Housemate has apparently appointed herself as Chief of Diet Police.
I was cooking today with Counselor, which we often do during our shift on Wednesday. The recipe was for a curried couscous and vegetable salad, and it’s made with both coconut oil and coconut milk. (Turned out super yummy, by the way.) Housemate took it upon herself to lecture me on how unhealthy coconut is: in her words, “It’s just gonna make you fat and diabetic.” I replied with the standard HAES answer that fat does not necessarily mean unhealthy and it is more dangerous to be underweight than overweight. She continued to insist that coconut was Bad and would kill you. I was tempted to kill her. Finally I just pretended I had to pee and hid in the bathroom until she left for class.
This is not a new thing with her. She’s been on this fad “cleanse” diet for weeks–you know, one of those things where you can only eat bananas on Monday, potatoes on Tuesday, oranges on Wednesday, or something like that. Even though it’s a 45-minute walk to the nearest grocery store, I’ve started shopping without her because she criticizes my food choices. (Mind you, when I’m not restricting, I eat a healthy diet; I’m a long-time vegetarian and a recent vegan who generally prefers fresh produce to processed food, etc. I eat junk food sometimes, but that’s normal.) A lot of times I won’t eat when she’s in the house because I’m afraid of being criticized just like what happened today.
This was especially frustrating today because Monday I nearly passed out at and after kung fu. Seriously, I was lying on the living room floor for two hours in my gross sweaty gi because every time I stood up, I got severe orthostatic blood pressure drops. Housemate witnessed this and even scolded me for not having eaten enough before working out.
It also has a sharper sting because of my history of eating disorders. Five years ago, I weighed 94 lbs and stayed up for days without sleep, bingeing and purging continuously. I passed out frequently. I was a frequent flier at the ER for cardiac arrhythmia due to hyponatremia and hypokalemia. All foods were, in my mind, Bad, and eating them made me weak, which in term resulted in purging, laxative abuse, and over-exercising. I also lost one of my best friends to anorexia.
Housemate doesn’t know this; I’m not even sure she knows I’ve dealt with eating disorders. I know I should tell her, but I also know that if I try to tell her, I will just go off on her. I also know that, even if she quit making Food Police commentary, I’d still feel like she was judging me in her head–and I’m pretty sure I’d be right.
We have house meeting tomorrow with Team Leader, and I should say something to Housemate then, but I almost certainly won’t. Maybe I’ll work up the nerve to tell Team Leader after house meeting when she and I have a shift together, but that’s a toss-up. I mean, the last time I expressed that I was upset with Housemate about something, she acted like I’d killed her cat and I hid in my bedroom for two weeks straight. I don’t want a repeat of that. But I also don’t want her to think it’s okay to keep being the Chief of Food Police.