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October 12, 2012

Two posts in fairly quick succession? There must be something the matter with me!

Actually an incident at work a few days ago prompted me to get your opinion on something. On Tuesday we had a bit of a buffet at lunch to celebrate some recent successes and say goodbye to a couple of people who are moving on. Our boss made some lovely quiches and brownies, one of my colleagues brought some homemade samosas, and the rest of us brought in various nibbles, cakes and biscuits. We all tucked in, except one person who said he was on a diet and wanted to eat the ham sandwich he had brought from home. There were some healthy options like hummus, crispbreads and cold meats, but fair enough.

Of course, there was far too much for us to eat, so we’ve ended up with quite a large pile of cakes on our desks. I’m ok with sweet stuff around the office and I just tend to leave it alone. However, the guy on the diet didn’t want it in his eye-line and kept moving it onto the desk of another colleague, who kept moving it back. Eventually the cakes ended up in a cupboard on the other side of the room and this childish behaviour turned into a full-blown argument. I just kept my eyes on the computer screen (I hate conflict remember).

I can sympathise with the person on a diet – it can be hard when there’s temptation in front of you, but by placing it on the other desk, and finally into the cupboard it wasn’t accessible to other people. It seemed to me like he was making a bigger deal out of it than necessary and it wasn’t how I would have acted. I try not to get in that ‘dieting’ mindset where I can’t have any tempting foods around me, instead I try to make healthy decisions about what I eat, although sometimes I slip up and eat my weight in old fashioned sweets (see yesterday’s post …) I have to add that this guy is by no means fat, although he’s probably ok losing a few pounds if he wants to.

A more general observation about the office is how many cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate are around, practically on every bank of desks. There are also a lot of quite overweight people and dieting/weight loss seems a common topic of conversation. When I first started working there I was tempted, but now I’m not bothered at all and never dip into the biscuit tin. The only exception is homemade cake which is just too good to refuse.

If you’re trying to lose or maintain weight are you bothered about having tempting foods around?

Are there lots of sweet treats around your workplace and can you find healthy alternatives?

I make sure that I have healthy snacks from home so that I don’t get hungry. If I am caught out I buy some crisps from the shop at work. It’s not ideal, but better than chocolate.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2012 7:09 pm

    I never really get tempted when things are laying around- mostly because they would tend not to be vegan, but I can understand that some people might really suffer with cravings and temptation, so can see why the guy didn’t want the cake in his eyeline.

  2. October 12, 2012 7:30 pm

    Hmm, I’m not sure about this one. I don’t think I’d react that way, despite having such bad compulsive overeating and binge eating disorders, simply because I don’t eat that way in front of other people with whom I would have to spend a lot of time in the future. I don’t think it’s fair to make other people suffer just because a person can’t control themselves around food. I think, not from my office experience but my Mum’s, that diet/weight loss/treats are a weird kind of trap that people get caught in. My Mum was a very vulnerable person when placed in that setting and I am still pretty angry about the way people just went crazy with their food neuroses and begged someone so fragile and ill with anorexia for weight loss and ‘willpower’ tips because she obviously never touched any of the ‘treats’ there.

    I empathise with the man in question, but I don’t agree with his immaturity over the issue.


  3. October 12, 2012 9:35 pm

    I think I am the cause of this at my work- well not arguments, but I do often bring in baking, every 2 or 3 weeks I suppose. But otherwise they spend our tea money on biscuits anyway, which annoys me because I never eat the biscuits- I always bring a snack bar with me and people moan if there is nothing to eat in the staffroom- I always think if you are hungry then you should bring your own food. But then when someone brings in chocolates we have some people who hide the chocolate (although we all know the hiding place is in the freezer- yuck to frozen chocolate)! A lot of people at work go on about diets, but more people go for all that food anyway. Mostly I leave it, but sometimes when it is someones’ birthday and they bring in something nice I will have a bit, but not all the time. The more stressed I get, the more tempting the foods are though.
    I think moving the food to another persons’ desk is a bit much- a neutral area is more fair. And having an argument seems to be a bit of an escalation really.

  4. October 14, 2012 4:14 pm

    I don’t want to sound a little bit harsh but it sort of sounds a bit like attention seeking to be completely honest. I do understand it is difficult to be around temptation when you are on a diet but this just seems like the guy wants to show of the fact that he is on a diet…

    Personally if I am serious about losing weight then having unhealthy food around me is genuinely not a problem, I just ignore it. It’s more of a temptation if I am just eating healthily for general purposes!

  5. October 14, 2012 9:22 pm

    Everyvnow and again we get stuff bought into the office, when it is someone’s birthday, or people bring things back from holiday, or of course Christmas, but it doesn’t really happen that often. Donuts are regularly left in the canteen, which is a bit annoying, but I just point blank refuse them. I try an avoid shop bought things, but will occasionally have a bit of something if it is unusual, home made, or if I fancy it, which is very rare, as I always have snacks with me. The only problem I have is that I sometimes turn down brought in food, but then eat my own food as I am actually hungry, I think it can annoy some people. Some people will always make comments about how ‘good’ I always am turning down treats, but these comments usually comes from someone I work with who is a size six and obviously has never had a weight problem or issues with food, so I just brush them of as I now she doesn’t mean anything when she says it. I work with a vegan who always turns down food, sovit kind of takes the heat off me. Our office is generally health conscious, a lot of people bring fruit in, and I swear at one point we were single handedly keeping Graze in business. Not sure if I would like having say a piece of chocolate cake on my desk as I would find the smell quite tempting, especially if I was trying to resist, not quite clear whether it was on his desk, or just somewhere he could see? Occasionally if things are left on someones desk, they do eventually move it if its within arms reach as that person finds themselves helping themselves, and don’t want the temptation, so that I can understand. As they say, out of sight, out of mind.

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