I’ve decided it is time for another random post. Surprisingly, people were actually still commenting on my poor neglected blog (your comments have now been approved). Thank you to all who still lurk.
I am still practicing and growing with HAES. I am no paragon, but I am growing stronger every day and my latest challenge inspired me to come back to AGR to post.
I have a new job. The place where I used to tend cafe and make lattes has gone out of business and I was lucky enough to find a very similar job before the final day of my old job. So, here I am again, a barista in a small corner of a retail store.
Had I known what I was getting into I probably wouldn’t have taken the job. In terms of body acceptance, I am now working in a very toxic environment. There are a myriad of other problems most of them cartoonish in their ridiculousness, but I will stick to the body hate for the purposes of this post.
My supervisor is a happy member of the food police and the store where I work is generally full of women on diets and who want to talk about their diets all the time. At first (I started end of April) I was very intimidated and angry. I feared that I would be dragged back into diet hell… or even worse: eating disorder hell. I was very angry and very defensive.
But, I have overcome and I was stronger than I realized.
I have seen women get upset that their favorite food item had 10 calories more than a food item they didn’t really like, but buy the less favored item anyway for the sake of 10 freakin’ calories. I have seen my supervisor who admits that an extremely important goal right now is to build sales at our cafe barely restrain herself from chastising teenagers who dared to buy both a sugary drink with a chocolate chip cookie (“DON’T YOU KNOW HOW UNHEALTHY THAT IS???!!!”) I have several coworkers (and I generally see more than one of them every day I work) who are dieting right now and are deep in the obsession of weight loss, food rules and self-hate… and, boy, do they like to talk about it too. One of these dieting people makes sure never to work on Wednesday nights so she can watch (and obsess over) “The Biggest Loser” (a ridiculous body-hating monstrosity of a show).
But, I am doing okay.
I am able to more calmly challenge (when I choose to) my food policing supervisor. I have learned that I am able to just mentally roll my eyes and move on with life when I hear more diet tripe. I’m not fighting every possible battle. It is too exhausting and isn’t going to win any wars for me anyway, but I am not keeping quiet either. I am learning balance in my resistance.
Maybe this situation has made me stronger, but I think that mostly it has just revealed to me that I was already a lot stronger than I knew. It feels really good. I’m starting to more intuitively understand the connection between challenges and personal growth and am starting to appreciate challenges a lot more (I always understood this rationally, but could never quite convince myself of the logic regardless…). Life just feels better and I feel more secure in my body-acceptance in this world full of body-hate and diet-talk. It feels pretty darn good.
It will be interesting to see how these work relationships turn out with all my agitating for body-acceptance. Perhaps they will be the inspiration of more blog posts, but I’m sure those posts will be spaced out in time kind of randomly.
And yeah, I know the mermaid picture* doesn’t really jive with the topic of my post. I just love the picture… and so there she is. Enjoy!
*Link to awesome mermaid picture: http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=§ion=&q=fat+acceptance#/dt8hpu