Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dealing with food pushers - insight from a thin person

A former manager is one of those naturally thin people who does not have to work at staying thin. She has a naturally low appetite. I swear she can nurse a muffin all day long. One day when we were chatting after a meeting, she told me about a particular pair of pants that must go in the dryer before wearing as the material needs to be shrunk in order for it to fit. I replied with a laugh and told her that is not a problem that I've experienced.

During a more recent conversation we talked about the massive amount of food at our new workplace (the company we worked for was bought and merged with another financial services company). I was shocked by all the food at work: pizza, burrito day, breakfast day, ice cream, cake, cupcakes, continental breakfast, popcorn, candy. Some brought in by colleagues, but most of it provided by management as a way to motivate and thank employees. 

So my naturally thin manager shares this interesting tidbit of information: if you say no to offers for food, eventually food pushers will get the message and stop offering food.

And she is right. Now that I've said no thank you enough times, no one tries to push food on me and I'm also finding it easier to say no thank you when the offer for food comes up.
I kept this in mind when a group of new employees started last week and a truly very lovely lady offered (enthusiastically) a basket of valentine's day chocolate to her neighbouring colleagues (including me).
"Please, have some chocolate, help me to not get fat by eating all this chocolate!" she said. "Look, have some of this chocolate, this chocolate is healthy!"
Nice. She doesn't want to get fat with chocolate, but it's ok to push chocolate onto colleagues and make them fat?
I wasn't interested in her chocolate; I kept my steely resolve with a cheery, "no thank you" and "perhaps later, but I don't want any right now thanks." She got the picture that I just wasn't interested and moved on to more interested colleagues.
So the next time a food pusher approaches you with a plate of cookies or a basket of chocolate, remember the words from a naturally thin person; if you say no enough, food pushers will go find a new target.


  1. OMG I HATE food pushers. I have to say "no, no thank you, no" like a thousand times. Drives me crazy.

    I don't know about your blog, but mine allows me to cut off comments on a post after a set time. For me that's two weeks. It DRAMATICALLY reduced the amount of spam I get. I get one now and then, but that has made my blog life so much better :)

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!

  2. If you are having spam trouble, see if you have the option to block anonymous commenters, that often helps.

    I agree with all you said. And I think it helps to just say no without trying to explain.

    The other thing I have found helps with really pushy people is to put hands behind the back. They can't hand anything to you if hands are behind the back. This works GREAT for people handing out sales fliers also.

  3. Note from Munchberry on my blog.

  4. Saw your comment on Vickie's blog. Thank you. Sweet of you both to check in.

    I like telling food pushers maybe later. Eventually they do stop. When I say "no" straight out they seem invested in changing my mind.

    I have spent the last month fending off food. Sometimes successfully. If not, I eat a piece of whatever it is and throw the rest in the trash with something covering it. If I throw it straight out (like I might be tempted to if someone forced food on me at work and I just needed them to stop so I took it) I would be thinking of it all day and searching for that elusive substitute goodie.

    Looking forward to catching up and getting back to normal. Hug.

    1. Hey Munch! Thanks for stopping by, it's great to hear from you! I see you on pintrest, but I couldn't figure out how to contact you.

      I agree, putting the food pusher off until some undetermined future time works well too.

      You've had a tough winter Munchberry, it sounds like you are handling the food well, especially if the food is following your thoughts all day!

      I look forward to your return, come back when you are ready! Kara

  5. No is a powerful word from the time we are small. Think of a two-year-old who continually says "no." I often tell people that we need to find that inner two-year-old when it comes to food pushers.

  6. Thankfully I don't need to deal with this very much at work. Imagine, rewarding your employees with food that will slow them down. Smart.

    I did however experience this on the weekend. My soon to be Sister-in-law bakes as a hobby and often more times than not, we indulge in a cake or cupcake after a Sunday dinner. Shawn and I were hosting dinner this past Sunday and decided we're going to start a new no dessert trend (other than special occasions of course). In the afternoon we called her to ask her to bring something and she mentioned she was making cupcakes. Shawn told her that we've decided no dessert, but she noted that she had already baked them and they're only mini and yeah, so she brought them. We did end up eating one each this time, but it is the last time I except dessert (cupcakes and cake anyway) for any given Sunday. I know it will be a challenge to break this habit, but I assume after I have said no enough times it will eventually stop.

  7. Every since I learned to say "no" to my pleading grandmother, the rest are easy. lol!

  8. I have trouble saying no to food pushers! I know they mean well, and also, I always want to try new foods, etc. I've been trying it at work with popcorn days - love popcorn, but always overeat it. Hopefully I can be more successful!

    1. You know Irina, using "maybe later" might work well for you. I love popcorn too!


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