I own a restaurant and a lot of my employees are grossly unhealthy. I have recently lost 50 pounds thanks to eating Paleo, metcons, and lifting. Every time people I work with see my success, they want in on it. I am delighted to share info and even prepare some meals for them, but when I come into work and my food is being consumed, and then three hours later the culprits are hogging down French fries and pizza, and glaring at me like they know I will disapprove, I get upset. I don't expect people to do what I do, but why fake it? It's a waste of time and money. What do I do?
If I understand you right, it sounds like you're voluntarily making paleo meals for these people because they show an interest, and then they don't stick with it. That's generous of you, and it makes sense to do that for someone once. But if you see them eating junk later, and the next day they're hitting you up for some paleo cooking again, you need to remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Hand them some recipes, or some URLs to paleo recipe sites, and point out that if they're serious about it, they're going to have to learn to do it themselves. If they work in a restaurant, surely they can cook steak and eggs or bake a potato?
My situation isn't that bad, but I recently bought a small Catholic book/gift store, and there are some people who volunteer there a few hours a week. The previous owner provided snacks for the volunteers, so I've continued that practice, but the snacks were always things like soda, chips, candy, crackers, etc. The healthiest thing on the shelf was probably the peanut butter. And yet this cheap junk food is a significant cost to the business.
Now that I'm bringing in food for myself (to keep me from being tempted by the junk), different things are showing up on the shelf and in the fridge (next to the junk), like sardines, pork rinds, deli meat, boiled eggs, cheese, and lettuce. I haven't told them not to eat my stuff; but I haven't made a point of saying, "Hey, feel free to indulge in sardines," either, because if they did it would multiply the snack budget substantially. And it's not like I'd be doing anything for their health if they eat SAD all week and then have a can of sardines on me for a single meal. So I've just kept my mouth shut, and hoped that they're continuing to eat the chips and candy because they prefer that to sardines, and not because they think there are two tiers of snacks -- one for management and one for them. If they do start eating my stuff, I'll just hope it does them some good, and maybe it'll turn into a positive conversation at some point.
If they're literally stealing your food I'd be locking the fridge.
If you are displacing some bad food in their diet, then you've made them healthier. A good thing. One more order of bacon and eggs is one less bowl of frosted flakes.
It sounds like your employees are just digging on the free meals without any real interest in changing their diet. It is noble of you to try to improve their diets, but this is probably not the way to do it. I think you also need to set clear expectations about how much / what food you are going to provide to them. Some restaurant workers expect free food of some kind, like a meal to start or finish their shift (which is also a way for them to become more familiar with the menu), but I think that giving them free run of the place is unusually generous.
isn't eating 20/80 better than eating 0/100?
trying to control what other's eat is a bigger waste of time and emotion than the waste of good food in a predominantly poor diet. most parents learn this truth as their babies become teens and begin to take control of what goes into their mouths.
Everybody wants in on the fruits of success but few want to do what it takes. That's why states sell lottery tickets and BMW sells economy vehicles you can finance the yourself into a hole for.
They're not faking anything, unless eating free food and indulging gastronomic curiosity is fake. Even while I was losing weight and getting healthy on a paleo diet, I still had naysayers telling me I was over-thinking it. I still had naysayers telling me I was taking extremes when I came back from the doctor and told them I was no longer pre-diabetic and didn't need medication anymore or giving away unopened bottles of Pro-Activ because I didn't have acne anymore.
How do you avoid frustration? Stop sharing. Do your thing with horse-blinders on. Obviously your employees are capable of feeding themselves and now they know at least something about how the paleo lifestyle works. You're not their parent, and even though the employer/employee relationship can sometimes mimic the tension between adolescent children and their parents, don't give in by reacting to their defiant stares.
You know it's a waste of money to cook special meals for them, so stop wasting money on them. Simple.
Sounds like you want success for them more than they want that success.
Once you've shared information and maybe a few snacks, I think your job as a paleo ambassador is done. I'm with those who think you should stop providing paleo food for those employees: if they want to eat paleo food, they can make some effort and make it themselves.
I work as a trainee in a restaurant. I never eat there anything except some reindeer stew or good fish. There is always leftover cakes around which they almost seem to want us to eat and i hate that. We have to pay for staff meal, but for reindeer etc its a good deal. I rarely eat anything there. I bring my own paleo foods with me :)
I wish i could train in a place that served foods that i believe in. Not some non-food ;)
My take is it's clear they love the free and delicious paleo food that you're making, but they don't care about adopting the diet. You feel great, have lost weight, and hope to spread the word, which we all want to do to some extent. Move on and spend your energy elsewhere, though; people have to want to help themselves first and it can't be forced no matter how clear your evidence may be. They clearly have no interest in anything but free food. As for keeping your food safe, can you make it clear that it's off limits? Is there a place you can store it out of their reach?