Oram Family Photo September 2020

I Trained Him to Enable My Disordered Eating

It was around noon and we were planning to go on a family hike. I had gone upstairs to change into hiking clothes, while my husband was downstairs in the kitchen. I could hear cabinets opening and closing so I knew he was making lunches to take on the trail with us. 

When I came downstairs, he had backpacks packed and left by the door. What a treat to not have to do that myself! I thought.

“Okay! Let’s go.” I said. 

“Don’t you want to make a lunch for yourself?” my husband replied.

That pierced my heart. “What?! You didn’t make me anything?!” It came out as an angry accusation but it was covering up hurt and disappointment that he hadn’t consider my needs. 

“I knew you wouldn’t eat what I made. I don’t know what macros are acceptable today.” He didn’t say it to be mean. He was said it very matter-of-factly. 

And he was right.

I had trained him to enable my disordered eating. If he made me food, I’d complain it didn’t fit my macros. I’d be difficult about what restaurant we could eat at. What time we could eat. I’d turn down his suggestion to make something yummy, like cheesy nachos or ice cream, while we cuddled on the couch and watched a movie. 

My relationship with diet culture and staying “on plan” was taking a higher priority than my marriage. OUCH. How could I possibly be living a “healthy” life if this was the sort of environment I had created for myself and for my family?

Thankfully I was already well into my intuitive eating journey during this hiking event, but it really solidified for me that I could never go back to dieting. It was not worth it. From any perspective. So my answer back to him was, “I’m sorry. I realize now how I taught you that but I’m really working on getting better with eating all foods.”

Can you think back on a time when your diet negatively impacted your relationships? If you’re realizing you need to make some big changes with your approach to wellness, join me on Monday October 26th for my free live training on how to heal your body image.

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image. She is also the creator of Gain Wellness, a 5-week behavioral change program to unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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