My best friend of 5 years is beautiful. She is a size 16. Men are constantly, I mean CONSTANTLY hitting on her. She is not for lacking in the looks department in any objective sense of the word. Not that she sees it, though, She only ever, EVER talks about her weight. We used to do that together, it was a common theme. But I stopped. I got better. I am healing. I tell her about Heath at Every Size. I tell her about Intuitive Eating. She joins Weight Watchers (for like the 5th time in as many years), “oh this time they don’t even COUNT fruits or vegetables… you can have as many as you WANT.” I tell her I don’t want to talk about dieting. She keeps talking about dieting. We go out for breakfast. She tells me she doesn’t want a mimosa (I’d rather save my points for eating). But as always happens when you starve yourself you play games, later she orders a bloody mary. Maybe the tomato juice doesn’t count? So anyway.
I feel like I have left a sick and sadistic cult, a cult most of my friends and family are still in. I now look in from the outside and see it for the depravity it is I try to tell my loved ones but they aren’t ready. I’m afraid of losing my best friend over this.
My best friend is a photographer and she is getting pretty good, too. Her pictures though are of all rail thin models with big boobs in bikinis, empty eye’d and two dimensional. She invited me to a shoot one day but I told her, “You know, I am really working on body diversity and size acceptance and to watch you and all those other photographers (the rest of which are men) would not be good for my development at this time.” I want to tell my best friend how her hobby is hurting her, too. I want to tell her she is beautiful and she should photograph women of all sizes and ages like her, like us. I want to tell her I am disappointed in her choice and that I thought she was different. I am struggling with judging her over it.
It is like she is unable to hear me. She is unable to really HEAR what I have to say. I have noticed that about a lot of people in my life when I talk about these topics. It is like we left the cult and we try to make our loved ones see… but they are so brainwashed it is like what we are saying is so out of the realm of their experience or understanding… it is as it they are physically incapable of hearing us.
I keep telling her I cannot listen to diet talk but she persists. Its like a contest of needs. Can I surpress my triggering and listen to her when she wants to engage in diet talk? It feels like a battle of wills and I really do not want to play anymore. These boundaries are so intermingled I am not sure how to negotiate this and it is hard for me, I’ve done a lot of GREAT progress in body acceptance this year and the results in my psyche have been amazing. But I’m not there yet.
I feel like a person who goes to AA who just cant hang out with drinking friends yet. That. yes that is how it feels.
Except the BIG difference being that people in AA are accepted and celebrated for getting clean and healthy. While we who give up dieting are looked at with derision, disgust and misunderstanding, it is not seen my the greater world that this too is a health choice. a sanity choice. . Except here in the fatosphere… otherwise forget it.
Please keep working. Keep trying. I need you, too.