Terri Lynch knows the workplace from all perspectives: employer, employee, vendor
and customer. Issues of obesity and "fat acceptance" play out in the workplace with
a cost in cold hard cash. Terri is ideally qualified to probe all angles of size
issues in the workplace.
You've taken the plunge. You've embarked on your weight loss program. So far,
you've been keeping kind of quiet about it. You're still afraid to broadcast
your decision until you've got real results. But you've been sticking with it
for a while now, and it's working.
And then comes the announcement. Next Thursday, the entire department will be
having a luncheon meeting. You've going to be eating surrounded by your
colleagues, served a standard menu with the only choice being beef or chicken.
And you know that the piece of beef or chicken could be held in the palm of your
hand, while the deficit will be made up with a big heap of mashed potatoes.
What do you do now?
The easiest thing is to come out into the open about your weight-loss objectives.
Or better yet — much better yet, for many people - be half-open, with the old
excuse that "my doctor says I need to reduce my cholesterol." Fortunately, the
medical recommendations for weight loss and reducing cholesterol are very
"Whoa!" you're suddenly saying, "That would be great except that I'm on a low-carb
regimen, which unfortunately means lots of high-cholesterol foods. So I can't
use that one."
Surprise! The research says otherwise.
Study: Atkins diet good for cholesterol
CHICAGO (APOnline) - Multitudes swear by the high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins
diet, and now a carefully controlled study backs them up: Low-carb may actually
take off more weight than low-fat and may be surprisingly better for cholesterol,
For years, the Atkins formula of sparing carbohydrates and loading up on taboo fatty
foods has been blasphemy to many in the health establishment, who view it as a formula
for cardiovascular ruin.
But now, some of the same researchers who long scoffed at the diet are putting it to
the test, and they say the results astonish them. Rather than making cholesterol soar,
as they feared, the diet actually appears to improve it, and volunteers take off more
weight. (USA Today, 11/18/02)
So you can certainly say the doctor told you to go on Atkins for your cholesterol.
And blaming the doctor (and your cholesterol) has a lot of advantages. It shifts
the focus away from your weight, with the added benefit of getting the other person
worrying about their own cholesterol — their attention is now off you entirely. And
who can argue with your doctor?
Furthermore, with a doctor's prescription, you can specify exactly what you've gotta
have (or not), and they've gotta give it to you (or not). And no one can complain
that you are being unreasonable, different or a spoil-sport. This is what your doctor
said, and what can you do about it? You shrug with a helpless smile, and all any
decent person can respond with is sympathetic support. Just make sure, then, that you
follow the "prescription"!
How do you do that, though, with the limited menu so often available at these
functions? Easy. You've got to speak up well in advance. That's only fair to
the organizers of the affair. And don't be concerned that they'll regard you as
a nuisance. That's only if you do wait until the last minute. Any host or hostess
will consider it perfectly normal to be asked to accommodate your doctor - especially
these days, when more and more people's doctors are saying the same thing.
But what, precisely, should you ask for instead of the standard fare? That depends
on where the function will be held. A coffee-and-donuts breakfast meeting or pizza
lunch in the department conference room offers different opportunities than a
retirement party or parental-leave sendoff at a local restaurant.
If the gathering will be at a restaurant, you can spare the host or hostess extra
work by contacting the restaurant yourself. Just have them fax you their menu, then
decide exactly what you want and either order it at the time (if that's what's being
done) or inform the person in charge if the meal is being pre-ordered. Bear in mind,
though, that restaurants often lower their prices for large group orders of the
same thing, and the meeting organizer should be made aware of the potential impact
of your different choice.
If the meeting will be at the workplace, don't hesitate to BYOB (Bring Your Own
Beef — or whatever low-carb alternatives you'd prefer in place of the midriff-stuffers
normally provided.) This would likely be frowned upon at a restaurant, but will only
earn you gratitude from a harried department secretary who might otherwise have to
virtually double his or her trouble just to look after you.
As you can see, with a sensible attitude and good strategy, the problem shrinks to
manageable size as rapidly as your waistline on the Atkins diet!
Copyright © November 2003 Terri Lynch and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2003 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury