Beauty & Fashion
Q&A – I’m Afraid My Friend Has an Eating Disorder. What Should I Do?
Written by Nicole | August 7, 2011
My close friend and teammate Lauren recently lost the rest of her “baby fat” and looks and feels much healthier and more confident. She eats, but it’s much smaller portion sizes (she says she’s just not eating oversized portions, though). When I talk to her about weight, body image, eating habits, and that sort of thing she doesn’t overreact or say she feels fat or anything, but she seems too skinny to me. Also, she used to cut, but has been clean for months now. Do you think she has begun not eating enough as some sort of relapse?
I’m concerned she’s not eating enough for fear of putting the weight back on – how can I best help her? I know you were up close and personal with the sad side of the modeling industry, so maybe you have an idea of how to help her.
Recently I wrote about my own struggles with anorexia and my advice for the girl who thought she herself had an eating disorder is relevant here.
I’m glad you wrote to me, and I wish I lived up the block so I could sit down with her and have a heart to heart. Because I can’t talk directly to your friend, you will need to carry the message…from me and from everyone who has struggled with eating disorders and seen the destruction they cause on bodies and on lives.
Sit down with her and ask her straight up if she thinks she may have an eating disorder. If she admits to it, urge her to talk to an adult about it. They can help her get the support she needs to overcome this. If she doesn’t admit to it, bring your concerns to a trusted adult. I’m not asking you to be a tattletale. I’m asking you to be a friend. The adult may have a perspective that helps you or your friend figure out what the next steps are.
I’m praying for you and your friend to have the strength to get through your struggles, and I’m proud of her for giving up cutting.
Girls, have you ever confronted a friend who you suspect has an eating disorder? How did it turn out? Do you have any advice for this Project Inspired reader?