If you’ve ever struggled to motivate yourself to eat a meal before, you know how comforting it can be to have a trusted friend by your side to say “let’s eat together.”
For TikTok users, Sara Sadok is that friend.
Her page is flooded with positive content — from encouraging words about chasing your dreams to words of wisdom about being yourself. Her “let’s eat together” video has gone viral for its similarly uplifting message.
“Hi, so if you ever have a hard time sitting yourself down for a meal, let’s have a meal together,” Sadok said in a video that now has 1 million likes and over 2.5 million views.
People have even been dueting with Sadok, sharing videos of themselves eating as her cheerful voice talks them through what can be an extremely challenging task.
Approximately 9 percent of the world’s population may be affected by an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Those in recovery may find themselves especially isolated as the world socially distances through the pandemic.
Taryn A. Myers, a psychologist who specializes in body image research, told In The Know that the idea of having support when you eat a meal is critical for those who are recovering from an eating disorder.
She explained that providing support through meals is crucial through treatment, and therapists or other staff will often eat with clients in recovery to offer support — or sometimes a “gentle push” — to keep eating.
“A plate of food can be as terrifying as a spider to someone with arachnophobia,” Myers said. “I think this is a lovely idea, and I think it is fantastic that this woman is offering this support.”
She recommended reaching out to professionals, such as the National Eating Disorder Association’s chat or phone lines, if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder in isolation.
Sadok hasn’t been posting for long, but her videos have already had quite the impact.
She told Insider that she tries her best to come across as “sympathetic and caring” in her videos — never “pitiful.” She’s tried to watch every single response to her videos, and some have even made her cry.
She’s not only helping people recovering from eating disorders, either. People with other mental health conditions have found solace in her videos as well.
In perhaps one of the most viral responses to Sadok’s posts that has accumulated more than 17 million views, user cajunpeaches shared footage slowly and shakily eating through a panic attack alongside Sadok’s gentle encouragement.
“I’ve come a long way and some days are harder than others,” they said in the caption.
Commenters responded with overwhelming support and emotion.
“What a beautiful moment of humanity and what an incredible example of the healing role of social media,” one user wrote.
“I’m in tears. You are so incredibly strong,” another said.
“I wanted to say that this really moved me. I can’t begin to understand the struggle, but good on you,” a third commented. “And good on her for being someone like her.”
Cajunpeaches thanked Sadok for her original video in a follow-up post.
“The community of TikTok just uplifted me,” they said. “I am literally still in shock.”
At the end of the video, they pulled out some fries from McDonald’s.
“Let’s eat together,” they said.
There’s no denying how powerful those three words can be when you’re sharing them with someone else.
If you enjoyed this story, read more about an eating disorder coach inspiring TikTokers to try their “fear foods.”
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