Eating at My Desk, Food Explanations & Other Things I Hate

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Last week I was having a rough day at work… it was one of those days where I brought my lunch back to my desk instead of taking lunch with Robert like I usually do.

I hate eating at my desk.

Eating at my desk puts me and my food choices on display for the entire office and it just makes me uncomfortable. If I eat at my desk and have something that isn’t a salad, all the women in my office walk by and say “oh my gawd, that smells soooo good!” then they look at my food longingly and announce that they’re off to get a salad.

*sigh*

I even had one coworker ask me once where I got my yummy looking non-salad lunch, ask me directions on how to get there and what exactly I ordered and then when she came back… she had a salad! “Oh, I just decided to be ‘good’ today…” she said.

So anyway, last week I was rushing to get lunch and bring it back to my desk. I had skipped breakfast too so when I got a craving for a turkey burger, I decided to follow through and order one. I ordered the turkey  burger, no bun with french fries and headed back to my desk to work and eat.

I was about halfway through my meal, when a female coworker passed by my desk, her eyes landed on my lunch and she stopped, “I guess you tossed your diet out the window today, huh?” she said with a laugh.

I felt my face get warm with embarrassment, “I didn’t eat breakfast today… and I’m going to the gym later” I said. She nodded in approval and kept walking. Even though my food explanation was enough for her, I hated myself for giving it. I don’t owe her a reason why I’m eating a bun-less turkey burger and fries just like she had no right to be all up in my lunch plate like that. But I’m noticing more and more that as women we feel like we have to explain everything we eat to each other.

Accountability is one thing, but I’m noticing that we go beyond that sometimes…

Like when you sit down to dinner and your girlfriend orders a “big meal” and then when the waitress walks away, she says “I didn’t eat lunch today,” to explain why she didn’t just order a salad… why do we do that? I do it too– when I eat with certain friends, I will order what I want and then give a full food explanation of everything I had to eat that day so they know I’m not eating too much or that I’ve “earned” my meal.

Whyyy do we do that??

Last week I was on Huffington Post talking about body policing and how its not okay to judge people based on size or assume you know how healthy they are based on what they weigh. A spin-off of body policing is food policing; we are obsessed with what other people do or don’t eat. I sometimes become obsessed with being “good” around my friends so that they don’t judge what’s on my plate. But if I know that I’m on track with what I’m eating, why does it matter?

Next week, we’re starting the Plus Size Princess Fitness Challenge– part of that will be putting pics of our meals on Instagram for inspiration and accountability (My IG name is PlusSizePrincess, btw). But if I slip up and eat “badly” I’m going to put myself on blast and post that too because that’s real life for me.

Do you sometimes feel guilty eating around friends/coworkers?

We’ll be talking about this during the #CurvyConvo twitter chat @ 2pm today (Thursday) follow @thebiggirlblog to join the Curvy Convo

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  • http://twitter.com/ShortieSensei Drea Mae

    That’s horrible that they’re checking for your meals like you owe them any kind of explanation. I figure unless they’re your dietician or someone that you turn to for help on the diet front, that they should mind their own meals and not shame you for what you put in your mouth. The worst part here is that they’re either oblivious to the attack to you or they just don’t care. It’s one thing to think that another person’s food smells or looks good but to get a salad and say it’s because you decided to be “good” insinuates that your eating habits are wrong, in their eyes. Not cool.

  • MilaXX

    I’m confused, since when does eating a salad = healthy eating? And why would you allow people to police what you put in your mouth?

  • Memphis Own Shining Star

    CeCe, this is something that I have been going through for about 6 months, that Ihave noticed, and it rubs me the wrong way everytime. Instead of accepting my choices I started not eating around people at all. My co workers and I would go out after work and I would just order something to drink and say I am not hungry. Once I leave them I would go eat by myself because I would rather not waste my money eating or picking around something that I really don’t want only just to feel accepted by them. Thank you for this post! It is highly appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/BhamJen Jennifer Dome

    I know people who check out my meals that way, and I constantly feel like I have to explain my food choices to people. I don’t think it’s good for us to do that to one another, but it feels like something some of my friends/family has always done. How to break the cycle?
    Also, I’m so on board with the PSP fitness challenge! Behind honest about what we eat and how much we work out will give us great accountability. But understanding that we all slip up, and encouraging each other to push forward, is equally as important as keeping each other on point!

    • thebiggirlblog

      YES! Have you sent me your twitter handle? xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/BelatedBloomer Belated Bloomer

    I dunno. If someone looks at the amount of food I have, I just grin widely and say “I’m hungry.”

    Abi
    http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com

    • thebiggirlblog

      This is why I love you! LOL

  • Tilly

    Grrrr!!! Don’t even get me started…. I was eating lunch in my company’s break room and my boss, who happened to walk by casually commented….”wow, you eat so little for someone so big”…Fortunately I have a thick skin, so I just ignored her…Later down the road, she gained a lot of weight as a result of medical issues, and she was miserable….I truly felt sorry for her, and did not even once mention the very obvious weight gain.

    • thebiggirlblog

      OMG @ your boss… I’m speechless on that one too!

    • thebiggirlblog

      *sigh* You’re right…

  • Nessa

    I don’t know if its my personality or what… I just never had anyone do me like that. All while I’m reading your blog — I got these sarcastic remarks I would have said to the people who were all up in your plate!!! Eat what and how you want — you are living and taking care of you and not trying to take care of them. Next time, just smile and say – thanks for your unsolicited opinion but I got this!!!

  • Crystal

    Funnily enough i read this earlier and thought, well I usually don’t care what other people think about how much I eat. Last night I went out with a friend (also a psp) and we went dancing, we both apparently hadn’t eaten lunch or dinner and were starving so we went to have some late night dinner. We both decided we wanted a pizza each (lol, its not a big pizza, kinda small, could actually be eaten by one person) So we’re ordering and my friend says she wants spicy sausage I say I want pepperoni. The guys like you want it half-half right? with this slight sneer on his face, as if to say y’all fat. So we just both said yeah we do. after we went to sit down to wait we both then recognised we had just been food policed.

  • Caro

    I’m bigger than some of my friends, but I’ve done a sh*tload of research on nutrition. I know they look at me like I’m crazy to eat bacon, butter, bunless burgers, etc, like if I keep doing it I’ll stay fat, and it’s the reason I got fat in the first place. However, as Stacy from Paleo Parents says, I’m just worse at processing carbs [http://paleoparents.com/featured/why-the-metabolically-broken-cant-eat-carbs/]. I can’t just eat anything like I used to and not gain any weight. I’m trying to be more diligent, but it’s always hard in the beginning, and it’s definitely harder when everyone’s going out to get drinks or going to a party or whatever. I feel confident that once I’m over the sugar-burner hump, I’ll be in fat-burning mode and people will see that I’m doing the right thing for myself. I suppose I just can’t wait to triumph with all my supposed fat foods!

    You’re right that we judge and make excuses for everything we eat. I wouldn’t dream of saying these things aloud unless someone wanted me to be their accountability buddy, but I admit that I roll my eyes every time I see someone ask for the soy version of something thinking they’re doing their body a favor. I guess I just feel confident that the information I have is right, and other people feel the same way, even if I would disagree with them. I don’t think what your coworkers are doing to you is right though.

  • mik

    what’s funny is you just explained/justified your pizza choice. no lunch/dinner + small. it’s, like, automatic. it’s so sad everyone does this.