I’m so sick of being the bigger person sometimes (and no, that’s not a knock on my physique!).
I’m always soooo concerned with how my words or actions might make someone else feel. But what about my feelings? It’s as if I’m constantly raising my hand, volunteering to lay down, with a sign taped to my back that says, “Come on! Go ahead! I won’t feel a thing! Start walkin’! Oh, and you can laugh while you do it!”
Although, the sign I really want to wear at times would read: “Hello there. I struggle with Binge Eating Disorder and emotional overeating. Would you mind cutting the crap with all that unnecessary commentary?”
But that would make the rest of the world uncomfortable, now wouldn’t it?
I know I’ve blogged about “The Food Police” before, especially when it comes to eating in social situations, but ever since I started my new job, I’m dealing with a brand new army of lunchtime food commentators for the first time… ever.
And I’m like SO over it…
PLEASE Steal the Spotlight, I’m Begging You
I’ve never been the girl who pines to be the center of attention. I like to earn a laugh with a good joke or a high-five for some great work. Otherwise, I’m happy to be a spectator.
But somehow, for the past few weeks, I’ve had a gossip-powered spot light shining on me and my eating habits.
(And did I mention that I’m like REALLY over it?)
I’m not used to this, I wasn’t prepared for combat, and I’m having a hell of a time finding the right armor.
At my previous personal assistant job, I ate when I was hungry. I had no mandated lunch hour, no rules, no break room, and definitely no audience.
Now things are a little bit different and a whole a lot trickier…
As a former “wake up at 9:00 am, eat lunch at 4:00 pm, go to bed at 1:00 am” kinda gal, I’m just not used to eating lunch early in the day.
But the first day at this new job I realized I had a choice – take my lunch break at noon with the rest of the girls who had so warmly welcomed me into their inner circle… or wait until I was actually hungry… and eat alone.
I tried to find a happy medium – taking the actual lunch slot with those ladies, hanging out, having a laugh… and then eating at my desk, according to my stomach and not the clock.
But my strategy invited some unwanted and unwarranted critiques and questions about my eating habits.
Why don’t you eat at noon?
When do you eat?
What do you eat?
Are you going to eat today?
Oh, you eat the same thing every day? I heard that people who do that maintain their weight (Followed by a shoulder nudge like… “Hey, go you!”)
Then if I do actually eat my food in their company, I hear:
You eat soooo healthy…
OMG you’re actually eating!
I mean… can I win here no matter which way I go?
I’ve been trying to joke, lightly explain my old schedule, dab my forehead sweat from the heat of the interrogations, and smile. But, again, I’m just… OVER IT!!
(All the while, I’m trying to win a stare down contest with some of my trigger foods that they’ve brought for lunch.)
Now, I know that no one is being malicious. In fact, one of the girls caught herself and apologized, explaining that she hates when people comment about her food and eating habits, and she didn’t know why she was doing it to me.
That was an awesome moment.
I mean, I get it… I really do. When we can’t understand something, sometimes it’s just easier to make jokes about it, mock it, or poke it with a stick until it squirms.
Well, I voluntarily admit I’m squirming! Can we be done now? Because… I’m so totally and unbelievably OVER it!
So, Can We Like… NOT Talk About My Food, Please?
It’s hard being the new girl. Especially when you’re back in “where do I sit in the cafeteria” mode.
Social eating can be confusing and uncomfortable as it is. But with added commentary from the peanut gallery, the first thought that often comes to mind is…
“I think overeating or bingeing right now would make me feel a whole lot better! I’ll show you all how I can eat! I’m the QUEEN of eating!”
It’s quite the challenge – finding a way to stand up for yourself without leaking your secrets onto strangers and acquaintances, staining their image of you.
I’m not shy about what I’ve been through or still go through (clearly…!) but that doesn’t mean I want everyone I know to immediately think “Jacki… Binger.” I am so much MORE than my eating disorder.
I don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) justify, explain, rationalize, or joke about my food stuff. But to make everyone else comfortable, I have been… and hey- you guessed it… I’m FRIGGIN’ OVER IT!
End Rant (Thank You For Listening)
I needed myself a little decompression session today. Sometimes the keyboard is my only solace when I feel like the world couldn’t understand me any less than it already does.
And I really, truly thank you for being here with me.
If you’ve been struggling with a similar situation, I hope this post reassured you that you are definitely not alone, my friends.
And to be honest, I could use a little reassurance myself! I’m sort of out of strategies for this one and I could definitely use a little help from YOU if you’ve got any pointers or tips for me.
How do you handle eating in the workplace?
Let’s talk about it.
Until next time,
P.S. This is our safe space – no judgment, no pressure. Your words, feelings, thoughts, and ideas are welcomed in the comments section below.