I wasn’t allowed to binge and purge in front of her. I wasn’t allowed to purge when she was in the house if I could help it (sometimes this didn’t work so well in practice). I wasn’t allowed to not eat all day. I wasn’t allowed to work out too strenuously or often. I wasn’t allowed to buy diet pills or other such diet aids. I was informed if I was pushing my eating disordered beliefs onto other people, making them feel guilty or overly conscious. I was made aware if I was being prejudice about overweight people, if I was scowling at someone whilst they ate or being insensitive in regards to food.
It sounds like I wasn’t allowed to do much, but that wasn’t the case. They were boundaries to keep the eating disorder in check and help prevent it from getting worse than it was. This won’t always work as everyone is different. Some people won’t be able to abide by these boundaries just as I’d likely not be able to abide by those that others have but they were boundaries to try to keep the eating disorder contained. Sometimes I’d try to violate these boundaries or sneak around them, exercising a bit more than we agreed, walking a bit more than I’d said I had but with this, we worked together. I doubt though that these boundaries would have worked had we not been able to accept, acknowledge and be open about what was happening. Had she not tried as she did I would have been more inclined to listen to my eating disorder voice telling me to violate and disregard every boundary – but our relationship gave me the strength to do my best to work with her.