Monday, 26 September 2011

Letter to a co-worker

Dear co-worker

I have been working with you for a few months now and some things have come to my attention, which I may be able to help you with.

I gather (from our colleagues) that you have recently gained a lot of weight and I know that there are a number of pressures in your life. Your husband is ill, your mother has just been diagnosed with dementia and your son recently lost his job. You are working full time to keep the family going.

Since I started work here, I have observed that you eat non-stop from the time you arrive at work until you leave.

I know that it may sound presumptuous of me, but I do know what that’s like. I have been in places like that before. Sometimes I’m in that place myself, even after working with Beyond Chocolate for a couple of years. The difference between us, I suspect, is that I know when I’m over-eating and can choose to continue or stop, whereas you just eat – because it helps.

I acknowledge that eating helps. It helps in so many situations and in so many ways – but ultimately eating when we’re not hungry will cause us to put on weight. If we don’t know we’re doing it, we can’t choose whether to continue or stop. If we don’t know that we eat because we’re unhappy or frustrated or bored, we can’t decide whether that helps or not and we can’t decide whether we want to stop, or not.

I spent many years eating out of boredom, anger, fear, upset, and also because food was there, because it was a meal time, because someone offered me some food, because (I thought) I loved food and just wanted to eat lots of it. Over these years I attempted to counter-balance the eating with a range of diet and exercise plans, but I never looked at why I was over-eating in the first place. And, not one of the diets ever helped me to get to the bottom of my over-eating – all the diets were interested in was reducing my bottom ;)

What changed for me was the moment when I went on to amazon hoping against hope that there was a new diet out there, one that would work first time and forever ... and what amazon recommended for me was ‘Beyond Chocolate’, by Sophie and Audrey Boss.

I don’t hesitate to recommend it to you.

With warmest wishes


  1. Talk about hitting the nail on the head...

    Thank you Gretel! :)

  2. You're welcome! I do feel sorry for my co-worker - she's under seige from the Ladies-That-Diet and I have spent many years eating away emotions myself ...

  3. Offended co-worker3 October 2011 at 12:53

    Ooh! My first was reaction was 'How DARE you?' plus a few choice words telling you where to go! I think this is offensive, even though meant well, particularly the sentence "Since I started work here, I have observed that you eat non-stop from the time you arrive at work until you leave." Also, I think it is offensive that you have been gossiping about me to colleagues "I gather (from our colleagues) that you have recently gained a lot of weight"! How rude, Gretel! Sorry, but in my opinion, if you want to help, you don't write letters, you TALK to your co-worker. You build rapport and THEN you mention how you might be able to help. I really do not like this post, and would really recommend that this method of interaction is NOT used to promote BC.

  4. I am very sorry for any offence caused. I did, of course, fictionalise this - and I was attempting to vary my blog posts so it wasn't all 'me me me', but I can see that this could be offensive and I apologise unreservedly.


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