Author Topic: Food Police...at work.  (Read 28105 times)

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snugasabug

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Food Police...at work.
« on: June 27, 2012, 06:59:09 AM »
I have worn our my "SoOOOo kind of you to take an interest comment."  I need a friendly back up.

I work in an environment where we cannot take separate breaks nor can we leave the building. 

Typically staff bring in a bagged lunch and we just eat when everyone is having lunch. No big deal.  There are a few people who INSIST on commenting on my lunch. Every single time!

I am a plus size gal who likes to eat healthy. *insert look of horror and shock*  Apparently according to a few peeps at work, that's just not possible.   Sometimes when they comment about how healthy my lunch is, I reply with "I'm always trying to eat healthy...not easy sometimes."  If I add the "So kind of you to take an interest" they start laughing and sometimes mimic that phrase.  I usually try to steer the conversation away from my lunch and back onto whatever that person likes to talk about.

Yesterday I was happily getting my lunch out, when Lucy said "You ALWAYS eat healthy.  At first I thought you were trying to impress me or trick me."

My reply was light and upbeat "Trick you?  My lunch really has nothing to do with you or anyone else, it's just a lunch."

Then she went on to say "If you really did eat like that all the time, why are you so overweight?  You MUST have a medical problem. Maybe hormone problem?"

I just looked at her. Said nothing.

She mumbled something about how she has recently lost 10lbs in 1 week...and had some tips for me.

Lucy was drinking a coke, eating a sub and chips while she was saying that.

I smiled and said, as best as I could "Thanks for taking an interest, but I am not interested in your tips.  So? How's your son? Is he playing any sports this summer?  etc...."

It really does hurt when people make assumptions or comments about how "impossible" it is for me to like healthy food or how I could possibly be a bigger person etc.

How can I get people to NOT talk about my food or my weight / size?  I certainly don't talk about their physical appearance or grade their lunch out loud. 

As I was making my lunch this morning, I was actually thinking about who I would be eating lunch with and trying to guess what they would say about it.  (baby spinach salad with cukes, grape tomatoes and some strawberries that we picked on Sunday + water)


Redsoil

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 07:05:30 AM »
Perhaps something like:  "I eat good foods because I like to look after my health.  You may feel it's appropriate to comment on both my food and my weight, but I don't.  People come in all shapes and sizes - it would be nice if others simply accepted that."
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Amalthea

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 07:09:24 AM »
Have you tried not mentioning the health aspects of it when they comment?  Just dodge it and go on about how delicious your salad is.  That doesn't really give them anything to argue back against, so they might drop it.

Option B is add something with tentacles to it.  They'll stop commenting about the health part at least. ;)

Darcy

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 08:19:43 AM »
As this seems to be a continuing problem, I would get blunt and tell them "My health is not up for discussion. You are not my doctor and it is not your business. Please refrain from commenting on it in the future."

If it continues, I'd consider taking this to your HR department, or somewhere farther up the chain.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 09:47:15 AM »
I hate, hate, hate this type of "helpful" person.  They think that every overweight person is automatically an unhealthy person.  OP, I think you're doing fine, but if they persist in the commenting I would say "My food choices are not up for discussion and I will not discuss them any further".  I can almost guarantee if the OP was eating a big, gooey cheeseburger, fries and a brownie they would be saying "Are you sure you should be eating that?" or "You know that's not a healthy lunch."

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 10:07:52 AM »
As this seems to be a continuing problem, I would get blunt and tell them "My health is not up for discussion. You are not my doctor and it is not your business. Please refrain from commenting on it in the future."

If it continues, I'd consider taking this to your HR department, or somewhere farther up the chain.

POD.  They're not trying to be helpful.  They are tearing you down to build themselves up.  Be direct and don't pussyfoot around the issue.

TheVapors

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 02:51:39 PM »
Honestly, I'd stop replying at all from now on. It's not any of their business, and it never will be. So, be sure you make it none of their business by not responding when they try to make it.

Example:

"Your lunch is so healthy looking. Who would've guessed right?"
You: Silence.
"Right?"
You: Silence.
Awkward silence for them.
You: "So nice outside. Kinda sucks to be stuck inside working. Least we're almost done with those TPS reports finally."

O'Dell

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 03:57:16 PM »
If I add the "So kind of you to take an interest" they start laughing and sometimes mimic that phrase.

I agree with Lorelei that they are tearing you down to build themselves up. The above quote indicates that their intentions are not at all nice.

 I'd go with silence next. If the comments don't taper off then the direct approach.

Honestly, having said that, what I'd actually do would be to say what you said in your post about trying to predict what would be said while you made your lunch.

<"snarky healthy food comment">
"How funny! This morning while I made my lunch I tried to predict who would comment. I would have put money on Lucy with strawberries in the breakroom , but it's Gerry with the spinach at our desks!" Rude or not I'm not above making fun of people's rude behavior.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 08:10:53 PM »
"You always eat so healthy!"
"Yes, and you don't, would you like to compare arteries?"

No?

I agree that it is time to be blunt, or humorous if that is more your inclination, but the fact that she just kept going is enough for me to say that being nice or quiet isn't going to do the job.

"And why on earth is that any of your business?"
"What an astute observation," said dryly in reply to, "You always eat so healthy!"
If TheVapor's silence continues to not work and they ask you why you're being quiet, you could say, "Because this is absolutely none of your business," or, "Because I refuse to respond to rudeness."
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

doodlemor

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 08:30:33 PM »

Option B is add something with tentacles to it.  They'll stop commenting about the health part at least. ;)

I love this.  Cook up some calamari and pass it around.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 10:30:38 PM »
What if you said...


...and you care, because?

Isometric

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 11:34:47 PM »
I thought when you left school you didn't have to deal with mean girls anymore!

Sorry you have to go through that every lunch time. Would I be right in saying if you bought chocolate and chips for lunch they would say you shouldn't be eating it?

I vote for silence too. If they ask if you heard them, smile and say "yes, but I didn't have anything to add because we discussed this yesterday"


Ceallach

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 11:42:49 PM »
Ugh how awful!  Some people don't seem to realise that everybody is different and they're not the experts of the world.  Size does not directly correlate to what you eat - if it did, those insanely stick thin girls n guys who chow down junk food and struggle to gain even a little bit of weight wouldn't exist! (They do, and have to put up with comments from people all the time about how little they eat. I've had friends like that and sometimes they have to supplement just to maintain a healthy weight!).  I've always been grateful that I'm not like that, because it forces me to make healthy eating choices!  But the fact is, everybody has a different metabolism.  Plus, once your metabolism is screwed up it can be hard to lose weight regardless of what you're eating.  Sadly it's just not as simple as people like to think.  And unfortunately, I don't think you can re-educate them effectively.  Some people are so narrow minded.

If it were me, I would start acting genuinely offended.  After all, their comments are offensive.  They are implying that you lie about what you're eating, that you're somehow so insecure that you would try to "pretend" to be healthy for their approval, and a number of other unpleasant things.  I would look furious and say "Excuse me?!" people tend to back down when they realise that their ill-mannered but "lighthearted" comments are not welcome.

"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


bbgirl

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2012, 01:18:49 AM »
I might say something like...

"I'm sorry, but how would you like me to reply to that comment?"
and maybe leave it there for them to stumble...

I personally might add the following to the first sentence...but I'm very blunt and tend to get to the point of the topic rather than dance around to not make others uncomfortable.

 
".....In a self deprecating fashion whereupon I commiserate with you about how it's all an act and when I get home I snarf every fast food item in sight just so you can feel better about yourself?  Because I find your commentary on my food choices and motives behind what I eat rude, pushy, and based on your own attitudes towards people and food."


What a rude rude coworker...

Amava

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Re: Food Police...at work.
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 03:42:18 AM »
Co-worker says:
Quote
Then she went on to say "If you really did eat like that all the time, why are you so overweight?  You MUST have a medical problem. Maybe hormone problem?"

*look astonished*
Reply lightly: "I feel we're kind of overstepping the boundaries of polite conversation here!"
Change subject or turn away.