Unexpected encounter

December 6, 2008 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

The other day at work, I ended up having quite the conversation with one of my colleagues. She is rather overweight. I never would have said anything, but she has made comments herself about having a weight problem. That day things were rather quiet, so I dared to bring up the subject. She is presently on a fasting diet and hopes to change her eating habits.

I asked her about it. Asked her if she’d always been overweight, or if it had been triggered at a certain age, or if there were a certain event or even trauma to have set it off. There had indeed been a trauma. She said her extra weight was like a protective shield, which helped her feel strong. I told her my story and said I found it interesting that she would choose a layer to protect herself, whereas I was afraid of an extra layer for fear that I would seem stronger than I am. I was tired of being so strong, and one of my concerns about recovering was that people would think I didn’t need them to care anymore. I didn’t want to give up my delicateness, neediness. It had been required that I summon up enormous amounts of strength to deal with the home situation. I didn’t want to be superwoman any more. She on the other hand felt so vulnerable that she needed some kind of barrier.

She confided quite openly and I shared my experiences with learning to eat again, and explained my attitude towards food. I did the whole number — about what a waste it is that women spend so much time worrying about their appearance. We could change the world! I explained how I started eating, how it became an automatic process, and how thankful I am that it is no longer an issue.

I hadn’t spoken at length with any one on the subject for quite some time. It was rewarding for her to thank me for my openness, and to thank me for the encouragement. She was quite impressed and said it was great to know that it is possible to recover and lead a normal life — at least as far as food is concerned!

Afterwards I felt happy. It is good to share. Before that talk, she probably assumed I’m just a normal, slim woman who is lucky that she doesn’t have to worry about her weight. That is true, but my history is anything but normal! It’s good to open up and share. It makes the world a little warmer, and gives hope. I can’t help thinking that’s why I went through the whole nasty thing — to learn what I needed to learn, but also to help others.

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Entry filed under: eating habits and food. Tags: , , , , , , .

Work, laundry and invitations ‘Tis the season

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