How to Talk to Someone else with an Eating Disorder

Renae Nicole
4 min readJul 11, 2022

Through a twist of fate, I got lunch with a woman, let’s call her Rachel, from my church small group. We both had dance class on Tuesday and Thursday; she was the session before me. After a few awkward get-to-know-you questions and half-hearted munching, we stumbled into our eating disorders.

If you have ever had one of those conversations, it’s thrilling. It’s like figuring out you are both obsessed with the same 90s sitcom.

Rachel and I became fast friends. Since it was early in the semester, we decided to have lunch every week. We got to know each other better, and each other’s eating disorder better. It was helpful and a relief to have someone to talk to about my struggles.

That initial bond is enormously significant. It cemented a relationship that might not have otherwise happened. I now had an ally and a confidant. She became the person who I bounced ideas off and talked to about recovery strategies.

It was vital to my recovery journey, but it was also dangerous. Thankfully, Rachel and I were in the same stage of our journeys, and we desperately wanted to get better. If we hadn’t been, the situation could have played out a lot differently.

To have an excellent eating-disorder-related relationship, it depends on where you are in your journey and where they are in their journey. You wouldn’t ask newlyweds for marriage advice. You would want help from the couple celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary.

As I’m more than five years into my healing journey, I can talk to anyone about their eating disorder. But when I was in the thick of it, I couldn’t give anyone advice or comfort. I needed someone who was more healed than I was to relate to, talk with, and bounce off ideas.

It seems super obvious, but there are still relationships that become toxic because of eating disorders. My mom and I had mirrored eating disorder journeys, and for a while, I couldn’t talk to her about my struggles.

Renae Nicole

Certified Personal Trainer | Health Coach | Nutrition Coach | Worldview: Christianity

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