A Call To Action: To All Those Who Possess The Office Candy Dish.
Can we please, once and for all, ditch the office candy dish?
In my practice, I hear this all the time, “I eat so well, it’s just the candy dish at work… I can see it from my desk, and I have no willpower!”
Consider this a request to all readers who holdeth the Official Office Candy Dish: halt and desist. You, my kind friends, have become enablers. I know, you get to be the bearer of sugary love, and entertain, if only for one brief moment, each coworker who is lured to your desk by the promise of sweet relief from the monotony of the day.
I know. You are the siren of promise that instant joy is just one Hershey’s Kiss away. There is something so wonderful about being needed, isn’t there?
Maybe you feel you can’t stop. That you are the sole purveyor of candy, that you are the relied-upon, the venerated. Perhaps you’ve spent years honing your skill of perfect balance between creamy chocolate, hard candies and chewy fruities. You know that peanut M&Ms are preferred to original.
You know no one will reach for the mini Tootsie Roll unless it’s the only one left. But it never is, because you have backstock. And if there is one thing your coworkers can count on you for, other than doing your job, it’s filling that candy dish and keeping it full.
Maybe you sometimes secretly wish it were gone. Maybe, like the others, you have no defense against the power of sweet, sometimes chocolatey sometimes fruity-tangy goodness. Maybe your waist size has grown, and you are all too aware that you must stop the distracted consumption. But how?
This is your department, this is what people depend on you for, and you can’t let them down. You’re stuck.
I understand. I feel you. I feel the struggle, and I’m here to say there is an answer, and it’s really, really easy. You are two simple steps away from freedom.
Freedom from the confines of the succubus bowl of cravings and cellulite, and the shackles of dependency to the dish.
Step 1: Throw the candy out. Do it now, don’t wait till it’s gone. Dump that sh*t. Don’t save a few that so and so might want, don’t send a group email to your coworkers about the impending life-shattering change only you know your office is on the precipice of. Just do it, or like in life, you’ll find 100 reasons not to.
Step 2: Refill it with actual food, with a single ingredient whole food that our bodies can digest and assimilate because it’s not made from 90% synthetic ingredients. Think apples, oranges, bananas, almonds, pistachios, you get the picture — real food. Or nothing.
Or you could completely untether yourself from your role as the Steward of Snacks and ditch the bowl altogether.
You might also want to include a note, especially if you go from candy dish overfloweth to barren landscape of actually relevant desk accouterments.
There will be lots of questions, and to avoid being a broken record, write something simple like this: “Hi, y’all. I know you came by looking for the sweet sugary stuff, but surprise! It’s not here! Have a super day!”
Or you could be a little more empathetic, and say something about how you actually care for the health and well-being of your office-mates, and will now be offering only foods that support their bodies and have actual nutritive value. Because… 2016. We know better, we all do.
There is a third step, but this is only necessary if you get serious resistance. This will likely happen with a few coworkers, depending on the size of your organization, and your geography relative to warmth and sunshine (gloomy Pacific Northwest, beware).
If and when someone comes by to subtly let you know their disappointment via a snide remark, you really only have one option: raise that middle finger.
It’s likely that this a-hole is someone you’ve already compiled a list of reasons to hate, and now is your chance, with this compellingly compassionate act of welfare, to let them know your true feelings.
The truth is, most people will resist on some level. But that’s what people do: they resist change, even when it’s good. Soon the resistance will fade out, and quietly transition to gratitude. Soon, you will become a reminder of health and genuine interest in the well-being of your office staff.
You might even get a few Thank You notes, you might have people linger longer by your desk to pop trail-mix and talk about the pounds they’ve lost since giving up the mid-day candy-binging.
Most importantly though, you can feel good about having made a choice for yourself and others that you can stand behind — you’ve single-handedly replaced the War of Willpower your office-mates faced, with a reminder that there is always another alternative.
Now you can know that you are helping in one small but profound way to fight the growing epidemic of pre-diabetes and obesity (more than 2/3 of Americans are considered overweight or obese).
Now you can be that beautiful beacon of change and possibility, showing that there is a better way.
Now you can forge, one Granny Smith at a time, a path towards liberation, showing that choice is really as simple as the convenience of what you have around you.
Now, get back to work.
Scarlet Garn is a clinical nutritionist and wellness coach. She believes in the edge of things, and that life is found most vibrantly here if we have the moxie to inhabit this thin line of land between the known and unknown. She writes to know, and ultimately fall in love with, life more fully. She hopes that it will serve as a synapse between others and their own true selves. After all, we are all in this together.