I am excited to talk about growth- of my own personal kind. Its not easy to see on a day to day basis, but today proved to be one of those situations where I could easily compare how I used to be to how I am now. Today we had our company’s annual shareholder’s meeting. Everyone gathers together for lunch to discuss business. Last year when this luncheon happened, I remember being physically sick over it and having to rely and confide in a few coworkers who have now become really close friends. I asked them to sit next to me and I told them my problem in case I had to run out suddenly to avoid throwing up. I was embarrassed, nauseas, and scared of what others might think of me for what I did or didn’t eat. It was around this time that I actually started this blog.
What a difference today’s meeting was for me. I walked upstairs alone to go to the conference not even consciously thinking about whether anxiety would be a problem. I also didn't know that I was going to be the first in line in front of all of my coworkers to get our lunch buffet style. This was a bit embarrassing but I tried to hurry through the line picking out just enough that I thought would fill me up and not more so that I wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to clean my plate.
I walked into the sitting area and out of habit I specifically chose a chair in the back corner so that I wouldn’t be in the midst of everyone, somewhere I could hide. Since I was the first employee in the room, as the other employees filed in they sat around me. I didn’t get to sit next to the few people that really had helped me last year.
And then the inevitable happened as it always does. Someone sitting near me who was slender in build but had a heaping plate full of food said in disbelief,
“Aimee, that’s not nearly enough food to feed you and your baby! You should go back and get more!”
This statement a year ago would have been devastating to me.
“She must think I am anorexic...”would have crossed my mind as well as
“Everyone is watching me to see how much of this I eat.”
The girl next to her offered to split some of her food with me, as if to spare me more embarrassment or to make it not awkward somehow.
Normally now my face would be bright red and my neck burning. My appetite would disappear and my stomach would turn into knots. Not today though.
Surprisingly, I calmly stated that I may go back for seconds in awhile but that I am ok for now. I then quickly redirected my thoughts to conversation with someone else at the table and started to dig in to a really yummy catered lunch.
The funny thing is when all was said and done I had selected the perfect amount of food for me. I ate everything on my plate and had room for desert. Meanwhile, the girls that had commented on my plate had a
It made me feel great to know that I can assess what my body needs all by myself no matter what others may think of me. I can eat what I want when I want and I am the one who knows what is best for me and my family.
I walked into this luncheon unprepared which was a mistake because things could have gone a lot worse. But I must admit that today I relied not so much on breathing, or coping strategies, but more on my own self esteem and confidence which rarely happens. It’s a great feeling to see that progress.