“Where do you go to get anorexia?” Actress Shelley Winters, who always struggled with her weight

I need your advice and analysis.

I have a close FOFriend who has lost over 45 pounds during the last eight months and looks marvelous.  She decided to change her eating habits because a cardiologist linked her high blood pressure in part to her weight.

BUT…my FOFriend has become OBSESSED with her weight and she doesn’t eat a thing all day long.  Not a thing, except coffee. She tells me she eats dinner, but any time I’ve been with her at dinner, she’s picked at the food. If she’s with a group of women, all enjoying a lunch (a light lunch, I might add, of chicken and poached salmon), she won’t touch a thing.  It’s actually becoming a tad unpleasant to be in the same room with her, trying to enjoy a meal, while she nurses her coffee in the corner.

This is not my friend, but it will be if she keeps up her eating idiocy

I love my friend, but think she may have adult anorexia and will become ill.  (I had another friend, 20 years my senior, who had late-onset anorexia. She’d eat two French Fries at lunch and the white of a single sunny side egg. It was quite an experience watching her gingerly cut the white away from the yolk. For dinner, she’d have half a bowl of pasta and lots of wine. By the time she reached 75, she resembled a well-dressed corpse. But she fit into a size four, and that is what counted most to her.)

I’d rather starve to death than eat like this

If I say anything to my friend about her newfound eating habits, she tells me she “eats everything.” She clearly eats nothing.

Here are my questions: Why am I “threatened” by my friend’s dietary habits?  Do I really care if she eats nothing and eventually weighs 92 pounds or do I yearn to weigh 92 pounds myself (fat chance!) Do I try for an intervention or just grin and bear it?

It’s fun to sit around a table and enjoy nice food with nice company and nice conversation. My friend used to like food.  Now she just likes making believe she still likes it.

 

2 Responses to ““Where do you go to get anorexia?” Actress Shelley Winters, who always struggled with her weight”

  1. Marsha Calhoun says:

    I don’t imagine that you are threatened by your friend’s unhealthy habits, although you are clearly concerned about her well-being. I suspect that you miss her – you miss the deeply human pleasure of sharing nourishment with a particular person that you like. For quite a different reason, I am anticipating the same issue: a friend recently had gastric bypass surgery, and I am wondering how that will affect our years-long relationship, which necessarily involves food. Will she be able to eat any more than your friend allows herself? Would it be best for me to avoid food (particularly delicious food) in her presence?

    Since your friend appears to be hurting her health, I don’t think you’d be out of line to express your concern. I would probably say something like, “I bet your cardiologist is happy about your blood pressure, but you seem quite thin to me – is your doctor okay with that?” It’s pointed enough to be hard to blow off, but not intrusive enough to truly offend. Usually, I recommend against making any personal remarks, especially about weight, but if you and your friend have discussed her blood pressure already, you do have an entree there. Good luck!

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  2. The gold digger says:

    I don’t think y0u’re “threatened” by your friend. I think you are genuinely concerned.

    I had a friend who never ate. That is, I never saw her eat. Even when we went out to eat, she would pick at her food, claiming she wasn’t hungry. It took years before she admitted to me that she had had a problem with bulimia. I wish I had been more vocal about my concern and had pestered her more.

    I don’t think you can necessarily change someone’s behavior – if someone is determined to drink herself to death, short of standing between her and the liquor cabinet night and day, there is nothing you can do – but you can maybe change her awareness.

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