Fed up about dealing with coworkers who rib you when you decline junk food offerings? I read about this apparently common phenomenon in a fitness forum. As a certified personal trainer, I realize the importance of proper nutrition when it comes to physical fitness and working out. The thread on the topic of coworkers getting mad when the lone health enthusiast refuses donuts, cake, etc., was quite entertaining.
Based on the thread, here is what I have concluded: The majority of coworkers, who ridicule or question the health enthusiast’s food choices, are men. However, women aren’t actually out of the woods on this one; some posts named women as the disgruntled coworkers who can’t understand why anybody would turn down cake or candy. These women were described as being large or obese.
So were the men, though not all of them. The common denominator is that the very coworkers who can’t understand why you don’t eat junk food like them are out of shape, have big guts, often complain they don’t feel well, are a little overweight to massively fat, and just don’t get it.
One poster summed it up beautifully: (Paraphrasing) – Unhealthy people feel better about themselves when they put down your good health habits.
So if you thought peer pressure ended after high school graduation, it swells to huge proportions in the adult workplace! This phenomenon is akin to getting harassed or ridiculed in high school for being the only kid at a party who won’t smoke or drink. Shame on full-grown adults for behaving so childishly!
The thread has many pages of comments that cover the entire gamut, from the innocent “Why do you eat canned tuna every day for lunch?” to endless (and mindless) questions while the health enthusiast is trying to enjoy his lunch, and to making the health enthusiast feel ostracized or snubbed. Men, more often than women, appear to be victims here; it’s perceived as wimpy for men to eat salads, yogurt and fruit on the job, especially a macho job like construction or truck driving.
Interestingly, these health conscious men who work out faithfully at the gym could whup any coworker’s butt!
Women, however, also post in the thread, reporting that other women needle them about why they don’t eat cake and cookies. It’s obvious that for both critical genders, jealousy is a key factor.
The thread’s OP stated that it’s not just an occasional comment or question; rather, he is heckled relentlessly about his healthy food choices on the job.
If you want to know how to deal with moron coworkers who keep asking you about your healthy food choices, who can’t understand why you keep saying “No” to the cookies, cake and candy, who look at you strangely when you start shaking up your protein drink, read Part II of this article. Part II is loaded with ingenious responses that will put these clod coworkers in their place!