Help! My sister in law constantly talks to me about diets!

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Jemima
Jemima's picture
Help! My sister in law constantly talks to me about diets!

Hi everyone :)

I hope you are all well! My sister in law has struggled with her weight her whole life, and want's to loose about 30-40kg to be in the healthy weight range for her height. I am not very close to her, as she lives far away so I haven't had much of an oppertunity to get to know her. She does email and call me from time to time, mostly to discuss what diet and exercise regimen she is currently undertaking.

9 months ago she asked me to write a diet and exercise plan for her to help her lose weight, as she said I was "good at self control around food, ate healthy, and was fit". She did not, and does not, know that I have struggled with eating disorders for the last 12 years of my life, and I am under no illusions that my way of eating and exercising over the past has been anything but balanced and healthy. But appearances can be deceiving...

Anyway, at the time I obliged (as I was in denial that I had a problem with restriction- and subsequent BP, and exercise addition), and wrote an example diet plan of around 1400 calories per day- still 6 meals a day but extremely low calorie and unsatisfying meals. My sister in law isn't one to stick to diets for longer than 2 weeks, so she inevitably disgarded it, along with all the other diets she has been on in favor for skipping dinner and consuming only chocolate.

My wedding is coming up in August, and she wants to lose weight for it. She emailed me yesterday asking if I could help her. She wants to email me every day everything she has eaten and what exercise she has done so that I can "kick her butt, and motivate" her and keep her on track. Now I may have been happy to do this in the past, but I feel completely uncomfortable doing this now. I feel like it would be a huge trigger for me. I don't want to be in a "diet" and "lose weight" head space. I don't want to critique someone elses diet, when I have come to not believe in "diets" from this recovery program. I don't want to have to get mad at her when she skips meals in the day and binges on chocolate and binge drinks alcohol 3 nights a week instead of doing what she knows is healthy. Especially leading up to my wedding, where there is pressure to lose weight and look your best, I don't want to be thinking about diets!

At the same time, I don't want to seem unsupportive and mean and I worry by saying "no" she will think I am being mean. My fiance's mother is the one who suggested to her to get me to help her in the first place. I am not close enough with her to tell her I am recovering from an eating disorder and I don't want to discuss diets. Does anyone have any advice for me? I feel trapped!

Jemima

Angel333
Angel333's picture
My Mother and Sister are both

My Mother and Sister are both constantly yo yo dieting. Especially my Mother who talks about diets all the time. She is a big fan of the Weight Watchers diet and is constantly telling my how much points are in everything and what she has been making and how many points she has eaten that day so far and how many she has left etc. have no idea about the points values of anything I have never followed the Pro Points plan!!!! Also she is always telling me how much weight she has lost each week, how much more she has to go. Its pretty much 60% of her every conversation. Very Triggering. But what is also trigerring is when she loses weight, and my Sister who also follows the plan has lost quite a noticeable amount. Im really happy for them but im also a little jealous at the same time!!! How bad is that???? And if im being honest its because I want to be the thinner one. I would hate for any of them to be slimmer than me.
In regards to the diet plan, I have been asked this a fair few times over the years by friends who watch me eat healthy and know im a gym bunny and only assume that I have great self control around food. Little do they know what goes on behind closed doors.
Its a difficult situation that your in, and hard as it may be to say no you could always say it in a politer term. Like your so busy with your wedding and organising your own stuff that you don't have a lot of time or you can maybe recommend to her an online programme to follow so she can check in on there daily. Even if you just tell her to email you weekly to see how she's getting on.
If you feel that the situation is going to trigger you, then say no. You are number one and its their issue if they take offence.
xxxx

'We are each of us angels with only one wing, so we can only fly by embracing each other'

Jemima
Jemima's picture
Thanks for responding! It

Thanks for responding! It must be hard with its both your mum and sister! I know what you mean about being jealous if they were thinner, because you've made yourself into the "healthy gym bunny" of the family and it would feel like you've lost your place. Do your mum and sister know you have an eating disorder? I find it so hard saying no to people. I end up just saying yes and being annoyed at the situation. I really need to learn how to be assertive and not worry that people will hate me if I am!

Thanks for your help,

Jemima xx

Jemima

Walker
Walker's picture
Hello Jemima!! I agree that

Hello Jemima!!

I agree that Angel´s idea is very good, about recommending an online program.

I will suggest www.sparkpeople.com , i don´t remember who first told me about them but i tried to use them at the beginning of my recov to track my food, but i left it soon as i realized it wasn´t practical for me... anyway i still get their e mails and while most of the time i dont even open them bc i think they are triggering and obsessive sometimes they have an interesting article and i check it out. This is how i realized that they are community of mostly overweight people that seem to really support each other and be happy with the tools and motivation of the site. I dont think it would work for bulimics trying to recover the way we are but i would think it could be useful to ur sis in law. You could even help her open her profile and give her a quick hand getting started and then leave her do her thing. Dont feel bad about also saying in a polite way that with ur wedding coming u feel nervous and dont really want to be thinking much about diets as you think this could rather make u anxious and eat more... it could be, right???

hugs and good luck!

Walker

Angel333
Angel333's picture
No, no one in my family know

No, no one in my family know of my Eating Disorder. In their eyes, im just extremely good and go to the gym a lot.
they are the kind of family who don't understand or like things that are not of the 'normal' image of things.
only a few people know of my issues.
Im same as you in that I feel guilty for saying no to others and don't like letting down or offending people, however if they want to get offended its their issue not yours. Try saying/doing what you really want for a change and don't let other peoples opinions drag you down. You are just as much, if not more important than them.
xx

'We are each of us angels with only one wing, so we can only fly by embracing each other'

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