Why Women Watch other Women Eat

Where I work, many of my female colleagues are watching their weight. They’re all actually pretty much average size, but they all seem to want to get smaller.

Many of them really watch what I eat. Scrutinize might be a better word.

“What are you eating”, they ask staring into my plate. And then they kind of hover.

Or, “How come you only eat salad”? or “Look, you’re eating a sandwich! Not just salad.”

I often hear, “You don’t eat much, do you” or “You never eat.”

They didn’t buy me the usual birthday cake for my birthday because these particular women decided I wouldn’t eat it. I would have!!!

Then there are the women who are always trying to get me to eat half of their meals. (If I’d wanted it, I’d have ordered it, right?)

Three woman have asked me what exactly I eat every day, so they can try to do the same, which is confusing as they first criticize that I don’t eat much then want to eat precisely what I eat. They tell me I have a great figure, and they wish they did too. So, would I put butter on bread?

It’s all kind of annoying. Sometimes, I choose not to eat anything to avoid the onslaught. Sometimes, I wait to eat until everyone’s gone. And sometimes, I put up with it. It’s really rare that I can eat a quiet bite.

The funny thing is – I’m a really average size myself! I am exactly the proscribed weight for my height on all the doctor’s charts. I’m not particularly thin or anything.

Through all of this , I need to take a breath and build up my best ally, compassion. I suppose these women aren’t feeling that great about themselves and what they’re eating? Maybe they don’t love their bodies and are comparing themselves to me?

I’m so lucky – I actually am very comfortable with my body and weight. And, I really would prefer salad to most other food. (If my sister is reading, she will understand – salad is the family favorite food. Truly.) I have a lot of peace. I assume my co-workers probably don’t.

(By the way for sure, there are a few women at the restaurant who are comfortable with their bodies and eat naturally. Not one of them ever comments, or even notices, what I eat. It’s a treat to work with them.)

Still, I wish there was some kind of way of asking these women to leave me alone. And to let me nourish my body in peace.

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