...and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore!

I could take it. I really really could. But I won't. I won't take it. I am refusing to face the same ignorance and bullshit day after day after day.

"It," of course, is the collective name for my diet-obsessed coworkers. I have plenty of other names for them, but I'll try to be polite. Or at least civil. Or, at the very minimum, not call them meanies and stupid toads (even though I want to).

To call today a disaster would be an understatement. If the truth were a billboard, disaster would be in microscopic print. After every Big Fat Loser episode, I keep thinking "This can't get any worse." And yet, every time, I am proven wrong. It can and does get worse.

Event #1: I walk in at 8:15 am, early for once, and kind of strutting. See? I can get my mangy butt out of bed at a decent time. I overhear words about "photograph" and "scale." My heart sinks. They have already taken their "after" picture, so this can only mean one thing: a newspaper article.

No effing way.

Oh yes effing way. The reporter from the local paper is there to do a feature on the Big Fat Loser contest and how it was so beneficial, and how the health department is setting such a good example. WTF???? Setting such a good example? By embarking upon a weight loss contest which neither works nor has any long-term health benefits.

My head boils. You know that "This is your brain on drugs" public health campaign from the '80s? Well, my brain was the frying pan and you probably could have cooked an egg. Not that anyone there would have eaten it, however. They're filled with cholesterol and fat, dontcha know.

Event #2: I see the display poster they made for the interview. There were all of these little gold stars scattered around saying how many pounds each person had lost, how great they feel, that they had to buy new clothes because they lost so much weight. Blah blah blah. I actually feel offended not only because of the obvious reasons, but because I couldn't add my own little gold stars:

That's what I have lost when I lost weight. Only they don't know that.

Event #3: There had to be more, didn't there? So it's lunchtime, and I go into the breakroom (almost Freudian slip there- I initially typed "weight room") and get my lunch. Normal thing to do, right? It's lunch time, eat lunch. I sit down at one of the tables with a really nice nurse- or so I thought. She peels an orange. I pull out a bagel with hummus.* She looks at me and says:

"I'm trying to eat healthy. You know...stay away from junk like that."
Thank you. Thank you for ruining my lunch and my day. That, combined with everything else that had happened today, made me totally, utterly, and completely lose it. I chucked the bagel in the trash bin and walked out the door. I'm now regretting not chucking the bagel at her.

I go into an empty conference room. I sob. I call my therapist. I sob some more. I talk to my therapist. I decide to leave for the day, calm down and do some serious thinking, and then make sure I really want to quit before I turn in my resignation. I tell my boss I'm nauseous and need to leave- I'm not lying. I really wanted to toss it at that point. Not purge, but I was so emotional and anxious, my stomach was roiling, boiling, toiling. Drive home and manage not to barf in the car. Ate some lunch (not any bagels...not anytime soon), took a nap, and here I am.

I'm currently composing a little memorandum for my coworkers to read upon my departure. I'll post it for you later. Woot.

*Please note that this was only part of my lunch. I actually had packed quite a bit more.


samsi77 said...

Carrie that we so frickin effective that i do not have words for it; your acts and behaviors that is. I am appalled to say the least by the events and mentality that have continued to run way out of control there at your office. However this is a true, real live test for RADICAL ACCEPTANCE; this is the skill that we need to employ when in all actuality we have no other choice; we cannot control or change them or the environment, you used your IE skills to the tee and yet they just can not get it. Therefore, their loss. Now the challenge is to continue to take care of you and make decions based on what is in your best interests. You get a golden fork award today and them..... like you already nominated a rabbit cat!

Carrie Arnold said...


Was my blog effective or my actions? I'm just satisfied that no one got hurt.

Maybe I'll shove the golden fork up their...

Or just let the rabid cat do that.

samsi77 said...

Your blog and your actions were very effective. Yes you are capable of doing some intricate things with the golden fork but that might not be very effective..... so how about for now use the golden fork to nurture yourself and fuel your continued effectiveness! Nos as for the rabid cat...............

mary said...

I don't know how you lucked out to get into a work situation where they are actually doing all these really loud things regarding losing weight.They've really taken it to an extreme. I'm sorry that it has made your ED roar. During all this time they've supported one another not knowing that you've felt alone and had your own war going on. It's said that an ED thrives in secret but struggles when it's in the light. While I respect your right to privacy in the workplace I also know that you deserve to be applauded for doing what you need to do. You've been on the opposite end of this whole situation but had to witness the socially acceptable world where people can lose weight and not develop an ED while doing it. Sure, many of them will regain but they still didn't end up so sick and close to dying.
It's a tough subject to ask you to look at and you really don't have to yet. Still, this is the world Carrie.Even if it's not everywhere as long as your ED has ears that perk up at the word 'diet' it will place you at risk of wanting to throw all your food. I hope that instead you opt to eat it. Any opinions your ED has are really none of your concern if you are going to help yourself get better.You don't need to compare yourself to ANYONE. You are Carrie. You don't need to diet and what others may need or not need is not your concern. Your opinion on this will be slanted by the ED anyway. The sooner this real enemy is ignored the better off you'll be but it's up to you to close the door.
I hope you think about this before you make the final decision to leave or write them a letter using your poison pen. [though I'd love to see it] You can't let someones ignorance about the value of a bagel determine your future or your earnings. You can't let your ED do so either! You know it's sneaky. So, how can you be sneakier than your ED? How can we help?
I KNOW you can beat this. If you leave your work then leave your ED first! He's the true trouble here.
If I wake up and find a bagel in my bed I'll know who tossed it.

wading through recovery said...

So, I'll cut to the point.

What a bunch of fuckers!

I'm so sorry all your co-workers are brainwashed (and probably malnourished as well).

mary said...

No bagels that I could find here.
Your recovery has to come before anything. This means getting yourself where you can FOCUS on all the great things you enjoy doing. Stay away from all the research for now as it's all diet or ED related and it feeds the ED to give it this much thought.
Healing doesn't happen in hospitals the way it would in nature or in a safe relaxing place and here you were working in one.
I hope today you relax and get outside and look for spring. Where you give your attention is everything right now. I hope you play.

Carrie Arnold said...


Yeah, doing things with the fork may not be IE, but thinking about it is. Hee hee.


Can't throw a bagel your way until you tell me what kind you want! :) Part of the whole leaving-the-job-thing is trying to move forward in recovery rather than let Ed dictate my moves. I know I let Ed tell me to chuck the bagel, but part of me was feeling so willful and spiteful that I said "f*ck it" and did it anyways. It's like I have my own stuff to deal with, and I don't want to do it at work.


Well said, my dear. Well said.

mary said...

Poppy please...or sesame.

Faith said...

What perfect timing. I just came back to my desk from getting coffee where two women were talking about the weight loss efforts and Weight Watcher meetings in their daughters JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS! One said, "Well I always tell my daughter that it takes hard work..." at which point I turned around and left because I can't take it.

I felt like screaming, "My mother sending me to WW at 9 years old is what started all of this!!! Leave your daughters the fuck alone!"

Faith said...

OK, let me clarify. I know going to WW isn't exactly what started all of this but that's what I wanted to scream. Anyway, thanks for this post.

Carrie Arnold said...


Order received. Want it toasted? Sesame bagels are my favorite! Especially warm right out of the toaster, with a load of plain cream cheese.


I don't believe the diet culture caused my ED either, but it most EDs start with a diet or trying to eat "healthy". It gives the genetic "loaded gun" much more ammunition, and it allows EDs to continue under the guise of just another diet. And vent away. I consider you to have remarkable self-control. Vent as much as you like. This whole blog has been a huge vent to me...and it's what's gotten me through this mess.

I turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow.

mary said...

Hey Faith, you and Carrie and other's in recovery are more than a TERRIBLE WARNING to all those who are miserable with their body size. Taking care of ourselves is the first step in teaching others. It's hard to be quiet I'm sure. If your ED's ears are perked they will hear every commercial, every conversation, and it will probably always sting that some where along the way you felt less about yourself than you ever deserved to. That's the worst part. We're all enough exactly as we are.
Please, no more bagels......

Willow said...

This whole "health challenge" concept and the excessive focus on weight & weight loss is totally ridiculous. It sucks giant donkey balls.

My fellow Disordered Times writer had a similar experience at work. My company does them too, but luckily we have so many employees that it's a more virtual thing, so I can just opt to not have anything to do with it.

Thanks again for the gorgeous new leaf necklace! I love it! You all should check out Carrie's most amazing jewelry!

mary said...

toasted with a light buttering and cream cheese, thank you.[dump some of those extra sesame seeds on mine...if you didn't get em first]
Well done with the resignation. Your recovery is by far the most valuable job you have right now.

hungry for hunger said...

Total fuckers.

Anonymous said...

H4H: You stole the words out of my mouth. Un-freakin-believable. And I thought my workplace was bad...but not compared to this!

Surely there are jobs out there that don't have this "weight loss is healthy" mentality. You took a brave step in your decision to resign, and I hope it's a positive step in your recovery, Carrie.

Anonymous said...

P.S. - Willow, thanks for plugging Disordered Times! :)

Carrie Arnold said...


I'm so glad you like the necklace. It was one of my favorites. And I shall link to Disordered Times later today. I can comment on my blog, but I can't make any other changes.


Spot on, buddy. Couldn't have said it better myself.


Thank you for the support. It really means a lot to me- my recovery community here.


RioIriri said...

I'm catching up, reading older posts, and I am really disturbed, but unsurprised that someone (a health "professional"!) would refer to a bagel and hummus as "junk"!

It is a testament to the calorie-phobia that has taken hold of our society. ED is now the accepted norm, and listening to our bodies' signals to eat is regarded as weak and immoral.

Food is the new sex. I want my Chocolatier magazine delivered in a brown paper envelope so the neighbors don't see how tawdry I am!

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About Me

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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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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

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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