(225) My coworker keeps talking about diets (PCOS Series with Laura Burns)

We see you exhausted trying to swim upstream against diet culture. Do you work or live with someone who is hard core into dieting and just won’t shut up about it? Have you told them to stop and they keep at it anyway? We made this episode for you. Join this latest episode of the Love Food Podcast with guest expert Laura Burns. We want you to keep swimming!

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This episode of the Love Food Podcast is brought to you by The Eating Disorder Trap book and podcast by Robyn Goldberg.

It is likely you have a close friend, client or loved one who is currently struggling with an eating disorder. Do you feel lost in a deluge of information? Are you unsure who to trust? Let this book be your guide.

Written by an expert with over twenty years of experience in the field of eating disorders, this book will give you the facts in a friendly and easy to read format. Get to know what you are dealing with and how it is taking a toll on your body and quality of life. Get rid of the myths “diet culture” has had you believe. Find out where to go and who to turn to for expert and compassionate care, maximizing your potential for recovery. A useful, inviting and all inclusive guide to eating disorders.

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Dear Food: 

I’ve been a listener to this podcast for a while now and it has been a helpful resource as I’ve worked on my own recovery from bingeing and restricting along with repairing my own body image. This year I began teaching at a new school and a teacher on my team has been a big trigger for me. She’s a former gymnast/power lifter and she often talks about her body and fat people in a really disparaging way. It started in the beginning of the year when she wouldn’t eat meals. Then it continued as she would talk about how disgusting she thought her body was. This year she had a miscarriage and later shared her PCOS diagnosis with me and how frustrating it is for her that she gains weight so easily.
Since quarantine has begun she’s been heavily into weight loss and has dropped 25lbs in the 3 months we’ve been in quarantine. I unfollowed her on social media but I still have to attend video calls with her where she tends to bring up her weight loss and about how disgusting she was before in her already thin body. I mentioned my concern to work friends that have worked with her before, and it sounds like she’s lost weight really rapidly before using diet pills and not eating consistently. They did not seem as concerned as I was.
I recognize that I cannot change anything she does, and truthfully I consider her a friend outside of this issue. We’re all on a team together so it would be far more difficult to not get along with her. That said, being around her and having to do video calls with her where all she talks about is weight loss and dieting (even after I’ve  asked her not to) has been really triggering for me. 
At this point, I don’t think she’d be receptive to anything I have to say especially because I do have a fat body and I’m worried she’s going to only hear my concerns as jealousy of her thinness. At one point i asked her to not send me her weight loss updates anymore and she gave me a not so sincere sorry. 
How can I continue my own journey of recovery while I have to be in close contact with someone who hasn’t even begun to realize they might have a problem? Over the summer I can hopefully take a break but I’m still worried about maintaining the friendship I have with my team while also trying to avoid her? I see an eating disorder dietitian and I used to work with an eating disorder therapist, but this has been a new problem. 
I know I don’t need to be thin to be healthy. I’m really proud of the healthy relationship I’ve built with food and permission and I have made strides in finding non-weight related motivation to consistently exercise. I just worry continued exposure to her fat phobia and rapid weight loss will cause me to spiral back only focusing on losing weight. 
Thanks for reading. 
Sincerely,
Don’t Want to Go Back

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

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