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in laws and inappropriate comments

Okay. so here;s my situation. I am recovered from an eating disorder.  I was 78 pounds at 25 years old to give you an idea. I have been a healthy weight for more than ten years but I still struggle with food and body image issues. I eat very healthy and pretty rigid. Now my husband was very overweight before i met him and when we first met. He was on type 2 meds. I helped him to make good food choices and to work out. He lost hundred pounds and came off meds. Since then he is very cautious of how he eats. He is nervous about getting sick again. So a lot of times at family parties we do not eat the food.. It is always unhealthy to be honest. His family will make comments to him like "dont you guys ever eat?"  before we got married his mother said " are you even going to eat your own wedding cake? They are just extremely rude. THe weird part is that they know about my past eating disorder. 

I told him he needs to tell them to stop. So one day he said to his mom why does it bother u so much how I eat>  Arent you glad I am healthy. She said it is offensive to people. and she didnt want to get into it.  I feel like they think I make him eat this way.. When that is so not true. Are they jealous he lost weight? What is their deal?

Re: in laws and inappropriate comments

  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    AprilH81 said:
    I admire your work to overcome your eating disorder and to help your husband lose weight and get off medication.  That takes a lot of hard work.

    What your in laws are saying is very rude, BUT I think it comes from a place of hurt.

    By refusing to eat any of the food they have prepared for you, you are effectively refusing their hospitality and possibly sending them the (unintentional) message that you are better than they are since you eat better.

    Recommendations:
    1) Offer to bring a dish the next time you come over for a meal.  That way you have something you can eat guilt free.

    2) Accept their hospitality and eat small portions of the unhealthy food.  Unless you are allergic to something in the dish one small portion (or one bad meal) is not going to undo years of hard work.

    3) Work with your MIL on menu planning for events to find a happy medium of "healthy" food versus what is normal for them.
    All of this.  You need to understand that to always refuse someone's food really can come across as insulting.  From you think their food just out and out sucks to you judge their unhealthy eating.

    I understand this isn't your intention, but really - even though you may not SAY it, to always decline their food is going to come across as "we don't like your food". 

    As much as you find their comments inappropriate, your behavior in return isn't appropriate either.
    Beckarooni88
  • Well to be honest, it is a bit rude to show up to someone's home and not eat their food because it causes hurt feelings.   I mean really, is one meal of unhealthy foods really going to hurt ? If you feel you can't eat anything, could you gently suggest some healthy options like fresh fruit or vegetables ?  Could you bring your own fruit or veggie tray to gathering.  


  • I think that @AprilH81 gave you some great advice.  Offering to bring a dish or planning meals together would be a good idea.  Sitting down and having an honest conversation with them about your struggle and how important eating healthy is to you might be a good start. 

    I understand where you are coming from, but for a different reason.  Before I met my husband, I ate healthy and worked out regularly.  Since meeting him, I have gained a lot of weight--and I partly blame his family's eating habits.  We eat together once a week (like all day and it's all junk), plus we sometimes go out to eat with them a second day a week (we are close)--plus we spend weekends at a vacation home regularly together.  I had to be really honest with his mom about trying to lose weight and yes, even though it's only one day a week, it still isn't helping my journey to get healthy.  Once I explained, she really made an effort to help out--and starting eating healthier herself! 

    Try to stay positive--I applaud you for sharing your journey!  Good luck!

    Anniversary
    TTC since Jan 2014
    BFP: 1/14; spontaneous m/c at 6w
  • runner76 said:

    Okay. so here;s my situation. I am recovered from an eating disorder.  I was 78 pounds at 25 years old to give you an idea. I have been a healthy weight for more than ten years but I still struggle with food and body image issues. I eat very healthy and pretty rigid. Now my husband was very overweight before i met him and when we first met. He was on type 2 meds. I helped him to make good food choices and to work out. He lost hundred pounds and came off meds. Since then he is very cautious of how he eats. He is nervous about getting sick again. So a lot of times at family parties we do not eat the food.. It is always unhealthy to be honest. His family will make comments to him like "dont you guys ever eat?"  before we got married his mother said " are you even going to eat your own wedding cake? They are just extremely rude. THe weird part is that they know about my past eating disorder. 

    I told him he needs to tell them to stop. So one day he said to his mom why does it bother u so much how I eat>  Arent you glad I am healthy. She said it is offensive to people. and she didnt want to get into it.  I feel like they think I make him eat this way.. When that is so not true. Are they jealous he lost weight? What is their deal?

    I'm trying to not be insensitive here, but this whole post makes me feel like you still have an unhealthy relationship with food. I'm all about eating healthy, but a small amount of something unhealthy isn't going to kill you.  I also have a list of food allergies a mile long and yet, when I go to someone's house, I still manage to find something, even if it's just the baked potato, or the string beans as a side, that I can eat.  I don't see any reason why you should always have to refuse to eat their food.  

    If my son had married a woman who had had an eating disorder and I never saw her eat, I'd be really worried.  Their comments make me feel like they're simply concerned about you- a member of their family.

    People will always feel offended if you don't eat anything they serve.  I like the idea of bringing your own food, which is completely acceptable.  Maybe if they see you eating the food you bring, they won't feel concerned.  
  • No we have brought healthy options and they still are weird about it. They have seen me eat many times. I have gone to things and ate just salad if it were something like beef which I don't eat. I don't eat red meat at all. So its not that I am refusing altogether to ever eat anything. But they will get annoyed if we don't eat birthday cake or a cupcake. 

    yes I do still have issues with food.. Just cause a person eats or gains weight back doesn't mean theyre recovered. it is a mental illness. So for me to sometimes eat something unhealthy is extremely difficult for me. First off, I don't enjoy that food and secondly it is incredibly hard and harder in a room of people. I just don't see how it is any different than an alcoholic. If youknow someones a recovered alcoholic then would you get offended theyre not drinking your vodka?

    BlueBirdMBR.WilsonnyMasconlove
  • runner76 said:

    No we have brought healthy options and they still are weird about it. They have seen me eat many times. I have gone to things and ate just salad if it were something like beef which I don't eat. I don't eat red meat at all. So its not that I am refusing altogether to ever eat anything. But they will get annoyed if we don't eat birthday cake or a cupcake. 

    yes I do still have issues with food.. Just cause a person eats or gains weight back doesn't mean theyre recovered. it is a mental illness. So for me to sometimes eat something unhealthy is extremely difficult for me. First off, I don't enjoy that food and secondly it is incredibly hard and harder in a room of people. I just don't see how it is any different than an alcoholic. If youknow someones a recovered alcoholic then would you get offended theyre not drinking your vodka?

    I see where you are coming from, but as far as the alcoholic description… Alcoholics need to NOT drink alcohol.  People with eating disorders need to eat.  I'd be just as concerned if I saw an alcoholic drinking as I would if I saw someone with an eating disorder not eating.

    You have to see where your in laws are coming from.  Maybe they're not doing what's "right", but I think you're deflecting your problems on to them.  They have every right to be concerned about you if they see you still having major problems with food- not being able to eat in front of people, not eating anything is even slightly unhealthy ever, etc.  Maybe they shouldn't be making these comments, but you should cut them some slack and work on you instead of worrying about how they communicate their concern for you.
  • This is really bothering me, and I disagree with the majority of the responses here. 

    Eating disorder or not, when I decline to eat food for any reason that should be respected. It sounds as though the OP is doing it in a respectful manner. I'm a vegetarian and have dealt with this crap for a lot of my life - people somehow feel that your food decisions have some sort of judgement on theirs. This makes them feel attacked and by doing so they go on the defensive. It's bizarre and inappropriate but also just part of life. 

    I pay a ridiculous £80 a week for a steroid specialist dietician to combat the extreme weight gain from my steroid medication. If I say no to the cupcake that means NO CUPCAKE, THANKS. I've had people try to talk me into eating one. Hold it in front of my face and go 'mmmmm!'. 

    I'm sorry, how does that not make you a complete dick to do that to someone that is trying to make good choices? 

    Or any choice. Should a muslim eat pork just to appease the crowd? A vegetarian 'just eat the burger' or a vegan 'just eat the cheese'? A paleo-eater 'just eat the bread' and a gluten free person to 'just eat the pasta'? I've been that person who brings a salad to a pizza party and you know what? Nobody was greviously offended. A gathering should be more about the people than the food and who cares what someone else does or does not eat?

    You clearly do not have an eating disorder that they are expressing alarm and concern about. Your husband (their son) has become much healthier and instead of encouraging and celebrating that they're trying to get him to sit around and eat KFC with them. Why? Because this is a lot more about them and their insecurities than it is about you. 

    I'd stop eating with them altogether for awhile. Invite them to do some things that have nothing to do with food or meals. Meet for coffee instead of lunch if they are that hung up on food being a focal point. Go do an activity with them. Arrive after they've eaten. Stop talking about food with them and don't engage in any arguments. What you put into your mouth is not a negotiation, so don't let it be. Just be aloof about it and change the subject. 

    You'd never be okay with someone telling an alcoholic that 'one little drink won't hurt'. Food can very well be a similar thing. We had gone for over a year without eating any kind of fast food - and then my MIL came to stay. Well the day after she arrived she wanted to stop by McDonald's. I just had a bottle of water and a fruit bag, and my MIL was feeling totally fine the rest of the day. But my husband became growly and went to bed early with a massive headache and my kids were freaking nightmares for hours afterward. The very next day my husband was craving fries. 

    It's not worth it just to appease someone else. When someone, anyone, makes a conviction and sticks to it we should be proud of and encourage them, not try to pull them down. 

    *slowly steps back from soapbox*
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    R.WilsonnyCupcake0629
  • runner76 said:

    No we have brought healthy options and they still are weird about it. They have seen me eat many times. I have gone to things and ate just salad if it were something like beef which I don't eat. I don't eat red meat at all. So its not that I am refusing altogether to ever eat anything. But they will get annoyed if we don't eat birthday cake or a cupcake. 

    yes I do still have issues with food.. Just cause a person eats or gains weight back doesn't mean theyre recovered. it is a mental illness. So for me to sometimes eat something unhealthy is extremely difficult for me. First off, I don't enjoy that food and secondly it is incredibly hard and harder in a room of people. I just don't see how it is any different than an alcoholic. If youknow someones a recovered alcoholic then would you get offended theyre not drinking your vodka?

    Then I think you need to continue on in therapy.  Because your comparison is wrong.  Alcoholics are not supposed to drink to be recovered.  Anorexics are supposed to eat.  

    Apples and oranges. 

    And while you can choose not to eat meat, its the rest of your choices that are pointing to not being "recovered".  You only eat the salad at a birthday part?  That has nothing to do with meat.  

    If my son or daughter married someone who was anorexic, and now turned down a slice of cake at a birthday party, I would be very concerned that there was something unhealthy going on in the relationship BECAUSE I KNOW THAT NOT A SINGLE PROFESSIONAL (from MDs, to nutritionists to psychiatrists and therapists) DENY MODERATION.  

    So honestly, look at your poor inlaws.  Yes, they are being insensitive.  But they are NOT professionals who are now trying to figure out how to deal with this very sticky situation.  
    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
  • runner76 said:

    Okay. so here;s my situation. I am recovered from an eating disorder.  I was 78 pounds at 25 years old to give you an idea. I have been a healthy weight for more than ten years but I still struggle with food and body image issues. I eat very healthy and pretty rigid. Now my husband was very overweight before i met him and when we first met. He was on type 2 meds. I helped him to make good food choices and to work out. He lost hundred pounds and came off meds. Since then he is very cautious of how he eats. He is nervous about getting sick again. So a lot of times at family parties we do not eat the food.. It is always unhealthy to be honest. His family will make comments to him like "dont you guys ever eat?"  before we got married his mother said " are you even going to eat your own wedding cake? They are just extremely rude. THe weird part is that they know about my past eating disorder. 

    I told him he needs to tell them to stop. So one day he said to his mom why does it bother u so much how I eat>  Arent you glad I am healthy. She said it is offensive to people. and she didnt want to get into it.  I feel like they think I make him eat this way.. When that is so not true. Are they jealous he lost weight? What is their deal?

    Hearing things like "Wow, don't you ever eat?" is pretty common for those who are "known" to hafve lost a great deal of weight

    Don't pay attention to those people.  Make the food choices you want to make and that's that.
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