Lonely At Lunch

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.

Obviously, ridiculous.

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 🙂


12 thoughts on “Lonely At Lunch

  1. I could definitely relate.At the holiday party although I did successfully feast on some non safe foods there I wasn’t really comfortable eatin it in front of others sitting instead I shoved it in my mouth secretly in the kitchen.Personally I feel that once I eat something ‘normal’ in the outside world I will be more prne to be victimized with a smart remark on how improved I am and how I look ‘better’ which to me means fat.It is sad but at the moment though eating has become less of a burden I still have haunting voices and thoughts that I must fight everyyyy day and I’m tired of it.Hun hold on tight and don’t give up because a the end of it all life is too short .

    • you are so insightful my darling. i always enjoy waking up to your words because they are so similar to my thoughts. i hope you are doing well. i think of you often!

      • and I do too hun! You are in my prayers even though we havent personally met,you are such a wonderful person .I truly admire you for all the courage you have posting your inner thoughts and when I create my blog (coming soon) I would love you to be first to post because your blog changed my life for good!

      • aw I do too!You are always in my prayers because though we haven’t met I know you are a wonderful person and deserve the best.Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts.When I create my blog(coming soon) I want you to guest post because your blog saved me life!

  2. It worries me (and don’t worry : Im not judging; I “understand”) but it worries me just how far into your disorder you really are. Do you think a bi-weekly therapy appointment or something might help you?
    Like you remind me of myself or someone else I know doing the same thing (eating in the office when the coworkers all outside) because needed to have that space/time/comfort, etc of eating. (I’m different now: I WOLF down my food..not cool…I’m such a fast eater).
    And like you’re post yesterday when you mentioned how when your inlaws were chatting, you and ryan chatted on the side about what to eat/removing the bread, etc…that reminds me of one holiday dinner with a relative of mine who was just bones and in SO MUCH denial and she was looking at my holiday dinner plate the whole time and making comments like “i have too much turnip”…”you didn’t take as much of this or that” etc…thinking that no one else was paying attention to her…but they so were (i was so mortified and angry for us both…so deep in her denial and skeleton that she just wasn’t aware of the true nature of the situation).

    Just stuff this post reminded me of.

    • i am never offended by what you say, but i do go to therapy, a nutritionist and have regular medical appointments. trust me, i am working through every issue i have, which are way too many to name 🙂 i hope you are, as well 🙂

  3. You have to be smart about it. My coworkers and I talk about what we eat at lunch. (“this us so good, y’all!” “what is that?” “what’s that smell?”) there’s rarely any judgement but sometimes curiosity. If that will make you uncomfortable, maybe eating solo is a better choice. On the other hand, I think you’d probably enjoy some interaction with you coworkers. You might be surprised!*

  4. I can’t decide what’s worse: comments about a meal that is clearly “disordered” and which you try to defend but know is totally weird, or comments about a regular meal that just make you feel fat rather than normal. (I guess we’d just rather NOT talk about food and eating in general because it’s such a touchy topic!)

    In the throes of my ED, I always knew what I ate was weird and not normal, so I would rather go to my car in the parking lot and eat whatever “lunch” I had packed rather than eat it in front of my coworkers feeling like I would be the freak on display. It was pathetic. I haven’t worked in said place for about a year now, and recently talked to an ex-coworker who I opened up to about my recovery and he told me was not surprised I had an ED… really sad.

    So I say keep trying to push yourself. You sound like you’re eating so much healthier now and making great choices for yourself, so try to remember that YOUR plate is NOT the focal point of attention… unless it’s a carrot stick you’re eating with a fork and knife, lol. Enjoy the company of your co-workers and try to learn to embrace the environment of a lunch break… before my ED, that was always my favorite time because I could relax and unwind with my coworkers. It never had anything to do with the food. Now, it’s ALL about the food and about how I would look eating it… ridiculous. So own that lunch break and don’t be embarrassed to eat around people! 🙂

  5. I used to be like this all the time, but then realized that really, everyone thinks that way and it doesn’t matter! We all have individual likes in food and really, I have found that I can now laugh with my friends about their choices rather than judge sometimes!

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