Office Politics 101: A weighty issue

There’s a woman in our office who is obviously getting heavier. I’ve also struggled with weight and would like to speak with her.

Q: There’s a woman in our office who is obviously getting heavier. I’ve also struggled with weight and would like to speak with her. I’m not sure how to start the conversation without offending her. Your thoughts?

A: She is well aware she is gaining pounds and almost certainly it is difficult for her to acknowledge. In general, the allure of food is considerably more beguiling for women.  (Men tend to be tempted by sex.)

Many women, therefore, face the daily struggle of eating too much and feeling guilty or frustrated. Our society — in particular the images presented on television and in movies —  tends to value women who are extremely slender. These standards are virtually unattainable for most women and this adds to the anguish.

According to one report, about half of North American women are on a diet. There is considerable pressure for women to lose weight and, no doubt, your co-worker is living under its influence.

(It is possible, although unlikely, she is completely at ease with her current weight and it is of little concern. The fact she is getter heavier would make this assumption doubtful.)

We can all enjoy “comfort food” and certain meals or snacks may relax us and serve as a treat at the end of the day. In her case, the situation may be similar, although there could be issues outside the workplace that are negatively affecting her emotionally.

She may be finding solace in food to the degree that is she eating to excess to “escape” from a difficult situation, such as a troubled marriage, wayward children or the need to care for an aging parent.

You may be aware of some of her circumstances although, based on your query, I would sense you are not close.

Your interest in sharing diet successes with her is laudable and I’m sure your motivations are good, but, as you imply, she could be offended if you are not careful.

Could you imagine being friends with her? She will be more open to your counsel — and respect you as an individual — if she sees you as someone who genuinely cares.

I’d recommend you allow a friendship to grow and introduce the subject of her weight, and your experience, as a natural part of a conversation.

I believe you empathize with her and would like to help her lose weight.

First, earn the right to speak through a friendship with appropriate levels of trust and confidentiality. She will appreciate you when she knows you have her best interests in mind.

 

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life to simon@officepolitics101.com.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Most Read