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Eating Disorder

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by redpepper9991, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. redpepper9991

    redpepper9991 New commenter

    Hi all
    This is a generally cathartic expression of how I feel about eating. It is more personal but I do believe it affects my work.

    I refuse to eat food at lunchtimes because of an eating disorder I have. Lunchtimes are the worst part of the day for me because I wait in dread for comments such as "Have you eaten?" "Are you coming for your lunch?"
    Literally I have a handbook of excuses. I fear that everyone thinks I'm anti-social in the staff room but I do try and mingle ( I do on a morning and at break times where it is not expected that I will eat food in the company of others)

    I feel like I should consult my NQT mentor about it but I don't want any action to be taken i.e. time off for being 'ill'. I do at once I am at home but it's just the stress and anxiety associated with eating/lunchtime that is making me feel rather down and dejected at the moment.

    What I'm basically querying is should I confront this by going to the doctors or should I go to my mentor or both? It's taken me a long time to admit that I have a problem so that's a positive!
  2. redpepper9991

    redpepper9991 New commenter

    I know it sounds trivial in the grand scheme of things (all teaching pressures considered) but its something I need to express!
  3. GladRagsAtMidnight2017

    GladRagsAtMidnight2017 Occasional commenter

    Hi redpepper, I would at first, if you've never seen a GP about this, approach them to discuss because you know this isn't a healthy approach to eating and food. It is a private thing for you, it may be that you do eat, just not in public for example. I have had friends in the past that have had anorexia to the extreme where they have been hospitalised, but this doesn't seem to be what you have expressed here.

    It may also be that you are very focused on this part of the day as it's an anxious moment for you. Where I work there are members of staff that never go to the staff room at lunchtime to eat, or may just come in and grab a cuppa. Nobody questions it, so that may be the same in your place but as it's a huge issue for you, your worries are amplifying it? I don't know. But if you are at all worried, do see your GP to discuss.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    This issue crops up from time to time on here, so you're not alone and it's not trivial, at all. And it really is a positive that you've admitted it and are considering confronting it.

    My advice is always the same - go to your doctor. ED services, like all Mental Health services are under pressure and there may well be a waiting list for support/counselling. The sooner you get on the list the better.

    There's always BEAT (https://www.b-eat.co.uk/) and there may also be local support groups you caould get in touch with too.

    But yes - confront it!
  5. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Well let's face it.... eating at school is a dodgy business any way you look at it. usually awful food at school, and the company of so many children who have few if any table manners etc, nowhere hygienic to leave one's food prepared hours earlier.... etc. So plenty of excuses there to avoid group etc eating. However.....it is NOT a good idea to go all day without eating, your blood sugar will drop and for the exacting job of teaching that isn't good.

    Ok so ...why don't you take a flavoured milk shake in..... for some milk and calories...... a banana...... slow release energy or other piece of fruit? Easy to eat..... not too filling to give you any discomfort if you don't have much time to. There are also all types of energy bars.....

    You could surely manage a little something if not school boiled meat and cabbage and Manchester tart, Oh....!!! I really loved school Manchester tart......
  6. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    You don't have to be in the staff room at lunchtime or any other time if you don't want to. People won't necessarily think you are being anti-social if you don't eat lunch there. They may be thinking that you're working very hard and just feel they need to watch out for you so that you don't overwork yourself. Only you can know whether your eating disorder is something you need to consult your doctor or mentor about. Well done for recognising you have a problem. These things are not easy to acknowledge. Talking to someone about how you're feeling might help to reduce your anxiety and feeling of being down/dejected. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Yes. Make an appointment first thing tomorrow. Does your GP know about your eating disorder already or is this the first time you've felt like you might need medical help?
    peggylu and grumpydogwoman like this.
  8. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    Lunchtimes are important for teachers to catch their breath. If this carries on, you really will be ill. Well done for confronting it, that's the start of solving it. Never, ever be afraid to ask for help. I agree with the advice about drinking - take in a bottled milkshake. I think you need to speak to your doctor. There may be a support group for young professionals living and working with eating disorders near you - your situation is not uncommon. Stay well!
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I don't eat lunch, unless I'm on duty and have to eat with the children.
    No-one has ever said anything untoward...though sometimes someone might mention something out of interest or lightheartedness.
    Just bat them off with a grin.

    Not sure what your eating disorder is, but if it is just not eating lunch with colleagues, it won't cause you any grief in life. I've done it for 20+years and never thought anything of it until I read your post. Certainly never occurred to me to worry about it. Just one of my many oddities.
  10. nernstlaw

    nernstlaw New commenter

    Not quite sure what the issue is here...

    You don't want to eat lunch. - please see the doctor, us teachers need our strength
    you don't want to eat lunch with/in front of people - take your lunch else where, off site if you can, you need a break sometimes.

    the best thing you have done is acknowledged that there is a problem. stay positive and ASK FOR HELP!

    feel better soon
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You may as well be honest with us. We don't know you. Your anonymity is guaranteed.

    I'll go first.

    I was mid to late 20s when I developed anorexia. My periods stopped after a couple of years. I never worried what people thought about me because that's just me so the social side of it wasn't an issue. My teaching didn't suffer.

    I did end up having a breakdown because my diet and exercise regime was unsustainable and then I got pregnant before my periods started again. I was 24 weeks before I even knew I was pregnant. In which time I'd fallen off a horse and taken megatons of painkillers. Not ideal. The next 16 weeks were agony. What damage had I done my baby? None. Luckily.

    How my husband at the time put up with me I do not know. He was a saint.

    Now you.

    Don't go to your mentor. Not yet.
    Do go to your doctor.
    I assume you think about food constantly. I did.
    If your periods stop you can end up with osteoporosis.
    It's a significant health issue for the future.
    Bulimia? How are your teeth?
    You're only this controlling because there's something profoundly wrong.
    You are defying nature. It's natural to eat and to be greedy.
    You probably think it's fine and you're just self-disciplined and organised and super-functional.
    People don't care about your intake unless you're looking gaunt and then they want to mother you.

    Oh, I never went to the doctor. My breakdown came first.
    foxtail3, peggylu, ROSIEGIRL and 2 others like this.
  12. Jaxspuzz

    Jaxspuzz New commenter

    Please,please,please go talk to your doctor.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  13. mrmatt73

    mrmatt73 Occasional commenter

    As I say to any of our students, if you feel guilty or anxious about eating, then talk to somebody about it. The doctor may be the first step ...
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yes, eating should be as natural and easy as breathing. You eat, you stop, you eat etc etc.

    Shouldn't take up much of your brain-time. But it is.
  15. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Not eating lunch isn't a problem.
    Having an eating disorder is, and needs to be discussed with your GP.
    I'm assuming you don't eat breakfast or supper either?
  16. redpepper9991

    redpepper9991 New commenter

    Thank you for all your advice. No i dont eat breakfast either. Its a very odd disorder which i dont want to go into too much (basically negative beliefs about foood consumption). I have made a doctors appointment during half term now because of all of your support.
    diamondjane and ROSIEGIRL like this.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    Very pleased to hear that redpepper. Good luck.
    bonxie and redpepper9991 like this.

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