Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
DEAR AMY: I have an upcoming long-weekend visit with my spouse, my two siblings and their spouses.
We haven’t seen one another in years. I have gained a lot of weight in the interim, and I am very self-conscious. Should I just not mention it? What if they make snide comments?
I have a long-term, binge-eating disorder that they don’t know about.
I don’t want to be dreading this weekend, but I’m wringing my hands.
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The Elephant in the Room
DEAR ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: You might want to contact your siblings in advance to let them know that you have been wrestling with an eating disorder, and that you’ve gained weight over the years.
Be transparent about this, and convey, very simply, “I’m pretty self-conscious about this, but I’m so excited about seeing all of you that I’m overriding my own worries. I’m giving you a heads up that I don’t look the way I used to, and I know I can count on you to handle it. Just try not to be too shocked (LOL).”
Ideally, they would respond to you with the obvious: “None of us looks the way we did. If you pretend not to notice my own weight gain and gray hair, then I won’t notice yours!”
Who makes snide comments about someone’s weight, anyway? (I know, I know — lots of people…) If you have siblings that would be unkind in this way, then this might explain why you haven’t seen them — or even shared photos with them — in such a long time. If you can deliberately adopt an attitude of gentleness and self-acceptance, it will help you to cope …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle