Are you looking for a summer job? Please note: if you are struggling with an eating disorder or even disordered eating, restaurant jobs are not a good choice! Food establishments are very tempting to want to work for. The pay is good and there are many to choose from. However, being surrounded by food, watching people eat, and working during meal times often can spell R E L A P S E. Just imagine that your shift that starts at 5:00 and ends at 11:00 pm. What happens to dinner? Imagine being flexible and eating dinner at 11:30 pm. Eating at night does not cause weight gain (unless you exceed your caloric requirements), but would you be OK with eating this late? Or would you eat dinner at 4:00? See how complicated this is! Additionally most people in recovery benefit by eating with other people. Your family and friends love you, but you may be on your own if dinner is at 4:00 or 11:30 pm.
So when looking for a summer job, think twice before applying at restaurants. Places to consider are craft stores, pet stores, shoe stores, book stores, and jewelry or accessory stores. And be sure to ask about lunch and dinner breaks!
Pam Chin-Lai, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD specializes in the nutritional rehabilitation of eating disorders in children, adolescents and adults.