Here’s How to Ask Someone “Do You Ever Eat?”: You Don’t

People seem to think it’s appropriate to comment on someone’s weight, whether they are overweight, underweight or “normal” weight. These comments seem to come from friends, family and sometimes even strangers, such as family friends or friends of friends. So why am I and so many people adverse to being asked that? Well, there’s many reasons why.

“It puts us all in an uncomfortable situation that we can avoid if people would just mind their business.”

Some people have naturally fast metabolisms. It does not matter how much they eat, they will not gain a single pound compared to people with slower metabolisms. It makes people with naturally fast metabolisms insecure about their body image especially for those who want to gain weight. They repeatedly get asked this question, when they can eat more than two people combined, but not gain weight. You cannot blame someone for their metabolism and keep questioning them. Why do you care if they’re not gaining weight? It doesn’t come from a place of sincerity, it comes from a place of mockery when there should not be jokes about how little or how much someone eats.

Then there’s people like me, where “do you ever eat?” is very damaging and reinforcing to my disordered eating habits. I have EDNOS, which means, eating disorder not otherwise specified. I do not meet the full criteria of anorexia and bulimia, but I exhibit both the purging, binging and restricting behaviors associated with it. Hearing that, personally for me, and I know for other people who have eating disorders, it’s almost like a “good job!” Even worse a “keep up the good work!” It reinstates my self-destructive behavior even though I feel guilty for having an eating disorder to begin with. It constantly makes me want to lose more because with eating disorders, it’s a losing battle of it’s never enough. Then I continue to indulge more in these behaviors with no will of shutting it off.

So please, no matter how much you’re “just kidding.” It’s better to keep your comments to yourself.

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