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Is this an ED symptom?

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Is this an ED symptom?

Postby Gomba13 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:26 am

A friend of mine has consistently had this symptom ever since I met him about a year ago and I have been starting to see a pattern emerge, which seems to be consistent with his constellation of mental health issues (which are not diagnosed and not immediately apparent; he seems to think he is just weird). I don't want to get into his other issues here, I am only interested in this one possible eating disorder symptom.

Basically, every time he eats something, even if I am not eating, he feeds me. He literally puts food in my mouth. If he is eating a sandwich, he offers me bites. If he is eating things made up of little bites, like berries, he doesn't even offer, he pops them in my mouth without asking.

Sometimes he is slightly violent about it: he pops something in my mouth and before I had time to chew it, he pops more stuff in my mouth. He literally stuffs me!

If he offers me some of his food and I decline, he gets obstinate. On days when I stick to my guns about it, when he sees he can't win, he accuses me of having an eating disorder, which is totally false (I am slim, I eat roughly three normal sized meals and three snacks in a day, never been on any diet, happy with my body; he knows all this so he knows he is wrong in accusing me of ED, which is cognitive dissonance).

If we are both eating, he still wants me to have a taste of his food, which turns out to not just be a taste, because after I accept the initial bite, he does it again. And again. I end up eating some of his meal. He does this even when we are eating the exact same thing. When I mention this, he jokingly denies it saying his has extra salt/pepper/tabasco, something ridiculously insignificant.

He comes in the morning and one of the first things he asks is whether I have eaten yet. I am a little lazy in the morning so it often turns out I haven't. Then, he announces that he is cooking me breakfast - he cooks more than enough for two and eats it with me. As he rummages through my refrigerator, he excitedly comments on the content of it: "Oh, you have mushrooms! Yaaas! Do you have salami? Oh yeah! Never mind, found it! Oh! Is that what I think it is? Smelly cheese! Awesome!" As he cooks, he gets all excited and he seems genuinely happy to live in the first world and get to cook food. Sometimes, I talk to him while he cooks and he completely ignores me, which is not his usual style.

When he sets the food on the table, he literally orders me to finish my plate before I even sit down. Sometimes, there is a bit too much on my plate (he always splits the food exactly in half, I get exactly as much as he does), I don't finish my plate, he nags me to finish it, and when I don't, he eats all of my leftovers (after finishing his plate).

Sometimes, I don't mind him pushing the food on me because I am slightly hungry or have the munchies. But sometimes, it makes me uneasy. Sometimes, it feels like he is trying to fatten me up. At first, I thought he found me skinny, that he liked chubby women and he was projecting that onto me, but I later found out he actually likes slim women, and he once used the word 'fat' to describe his girlfriend who has ten pounds extra at the most - she might not exactly be skinny, but she is nowhere near fat, and as a woman, I found it rude of him to say that to ME about HIS GIRLFRIEND. Then I thought he cared about my health and that he thought I would be healthier if I put a little weight on (which I could slightly afford but don't need). The more I got to know him, the harder it got to justify his wanting to feed me.

I guess what bothers me the most about it is that in the end, he seems to be literally unable to eat without feeding me simultaneously. As though somehow it felt wrong to him, as though he felt guilty. I know I might be reading into it too much, but as soon as I admitted this to myself, I started monitoring this phenomenon, and I swear there is a pattern. He NEVER eats without feeding me and he completely disrespects the fact that I don't feel like it. He always finds a way to kind of food-rape me. He also doesn't seem to be conscious of any of this.

Both his sex and gender are male. He is in his forties. He has a medically healthy body weight, and given his age and lifestyle, he is relatively lean, too. He is a sort of unconventional beauty.

List of other possibly ED-related symptoms (only for the sake of context):
- Goes to the bathroom within minutes after eating. I don't hear anything strange, but he stays longer than women do.
- To pretty much everyone except me, he is a vegetarian. He has this weird dissonance about it, too: he is chomping on a steak and talking about being a vegetarian, and when I point it out, he says he is having meat just this once (he is not joking when he says this; he has meat with me almost every time). I know that when his girlfriend is gone and he is alone, he goes to a greasy spoon and has meat. Basically, he eats meat, he likes meat, but he hides it, as though he felt guilty about it.
- When he eats food off a plate, he seems to leave the meat for last. I recently pointed this out to him - he said he left it for last because it was the best part. All the while he keeps telling me he is vegetarian (we are way beyond cheat days here).
- He buys groceries at a health food store for him and his live-in girlfriend. They seem to eat healthy food for the sake of eating healthy food, not for the sake of being healthy. They subsist on rice, vegetables and algae - they don't even have beans! They overdo it, which makes them orthorexic. His girlfriend has Soylent for lunch every freaking day (look it up and ask yourself if you could have that every day).
- When he is at my place, he keeps checking the fridge. Whatever he picks from the fridge is always a small amount of something, but he keeps going back.
- When not eating an actual meal but just munching on something, it is always the unhealthiest food he could have: carbs, fat and sugar. His favorite is pudding and whipped cream. Remember, he is also orthorexic except when he is alone or with me. Dissonance!
- Before we met, he got fat (going 50% above his medically healthy weight) and then he got lean (back to his medically healthy weight) within the same year, two years in a row. He says he drops the weight by jogging. He has been lying about that - I go to his place on Monday, see his running shoes stuck in the corner behind other shoes, on Tuesday he says he went jogging and when I go to his place again on Wednesday, his running shoes are still stuck in the corner in the same exact position.
- He seriously thinks his ex is crazy for not leaving him when he fattened up; he seems to think people who are fat don't deserve to be loved.
- He has a body dysmorphic perception of himself, calling himself fat when he is not, complaining about his beautiful legs being too short, his pretty feet being too wide, his beautiful hair being too white, etc.
- Last week, he went to the bathroom ten minutes after eating, saying his body is not used to meat (double whammy: he IS used to eating meat, about every other day with visits at my house and visits at the greasy spoon combined, and who the hell digests meat in TEN MINUTES?).

He probably seems hella weird from what I wrote. Please don't diagnose him. I am really only interested in that one symptom: his inability to eat in my presence without feeding me. I suspect he does that with other people, too, but probably only with people he trusts. It is the only symptom of his I could not find on Google try as I might. I just want to know if any of you ever heard of this being an ED symptom and/or if any of you think it could be. Also, if anyone has a theory on this, be my guest. It seems to be kind of unheard of according to Google. Compensatory behavior? Empathy/altruism? New addiction to replace an old one? What do you think?
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Re: Is this an ED symptom?

Postby Kdoc » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:19 am

Many people with eating disorders have behaviors that they engage in to reduce anxiety or distress while eating. It sounds like this is one for him, even if he is not aware that he is doing it. It likely slows him down, takes his mind off of how much he is eating or justifies to himself that he hasn't eaten everything on his plate.
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Re: Is this an ED symptom?

Postby loneyhear » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:19 am

It may be a result of his ED, yes. I know that feeding other people, or only eating when other people were, was something that I would do when I was struggling. I wouldn't shove food in their mouths, but I would share my food compulsively and cook/bake for others so that I would end up eating less.
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