Supporting loved ones in their eating disorder recovery or body image positivity journey is one of the kindest things we do can for them. But it can be hard to know how to offer support. Let’s chat about five ways we can be a safe place for loved ones and friends who are on a food and weight journey.
As humans, we all want to feel loved, safe, worthy and that we have a purpose.
Unfortunately, our culture has tied our worth and value to what we look like.
It can be easy to have the expectation that people are going to support us on our food & body journey.
I’d like to flip that and ask, ‘how are we showing up for others in our lives as they journey through body image recovery?’
Five Ways to Support your Loved Ones with Food & Weight
If you want to be the safe family member or friend, here are three things to consider is how you can support them :
- Get Educated
Before you start having too in-depth of conversations, get educated. Educate yourself about the corrupt systems that we live in concerning dieting, food & weight.
Remember : it’s not true that you can look at someone and know anything about their level of fitness, their health behaviors, their trauma level or morality.
Someone’s weight isn’t only determined by calories in / calories out. Stress, trauma, illness, genetics and physiology all need to be considered as well.
There are numerous podcasts, blogs, articles and books that can help educate you.
- Know that your impact, not intent determines a lot more on whether you’re seen as safe or not.
Sometimes we can say or mean something but it gets taken a different way than we intended. Always remember that the way it’s received a last effect, not what you intended to happen.
- Steer conversations in a different direction
If you find yourself in a conversation that’s heading a direction you don’t want it to go, or that could potentially be harmful to your friend or family member, be bold and courageous and steer the conversation in a different direction. This can sound intimidating for people but it doesn’t mean that you have to be confrontational. I trick I always liked to do was ask a question about a completely different topic that will force the person to answer the question rather than continuing to comment about food/body/weight/etc.
- Talk about your own body positively
Be a safe place for your family members and friends by talking about your own body positively.
- Make values and morality your guideposts
Don’t make someones value to a group be based on performance – being the thinnest, working the hardest, doing the right things, etc. Unconditional love is always better than performative love. Let someone’s values and morality be what guides you to people.
Check out this video below to dive a bit deeper into this topic:
If you or someone you know if struggling with an eating disorder, body image issues and are wanting to seek help and accountability, I invite you to set up a free, no commitment call with me : www.tracybrownrd.com/get-started/