By Becka Wall

We’ve all been there. You get the much-awaited e-mail that cookies are in the office kitchen. You skip away from your desk, delighted and ready for a 3 p.m. sugar bump, when suddenly, just as you put a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie on your plate, you hear your co-workers talking –

Oooh no. I’ve been so bad today!
Cookies are so bad for you!
There’s no way I’m going to take a whole cookie. These are HUGE!
I’m not eating carbs.
Ug, I gave up sugar.
I can’t eat a cookie, I ate pizza for lunch…

You try to skip out of the kitchen with your cookie just as carefree as you skipped in; but you realize it happened – the anti-food chatter got to you. You pick off a piece and start nibbling, but the fun is gone. Instead of enjoying your treat, you’re staring at it longingly and telling yourself just a nibble is enough.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone in this disappointing cookie experience and that it’s time – time to reclaim the office kitchen and take what is rightfully yours: the ability to enjoy a snack without food shame.

Of course, it’s important to realize that food-shaming talk comes from our society’s messed-up relationship with food, and is more indicative about a person’s own insecurities rather than anything about you.

While all the anti-food chatter is remarkably annoying and bad for everyone involved; some people  may not realize they’re doing it – or they think that’s the normal narrative about food.
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Here are four ways you can try to remedy the situation and SHUT. IT. DOWN:

  • Remind your co-workers  that everyone deserves a treat.
  • Subtly (or not so subtly – your call) tell them to keep their issues to themselves.
  • Let them know you respect and support their new diet or health kick; but (respectfully) to shut the heck up about it.
  • Find an ally in the office who also loves free snacks (this shouldn’t be too hard) and always tell them when there’s treats in the kitchen. BONUS: this means not only do you have a partner in snacking, but a partner in talking while snacking. A winning combination.

Everyone deserves a treat every once in a while. You have the right to an office environment where you can eat whatever you damn well please without judgement or shame. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m in dire need of a cookie.