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Eye to eye with the apple pie

Sometimes I think my coworkers are screwing with me.

Mmmm, apple pie

Two weeks ago they left an apple pie, alone, in the same room with me. Just me and the apple pie, and that fly that has been buzzing around that no one has managed to splat dead yet. Was this some sort of experiment? Did they want to see how long it would take before I ate a piece? Or did they want to see how long it would take for me to blog about it?

Either way, I never had a piece of the apple pie. I don’t need to be congratulated, as there is nothing inherently wrong with apple pie. Mmm, pie. But it is odd to think that just a couple years ago it would never have occurred to me that I could choose not to eat the pie. Instead I would have been thinking, “How can I eat three slices without appearing to be a total pig?” At one of my old jobs our boss bought a big sheet cake to celebrate a coworker’s promotion and the only thing that stopped me from going back for that third piece was the fear of fulfilling a fat girl stereotype. I just couldn’t be the morbidly obese girl who ate three corner pieces and scooped up the extra icing off the cardboard platter with her finger. It was bad enough that the blue icing turned my poo green. (I thought there was something seriously wrong with me until I remembered all the blue food dye I’d consumed.) I really wanted that third piece though.

Luckily, my desk is pointed away from the microwave and the pie that was sitting on top of it. I didn’t even have to look at it, so it was much easier to resist. Plus, I packed my lunch and had plenty of snacks to keep me full. I still think it’s rather foolish to leave yummy food unsecured around former fat girls. At least this time I don’t have to worry about the color of my poo.

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25 Comments

Diana the Scale Junkie • September 27, 2007 at 9:50 am

Pie! Yet another reminder that temptation season is just around the corner. The next 90 days will be full of pie and cake and goodies. Must resist must resist must resist mustresistmustresistmust resist….

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Marla • September 27, 2007 at 9:53 am

I don’t think there’s any place as weird and dysfunctional about food as the workplace. Not that an apple pie is such a big deal, but why do so many people bring candy and sweets and doughnuts and etc., and then spend so much energy trying not to eat them? It doesn’t make sense.

And I cannot STAND all th diet-talk going on in the lunchrooms. Everyone (every woman) seems to have to justify each bite they take.

It’s a strange dynamic that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

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Amanda • September 27, 2007 at 9:57 am

Yeah, there’s always leftover cakes, cookies, sodas, mexican food, etc. from meetings around here and the assistants walk around and say “There’s (cake, cookies, something fattening) in the breakroom, help yourself”! I always think, “The best way to ‘help myself’ is not to eat it”! Darn temptations…

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TeaMouse • September 27, 2007 at 10:46 am

When I encounter food like that I have the ‘struggle in my head’ I actually argue back and forth about why and why I shouldn’t eat the ‘pie’. Sometimes I win and sometimes I am weak. I do believe though that if you are prepared as you stated with a lunch and snacks packed the temptation would be a bit easier to deal with it. It’s the times in life when I am most unprepared that I eat the ‘pie’.

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KAT • September 27, 2007 at 11:29 am

There is so much peer pressure at work to eat unhealthy foods. I struggle with this greatly because I’m not very assertive and have my own addiction to food. I worked in one company where they would constantly reward the employees with food: pizza, desserts, starbucks. As most of the employees in my group would cheer, I would groan. When I didn’t eat the “rewards” I felt the negative peer pressure and rec’d quite a backlash. Why constantly reward with unhealthy food, why not pass out gift certificates for non food items, movie tickets or something that does not add to the already out of control growing problem with nationwide obesity? I just don’t get it. When my employers rewarded with food, I didn’t feel appreciated, I felt like we were just a herd of cows that they continued to feed so we would keep churning out the milk and butter. I no longer work at that company – thankfully…

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scone • September 27, 2007 at 12:01 pm

This “reward employees with food” syndrome is a relatively new thing in the workplace, IMO. I suspect it coincides with wage stagnation– it’s easier to placate people with cheap food than to justify higher pay.

And “feeding the cows” behavior is spreading into public life as well. I was called in to jury duty recently, and the clerks (all obese) were laying out a huge spread of ‘treats.’ I was really insulted that they felt they had to bribe me to do my duty as a citizen. And since we could be hearing serious trials, including murder, it seemed extremely disrespectful to the occasion, to the victims, and even to the accused. No gravitas.

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Mia • September 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Good job, PQ. What a comparison! You’ve really changed your eating habits. I used to work in an office that had food 24/7. Once I determined I wasn’t going to give in, the food stopped bothering me. However, there are days when something sweet is almost irresistible, for whatever reason. Those are the days when I (and everyone around me) suffer! It seems like giving in is so much harder to get over than the actual temptation.

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Kim • September 27, 2007 at 1:25 pm

This comment is unrelated to this post, and probably all of your others.

You are adorable. The way you describe things, the jokes the comments, all of it, its absolutely adorable. And comfortable. I don’t know how else to explain it, what other word to use.

You are doing a fantastic job, both with the weight loss and the blog.

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Joe • September 27, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Hi PQ,

Been reading your blog for a while an i wanted to tell you that you have been an absolute inspiration. I am also 5 9, lost 150 pounds and am struggling with the last 15.

The main reason im writing in, is because you constantly mention that you drink Diet soda… Diet Soda has aspartame that can lead to serious poisoning… if you badly want a soda, ur better off drinking the sugar. Here’s the article that confirms it: http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/dangers.htm

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Janice Bridge • September 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Controlling your environment is a key element in either weight loss or weight maintenance. Congratulations PQ (although you said no congratulations were needed.)

Clearly your workplace, as many workplaces, may have a few problems. I sometimes compare food in the work environment to the sexual harassment elements of the ‘hostile work place’ of the 1960′s and 70′s (I know, PQ, you were in kindergarten). In many workplaces, nude pinups were in all bathrooms, sexually explicit jokes were the norm at the watercoolers, and bottom pats and boob squeezes were commonplace. Women who objected to any or all of such experiences were considered ‘prudes’ and ‘kill oys’. However, little by little, women were able to convince management that the posters, jokes, and pats, brought nothing positive to the working environment and were often counter productive.

As the United States becomes increasingly aware of the obesity epidemic, it is perhaps time for management in the work environment to explore how the ethos of their office supports or defeats healthy life choices. Management of companies in office buildings that provide showers and lockers discover that their employees participate in healthy physical activity (exercise) during the lunch breaks and/or bike or jog to and from work. Companies that remove the candy bar machines and put free fresh veggies and fruit in the break room discover a greater late afternoon productivity (when sugar crashes cause profound sleepiness.

I can hear the cries of “party pooper” – but I think it is an idea whose tme is coming

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mb • September 27, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I always wondered what caused the scary “green poo.” LOL

It is so hard to resist the temptations everywhere but you have obviously learned how to be in the same room with pie without given in to its siren calls. It is brutal that there are so many temptations not just at work but everywhere.

On Thursdays my office provides breakfast for us which includes warm delicious Finagle-a-Bagel bagels, pastries, muffins (just another name for cake), croissants and, thankfully, fruit. Every week I have to put the blinders on so I can get the fruit and get out before giving in to all the bad stuff. It isn’t easy. Of course, I have to keep the blinders on daily when walking around the office where there is a vast assortment of fattening, artery clogging treats.

I’m working on how to handle the food pushers and temptations everywhere. I know I have to do what will make me happy in the long run – avoid the temptations and eat well.

I know I sound like a broken record here but you are such an inspiration. Thanks for keeping us entertained. PQ rocks!

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Tracy • September 27, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Wow, i also do the 8-5 grind, and a HUGE help along my journey is that we have baskets in every break room full of a wide assortment of fruit, from persimmons to pears. Today there was even avocado. Ok we also have food fridays, but it’s all employee brought. Luckiy there is almost always some healthy varity as i find most people in my office appreciate the healthy stuff. That being said, i used to sit across from the kitchen, looking into it, and there were always some “bad” foods staring me in the eye. Those were the tough days, Now i am glad to be in the “basement” in a room full of people and no food to be seen, save my own lunch.

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Karen • September 27, 2007 at 4:06 pm

PQ,

I have had co-workers in the past that would do the same things to me and there was one that would say, you can’t have that can you OR I’m sorry, you can’t have that. I had to constantly remind myself (and then if I could do so tactfully) that weight loss (& maintenance) is about choices and if I did choose to have a piece of pie (or whatever the current temptation was) I could indeed partake. And of course, it was always within sight and smell. At least with my current employer I have the advantage of not having it within sight. I am a closet eater, however, and am more likely to slip if it is somewhere where no one will see me eat it instead of out in the open. I rarely binge when people are watching.

I love your blog and look forward to reading each new entry. Am looking forward to your book also. You are an inspiration.

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Erin • September 27, 2007 at 5:17 pm

drinking shamrock shakes will also turn your poo green.

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Erin • September 27, 2007 at 5:20 pm

At my last job they had breakfast and lunch catered in everyday(so you wouldn’t leave!) and if you worked late, they get you dinner too. Sure there was usually something somewhat healthy, but it usually sat next to the unhealthy delicious things on the buffet. No wonder I gained so much weight so fast!

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C-Shis • September 27, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Oh God! The corner piece of cake is the best thing in life. Too bad there are only 4 of them. Right on about realizing that just because it is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it or even that you want to eat it.

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sb • September 27, 2007 at 9:53 pm

In an effort to counter mis-information, I feel obliged to comment in response to Joe’s comment.

Aspartame has been proven safe by the FDA in at least two separate studies. Many of the claims in the link that Joe posted are misleading at best, and patently false at worst. So all of us “diet soda” drinkers shouldn’t fall prey to such scare tactics.

Don’t take my word for it, read the debunk here:

>http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp

Then feel free to have your diet soda. To me, that’s certainly better than the excess weight (and all of the PROVEN associated health problems) caused by drinking the calories in regular soda.

*Now getting off my soap box* ;-)

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anji • September 27, 2007 at 11:24 pm

You know what else is freaky? Even freakier than Green Poo? How about Red poo? Like, the kind you get about a day after eating pickled beets? And then you forget that you had eaten them and then you start to freak out because you think you are dying from excessive bloodless?

And then you remember suddenly, that you ate it the day before and that you can stop passing out ’cause you really aren’t dying? Oh yea, that’s the best feeling ever… the fear of dying and the happy realisation that you aren’t :D It’s like a second chance at life!

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anji • September 27, 2007 at 11:25 pm

I meant to write blood-loss, not bloodless though you would have less blood if you were experiencing blood-loss… k, enough about blood :P

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Chubby Chick • September 28, 2007 at 1:34 am

Yay for you for not eating any of the pie!

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Kyle • September 28, 2007 at 2:46 am

Mmm, Erin, I heart Shamrock shakes. I love those things. Too bad they don’t have them in this country.

This post got me thinking about my office days. When I was heavier I would always not eat the cake/donuts whatever, and tell people i was on a diet so they would at least think the fat girl was trying.

But, when I got skinny I’d go back for like 5ths and 6ths. It was like I was trying to show off the fact that I could now be part of the normal world who could eat seconds and not be judged…but I took it to an extreme.

Fortunately i never worked longer than three months at an office as a less heavy girl.

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Jane • September 28, 2007 at 5:16 am

I agree that the over abundance can be difficult but would like to point out one advantage. if you have the self discipline it can be looked on as a blessing in disguise: if you really want pie/cake/cookies, you can give in to the craving and take a small portion to enjoy, without the risk of being faced with either a whole pie/cake/box in the refrigerator at home, (or the decision to dump most of it in the trash) or being served a huge portion in a restaurant. You do have to learn how to stop at the one small portion though…

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K • September 28, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Well, my last workplace was the one that provided free fruit. They also had free coffee, and they changed it from Nescafé to fair-trade when we asked. I’ve never worked anywhere that provided free cake (etc) but I wonder how many workplaces which do that would provide healthy stuff as well / instead, if they perceived there was a demand for it.

After all, they’re only doing it to try to improve workplace morale, and if it’s not improving morale, it’s not working!

I will admit to bringing in homemade cake for my workmates sometimes, but only as an occasional thing and in reasonable amounts (and with homemade, you know what’s in it). I agree with Jane that it’s better than having a cake or box of chocolate biscuits in your house. But if I knew my co-workers were dieting I might bring something else.

But on the whole, if I take a cake to work, we can all have one piece and I can take one piece home for my husband: if I make the cake for just me and the chap, we’ll probably eventually eat more than two pieces each.

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Zentient • September 29, 2007 at 10:20 am

There’s the quality of food issue here, that confirms you really didn’t miss out by not eating a manufactured pie. A lot of processed stuff, white flour, hydrogenated fats, gooey stuff mixed with very few apples. Sticks to the roof of your mouth!

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Girl on a mission • September 30, 2007 at 11:19 am

Hahaha, green poo. Hilarious. I’m sure you’re not the only one that has suffered from that scary disease. I too, would be the one practically liking the icing from the cardboard tray. I’m the one sneaking two cupcakes at a birthday party as a child, and ten egg sandwiches too! Who taught us to eat like this and to think it was an acceptable thing? When, all along, we knew it was wrong! Why is it possible for our head to tell us we’re doing something bad, but, our mouth to tell us that its ok and to go ahead. Its about being in the moment, being in the present and being completely aware or your life and eating habits. You now have complete control and your results are a test to that! Good on you for not eating the pie. I still have one frozen in my freezer since Xmas….and I’m going to keep it there now as a reminder of your will power and hopefully a strength to keep going! You are an inspiration!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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