Oram Family Photo September 2020

I Trained Him to Enable My Disordered Eating

Once you get married or in a serious relationship, you disordered eating impacts more than just you and your body. It affects your relationships. This is my story of the moment I realized I trained my husband to enable my disordered eating.

Lunch for everyone. But me.

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. I was pissed. Hurt and disappointed he hadn’t consider my needs. 

“I knew you wouldn’t eat what I made. I don’t know what macros are acceptable today.”

It was stated matter-of-factly. Not to be mean. His intention behind not making me lunch was more because he cared about me and my preference for eating.

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?

I could never go back to disordered eating.

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.”

Once I got married, it was never just me and my eating disorder. It impacted my family too. From then on, I fully explained the transformation I was going through. From how I had allowed disordered eating to rule my life. To exactly what I was doing now on my intuitive eating journey.

Can you think back on a time when your diet negatively impacted your relationships?

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an anti-diet nutritionist at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image by ditching diet culture and finding freedom in their God-given intuition. Focusing on behavioral change and Intuitive Eating, Meridith helps her clients 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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