Well, we’ve all survived the holiday season once again. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day. Whew. Glad to be looking at them in the rearview mirror, if I’m honest. At least until they roll around again, with all their unhealthy food temptations.
It’s pretty much assumed that all of us are going to gain weight over the holidays, but I get irritated with how much people tend to laugh this off. It’s our health we’re talking about here. Our very lives.
I have a supervisor who always brings us chocolates for every special occasion. Don’t get me wrong. I love chocolate. I mean, I love it to the point of actual physical pain, because too much chocolate gives me migraines, and yet I can’t resist it if it’s sitting right in front of me, calling my name, for 8 hours a day.
I know this about me. This is why I do my best to avoid chocolate. I try not to bring it into the house. I try not to look at it while I’m waiting for the cashier to ring up my purchases in the grocery line. But I have a lot less control over the workplace.
I know this supervisor means well. But by bringing chocolate to work, she may as well just say, “To celebrate this holiday, I have chosen to spackle 5 pounds of fat to your hips, along with a heaping helping of inner personal conflict, guilt, low self-esteem, and a whole host of health issues. Merry freakin’ Christmas!”
Bringing sweets to work is really rude. What if someone is diabetic and can’t indulge? You’ve just automatically excluded them. What if someone is trying to make healthier food choices? You’ve just made their struggle that much harder. Yes, we all have free will, but so do you. Have you taken the time to really ask someone whether they want this stuff around them? Or did you bring those cookies in simply to look generous, and to hell with what anyone else feels about the subject? If one of us craves sugar, we obviously can obtain it ourselves. That’s certainly every person’s prerogative.
I do know that there’s a lot of cultural workplace pressure out there. We once had a monthly departmental safety meeting, and the topic was health and wellness, so rather than bring the traditional boxes of donuts to the meeting, I chose to bring fruit and a veggie platter. I mean, how do you say, “Here’s some healthy food recipes to pass around along with the glazed crullers?
Well, you’d think that I had set fire to a basket of kittens or something. I mean, people were furious. I was never asked to provide refreshments for a staff meeting again. (Which, in retrospect, was a gift, but that’s another story entirely.)
Next holiday season, please consider the fact that sweets are coming at people from all directions. Don’t add to the assault. You may have the best intentions, but your kindness is actually a cruelty to some of us.
If you really want to do something nice for me, make sure I have the office supplies I need to do my job. Or give me a raise. Or say thank you when I go above and beyond. Just please keep the bon bons to yourself.