Elvis has left the building...

I am outta there! WW no more!

I did think for a while about sending all of my co-workers an email letting them know how I really felt about leaving, that I was practically jumping with joy. I really wanted to send that letter, let them know that dieting doesn't work, and it ultimately harms you. That I am a kind-of diet casualty and it's not as innocent as it seems.

Then I realized: you can only educate people who want to learn. I've tried that with various family members, my parents have tried that, and this said family member blames me for pretty much everything that has occurred after the crucifixion. I'm not ill, I'm faking it, I'm vain, I'm looking for attention, I should just fix myself. You know, I never thought of that. After all these years, that never occurred to me.


So I didn't send my co-workers the letter because it would have been to satisfy my own personal need to stab them in the back and not out of any noble desire to provide education on eating disorders. Instead, I wrote a very succinct note about why I was leaving, which is noted below. Noted in bold within the letter is, however, what I wish I could have written.


To all, (all you bitches, that is)

I am sorry to be leaving all of you so suddenly (NOT!), but several opportunities have arisen for me that I want to take advantage of (that didn't involve weight loss or counting points). I have been building a jewelry-making business called French Roast Designs (frenchroast.etsy.com Remember- Mother's Day is just around the corner! Hee hee you better buy my jewelry because you practically put me out of a job and it's really cool stuff) and have been doing some freelance writing. Before I go away to school in the fall, I wanted to see what I could accomplish in these ventures (Because I knew I couldn't accomplish anything else in this hellhole). In August, I will be moving to Baltimore to start the Masters of Arts in Medical Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

I waited to send this because I do not like goodbyes and do not like to be the center of attention- it had nothing to do with you. (Wait. On second thought, it did. I just didn't want to spend my entire day lying and explaining myself to you). I will miss all of you (yeah, right) and wish you all the best. (Please let me know when you have gained all your weight back so I can have a good laugh at your expense. You've more than earned it.)


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mary said...

Hope your letter writing helps you move away from this whole experience. The sooner you can put it behind you the freer you'll be. I like how you recognized what was wrong for YOU and changed it.
Throw some eggs if it helps. [it will]
Now to do the same thing with ED. Dump him for your sanity! /*

carrie said...


The letter was a little more tongue in cheek. When I'm really pissed, I don't have much of a sense of humor. It was like those moments when you wished you had a good comeback but don't think of it till later kind of things.

mary said...

It's always afterwards, isn't it? Don't worry, I know a zinger when
I see one! In fact it's my area of expertise, was once gonna write a
book filled with zingers. Seriously, I love venting in a cheap paper
notebook. In the end they're more fun to write than to read.
Hope you are feeling much relief as you work on what's most
valuable, your recovery. There's not a price tag on life.
In the end the award of who to blame goes directly to ED. He's
fired! Without him life just wouldn't be the same. I mean it, not at all like it is now.
One of my favorite writers whose legacy lives on with his many inspirational stories and poems. Thought I'd remind you of him and share.

/*“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
Shel Silverstein quote

ANYTHING Carrie. /*

Tash said...

I may be out of line here but aren't people who are that obsessed about dieting deserving of some understanding too. You did the right thing for you by resigning, that much I understand. But surely they are casualties of bad self body image too? They just happen to be allowed to talk about dieting, because it is way more socially acceptable than having an ED in our society, at the moment.

Lots of dieters, and I have known a few are as unhappy with themselves (beyond weight)as people who go on to develop ED's.

I dont think you should mix with people who are triggering you but I dont think you should be so cruel about them either. They are doing the best they can with the tools they have. Just like I was when I was being sick six times in an evening. Whilst not truly understandable we all cope and move through life the best we can. It feels easier when you are in a group with people who can back you up. (i.e. the dieters)

Good luck with all other aspects of your life Carrie

Tash x x x

carrie said...


I do think you bring up some valid points. I definitely understand and sympathize with low body image. I understand *why* they would embark on a weight-loss contest. My anger was for several, more subtle reasons:

1) Dieting has some very negative consequences, such as eating disorders. They didn't realize this, nor did they realize that other people might have deeper issues surrounding food and weight in the office. It's like having cocktail hour in the break room at lunch and not understanding why an alcoholic would be upset.

2) It's work. Like a separation of church and state, there should be a separation of body and business. If these women want to diet on their own time, that's fine with me.

3) I heard a quote once that "the person with the least sympathy for a junkie is an ex-junkie." I'm not saying that my coworkers are junkies; I am saying that my experience with an eating disorder has made me much less sympathetic with dieters.

4) I work in a health field. Dieting is not healthy. They were not focused on health, they were focused on appearance. I have worked with co-workers who began to lose weight for health reasons (high bp, high cholesterol, etc) and that was not even remotely triggering.

I am sympathetic with bad body image. I am *not* sympathetic with weight-loss contests and mass dieting.

Laura Collins said...

What makes me sad is that it shouldn't be your job to change the culture. Just like racism, it really needs to be the ones who think it ISN'T their issue to stand up and be counted.

It is ALL of our responsibility to reduce the body-hating, toxic, and essentially disordered diet culture.

roark said...

hi carrie,

i identify with tash's points, i think. it does seem (and clearly, this is your right to express it here, i'm not attacking that just adding my thoughts) that you do look down on them for being 'dieters.' like it's some sub-class of human being. i recognize that being around them was painful for you, and rightfully so, but they feel pain, too.

especially that last line, wishing they gain it all back so you can laugh at them... ouch. that hurt me. and i'm not a dieter, i'm bulimic. but it still really hurt to read that.

like it gives my ed license to say see, people DO want to laugh at you if you're not a perfect weight. if you start to gain weight, they notice and they talk and point and laugh.

and maybe these co-workers do understand deeper issues, maybe one or two of them suffer from BED, hence the outward focus on dieting, to say "hey i know i'm fat but see? i'm working on it!" or hell, maybe even bulimia. or anorexia in their past, but they just never got proper enough help to realize the harm dieting can do to that equilibrium.

an ED is such a silent, hidden thing, right? so how do we know none of them has struggled with it? clearly, by behaving this way with diets, they probably aren't fully recovered...

but isn't there sympathy for people who have had a different, though probaby just as painful, path to find satisfaction with their bodies?

i just feel... really hurt by what you wrote. and i'm not fat, and i'm not a dieter, i've actually never been on a diet in my life.

but that tone, that last line, that waiting to laugh cruelly as they fail... that's a big part of what makes me so uncomfortable in my body, and makes me really hesitant to trust people in my life with this really personal struggle.

anyways, i just had to pitch in. i'm not blaming or attacking you, just... thinking out loud.

thanks for the space.

carrie said...


You bring up some really good points. Really. I feel bad that my post may have insulted you.

I guess what came out in that post was several months' worth of rage and frustration. I don't hope, in all honesty, that their diets fail. I hope they stay healthy, get happy, etc, etc.

The problem (in my eyes) was not the weight loss. It was the means to acheiving that weight loss (through a contest) and their seeming lack of concern about others who didn't want to participate. Yes, the letter I wrote was rude and insulting. It was meant to be. *blush* And maybe I was wrong to publish it.

Throughout the course of my ED, I have ranged from underweight to overweight to underweight to (hopefully) back at my healthy, setpoint weight. I understand what it's like to hate your body. I don't think dieters are a 'sub-class' of human beings.

I am quite appalled, however, of the way in which they carried their behavior out. And of how hypocritical it was- a health department doing such an unhealthy thing.

The last part was...well...my hopes for a little cosmic karma. I am a little bitter. You could definitely say that. I feel this strange sort of resentment like "Why me? Why now?" The answer is that this really isn't about me, it's about them. There *is* no reason why me, why anyone. This is our culture, take it or leave it. I suppose I could live as a modern-day hermit in the Australian outback or something and live on rattlesnake and dingo meat, but I think I can learn to deal with what is out there.

I guess what really angered me was the horrific, mind-numbing realization that the whole freaking world seems like it's on a diet, and I don't "get" to be on one.

Okay, I'm staggering right now. I'm jealous of them.

Methinks I shall explore this in a new post. Thank you for making me think.


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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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