How do I convince her that she's not fat? Serious help needed here.

I'm madly in love with this girl, she knows it too but we're not official yet. She keeps saying she's fat when she's quite the opposite, she's... Show More

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A few of you are telling me to ignore it, she's killing herself with what she's doing and I'm supposed to just sit by and watch? Those of you saying there isn't anything that can be done, there is always something that can be done, I just don't know what!
She has a couple brothers and a sister who've done everything they can from their positions in her life, I think I may be the only one who is in a position to do anything to get her healthy again. She hates doctors and doesn't trust many people.
To those who gave me practical information, I want to inform you that the girl I speak of in this question has passed away from her illness. It happened in the early morning hours of January 25th, 2009, she died in her sleep. She was only 19 years old.

Most Helpful Opinion

  • Mm. I wouldn't ignore it.

    I have had an eating disorder for about 5 years now (though I'm SO much better!). When I used to comment on my own weight (or lack thereof, lol), I didn't want people to ignore it. When they did, I felt like they were agreeing with me. I would make those comments to try and gauge how I looked or seemed to other people. We can't see ourselves properly and we know it (though we will deny it and insist that it's everyone ELSE that has the distorted perception). There is always a part of us that is searching for some grounding- we need to know that other people don't see us as we see ourselves.

    She knows you love her- that is the most important thing! There is a time when we begin to realize that our actions are no longer just hurting ourselves but hurting those we love. That when change (recovery) becomes possible for us.

    When she makes those comments... It's tricky even for me to tell you what to do or how to respond. Because if you ignore it, she will think you are agreeing with her. But if you tell her she is beautiful, she will think that means you want her to stay thin (and possibly thinner). If you tell her she needs to gain weight, she will rebel and possibly get angry.

    You can't win in an argument against the ego of someone with an eating disorder. Because a large part of the disorder is constantly sabotaging ourselves and twisting anything anyone says into some sort of fuel to validate our need to loose more weight. Try to avoid commenting on her weight all together, unless she brings it up and you need to reassure her how insanely tiny she is. Or something. Just try not let her dwell on the subject. But don't ignore it.

    Always remember that the eating disorder is a SYMPTOM of a sickness, not the sickness itself. There is something more going on with her than weight. There always is- often a culmination of many things. It is a mental and emotional sickness that manifests itself physically.

    You may try speaking to her sincerely- tell her you are truly worried about her, that you love her, that you want to see her happy. Gently try to see if you can help her get to the root of what is causing her behavior. That she is beautiful no matter what- and the most important thing to you is to see her healthy. Don't push her to gain weight! Meet her where she's at. She wants to feel supported- not like you're trying to fix her.

    As a head's up, don't expect anything to happen fast. Recovery takes a long time. And most people aren't patient enough (or strong enough) to keep with us through the process. My own mother nearly gave up on me after a while- I wore her out. :-\ But it's totally possible! And even probable, especially considering that she has someone to love her as much as you. ^_^

    • She's five foot four, 105, and wants to loose another 10 she says.

      I'm trying to convince her that's she's perfect, even though she really isn't. I'm not going to tell her she needs to gain weight because I know that will only waste all my effort thus far. She's not much for people so bringing her to someone isn't going to help.

      All I can think of is to keep telling her that she's beautiful, and I'm not lying to her when I say that. I'm too persistant to give up on her, I care too much.

    • That's all you need to do. I am so sorry you both have to go through this. I am 5'8 and at my lowest I was 98 lbs. If I can get better, so can she! That you believe in her and won't give up on her assures success. Even if her mindset persists for a while, your attentions are not lost on her- believe me. Even when I seemed to ignore everyone around me, I treasured every kind word, every attempt at support. She's very lucky to have you by her side!