How about instead of playing the anorexia guessing game, based on imposing your ideas of health and normalcy onto others, either just ask the person directly or ask for professional advice on how to help them. People of all shapes and sizes can have eating disorders, not just the people who “look” like it. 5. I know I’m thin but it’s just genetics. You should see me eat!Be careful with this one. I AM thin, extremely thin, because of genetics and no matter what I say or eat, people think I'm playing mind games with them. If I eat a hamburger, they think it's for show. I can't eat a salad in public because it makes people angry. I would never comment on someone's body, but not a single day passes that someone pretends they're my doctor or my mother. If I could gain twenty pounds to look like everyone else, I would in a heartbeat, but I can't keep it on. How about instead of playing the anorexia guessing game, based on imposing your ideas of health and normalcy onto others, either just ask the person directly or ask for professional advice on how to help them. People of all shapes and sizes can have eating disorders, not just the people who “look” like it.

      • Camille

        tl;dr

      • Chelsea

        I understand what you're saying and I have a friend who is in the same situation as you. She is very thin and, unfortunately, she has medical complications because of her inability to gain weight. Some think she has a disorder, but she really doesn't. HOWEVER, people like her (and people like you) come in small handfuls. I would guess that to every person who is thin because of genetics there are 20 who are thin because they starve themselves.

    • Mc_tucker91

      Most of this is pretty darn true. 

      I've heard of people being honestly “genetically thing” however, I don't think I've ever met someone who can truly eat anything they want and still stay perfectly thin. 

      If you think about it, it makes sense for people with these issues to be deceitful. It's probably not something they're super proud of–easier to try and hide it than face the issue head on. Facing it would equal vulnerability and shame.

      • vezey

        See my post below.

    • http://twitter.com/albedomoon David Moon

      It's called an eating DISORDER. Usually it's tied in with a mental health problem, and it's not as simple as someone “choosing” to eat or not to eat. Sure, some people are dishonest about it, or go out of their way to subtly hint to people that they have it. Those people— the ones who need attention from people— those are the people that make eating disorders seem like a stupid “decision” that someone wants to make because they're attention whores. However, some people do lose their appetite very quickly while eating, and can't control that. Some people have to force themselves to eat, because they can't enjoy eating. Food doesn't really have a taste when you're depressed, or have anxiety issues. So when someone tries to eat a meal in front of you, and you prod them about their weight or tell them that they are skinny, their appetite will disappear. Just leave them alone, or if you ARE concerned then talk to them. But never pester them.

    • http://goldenday.tumblr.com Kia Etienne

      oh my god, ryan!
      fucking #cosign.
      hate to be the fat girl but waifish is so not my speed!

    • thin & okay with it

      “I’ve noticed that whenever you tell someone they look too thin, they get faux embarrassed and say,…”

      Why would you think that it's okay for you to comment on the size & shape of someone else's body? They get embarrassed because you're being rude to them, you're telling them that their body is somehow unacceptable to you. Do you also comment when people are looking a little overweight to you? Cramming your body to maximum-artery-clogging-capacity is also “disordered eating”.

      • Lesharo

        You're sounding a little thing…have you been eating enough?  You know, people tend to get irritable when they haven't eaten…

        • Lesharo

          *thin

        • CAP

          I agree with ‘thin & okay with it.’ I am 23 years old, 5’4″ and weighed 115 lbs; completely normal weight. I thought I looked fantastic, I felt great and ate whatever I wanted without worry.
          I had this friend and when we would go out she would always make a comment that I look “unhealthy” or something about looking too skinny. When we would go out to eat, even though I would finish my meal and was full she would force feed me from her plate. It is extremely rude to hear from someone you’re close with that THEY think you look unhealthy or too skinny. Never have I made a comment on her obviously obese weight. She caused me to have such insecurity over my weight thinking I looked too thin that I started trying to gain weight and started over eating. Her saying that to me so many times killed my confidence and I ate to gain weight and make her happy with my body. Sounds messed up right? Now I’m 15 lbs heavier in less than two months. THAT is not healthy. Trying to lose or gain weight to have other people feel more comfortable with how you look is not healthy. Now I’m uncomfortable with how I look and I’m not in my best shape like before. So don’t be rude kids, Salads are yummy, so are artery clogging foods. Some people would just prefer to eat healthy, keep in shape, not end up obese, and not have heart attacks in the 40’s from eating cheeseburgers with bacon and cheese every day. Know what else is good for irratibility? EXERCISE.

        • Guest

          Okay, I wanna have a little chat with your friend. How DARE she say that? She doesn’t sound like a friend at all. I have friends that are like 5’4, 100~107 pounds, absolute sticks and I don’t say that to them because they’re HEALTHY and that’s all that matters. I THINK they’d look better with some more meat but they’re happy so nbd.

        • Guest

          Okay, I wanna have a little chat with your friend. How DARE she say that? She doesn’t sound like a friend at all. I have friends that are like 5’4, 100~107 pounds, absolute sticks and I don’t say that to them because they’re HEALTHY and that’s all that matters. I THINK they’d look better with some more meat but they’re happy so nbd.

        • Guest

          Okay, I wanna have a little chat with your friend. How DARE she say that? She doesn’t sound like a friend at all. I have friends that are like 5’4, 100~107 pounds, absolute sticks and I don’t say that to them because they’re HEALTHY and that’s all that matters. I THINK they’d look better with some more meat but they’re happy so nbd.

    • observer

      didn't ryan also brag that one of the “skills” of the girl he wanted so badly to love him fit into a size small at rodarte? she probably wasn't eating chipotle hungover…

      • riles

        *boy he wanted so badly to love him…

        obviously you're not a very good “Observer”

    • pjaime

      What would happen if you got an anorexic person stoned?

      • Melissa

        it helps.

    • http://twitter.com/brittanyroehrs Brittany Roehrs

      Reacting negatively to this post is unnecessary. Yes, there are people who are naturally quite thin. I think coupled with other behaviors is when Ryan is suggesting that someone has an eating disorder. But I can offer some insight to the ignorant as to why “we” as ed-affected people do this crazy shit. 1. I mean you’re probably never going to hear someone with an ED say they want a big mac. We convince ourselves we hate those things because we never allow ourselves to have them.  2. By claiming “fullness” the irrational behavior is being rationalized. Maybe you’ll think we just ate a big meal earlier or are coming down with a stomach bug? idk, when you know you aren’t eating a normal amount by acknowledging it you feel less like a lunatic and more like you’re just having a regular human experience eating with another person. 3. This has in my #dark days been one of my favorite things to do. OMG have these homemade cupcakes with decorating that took me 5 hours to perfect so I can feel powerful and better than you. People with eating disorders are OBSESSED with food even if we’re not consuming it. We feel empowered knowing that we can “survive” without something that other people allow themselves to eat. It’s fucked up but it keeps us going. 4. also relating to the fullness thing. if we tell you we love to exercise then it seems a hell of a lot more natural to suggest that we love it. Some probably do like it but most are probably addicted to it and it is just one of the other behaviors that runs someone with an eating disorders’ day to day. 5. yeah, i mean at my thinnest i thought i was fat. We read a script of what we’re supposed to say because eating disorders are manipulative diseases. Finally, it is straight up wrong how casually eating disorders are treated. We are not disciplined, we are sick, and I wish more could understand that. 

    • trish

      the comments on this post are unbelievably stupid and ignorant

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