What NOT to SAY

This post is dedicated to one of my dearest friends, everyone with ED, and the families and friends of people with ED.

Eating disorders are NOT just about food…. Loved ones tend to just want to help, but don’t know how… this is like walking on egg shells around the person with ED. If you know anyone who is having ED issues, please read this list and take it seriously…

  • ANYTHING weight related
  • How someone looks
  • Scales=NOOOO
  • Diets
  • Supplements
  • Latest diet trends/fat
  • “Healthy” foods vs non-healthy foods
  • Exercise
  • Wow you have lost/gain weight you look great…
  • You’re treatment team chose a really great weight for you
  • I think you need a bigger size
  • Do you want to go shopping for different clothes?
  • Let’s clean your closet out


  • Just eat something
  • Just snap out of it
  • I ate so much I’m going to skip breakfast, lunch dinner, etc
  • Why don’t we eat something healthy together?
  • Why do you have to eat that? Why are you on that diet/meal plan/etc?
  • Doesn’t that have too much sugar/fat/carbs/etc in it?
  • What did you eat today? Can I make you something?
  • You look great now, but you didn’t look bad then
  • You look great, what diet are you on?
  • I shouldn’t eat this dessert/It’ll make me have a food baby/make me feel bloated/make me fat
  • Wow you really can eat
  • You don’t look like you have an ED
  • How can you have this problem?


  • You’re throwing your life away
  • Don’t you realize how smart you are?
  • Why can’t you just go to school and be normal?
  • Why can’t you focus?
  • What is wrong with you?
  • Don’t you realize how sick you are?
  • Don’t you realize you are killing yourself?

Everyone is different and can handle different levels of conversation during treatment and getting help. When I started, Chris researched this topic and essentially most online resources just say to listen, listen, listen to the person and why they are struggling. ED can bring up so much tension, but realize the person you love is in there. Focus on other aspects of the person. Are they creative? Caring? Nurturing? Help them find other outlets and learn to be themselves again without ED.





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