Sitting with 3 other clients (staff member had not joined our table yet).
I’m putting peanut butter on my eggo waffle.
Client next to me says, “Do you really think that’s healthy?” (towards my peanut butter on my waffle).
I was caught totally off guard. Food judgments is NOT something we do here. But I don’t know how to stand up for myself and I hate conflict and will avoid it at most costs. So I said, “Well, my husband does it, and I know a lot of people who do it so I think it’s fine.” Another client said, “Yeah, my family has grown up doing it too.” The Judgy Client says, “Well my husband does it and I’ve been trying to get him to stop for years.”
In this situation, I was very grateful for the client who spoke up to confirm the perfectly “okayness” of what I was doing.
Peanut butter is a “fear food” for me. It’s a food that I absolutely love, but have not been able to control myself with in the past. I would eat way too much (and feel sick later). So, I just didn’t keep it in my house. When my daughter turned 1, I started buying it again because it was too good of a go-to for her to not. At first, I didn’t allow myself to have any peanut butter because I knew I would only go overboard. Gradually, I allowed myself to have a bite of the PB&J sandwich I made for her. Sometimes, I decided to let myself dip a Wheat Thin cracker in for a quick bite. But most of the time I didn’t allow myself any. A few times over the last year, I did binge on it.
So you see, The Judgy Client not only did something inappropriate (especially at an ED treatment center) but the subject was a painful, fear-filled, disordered food. It’s been a few days, and I’m trying to process how I can move on. I can’t bring myself to say something to her, so I’m working on what I might be able to say next time. My dietitian suggested, “Thank you, but this is not helpful to me in this situation. Let’s change the subject.” I think I will try that.