It has been almost a month since I started my new position up in the high school building, and although it is definitely a challenge, and I am still learning the ropes, I love being amongst some of my favorite staff members from when I was a student there.
Maybe this sounds cheesy but I feel like I work in a family rather than with fellow employees and to me, that is super important.
That being said, you would think I would be comfortable eating lunch in our little kitchen area rather than alone, with my door shut.
I started the habit of eating and working through my half hour break because I seriously was busy; getting acclimated and trying not to make too many mistakes. But now that I am a little more efficient, I sometimes need the break in my day and SHOULD take it.
…but I don’t.
Instead, I continue working, eat by myself, don’t necessarily feel satisfied personally, mentally or physically, and just kind of am disappointed.
So what keeps me from engaging in the fun lunch conversations, participating in a ritual that is pretty darn normal in the work world, and actually taking a few minutes for myself that I DESERVE?
Fear, that’s what.
What the heck am I scared of?
Let me give you an example.
This weekend I made vegetable soup and the spaghetti soup I featured on WIAW.
I also made a few extra meatballs because Ryan was home and I thought he might like to make some meatball sandwiches, have an addition to ravioli, etc.
And this morning I thought a meatball might be a nice protein to my vegetable soup so I put one on top of the Tupperware I had packed for school and threw it in my lunch bag.
As my stomach grumbled I thought,
“Oh my gosh. I can’t warm this up now. There are people in there. What will they think of me warming up a MEATBALL! They are going to think I don’t need the meatball. I should have just brought the soup. What was I thinking?!”
Meatballs were never on my list of safe foods, you see.
To be honest, they still aren’t unless I make them and know how many ounces of meat I am using and the quality of ground beef that is going into the recipe.
Crazy, I know, but at least I can admit it.
My stomach said it was time for lunch so I did listen (pat on the back), but kept the lid on, hiding the darn meatball and warmed the soup while everyone laughed and joked, asking,
“CJ, come have lunch with us! Why don’t you ever take a break?!”
“I am going to get us free books!” I joked, as we were earlier talking about the ridiculous cost of school text books.
That answer seemed to be good enough so they all continued on conversing and I slipped out the door.
The point is, I am scared of being judged by my co-workers.
In fact, I am scared of being judged by everyone.
Especially as the weight creeps up and I continue to feel uncomfortable, I am starting to be more secretive and hide, worrying that someone will make a dreaded comment that triggers even more self-hatred.
I even did it with my in-laws this weekend, quietly consuming my night snacks in the corner while they played a game and drank wine.
I feel so socially awkward around food, people and self-conscious thinking everyone is judging who I am by how I look or the choices I make for lunch.
This is something I need to work on because, as with many things in the eating disorder world, it is not about the actual food, but more about my fear that people are constantly asessing me, thinking I am inadequate or inferior.
Just one more thing to add to the list of what I have to work on, but hey, at least I have a plan.
Faculty holiday luncheon is on the schedule for next week…perhaps that should be step one?
Have a very happy thursday everyone! One more day until the weekend 🙂