How To React When Someone With BED Loses Weight
It's utterly common in modern culture to congratulate someone on their weight loss, but what does it mean when someone with binge eating disorder (BED) loses weight? Weight loss is never automatically a good thing (people lose weight because of physical illness, mental illness, and a variety of other reasons which aren't positive). But when someone has an eating disorder, what does it mean when they lose weight (Is It A Diet Or An Eating Disorder)? How should you react when someone who has binge eating disorder loses weight?
How Does Someone with Binge Eating Disorder Lose Weight?
It's a common idea that binge eating disorder would never make someone lose weight. When the most-known symptom of the disorder is binge eating, it wouldn't make sense that someone would lose weight doing this. However, eating disorders are not that simple. The reality is that someone with binge eating disorder can also fall victim to fad dieting, starvation diets, and other methods of weight loss which are highly unhealthy.
In a body-focused society, it's easy for someone to believe their self worth is wrapped up in their physical form. This dangerous idea leads people to lose weight through any means necessary and sometimes that translates to very unhealthy means. When someone with binge eating disorder loses weight, it's not always a good thing.
When I Lost Weight with Binge Eating Disorder
When I was in my late teens I lost a tremendous amount of weight before my diagnosis of binge eating disorder. Everyone rushed to congratulate me and tell me how good I looked and affirm my toxic thoughts that my body reflected my self-worth. The reality of the situation was that I was starving myself to lose weight and nothing about that should have been lauded.
How Do I Talk to Someone with Binge Eating Disorder Who Has Lost Weight?
If you know someone who has binge eating disorder and they've lost weight recently, you should follow some simple steps to ensure you're being respectful of his or her body and struggle with binge eating disorder.
- Evaluate your relationship with the person: If you're a close friend and he or she regularly confides in you, you are in a position to discuss this sensitive topic. If this person is someone whose desk you occasionally pass at work, you are not.
- Think about what's been going on in his or her life: Has he or she made it known he or she are going to lose weight and are working with a doctor and/or a binge eating disorder therapist in order to do it? Has he or she recently suffered a setback or been through a trauma? Is there anything going on in his or her life which would cause weight loss?
- Bring up weight loss in a gentle way: When you're alone with this person and he or she are in a comfortable setting, mention that you've noticed the weight loss.
- Ask him or her if help is needed: It's always reassuring to hear that someone is willing to help and support you, no matter what the issue might be. Your friend or family member will appreciate knowing you're there to help him or her in a non-judgemental way. If the weight loss was on purpose and he or she are working with a doctor to lose weight, then be there to support him or her. If the weight loss was due to other factors and help is needed, be sure to offer your assistance and help set up appointments with doctors so he or she can make sure he or she are staying as healthy as possible.
- Tell this person that you're there to support him or her: Make sure your loved one knows that he or she can rely on you for help and assistance, if needed. Having a binge eating disorder support system is important to coping with, and even recovering from, this disorder.
What You Should Remember When Someone with Binge Eating Disorder Loses Weight
Weight loss, particularly if you have an eating disorder like binge eating disorder, is not always a good thing. When someone loses weight, the automatically response should not be praise and admiration if you have no idea if that person wanted to lose weight or is doing it without harming his or her body. It's a difficult position to be in when you're concerned about a friend or family member's weight, but with some sensitivity, support and compassion, you can broach this topic and let him or her see that you're there for him or her at the same time.
LaBranche, S. (2016, January 7). How To React When Someone With BED Loses Weight, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2016/01/when-someone-with-binge-eating-disorder-loses-weight