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Old 04-04-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Feeling like a Freak At Work

So, most of my co workers know that I've dropped a bit of weight over the last three years, and that I'm struggling to drop some more. And they've been very supportive. I don't have any real horror stories to tell about insensitive harpies trying to sabatoge me.

But tonight there was a little thing. One of the managers had been there 35 years, and there was cake to celebrate. I knew this before it was served, and I had decided not to eat any. I love cake, but it just wasn't worth the extra calories to me. So, when the time came, I remained seated. Everyone else got up and got some (we were at a meeting, so were all sitting together). Everyone noted that I wasn't having any, and there was some light pursuasion attempts ("C'mon, Annie, one little piece won't hurt anything.")

I didn't take it personally, wasn't angry, and wasn't tempted to change my mind. But I just felt really out of place, like I was being I dunno, just weird.

I'm not changing my lifestyle or plan or anything like that. But I wish there were a way I could feel like I was being a normal person when all the normal people are eating cake!
I'm Tealeaf, and I approve of this message.

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Old 04-04-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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Argh! I feel your pain!! What I don't understand is (and beware I'm not going to be able to offer much help just company) why everyone at work thinks it is their business what we eat or don't eat??!!

If I saw an overweight person at work wolfing down a McDonald's value meal (which I do every other day) I don't make it my business to tell her she really should lay off the McFries!!! So then why is it okay to tell a person on a diet that they should cram the cake? I don't get it?

Sorry for the rant. But people shouldn't be made to feel like freaks at work just because they're trying to be healthy in peace.

(I realize your coworkers aren't as bad as mine, but mine are REALLY BAD)

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Old 04-04-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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My workplace is full of dieting pitfalls!

I have just learned to avoid all of it. I don't even look at what is in our break room to tempt myself.

I didn't realize how much my co-workers watched what I eat (since I've lost weight) until they started asking me about particular items I'm eating, how many points they are, what the nutritional content is, etc. I know I've been motivating to my co-workers as several have joined WW since I've joined and others are contemplating it. So even though I've lost weight for myself primarily, I feel I am a good role model to my co-workers and my family and that is important to me as well.

Stay strong!
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:39 AM   #4
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I know what you mean. It's hard in public situations to be the one person doing something different. For any reason (not just weight or health related). I think that we often feel more out of place than we really are, though. Were I someone in your office, I'd have been offering the cake so that everyone felt comfortable to have some... but if you declined it wouldn't make you any less a part of the group
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:04 PM   #5
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Well, if you're weird, I'm weird, and we are all weird.

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"And that's how Beowulf rolls"~ my DD
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:16 PM   #6
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There are people with food allergies or other health concerns such as diabetes or, hard as it is to believe , people who don't like sweets.These people do not feel the need to explain why they don't want something. I think we apply a guilt trip to ourselves when we feel the need to explain or apologize that we don't want a piece of cake. Just say "no thanks " or "not today " and move on.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:21 PM   #7
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It just goes to show you how strong the urge to "normalize" is in people. Everyone wants their behavior validated as Normal and Correct, so when even one person doesn't go with the flow in a group dynamic it is noticed and that person is coaxed (or coerced sometimes) into changing their behavior to match the group's.

Good for you for resisting!
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Why don't you say something alongt he lines of "I actually have a weird thing about icing. The texture bothers me. Funny, eh?" Or "I actually really don't like chocolate."

It's not honest, but maybe they'd believe you?

I know I tend to insist people eat because it's a cultural thing, but eating is always seen as a way of showing you're having fun. Maybe in these situations we also need to find new ways to show others that we're having a good time, and that we don't need cake.

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Old 04-04-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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I have a new favorite quote...

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" - Krishnamurti
That not eating processed junk whenever it is offered to you makes you feel weird is an indicator of the above...and I try to remember it whenever I feel that sort of group pressure.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:44 PM   #10
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What a terrific, and sad, quote!

As our culture gets more and more unhealthy, those of us who buck that trend and make different choices will become the odd ones out.

There will be a new "normal" and we are not it.

Methinks our culture is in deep doo-doo (as my son would say).
"And that's how Beowulf rolls"~ my DD
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:48 PM   #11
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Well, I'm glad that there are people around here that know what I'm going through. I've been very open about my weight issues, and everyone there knows that I've been struggling for a while (I work in a factory, 3rd shift. We all know each other fairly well). No one was twisting my arm. There was no need to lie (and they've seen me eat stuff like this in the past, so it would have been pointless anyways). I think Josephine hit the nail on the head with the group dynamic observation.

It was a little depressing. I really didn't want the cake that badly, I can make baked treats myself that are lower caloried and I can eat hot and that I know I'd like eating much more. But I didn't want to be the only one not having any. I guess that I'm a pack animal on some level.
I'm Tealeaf, and I approve of this message.

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Old 04-04-2008, 12:55 PM   #12
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The French way is to have a few bites then not eat more. I've been doing that lately. Savoring the taste if it's something I really like. But anymore I'm mostly turned off to cake and sweets having worked at losing weight. If I'm going to splurge it's pizza and a big juicy burger. Those SIN calories are at least gonna be my favorite foods.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:06 PM   #13
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Asking "why" it isn't different unfortunately doesn't get anywhere.

Here's the deal: You get up, you get a piece of cake, and you take it back to your table. Maybe you even act like you're eating it. Maybe you even cut it up with your fork. Maybe you take a bite--or not! And then--you leave it. There is no such thing as "wasting cake"!

If you look around, you'll see that other people do this as well--because they just don't like the cake!

When I gave up alcohol, I had to find ways to deal with parties. I found that if you have a drink in your hand, no one cares what's in the glass. It's just part of being social. (Of course, I can't pick up an alcoholic drink and just take a sip--so it's always a soft drink.)

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:59 PM   #14
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Heh, actually having a piece of cake in my hand would be too tough for me - I don't think I'm strong enough to push chocolately gooey cake around with my fork and not eat it!

I just say no thank you and keep repeating it with a smile.

I did have the cutest thing happen at a work birthday party though - a coworker handed me a little package of blueberries bought JUST FOR ME and said, "this is for you instead of cake!"
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #15
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UGH! I'm going through the same thing RIGHT NOW with my work... so I've been working hard at losing and have lost 30 pounds since I started at my job 5 months ago... no one has commented on my loss yet though...

Well, I'm NOT going to ruin my plan just to make other people happy.

Next week we have firearms training (I'm a probation officer) and the gun range is out in the boonies. There are no restaurants nearby and we have a working lunch on the range since we're required to get the full amount of training hours in one week.

So we were told that traditiionally, the training groups will pool money and buy and cook big lunches every day (hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, etc etc etc) and I'm SORRY but I do NOT eat big lunches... it just does NOT work for me b/c I'm STARVING by the time dinner comes at the end of the night. I eat my little packed lunch and I'm fine...

I'm so worried that I will look like a WEIRDO in front of all my new coworkers b/c I (1) won't pool my money and help them lower the cost per person (2) will be eating my stupid fruits and veggies while they're chowing down on burgers and steaks. Hey, I'd LOVE to do it... but I'm just NOT going to, dammit!!!!

How am I supposed to not feel like a freak? ugh... I'm dreading it.

Someone else on here on another post said something like "why is it if I tell someone I have diabetes, they don't force food on me. But if I tell someone I'm on a diet, they think I can make special exceptions not to hurt anyone's feelings????"

That's totally how I feel. I'm planning on just telling them, "Sorry guys--- I'm on a restricted diet--- Dr's orders"... and if anyone presses, I'll act all offended and say, "no offense, but that's kinda personal don't you think?"

(Oh, and Jay---- I don't really drink and never really have--- just don't like the taste and spending the money on it--- yet god forbid I be a 20-something who doesn't drink!!! So I always get a diet 7 up and put a stir stick in it--- if people ask, I lie and say it's a vodka tonic.

One for every 5 pounds lost .......

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Last edited by BrandNewJen; 04-04-2008 at 09:52 PM.
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