There is quite the interesting discussion going on in the comment section of yesterday's Wordless Wednesday post.
At first I thought I had a heckler that was calling me out on being a hypocrite when I saw this comment posted by "anonymous"
"Curious as to why you chose cookies to provide your staff when you've stated how awful it was to have those 'bad foods & temptations' around."
Here was my response:
"@anonymous - the honest answer to why I chose cookies was because I thought that's what he would like. However, I see your point and the next time I'm in that situation I will offer a healthier option as well. Also, I don't believe I ever said it was awful to have those foods around. Everyone has the right to decide what they will and won't put in their body. My point was that I choose not to eat it."
Well it turns out "anonymous" was actually my sister-in-law Kim who hadn't realized she wasn't logged in when she posted the comment.
I was glad it was her since I was starting to get a complex about it and I was glad she followed up with some additional questions. My favorite Liz also added her input as well. I encourage you to check out the conversation and meet me back here so we can discuss.
My initial reaction was that in yesterday's situation of the spontaneous office send off "treat" was that I should have had a healthier option in addition to the cookies. I could have stopped by the grocery and picked up a small fruit tray for instance.
But then as I read Kim's response I started to think maybe that wasn't good enough. Kim used the example that her friend, who's a nutritionist, would not buy Kim her favorite candy as a treat. Kim said:
"She (the nutritionist) wouldn't provide something bad for me since she cared about me and that she'd be a hypocrite if she purchased something that she did not believe you should eat since she is a paid employee in the health care field."
That's a very unique case - she's a nutritionist - I get that she wouldn't do that. Do dentists hand out candy at Halloween probably not. But what about when we put ourselves in this scenario?
Another example would be if I was having a grown-up party at my house where I knew a guest was an alcoholic or recovering alcoholic would I not serve alcohol for that reason? I think I would still serve the alcohol and be hopeful that the adult was responsible enough to make the right decisions for them. Now, if I saw them drinking I would probably talk to them about it because then it would be a problem or if they drank too much I would take away their keys. Is it the same thing with food?
My husband Jim's response when I was talking to him about it over the phone was that the thing about the Weight Watchers program we're on is that IF I had wanted that cookie I could have worked it into my program. That leads me back up to Kim's statement - she said "something bad for me" when referring to the candy. Is candy something that will always be considered bad?
Ok, I need to stay on point here.
Kim's question was:
"I am wondering if we are making these changes for life, should we be adopting them in all aspects and leading by example or should we be giving people what they want?"
My question is can I lead by example by providing the cookies and choosing not to eat them or am I doing a disservice to everyone by providing them in the first place?
Side note - I've seen the looks on peoples faces at work when a fruit tray is brought in for a birthday treat instead of donuts. There are looks of disappointment. I didn't want to be the one that was the reason they were disappointed.
There were several staff who did not eat the cookies yesterday. Had I disappointed them that I hadn't provided them with a healthier option.
I hadn't even thought about one poor staff person who is allergic to everything and couldn't even eat the cookies had she wanted too. I'm sure that happens to her all the time.
Kim and I both loved Liz's explanation on this debate. Here's what she wrote:
"I have a view of my wellness that is similar to my view of religion (stick with me here). I will not push my religious beliefs on you, nor would I expect you to push them on me. But I will share them with you and would like to hear yours as well. Likewise, I have a lifestyle in which I choose to eat a certain way. It is not my business to push that lifestyle onto anyone else. Certainly if someone is on their own journey, I will support them. Or if someone wants to talk about it with me, I will engage. But I'm not going to force them to have the discussion or make the change. Those desires have to come from within. "
Kim's follow-up question was:
"I agree that everyone is responsible to make their own choices, but can't this argument be seen in the reverse as well...instead of I provided cookies and you can choose not to eat them you could say, I provided a healthy treat and you can choose not to eat it? Thought, thoughts thought?"
So that's were I'm leaving it. With Kim's last question. What do you think everyone? Would love to hear all your great feedback in the comments below.
I'm running late for Zumba so I need to jet, but if I have any additional thoughts I'll post them in the comments below.