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When a Chipotle Crew Member Helped Quiet My Eating Disorder

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Lately, my restrictive-type eating disorder has been in full force, even reflecting in my lab results. Working closely with my treatment team, especially my registered dietician, I have been taking more steps to get back on track, moving towards recovery again. After all, healing and recovery are not linear. On this occasion in particular, I planned my entire day around going to Chipotle for dinner. That was one meal I didn’t have to worry about or combat much of my eating disorder.

With errands completed, I got to Chipotle’s door and saw a sign stating some of my favorite things were out of stock. The eating disordered thoughts in me had no flexibility, so I became angry and began walking back to my car to leave, assuming there was nothing else good to eat and I no longer needed dinner.

Then I remembered I didn’t want my rewards points to go to waste, and I went back inside deciding I’d order what they had that I did like. As swamped as they were, crew members had smiles on their faces, and worked as quickly as they could, despite some unhappy customers. A woman behind me got upset at some of the lack of choices despite multiple signs, took it out on these hard working crew members, and stormed off. The young woman assisting me further in my order expressed her understanding in people’s frustration and wishes there was something she could do. Little did she know, she was already making an impact
by continuing to fill and ring up my order.

Unfortunately, my rewards points weren’t working and was confirmed I was not the only one that day. I kindly made clear I was not going to pay full price for my total because the system wasn’t cooperating and could for a regular entrée. In my mind, I thought I was going to need to leave yet again and end up restricting because I wasn’t in the best place to adjust well. This young woman went in the back and when she quickly reappeared she told me they were giving me my meal for free and it was OK to go. I was shocked, surprised, and immensely grateful. I let this crew member know what she did will not go unnoticed and it will come back to her in a positive way.

While there are far more major things happening in this world, it meant the world to me that night. Battling this restrictive eating disorder is not easy and Chipotle made it easier. This young crew member made that difference between me eating a meal and restricting, doing further harm to my mind and body. I believe it was my sign that I deserve to feed myself and am making healthy choices. I just so happened to be rewarded right then and there with a free meal. And that crew member thought all she gave me was a free meal but she gave me something far more important: some time to be free of my eating disorder. That is priceless.

Getty image by utkamandarinka

Originally published: April 21, 2022
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