Real life horror story

Or Why I Will Never Ever Be Part Of The Diet Industry Ever Again

One of my colleagues was ill over Christmas and new year, bad enough to have been hospitalised and still unable to return to work two weeks later. Which led to the following conversation.

Colleague 1: She can’t even eat; she’s lost about a stone

Colleague 2: Oh well that’s alright then!

Colleague 1: I know, she must be so happy

Colleague 3: Every cloud and all that

Colleague 4: I’m so jealous

Colleague 1: Aye, me too. I might go for a visit – see if I can catch something!

*All laughing*

Me: *silently screaming into my hands*


I’ve heard of people with cancer who lost weight because they were unable to eat without throwing up or their gums were too sore for food, who were then told “cancer really suits you!”. But I didn’t really believe that could have happened, that people could be so phenomenally superficial.  That anyone could ever say to another human being, “Yes, you might die, but at least you’ll go out skinny!”.

I believe it now.

This is what our beauty ideal and the diet industry have created. Thin is good, praiseworthy, to be envied, no matter how it’s achieved. Anything that makes us lose weight is automatically good, even if it will kill us.

How did we let this become a thing? How did we get to a point where people can have a conversation like that and not be utterly, utterly horrified? I know I am.


Chosen smile


My work laptop keeps locking me out and for IT to fix it, it must be plugged in to the Babcock network (not the Alliance network that this office uses).

The nearest Babcock office is away on the outskirts of Glasgow, and I have a report due last Friday that’s still not finished. I don’t particularly have time for this.

BUT I’m smiling because I choose to see this as an excuse to get out of my chair and into the rare Scottish sunshine. If the wifi works I can keep going with the report on the way, and if not I shall just enjoy the views.  The office isn’t hours away, it’s not raining/snowing/hailing outside, and it should get all the wee problems with my laptop sorted out. Things could be so much worse 🙂

Anniversary smile

#‎BodyLoveChallenge2016‬ ‪#‎SmileChallenge

As I sat at my desk, basking in the sunlight flooding through the wall of windows, looking onto the view of George Sqare, I realised I have been with Babcock for a year today.

It’s strange to think a whole year has passed already. I remember the terror of my very first day, the few seconds of panic every day of the first week when I thought I wouldn’t find my desk after my break, and the weeks of collapsing in an exhausted heap as soon as I got home.

But now there have been no more incidents, I have a fixed desk with my name on, and I get to practise my sarcasm on a daily basis. Somehow I fit right in.

Obviously I have to work, and today I’m smiling because I’ve never yet found a better place to do so.

Strong enough to cry

Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision.

Let me explain – about 5 months ago I left my old job and started a new one. Since starting, this job has made me cry twice. Twice in five months might sound like a lot, if you don’t know how very little it takes to make my eyes leak. Maybe it actually is a lot. But compare it to the old job, where I went home and cried almost every night.

There seems to be this massive bundle of negativity around the act of crying. People who cry are weak, only babies should cry, crying in public is embarrassing. But actually, crying can be really useful.

The first time I cried at the old job was the day I went on the job sites and started applying for new ones. Getting puffy eyes every night motivated me to keep applying, even after more than a year of nothing except two “thanks but no thanks” emails.

And it paid off! Eventually.

My first weepy session at the new place taught me to never just walk into the meeting rooms, because you never know when the big boss man might be in there with every high heejin in the whole company.

Today’s incident in the toilets has taught that I have got to stop being so timid.

I was crying because the Head of the Alliance (yes, that is his actual job title) was angry because I had not completed a report he wanted yesterday. I could make excuses and say I only had a week to build this report from scratch and populate it. Because I did. But I know the real reason it wasn’t ready on time is because I was too afraid to go and ask for the information.

See, out in the everyday world I am stubborn, outspoken, getting towards being sickeningly confident, and full to the brim with self-esteem. But that’s not me at work. At work I am a little girl playing Secretary, dressing in grown-ups clothes, hoping and praying nobody will figure out that I don’t belong there.  I can’t ask these people for figures, they’re far too busy with real, important work. They don’t need silly little me interrupting them!

Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision. It was the right decision to apply for this job, and it was the right decision to accept the job offer when it came. Finding myself crying in the toilets showed me that I have to work harder and get over this feeling of inferiority if I want to keep the job. Which I do.

Luckily this is a monthly report, so in just a few weeks I will have chance to do it again and do it right. Next time there will be no crying, because I have already learned my lesson from it.