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

Rumble on the Runway returns to Port McNeill Airport

Rumble on the Runway, the North Island Timing Association’s annual summer drag… Continue reading

VIDEO: Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre Grad 2018

Grade 12 student Jade Hanuse was presented with her diploma from Principal Sheila Mcgrath.

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Port Hardy takes next step towards legal cannabis sales

Two public hearings were held to seek input on cannabis zoning bylaw

Kervin’s Corner: Eye sore or tourist attraction? District of Port Hardy to display windmill blade anyway

Do you like the idea of putting up the windmill blade on display in Port Hardy?

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read