What do anorexics think of fat people?

One of my underlings is a recovering anorexic, and she’s still very, very slender (though no longer distressingly so). I, on the other hand, am somewhere between plump and fat – I’d say overweight but not obese.

Do I disgust her? Or are her body image issues more about herself than others?

Dude, anorexics love chubby men. They live vicariously through them.

Is that what you wanted to hear? :wink:
From the little I know, anorexia is about her own body image and it won’t particularly affect her opinion of another. So they are no more or less likely to like you then any other girl.
Try making small talk; if she is recovering from anorexia she probably could use a friend. This could lead to dating as girls seem to be less hung up on body type then males.
But IMHO, I don’t believe that her being a recovering anorexic would affect her view of you much. If your lucky she make like chubby guys because they make her feel thin. Just don’t count on such a reaction.


Now that I posted that, let me guess, you are not a male and what I answered wasn’t really your question.

If so let me apologize.


Correct – I’m a dudette, of the heterosexual persuasion. This isn’t about whether she is attracted to me – I brought her into it because she’s someone with serious body issues who I see and interact with every day.

I want to know, for anorexic women, is their disgust with flesh mostly about their own flesh, or is it about any female flesh, or any flesh at all? Even when I’m “thin,” I’m still a very curvy, female-shaped woman. Is that gross to an anorexic? Less so to one who’s in recovery? Or what?

Lemme guess, jrfranchi: your are a guy interested in dating women. :smiley:

twickster, I doubt she is disgusted by you. People with anorexia are able to be more reasonable about others’ bodies than their own. They can even recognize that a fellow anorexic is too skinny, even when she is heavier than they are. Weird, huh? It is as if their blinders only work when they are looking at themselves.

Former bulimic here: it’s more about her, most likely. I was always envious of the heavy woman who still appeared to me to carry it well and be happy about it - unlike myself, when I felt horrid and ugly and fat at 10 pounds underweight.

Now the truly huge and obese - the over 250 pounders - disgusted me, but let’s be honest here. The very obese disgust almost everyone, with a few fetishists excepted. And I say this as someone who’s now pushing that mark. Check out some of the fat threads around here for a very illuminating picture of how seemingly pleasant and civilized people truly feel about those of us with weight problems.

I know what (and who) you are talking about, but they aren’t the majority. Just a very mean and very vocal minority. Some people are so insecure they need someone to pick on so that they feel better about themselves. Now that they can’t pick on racial minorities (and I have no doubt that that is who they would have picked on in the past), it is fat people. I feel sorry for them.

No happily married, but I think my advice would be good for a 20 something year old that was chubby. I waited to be a married 30 something before I got chubby. :wink:
I think my advice would be good for any guy nervous about asking a girl out.
That is something I did have problems with.

Again as, **Brynda ** & I both said it is mostly internal with anorexia. They have no major reason to be any more or less concerned about your weight.

Twickster, Thank you for not taking offense for the snarkiness of my first post. I am glad I apologized before you saw it.
I made a quick assumption, wrote a reply that would have been good for a male and then after I hit submit had the epiphany “Gee, I think **Twickster ** might be a female” D’oh.


Anorexics have a distorted self-image. They will look at a 5’6" 120 lb. person and think she looks fine. They will think their own 5’6" 75 lb. body looks fat.

Yeah, but what about someone who’s 5’6" and 160? or 200?

Sorry – didn’t mean to hit submit.

I think most people would agree that a woman who’s 5’6" and 120 is slender – I believe 130-140 is considered a pretty “normal” weight for that height. So, fine, she wouldn’t freak out at observing a woman who’s 5’6" and 120 – what about 160? or 200? 160 would be a big woman, but not necessarily a fat one – 200 would probably be considered fat by most “objective” observers. Does the anorexic’s lack of objectivity extend exclusively to her own body, or does she have more rigorous standards for all other people? Most of you seem to be saying “no.”

I think it’s an individual thing. I had a friend from high school who was anorexic. This was back before it was commonly discussed - I’d barely heard of it when she told me, which was quite a while after she’d been hospitalized and treated.

I remember walking through a strip mall once, with her going on and on about how fat all the people were. This was before I knew she was anorexic, but it was odd enough that I remembered it, and immediately thought of it when she later told me about her problem.

On the other hand, if she ever thought anything about my weight (at the time I wasn’t overweight, but I’m very stocky in build and have never been slender), she never said a word.

It’s entirely possible that she was just too polite to say anything, or it could be that she didn’t mentally associate me as “fat” even though she might someone else. Minds are funny that way.

Most likely she will be envious that you’re so NORMAL.

Anorexia is all about the self. While being the thinnest person in the room is a bit of a lift, it’s really short lived.

Secondly, a person in the throws of anorexia is most likely so confused and befuddled from a lack of food that they can’t think too much about other people’s size at all.

I would say most likely you don’t disgust her, and if she’s in recovery, she would probably really like to have you as a friend. One thing about anorexia is that it’s very isolating, and while polite people generally refrain from making comments to larger people, skinny folks don’t have it so lucky. As long as you don’t comment on her weight, what she’s eating, or what she should eat, you should be fine.

IANAA or B, but I read that for many people with eating disorders, it’s not about weight or even self-image at all, it’s about control. Someone who feels a lack of control about their life (which is the case for many overachieving teenage girls with strict parents, the demographic most likely to be affected by eating disorders) will transfer their need for self-management onto the only place they can, their own bodies. So they might not even look at other people’s weight because it’s not about that. It’s the reason why (most) obsessive compulsives don’t care if someone else is messy or does things wrong, it’s all about them and their issues.

Not anorexic tho’ I do have food issues and have been underweight in the past. A lot of anorexics have huge amounts of self-loathing and insecurity and will project that on to other people. One of the hallmarks of crappy self-esteem is being very judgemental of flaws in others. You assume everyone else is judging you with the same scrutinizing eyes that you turn on others.

If you’ve ever investigated pro-ana sites, they’ll usually have pages of images that help them maintain their focus. Triggers which are pictures of extremely thin models and celebrities to inspire weight loss and reverse triggers, pictures of obese women to inspire loathing for food.

So, yeah, she might think rotten things about your weight. But, it’s coming from a messed up mind.

Another former bulimic checking in - only to say that it depends on the individual. Some people think even very slender women are “too fat”. I’ve seen fat men say that about thin women. It depends on her personal environment and how she views people - being anorexic, her vision is already seriously skewed about her own body, but how she sees others may have nothing to do with her anorexia. Or everything to do with it. Hard to say. Now that I’ve offered that completely unhelpful paragraph, let’s move on to personal experiences.

Speaking for myself, I didn’t care what other people’s weight was, and was certainly not disgusted by fat on other people - I was simply disgusted by my own. In fact, as someone upthread mentioned, it held true for me - I was often jealous of people who were normal, people who felt perfectly fine in their skin, no matter how large or small they were. I yearned to be those people. Binged. Looked at myself in the mirror and felt I could *never * be like those people. Purged. Rinse, repeat.

I’ve been healthy for almost a full eleven years now. I’m actually kind of chubby now. And there are some days I feel like it would be so easy to just start purging again… but I don’t do it. I look to people who are happy and healthy. Sometimes I do it with tears of humiliation and emotional pain, but I* make * myself behave. But your “fat” would never disgust me. Only my own does.

Several years ago, when I was considerably heavier than I am now, I was working in a hospital with an adolescent unit. Most of the patients were anorexic and I was concerned that my size might have a negative effect on the progress these girls were making. I asked the person in charge of the shift if I should perhaps not work there for that reason but she said that the girls most likely wouldn’t even notice my size because they were so totally obsessed about their own.