Think before you speak

I did have another post lined up for tonight but something happened at school today (not for the first time) that made me angry and extremely frustrated and I had to vent about it online.
Our school was having a bake sale today and the kids in Year seven (all eight of them!) had put on a magnificent spread in the cookery room. When the bell rang for break possibly every kid in the school was queuing down the corridor to get at the cakes!

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I usually bake something to take along to the sale but didn’t have a chance after running club last night so toddled along with my purse instead. As I arrived and grabbed a teacher I needed to see, the head loudly said “Miss Moore can’t have any cakes, she’ll mess up her training!” I rather curtly told him I didn’t want any anyway and headed off upstairs to sit in my classroom until the end of break.
I had clearly wanted to buy one as I arrived with purse in hand, but the way in which he had said it to me indicated that I shouldn’t be buying any and resulted in me going back up to sit in my classroom. Yesterday he had jokingly stopped me from going to the staff room when he had brought in chips for all the staff, saying it ‘wasn’t part of my training regime’. I therefore told him I didn’t like chips.
This isn’t isolated to recent events either. Back on the last working day before Christmas when the trustees and governors had come in to school to wish us a Merry Christmas, all staff members sat around the large table in the cookery room which had been filled with Christmas goodies. He purposefully moved all trays away from where I sat commenting that if I ate anything I would become too large to fit into my wedding dress in the Summer. No effort was made to put back the trays of food and I felt like I couldn’t then eat any of the food on the table as I would have to get up and walk around the table in order to reach the trays.
I haven’t always had the best relationship with food in the past but I’ve never had an eating disorder. His comments over the past few months have made me feel as though I must eat away from others when at work. If he had spoken in this way to somebody recovering from an eating disorder, he would have destroyed them.
I don’t think he makes the comments with the intention of doing damage and he’s lucky I have a pretty tough skin.
At my last school a girl in my form was hospitalised twice with anorexia. As her form tutor I met with staff from the hospital several times to help plan her reintegration to school again. At one session I was given a list of words and phrases to avoid which I shared with teaching staff as words which might trigger her anorexic behaviour again. Such phases as “You’re looking well” and “That’s normal”. It was awful seeing her starve herself and lose several stone from what was a tiny frame in the first place. One of the sixth form teachers told her how well she was looking as a passing comment and she didn’t eat for four days. My brother also had what I would class as anorexic tendencies when he was at college going from an overweight teenager to a bobble head within months, skipping meals and obsessively counting calories on the back of comments made to him by others.
What you say to someone can often affect them more than you know, so please think twice before coming out with words that could potentially hurt somebody else and think hard about how that person would feel. My headteacher has only known me a matter of months and has no idea if I have had food disorders in my past, had this been the case his comments could have ended up much more damaging than a blog rant on Valentine’s Day!

18 thoughts on “Think before you speak

  1. I am disgusted and angry reading this. I think you should speak to your union. I can’t believe a headteacher would treat and speak to a member of staff in this way! Just completely unacceptable!!!

    1. I don’t really want to get the union involved, it’s more the way it’s often brought up in front of kids at school. Even though I don’t have an eating disorder, some children may develop food issues through the emphasis he places on it towards me. Very sad. :(

  2. Oh dear…. that is a very unhappy man who is taking it out on you. Not an easy situation at all and it seems you are handling it the best you can!!! It makes me so sad to hear about you student that with anorexia ….. I work with teens and my passion is to help them understand and love who they are before they get to that point!!! ( my last post dealt with my body image issues …..) Keep strong and know that this man probably has issues of his own and is taking them out on you!!!
    Rory Lazear recently posted…what does your mirror say?My Profile

    1. Thanks for your comment. It makes me so sad that children grow up with disordered eating issues and obsess over calories and looks instead of enjoying their childhood and loving their bodies.

  3. That is just so rude! No matter whether it would trigger things related to eating disorders, it is up to you what you eat and no one else. And why should he assume that because you are getting married you are going to turn into one of those crazy brides who crash diet? Or just because you are training you should avoid cakes? Surely actually you are one of the only people who can eat cakes seeing as you actually do lots of exercise and need to fuel that, instead of sitting on the sofa all evening. People make me so cross! You need some phrases for next time it happens- eg actually I am going to buy a cake because I want to support fundraising and tonight I am going to run 8 miles so I will need an energy boost. Grr.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Treat Yo Self!My Profile

    1. I fully intend on commenting back next time this happens at work. I’ve had a chance to think about it over the past few days and it’s made me realise that by ignoring it I’m possibly showing to the kids that I agree with what he’s saying, which I very much don’t.

  4. He is obviously a complete asshole hun. This really makes me feel sad to think that someone who works around young people would have this sort of attitude and feel that seeing this sort of thing was appropriate. If you wanted a cake lovely lady you should have just brought one, don’t listen to him and his ridiculous comments. He’s clearly jealous of the fact that there’s no chance he could run what you have and be as awesome as you are :)
    I really want to add this to my super sunday post of best posts is that ok?
    x
    emskiruns recently posted…It’s all about taking those first steps…Again!My Profile

  5. This makes me so angry, on a few levels. Simply, you train ergo if anything you have more rights to some cake or nibbles as you’ve got a fighting chance of burning them off. On a deeper level, as you say, if he’d made those comments to somebody with/recovering from an eating disorder, they could have been seriously damaging!
    I hope the comments from one thoughtless eejit don’t damage you too badly.
    Sarah recently posted…Guest post: On letting go (or running naked)My Profile

    1. Thanks. It made me incredibly angry, but more for the affect it could have on others around me. Young, impressionable minds. I will have my cake and eat it thanks!

  6. How rude!! I personally think its very rude to comment on anyone’s eating behaviours in any situation. Especially in a professional setting in front of other people. If that would be me I’d have probably laughed at him and then proceeded to buy four cakes and say something like “well least I can run these off…what will YOU do?” but then I can be quite cutting to someone if they’ve bothered me. I can get anxious when people judge my food but less so now. For example, I had two (maybe 3…shhh) slices of cake at work when it was a birthday yesterday and maybe a few years ago id have been paranoid what people would think but yesterday I just joked about it and people did laugh at me but it was more in fun. I think the head teacher has his own issues to be honest!

    1. Haha! If I’d bought and eaten four cakes infront of him, I would also probably have thrown up…not an attractive way to win an argument! I am a lot more comfortable in my body and eating habits than I was as a teenager but it’s getting to the point now where I will be quite cutting as well. I’ve had enough comments now. I’m not normally one to care if people judge me on what I eat, but commenting on it infront of others is a different issue!

    1. I love that lots of people have suggested eating more infront of him!
      Other people have begun to notice and the louder members of staff have made sharp comments towards him about it as well.

  7. I read this post a few days ago and marked it as unread on Bloglovin because I really wanted to comment (for some reason I can’t view your blog properly on my iPhone to comment) but I wanted to say how sorry I am you are dealing with this. This made me really angry and upset on your behalf. You’re obviously a stronger person than I am because I would either break down or fly off the handle at him. I think my reaction to this next time would be to pick up what ever food he was talking about and stuff a huge amount in my mouth whilst making direct eye contact with him and then storm off – but then I’m a little passive agressive….. This guy sounds sexist (I’m sure he wouldn’t do that to a man), size-ist and generally rude. I hope you are able to speak with him at some point and explain to him how this makes you feel and how it makes him look – it boils down to bullying in my mind, and hopefully he doesn’t realise he’s doing it and it can be stopped.
    Erin Mason recently posted…Taboo or Not Taboo?My Profile

    1. Cheers for letting me know about not being able to see the blog on your iPhone. I’ll take a look this weekend and see if I can resolve that.
      Initially I didn’t want to make a scene infront of the students (hence the no storming off!) but I’m beginning to feel as though I need to do something! I did snap briefly once with a sharp comment in retort but it was brushed aside and the comments from him continued. Maybe I should develop my more passive-aggressive side?!

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