I had a counselor who told a group with mixed ED diagnoses, "I'm always interested to have anorexic patients and obese patients in the same group, because they're each others' biggest fears." That's an oversimplification, but a good point. Anorexics (and most average- or underweight bulimics) are terrified of becoming fat (or chubby, for that matter, because chubby is Fat). Eating disorders and obesity are intrinsically related sociologically, which is why I have such a huge problem with things like the NYC calorie posting rules. Not only are you not going to change mass behavior by shaming people, you're going to exacerbate dangerous problems in a small but vulnerable portion of society.
This morning I was telling my doctor about my apprehension toward Thanksgiving. My distaste isn't due only to the fact that it's not My Family's Thanksgiving; the real stick in the spokes for me is that at every family gathering, no matter how large or small, my husband and his father will always, always end up talking about Good and Bad Foods and about Losing Weight. They both know about my history and they both know I don't like to hear the talk, and they both do it anyway, every time. The last time we were down at the husband's parents' place, at the end of dinner the husband's father told him, "You see? I could eat more right now, I'm not really full, but I'm stopping myself." The husband nodded, trying to learn the lesson in his never-ending saga of Am I Skinny Again Yet?, and I clenched my jaw and just about threw a fork at something. I haven't been back there with the husband since this incident in early October. I just can't take it right now. I just. can't.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is mandatory. Equally unfortunately, almost the entire family is like this, so there's not always the option to switch conversational partners to escape the topic. Most of the people who'll be there tomorrow are either unhappily overweight or smugly thin. Or they're my mother-in-law and me, wishing everyone would STFU about it, but too polite to say anything. Or to throw forks. Honestly, I kind of want to see what happens if I launch a salad fork right into one of the pastoral paintings on the wall. If nothing else, it would probably get my point across.