The demons of doubt

Today is my last day at the bakery, and I'm mostly excited to be able to focus full-time on my writing, I will miss many of my co-workers. Yesterday, I was discussing with another baker (let's call him "D") the essentials of writing the next Great American Zombie Apocalypse Novel. The book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a bestseller (seriously. Do you think I could make this stuff up?), and so we wanted to rewrite other books with a zombie twist. Such as "To Kill a Zombie Mockingbird" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Zombie." I will miss conversations like this.

I will also miss the fact that my boss was trying to bribe me to stay by buying me iced coffees. It didn't work, but it was a nice perk! My boss is a complicated person, and sometimes I want to shake her, but we've also had our fair share of laughs*. We were talking last night as we cleaned the kitchen about how physically demanding the job was. I said that it was rather hilarious that all the customers were always wondering how I could work in the bakery and "stay so skinny!" when in reality my metabolic needs almost required large amounts of high-calorie goodies. My boss told me that she jokes with other people that she "eats like a 300 lb man" because she's so active.

If only she would have stopped there. Because the next thing out of her mouth was:

"Watch, now that you're no longer going to be with us, you're totally going to get fat."

I used my newly acquired interpersonal effectiveness skill of grunting, but inside, I panicked.

I know my boss knows nothing about my eating disorder history. I also know she was joking--she's just that kind of person. We tease each other and so on, and I'm not doubting for a second that she really didn't mean it (unlike my co-worker who jokingly--I think--called me "fatass." Am I sensing a theme here?). But I still worry about how/if quitting my bakery job will lead to weight gain.

It's an irrational fear, and I know it. The doubt, however, still nags at me. I am barely tolerating the weight I am at now, and I fear any sort of gain would throw me over the edge. I also don't want to go clothes shopping again. Like, ever again. Yet I know I can't let such a fear dictate my life and prevent me from chasing my dreams.

I know that being calm and rational is the way to get through this. So I've reminded myself of the following:

  • TNT monitors my weight and we can step in if there is an upward trend.
  • I can call my old dietitian and ask for support.
  • I didn't lose weight when I started and so I probably won't gain when I leave.
  • My weight stayed the same when I was out of town and not working for 3 weeks.
  • If my metabolism can adjust to the upward shift in activity, it can adjust to the downward shift.
In the meantime, I just think my boss totally owes me an iced coffee for that comment--don't you?

*For instance, when she got my iced coffee the first day, she asked how I liked me coffee. I said "Just how I like my men- deep tan and really sweet." She looked at me and said "I guess that means I like my men blond and bitter."


Anonymous said...

Yes...this worries me too when I leave my very busy waitressing job...but RATIONALLY (that old thing) metabolism and bodies adjust to these changes right? And hey, you've laid out the evidence for yourself - no weight loss when you began and the three week break made no impact.

And as for the comment, well done for the grunting - it's a great response to these comments I find!

charlotte bevan said...


Take that demon, put him in a box and send him to me. I'll deal with him. I'm good with demons. Also, if you send him by sea, by the time he gets here, he will not put up much of a fight.


flaweddesign said...

oh MAN could she have SAID anything worse! ok, probably...and i'm glad you are rationalizing things healthfully and recognizing that she knows nothing of what you're going through.

i will second your rational thought that quitting the bakery WILL NOT make you gain weight!

doubt is a bitch...i'm dealing with it right now too.

you will adjust. and your body will too. we're made to!
stay strong!

From Here to There. In Purple. said...

read this post when you feel at a loss worst... youve said it all through such beautiful rationalization

have a marvelous day!

James Clayton said...

Argh! Not helpful!

Right, try and look at it another way (here we go, it's worth a try right?) and maybe not working at the bakery doesn't mean a hard time dealing with ED thoughts because of less activity but potentially an easier time because you're not surrounded by baked goods and customers and workers making comments.

Believe in yourself Carrie. You're strong and you can beat those doubts!

Anonymous said...

I had just read the journal article about uncertainty when I read this blog, so what I heard in what you said might be overly influenced by the article. It seems that your panic about the possibility of gaining weight when you leave the bakery could also be about the uncertainty in general of leaving the bakery for an uncertain future in writing. Good for you for recognizing that you are a resourceful person who can deal with uncertainty and influence your own future!

e.motions and ana.lysis said...

I read that and thought "no. NO. NO! Don't do this to Carrie!" And then I read the rest and thought, "Good for you!" because instead of acting on the doubt, you blogged about it and responded to yourself rationally. And the rational part is right. And smart. Keep listening to it. :)

Anonymous said...

I had the same panic when I traded in my demandin/exaughsting fast food job for a desk job. I almost considered staying at the other job for the constant movement it gave me. Silly ED

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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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