Aw, thanks, TRBL.Oh Befrizzled, I'm so sorry, and I'm so glad that you can recognize & overcome. You are strong.
I've known for a long time that I have these strange reactions to stories like this, but I don't really want to tell anyone IRL because I don't want them to panic that I'm going to quit eating again. It just feels nice to say it "out loud" here so I can really acknowledge how ridiculous it is -- because it is absolutely ridiculous.
I consider myself recovered, for the most part. I just wish I could figure out a way to not feel so physically and emotionally ill over these stories and these people. My mom is morbidly obese -- and so was my dad, but he died years ago -- and I worry myself sick over her if I allow myself to think about it for too long. Years of therapy couldn't help me figure out how to handle things like this more easily, but at least I'm no longer starving myself as a reflex to the worry. So, there's a victory in there somewhere.