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Getting support for not dieting and ending bingeing and obsessing about food is essential to achieving ”normal” eating. Surrounding yourself with people (consciously or unconsciously) working against your intuitive eating goals will make it more difficult, if not impossible, for you to reach them. Although it’s unrealistic to expect that everyone you know should suddenly become enlightened and realize how unhealthy and destructive chronic dieting, rigid food restriction, bingeing, or obsessing about food are, you’ll benefit enormously from increasing the number of people around you who support your eating goals and decreasing the number of people who don’t.
Discerning who is truly in your corner and who is not may not be easy. Some people say they’re behind what you’re doing, but their actions make you wonder. They tell you how wonderful it is that you’re trying a new approach to eating, then try and tempt you with food or try to guilt-trip you about eating. They say intuitive eating is fine for you, then go on and on about their current crash diet or latest binge. They laud you for moving towards a healthier weight while at the same time giving you the impression that they disapprove, or feel contempt or jealousy.
You need a good handle on your emotions to recognize exactly how you feel around such people. If you’re left feeling anxious, upset, or confused after talking about eating or being with them, listen to your heart. If you realize that someone has been trying to sabotage or undermine you overtly or covertly, it’s time to either confront them or learn to tune out their words or actions regarding you and food and weight. Perhaps you surround yourself with people who can’t imagine being anything but ultra-thin or who refuse to look at how overeating is ruining their health. Maybe a bunch of you regularly go out to dinner together and overeat or hang out and exchange diet tips.
Ask yourself: will being with these people on a regular basis help me become a “normal” eater? If you are trying to become healthy, then you must surround yourself with healthy people. When possible, avoid anyone trying to sabotage your eating or who is unsupportive of it. Do try to educate others about “normal” eating and maybe you’ll make some converts, but realize, too, that this concept may stir up people’s feelings about their eating and weight. Of course, in today’s culture, it may be tough to find friends on your “normal” eating wave-length. If so, the best you can do is to be with people who are neutral and non-judgmental about your eating and weight while keeping an eye out for other intuitive eaters and intimates who are truly on your side.
This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.