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Would any one be able to offer advice or support

(15 Posts)
Ziggypop Wed 08-Jun-16 19:21:49

After searching Iv found a job that's ideal . It fits round my difficult child care needs . It's doing accounts . All seems good . Yet I'm crapping myself I'm starting tomowow . Iv had a couple of training days / I can easily work the systems and do the job . In fact it's been commented that I'm doing well
My worry - I won't fit in I'm not glam .
It's quite a image conscious industry . But I thought as admin staff I would escape this . No issue in my interview . Yet in the short time I was there I was told that " all the staff are very healthy and always eating fish and spinach that did make me snigger as it seems such a odd thing to say grin
But then it became clear that everyone was very weight paranoid , and this was encouraged . Talk about Botox , stomach waxing and fasting ( by a extremely thin girl )
I'm fine with what they do . I'm not glam and I'm not thin but that's ok . I'm me , im in 40s and don't feel the need to try to look like I'm 20 - but this seems like this is looked down on. I feel like I'm going to be pressured . Iv had self esteem issues before and I'm just a bit scared.
Great money . Great prospects , ideal location- but I'm going to have to sit and eat my egg mayo sarnie in secret because this crazy woman stalks round the staff room and tells people how many calories are in what they are eating . Any advice don't want my self esteem to crumble and don't want to leave the job - how do you deal with people like that - ? It's all of them - the manager is the same

VestalVirgin Wed 08-Jun-16 21:36:09

Tricky one. Perhaps pretend to be on a diet yourself? Low carb might do the trick, should enable you to eat enough calories during the day, and you can have bread for breakfast at home.
I usually deal with that kind of person by just changing the topic or telling them that I don't think they need a diet or botox, or whatever, but I haven't had this happen with coworkers, so I had not reason to worry that they might not like me anymore.

TormundGiantsbabe Wed 08-Jun-16 21:38:21

Only 200000 calories in this sandwich you say? I think I'd better have two then...

WomanWithAltitude Wed 08-Jun-16 23:12:56

I think you may need to be very blunt about not engaging with it. Pretending to be on a diet will encourage them to discuss it with you.

I know what you mean though - I'd feel nervous about a workplace like this, and I'd be certain not to fit in and feel under pressure.

OlennasWimple Thu 09-Jun-16 00:51:33

"I'd rather not discuss my particular dietary needs at work, thank you"

Repeat as necessary

erinaceus Thu 09-Jun-16 09:10:12

My worry - I won't fit.

It is not you that does not fit. It is the job that does not fit with you. Or, you and the organisation do not fit with each other. Organisational change is difficult and slow, and if you are a good fit for the position in other ways then you are wise to try to head this problem off at the pass.

You are probably not the only one who finds incessant body image talk distressing. What sort of pressure do you feel you will be under? To share my experience: I find diet talk difficult to deal with and typically look out of the window, say "hmm", or, if someone looks at me conspiratorially and mentions being "naughty" or "good", mumble vaguely that I prefer not to assign moral qualities to food.

As an admin do you have to interact with food directly, e.g. arranging catering for meetings?

I really do not think you are going to have to sit and eat your egg mayo sandwich in secret but if you choose to then why not? If you feel upset by the woman who comments on the calorific content of your food, you could look her in the eye and politely ask her not to do that, please, which might take courage the first time but would probably earn you respect in the long run. If her comments are leading to your self-esteem crumbling, then you could seek some support for that, here for example or from somewhere IRL - in a similar situation, I sometimes text or even go outside and call my siblings or friends.

Perhaps not in your first few weeks, but gently gently once you have your feet under your desk you could use your presence as a voice for change. I really do not think you will be the only person in the organisation who finds this tiresome. Botulin is a neurotoxin, and fasting is a choice, as is stomach waxing. These are personal issues to discuss in the work place and you are absolutely entitled to change the subject when they come up. As examples of what to talk about, maybe whatever people have in common, such as their hobbies or families, or current events - fashion, movies, soaps, Brexit, depending on the culture or industry. You could gently change the subject under the guise of getting to know your colleagues, or even just ask whatever constitutes a benign question about the job like do they have a party at Christmas or how to load paper in the photocopier, I don't know, whatever else you might think of. I would imagine that your colleagues have topics they could talk about other than body image concerns and that some of them will be grateful for the change of subject. Of course this is not your responsibility but it might help you to feel calmer if you know you have a strategy for when you feel distressed.

Good luck flowers

TeiTetua Thu 09-Jun-16 09:40:47

I think if anyone made an issue of how many calories are in my lunch, I'd say "Yes, and it's lovely. Shall I bring one in for everyone tomorrow?

Or if they say something is unhealthy, I'd respond "Oh, I seem to thrive on it. And I'm sure I benefit from not stressing myself over food."

deydododatdodontdeydo Thu 09-Jun-16 10:45:15

Google "if it fits my macros" and tell them you're following that.
Basically means you can eat what you like as long as the total calories for the day are not exceeded.

VestalVirgin Thu 09-Jun-16 11:30:41

I love some of the blunt answers suggested here, but would never dare to use them with work colleagues. People whose self-worth depends on calorie counting, and who are moreover permanently, hungry, can get aggressive pretty fast if their worldview is questioned, and you don't know if the people at that workplace are like this.

Just trying to steer the conversation away from the topic of food is probably more diplomatic.

*Google "if it fits my macros" and tell them you're following that.
Basically means you can eat what you like as long as the total calories for the day are not exceeded.*

And you don't have to tell them what your total calories are. I like that.

Ziggypop Thu 09-Jun-16 18:32:18

Just to update - (sorry I have done this on 2 threads as didn't get answers straight away - was panicking )

First of all it was commented my hair style today my face thinner !
Lots of talk about food but I didn't get involved . Scarred as uniform comes tomowow ( very slinky black dress !) but Iv ordered size bigger and trying to stay positive - love the job

erinaceus Fri 10-Jun-16 06:55:17

Crumbs. I do think uniforms are a feminist issue. Not that womens' uniforms are inherently less likely to be comfortable for women than mens' uniforms are for men, but that societal expectations of womens' appearance are different to societal expectations of mens' appearance. Therefore a uniform that is not comfortable or just does not lead to a woman's appearance being right in whatever way is a greater penalty than the analogous situation for a man in a uniform in which he is not comfortable.

Good luck. I hope you can find a way to be comfortable in your uniform.

I do not agree that one should not speak out out of fear of threatening ones colleagues' worldview, however aggressive they may become, unless you fear for your or your colleagues' personal safety. However, I am aware that your employer may not take your side if it a disagreement arises and that this could have negative consequences for you. I also consider it unwise to knowingly provoke aggression in the early weeks and months of a new job. There may be other information that you do not have yet. Pick your battles and put yourself first.

Good luck flowers

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 10-Jun-16 08:17:31

A slinky black dress uniform for a job involving doing the accounts?

Ziggypop Fri 10-Jun-16 09:21:48

Erin you are right . Im keeping my head down . I have possibly noticed one person who has more of my view point . I understand why are on customer view - but the dress is more what I would wear to go out in ! It's very fitted . I guess I should be grateful they aren't forcing high heals !

Ziggypop Fri 10-Jun-16 16:27:00

The dress is v low cut - but not to bad could of been much worse - it's looks quite nice - more like sat night out dress but I will wear a cardy on the school run !!

KindDogsTail Fri 10-Jun-16 19:30:07

Ziggypop I have a feeling that those other women are actually going to feel great comfort by you being your own self. I think they are going to absolutely love you.

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