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When Thinner Isn't Better

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: How do you tell a woman who is excited to be svelte after several pregnancies that she's taken it too far?

woman not eating

"No thanks, I already ate at home," my dear friend tells the waiter approaching the table. She was more than 15 minutes late to our lunch and seeing as I am going to be nursing my son until he's 30, I was starving and had already ordered.

"Sorry I didn't get here on time," she said, sitting down and dropping her purse on the table with a thud. "I had a hard time leaving the house today," she continued, pulling her phone out of the bag and placing it on the table.

It was then that I noticed something was different about her arms. Where once they looked like arms, they now resembled long toothpicks covered in flesh. And her face was gaunt too, like an Edvard Munch sketch.

"That's cool," I said, diving in to the breadbasket like an aardvark that is handed a bag of termites. "Excuse me, can we get some olive oil?" I barked to a passing waiter. It's very important to have fat in your diet when you're breastfeeding. Which is, of course, one of the reasons I am still breastfeeding.

"So what's going on?" I asked my friend, wiping crumbs from my mouth.

"I don't know ... I'm just really tired all the time. Two kids is a lot."

Especially if you don't eat, I think, dipping my piece of focacia in the newly arrived pool of oil.

"Well, are you eating enough?" I asked, as casually as you can ask a person who looks like a well-dressed skeleton.

"What do you mean? I eat all the time. I had a whole croissant yesterday."

"Really?" I had two muffins, half a chicken, a latte, and a 16 oz. container of Faye greek-style yogurt. Before 12 noon. I didn't say that out loud because it's a revolting amount of food even to a normal person, let alone an anorexic.

That's harsh. Or is it? Could it be that this person I have known through two pregnancies and well into her 40's has somehow developed a predominantly twenty-something eating disorder?

And if so, what can I do to help her?

next: Neighbor: Octuplets From Sperm Donor
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