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Old 09-15-2010, 08:20 AM   #1  
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Default She's driving me crazy!

I don't know if I need to rant or if I'm looking for advice. My secretary is driving me absolutely crazy about diet & exercise.

My attempts to lose weight were immediately apparent to her because we almost always started the day with pastries from the local bakery and ordered in for lunch. And from Day One she has had advice. "I read that you should..." "I heard that you should..." "Oprah says...." "You shouldn't eat that....." "My friend lost 200 pounds by eating nothing but chocolate cake for six months."

And it's the same thing with exercise. Not only does she have advice but she compares me to other people. When I come in to the office in the morning, she asks how long my run was. No matter what I tell her, she knows someone who ran further that day or exercised more.

Also, she is NOT skinny. I would guess that she is 50 or more pounds overweight. And very unhealthy. She's totally in denial about it. She actually says things like, "I'm so glad I don't have to diet" and "I'm fortunate that I don't have to exercise."

I have tried to calmly and rationally explain to her that I'm doing what works for me. I have gritted my teeth and kept my mouth shut. But yesterday she just totally annoyed me.

She has been going through a bit of a personal crisis for about a month, and she claims that she hasn't been able to eat anything at all through the whole ordeal. Yesterday she announced that had lost 25 pounds. Bull****! Isn't it pretty much physically impossible to lost 25 pounds in three weeks? And if you didn't eat anything at all for a month, wouldn't you be dead?

I have worked so hard to lose just 20 pounds in 5 months. I'm trying to do this in a way that is sane and healthy. And I feel like every day at the office I have to defend that. And now she is lying and trying to prove she's better than me or something.

I honestly do not want to go to the office today. I think I'll go postal on her if she says one more thing.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:40 AM   #2  
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I wish I had an answer for you. Maybe if you just tell her you are burnt out on talking/thinking about it and change the subject.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:43 AM   #3  
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Perhaps explaining to your secretary that you appreciate the time and effort she puts into YOUR weight loss efforts, but you would like to proceed on your own, without advice from anyone. A lone journey... somethings you just want to keep to yourself. And she can feel free to keep her personal info to herself as well...
I don't know if this will help, but setting up boundries seems like the place to start.
Hope your day is GOOD!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:44 AM   #4  
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I call those types of people Smelly Nelly. There is one in EVERY office! If she's your secretary, can you send her packing? haha, I kid I kid. One thing I did when I started changing my lifestyle, is I didn't tell anybody. I didn't want to share what I was doing b/c then people would hold me accountable, and in the event I didn't succeed, I didn't want to feel like a failure. If you can't tell her or she can't take a hint about stopping, maybe you can tell her you don't feel like discussing it anymore. Or just use start overexaggerating like she does. Be as annoying as her to her. In regards to her "weight loss" I would have told her, "wow, really? that's great, let's hope b/c you lost it so fast that you don't gain twice as much back in half the time. I knew a lady that had that happen to her!" yada yada yada.

I'm sure I'm NOT the best advice giver, sometimes, people just really get under my skin too, and I've had my experience like the one you are dealing with. A lot of people talk out of their butts, and it DOES GET ANNOYING!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:50 AM   #5  
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I would definitely refuse to discuss the topic of diet or exercise with your secretary. If necessary just plainly tell her you don't want to talk about it. After all, it is personal. There are subjects I will not discuss with my family because it always leads to a long drawn out discussion that gets my blood boiling. This is more my problem than theirs but just the same-I just don't talk about it. You are in control of what you say to her. It sounds like she has her own problems besides weight issues. You will be doing both of you a favor by finding suitable subjects that you can safely converse about.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:57 AM   #6  
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This is, in a sense, a form of harassment I guess. Treat it like that. Sit her down and say, It makes me uncomfortable when you talk about my weight loss and dieting, it's interferring with my job. Please, let's keep our conversations focused on the tasks at hand.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:09 AM   #7  
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She works for you, right? It's time to politely and calmly tell her that your weight loss journey is yours and not open for discussion. It really is none of her business what you do.

Can you pull back some and some how force her to take your relationship way more professional? When she starts talking about personal things, change the subject really quickly to something work related. Find a way not to talk personal talk at work. She is not a friend. She is a co-worker/employee.

Unfortunately, secretaries have a lot of power, because they can make your life miserable without putting much effort into it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:18 AM   #8  
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ROFL--love the SMELLY NELLY comment above from Guam. After a certain conversation I have had recently with a SMELLY NELLY I find the term spot on.

I don't discuss my weight with anyone I do not know is 110% safe. Never have, never will. If the issue comes up again, just say you are having some health issue that requires you to be careful with XYZ. In the beginning I even told me my stomach was upset, etc. Anything to keep from hearing dieting tips and anything to keep me from debating my weightloss methods.

Try to shut her down. Make it apparent you don't want to discuss weightloss--hers, yours, or anyone elses.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:20 AM   #9  
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For the record, when I encounter the SMELLY NELLIES in life I have learned to bow down to them and give them the red carpet. I act in awe and amazed by whatever success they have that has one upped my own. I come away feeling really good that I know who I am, what I am about and didn't play their game!
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:52 AM   #10  
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If it were me, I'd ask her detailed questions about herself.

How many calories do you eat?
What's your BMI?
What size do you wear?
How did you possibly lose 25lbs in three weeks? Isn't that the same outfit you wore sometime last month? That should probably be too big for you!

Like I said, if it were me, I wouldn't be annoyed, I'd be laughing at how ignorant and in denial she is.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:12 PM   #11  
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You guys are AWESOME! Thanks for all the feedback.

I think you are absolutely correct that I need to set some boundaries, and, if need be, to do so forcefully. That's not usually my personality, but I can see that there really is no other solution at this point.

I also agree that it would be rather fun to put this "Smelly Nelly" on the spot about her supposed weight loss. I don't know if I could be so catty, but it would be really enjoyable to say something like, "I bet you're going to have to go shopping this weekend for new clothes since you've lost so much weight!"
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:40 PM   #12  
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I don;t think you need to be catty, as you put it - it's just being matter-of-fact about the situation. I was quite surprised when I read that this is your secretary, I can't understand how you could get to the point of allowing her to speak to you with such little respect. Just a simple "Let's keep our private lives private please" should suffice. BE the boss. I'm sure your business wouldn't get very far if you allowed customers to walk all over you! I think you will find you will feel soo much better about yourself if you put your foot firmly down.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:04 PM   #13  
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I'm typing up a job description for my secretaries replacement right NOW!
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:07 PM   #14  
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Wow, you can tell she's totally insecure about her weight!
I dislike people like that. I've gone through a lot of people like that too. It seems like if they are overweight, and they see somebody that has troubles with their weight too, BUT they are working on it, they would do anything to butt in!
I had a friend like that, and as soon as she heard I started going to the gym she'd ask me what I do, what I eat, how much I've lost, etc etc etc. She was overweight too and would constantly make comments like "If I was that fat..." about people she saw that were bigger than her.

It's like it makes them uncomfortable to see somebody with the same problem as them actually WORK on it, and she's just in denial about it too, with the exaggerating and everything.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:16 PM   #15  
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Wow, that sounds incredibly frustrating and ... completely unnecessary. Perhaps she truly does have your best interest in mind, she's just concerned about your well-being, or she's just catty.

I agree with a couple of the other girls who posted- I don't share my weight loss goals with anyone at the office. It's just too... personal I guess. I have in the past and one of the women I work with is horrible. She does the opposite. Whenever I would talk about my diet/exercise efforts, she tries to sabotage me. She brings in snacks, orders pizza and nags me relentlessly about having junk food. "Just a piece won't undo anything. You'll hurt my feelings if you don't at least try it."

I guess all you can do is, like what was said before, set some boundaries. It's none of her business what you eat and if you exercise. You're her boss for cryin' out loud! Good luck, I know how difficult it is, because after all, you still have to work with them.
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