child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

lunchroom chronicles

I'm trying so hard and I'm so tired.  Office lunch hour I must figure out how to do healthily.  After 2 days of being able to skip the whole horrible affair, today I tested the waters again.  At first it was manageable with the anxiety not being overwhelming.  I made sure to sit with the 2 ladies who were in the lunchroom.  After all, my job is with a Christian ministry and much of my job revolves around cultivating relationships.

Shortly before my lunch time ended, several other ladies came into the lunchroom.  Someone pointed out that everyone had a salad for lunch.  I had already finished, but boy was I glad that I had brought salad, wouldn't want anyone to think poorly of me based on my lunch choices.  And then it started, fat talk.  Diet talk.  I'm not good enough just the way I am talk.

"Are you doing THE diet again?"  "Yeah, but only for ten days."  "I need to do IT again."  "You shouldn't do it, you are supposed to be training and you need the extra protein and calories."  "I'm just going to do it for swimsuit season and then get back to training."  "Yeah, I'm doing it too, I need to lose about 10 more pounds."

The talk was swirling around in my brain and I just wanted to scream "STOP" and run from the room and hide.  I guess I had hoped that working in this office, though filled with women, would be different from other places.  I thought a place of ministry would be my refuge from the storm of orange inside of me.  I so wanted a shelter from the storm, a safe place, a place where orange would be easier to keep at bay.

I guess it turns out that women are women and we all battle this perfect body bullcrap, even in places that should be safe.  My anxiety skyrockets just thinking about lunch tomorrow.  Do I eat at my desk, like I did on Monday, just to avoid the triggering conversation?  Do I keep trying to make friends and build bridges and eat in that lunchroom? 

I've had a hard time wanting to eat anyway but I have been putting one foot in front of the other, making myself stay present and in the moment, and making the choice to eat anyway.  Everything in my head is screaming at me.  I want to say that the voices aren't bothering me, but I'd be lying.  The diet talk in the lunchroom has my head spinning.  I'm wondering what food games will be played here and wondering how I can minimize their damage to a firm and yet very shaky recovery place.


  1. sorry about all of this :(
    these moments are really overwelming and tough, and they sure make recovery a bit trickier. but i would say to just take deep breaths and eat somewhere else if you need do for a bit. i don't know if you can or not, but if you can - that is what i think you need right now.

    sometimes when the ed is too loud and powerful, it's hard to fight it. especially when we are in the direct line of the ed's fire and it sounds like that is exactly what the lunchroom is right now. you need to take care of yourself and put yourself first. i know that is hard to do, and it's easier said then done - but i also know that it's what you need.

    i know how overwelming these situations can be, and it brings me back to times in my journey that i struggled with this same thing. but one day at a time is all we can do. maybe if you use the power of prayer and give some of these feelings over to God, that could help ease the burden a little.

    i hope this comment is not all over the place and is making some sort of sense... i am writing really fast cause i am in a rush, but i wanted to let you know that i am here for you, i believe in you, and this too shall pass ; )

    you got this girl!!! show the ed who's boss! ; )

    1. Jenn, thank you! Your comment made lots of sense and was very encouraging. It helps to know this will pass and that someone has faith in me. Thursday after lunch (which was NOT in the lunchroom, but still with a couple of ladies) I ended up locking myself in the bathroom for a good cry. I love my job, I'm just trying to find my niche and my safe spot. So far neither have instantly surfaced. I think it will be easier once I get a feel for my "place".

  2. i am also working at a christian organization, and have heard a bit of diet talk while here. i usually keep silent and keep my peace and let it go. but you have reminded me that it's probably not uncommon that in situations like that, another woman present is also in recovery and maybe suffering rather invisibly from the conversation. if there's a possibility that it would turn out to be for another woman's behalf, i think i'd rather speak up than keep silent in the future. so -- that doesn't help you, but if there is a dawn-like woman in any of my workspaces, i will be doing my part to make it a better environment for her.

    1. Holly, thank you. Your words gave me strength yesterday.

      You really got all of that from ME????? Wow, I'm humbled.