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A Critical Colleague

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Old 01-11-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
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So, I have a scenario for you all to consider, which as been happening over the past month or so (before Christmas).

A colleague of mine (we'll call her C) evaluates my food when we work together. She has been trying to work out and lose a few lbs, but for whatever reason(s), she can't get it together.

The week before Christmas, she proclaimed, "I'm starting my 'diet' after the holidays. There is too many things going on for me to get into that right now. K, what are you eating tonight?"

The week before New Year's, she proclaimed, "I'm starting my 'diet' on Monday. I'm eating really good on New Year's Day. K!! EWWE! What is that you are eating?" (She usually turns her nose up to my food.)

On Saturday night, she stated, "I have 2 more days, and on Monday, I'm starting hard-core with my 'diet'." Meanwhile, she grabs a bag of pork rinds, a bag of chili cheese fritos, and a 16 oz regular coke. A little while later, I was enjoying a Metromint GoodBerryMint water. She asked (in a rather ewwe tone), "K, what are you drinking?" I replied, "It's Goodberrymint water, wanna try it? It's really good?"
Her: "Ewwe! No way. I don't even like mint. How are you drinking that in water? GROSS!"

Before we left work that morning, she said, "K, you gotta help me stay on track this time."
I'm thinking:: Yeah, right--whatever!

Monday FINALLY rolls around.
Me: "Hey C! What's for lunch tonight? Are you ready to start this week?"
C: "Well, I have to wait til Thursday to go to the store. Where do you buy that Agave stuff you eat? I want to get some because I'm stopping sugar."
A few hours later, I buy a Turkey Waldorf Salad from the cafeteria. Ingredients: Lettuce, deli turkey, walnuts, granny smith apple, & grapes. I had FF Raspberry Vinaigrette as the dressing.
She comes over, critiquing as usual
C: "OMG! K what is that?"
Me: "Turkey Waldorf Salad from downstairs. It's really good. I'm glad I chose this over the they had!"
C: "Ewwe! I don't like all that."
Me: (**at this point, I have had it with her criticizing my food) "I'm NOT asking you to eat it!"
C: (**offended) "Dang, I didn't say you were, I was just saying I don't like all that together! Excuse ME!!"
(she then turned her back and walked away)

My dilemma is this: I really want to NOT discuss my food and fitness goals at work, & I know I can just stop, but we are going to eat together again, & I'd like to be tactful. How would you say in a nice way, "you have your goals and I have mine. I'll eat what I like and you eat what you like." without offending others? She was already offended, but then again, so am I when she "ewwe's" everything I eat or drink. I haven't really shown her I'm offended when she turns her nose up. I kind of use it as energy to keep pursuing my goals.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Definitely rude but as I read your post I hear excuses not criticism. Maybe it's not about criticizing your food. Instead, she might be making excuses about why she can't eat a healthier menu. I used to do the same thing (not the rude part). I would see other people eating healthy and made excuses about why it could NEVER work for me, or I could NEVER eat like that. It was my issue...When I was ready to stop the excuses, I was able to start my journey.

Next time, make it a joke. Say something funny like "Before you even get close, I know you're going to hate my food so don't look." And then turn the conversation around and ask, what foods work for her and what foods she likes? I bet you'll find she'll have an excuse for not eating anything healthy!
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:38 AM   #3
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Sometimes when I am faced with awkward situations like this, I tell a story. Here's what I mean. If I were you, one day, when we were not eating, I would say, "So I went out for dinner with an old friend the other day, and when the food came, she just would not stop talking about how gross my salad looked. It really irritated the crap out of me, here I am just trying to eat and she has to make me feel like I'm disgusting because I appreciate good food! Didn't her mother ever teach her that you're not supposed to criticize other people's food at the table? Can you believe that?"
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Karas suggestion is a good one and so is yours"I'll eat what I eat and you eat what you eat and we won't criticize each others choices , Deal ?"
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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Or you could just use the etiquette technique known as the "bean dip".

As in, "Interesting! Please pass the bean dip". Essentially, bare acknowledgment + a change of subject. You don't want to make it about her food vs your food, or indicate that you'd criticize her food if you could.

I've used this successfully with all sorts of comments on which the speaker and I have dramatically different opinions. Sometimes it isn't worth the drama to me!
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by free1 View Post
Next time, make it a joke. Say something funny like "Before you even get close, I know you're going to hate my food so don't look." And then turn the conversation around and ask, what foods work for her and what foods she likes? I bet you'll find she'll have an excuse for not eating anything healthy!

This sounds JUST like something I'd say!! I think you are defo correct. And while it does sounds like excuses to me, I have this inner person that truly tries to help people along in the area of fitness & health. So when they ask my input, I usually give it to them.

Kara
: Your suggestion is perfect. However, with this part: "I don't make faces at what you eat, so couldja please not make faces at what I eat??"
I probably do make a silent ugly face when they return from the cafeteria with fries, burgers, and onion rings!

It makes me laugh b/c I'm thinking, "How do you expect to have a goal, much less get there eating junk 2-3 nights a week?"
However, it's not for me to judge. Why do I care?
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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You say ... "I am sure if you really wanted to lose weight you would learn to like the food I eat". Or, when she asks "ewww, what are you eating??" you say... "Yes, gross isn't it? .. it is poo on toast! Want some?"
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:32 AM   #8
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Wow, she sounds a whole 12 years old! Goodness, who says those things?

I think she's simply rude and childish. I wouldn't worry too much about what she says about your food, she's obviously not used to eating nutritiously. What I would worry about is her bugging you so much over everything pertaining to weigh loss. I honestly would say that you're not trying to lose weight anymore and that you're happy with your weight, and if she has any questions to ask a doctor or a nutritionist because you only know what worked for you. Or say you really don't feel like talking about weight loss, and change the subject.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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Great Advice!!

Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate all of the great responses.
Luckily, I'm not on a diet.
Otherwise, I really may feel offended
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