Ways To Avoid Being A Bad Influence To Someone Who Is A Binge Eater
When you have a friend who is struggling with the eating disorder of binge eating, it may be difficult for you to understand what he or she is going through. Even if you can't fathom how someone can continue to eat well past the point of being full and perhaps even to the point of throwing up, you should endeavor to be a supportive influence. One way that you can show support is by encouraging your friend to seek help from a health professional who focuses on patients with eating disorders. You should also endeavor to avoid being a bad influence. Here's how you can do this:
Don't Show Up With Food
Whether you're getting together to watch chick flicks or a basketball game, it's a bad idea to show up with food. Your friend with the eating disorder may have already eaten, but still be unable to avoid eating whatever you bring. Although it's proper etiquette to take something to someone's house, you should avoid that rule in this case or take something that isn't edible. Similarly, if your friend is coming over to your house to hang out, avoid laying out a spread of food. A small amount of food is OK, but a large amount may be too tantalizing for your friend.
Avoid Talking About Food
Some people who are binge eaters can get triggered just by seeing a food commercial on TV or hearing someone talking about food. Just as you'd try to avoid talking about alcohol to someone who is an alcoholic, you should keep your discussion of food to a minimum when you're around a binge eater. Try not to talk about how delicious a certain food was that you ate, for example. You should also stay away from telling stories about when you've overindulged in food, as this may be insensitive.
Encourage Food-Free Activities
Think of ways that you and your friend can enjoy time together without food. Because food can be a part of a long list of activities, look for things during which eating is difficult. For example, you might wish to take up a physical pursuit such as swimming at the local pool, kayaking, or jogging. These activities can be helpful to your friend's health for several reasons, but also can remind him or her that it's possible to have fun without eating food at the same time. If you want to be an asset to your friend, consider gently suggesting that he or she attends eating disorder treatment.
Contact a company like Anorexia treatment centers by Center for Change for more information and assistance.