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Office Workers Spark Drama By Constantly Harassing Coworker To Join Their Weight Loss Competition

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Losing weight is tough. And for many, it’s totally private.

But some people appreciate sharing their weight loss journey with others. For these folks, a group mentality spurs motivation and accountability.

The choice to collaborate is not, however, a given.

The loaded dynamics of that choice were on full display in a recent Reddit post by the user known as cassiesfurcoat.

The Original Poster (OP) give a full play-by-play and consulted the feedback of the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The title of the post offered some context.

“AITA for telling coworkers extremely bluntly why I’m not participating in the office weight loss bet?”

OP‘s sarcasm was palpable. 

“Someone got the brilliant idea to make an office diet bet due to COVID gains, with people pooling in their money to see who can lose the most weight by Thanksgiving.”

“I am one of 7 people not participating. Lots of preggos, some bodybuilders, and people who maintained their weight who aren’t interested.”

A presumption kicked off the conflict.

“Since I’ve visibly gained, they thought I’d want to participate. I didn’t. Jen, in charge of everything, kept dropping by to remind me to turn in my form and my money.”

“I said ‘No thanks.’ Jen wouldn’t drop it.”

And the tide grew.

“Other people got involved, asking me why not all the time, it’ll be fun!”

“Don’t be scared, I’d ‘feel better’ and ‘look better’ (I told them no, I wouldn’t) and it’s a great way to bond, we’re all in it together, it’s like Weight Watchers!”

OP was forced to get firm. 

“‘I’m not interested,’ and then eventually, ‘I. Said. No. Drop it.’ They decided I wanted them to convince me.”

“Two weeks into the bet, they tried to trick on the scale to ‘shock’ me.”

“I contacted HR, people finally backed down.”

But then came more commentary. 

“I’m eating my food one day (rice and beans), people sitting with me start dropping hints that how they feel so much better now that they aren’t eating carby comfort food all the time.”

I said ‘I’m glad you feel better.'”

“They took this as a sign that I ‘knew’ I’d ‘feel better’ again and started up saying I could still join in.”

Enough was enough. 

“I finally f’king snapped and said ‘You guys suck. I’m a recovering anorexic’.”

“‘I get one whiff of competition and start starving myself for days and start puking up what I do eat until I’d have to get my third oral surgery to remove rotting teeth’.”

“‘Does that sound worth it to you?'”

“Chorus of ‘wow’ and ‘we were just joking’.”

“I said ‘No, you weren’t just joking. Congratulations, by the way’.”

“‘After you all wouldn’t stop, I weighed myself for the first time in seven years and didn’t eat for two days. Does that make you all feel good?'”

Responses were mixed. 

“None of them would look me in the eye, so I just went home for the day.”

“I got a call from the women in HR, who were shockingly supportive of me. One of the bodybuilder guys stepped up and said he’s witnessed a lot of the harassment and he doesn’t blame me for my outburst.”

“A few others did too.”

But it didn’t end there.

Another complication arose. 

“However, they had to cancel the diet bet (I didn’t ask them to) and people are blaming me.”

“Saying that I can’t take a joke, it wasn’t ‘that deep’ and the girls present said they no longer feel ‘safe’ working with me because I obviously have mental issues.”

“One of them made a big stink about ‘politically correct bullsh*t’ and how I’m the typical hypersensitive millennial.”

The whole ordeal left OP mulling things over. 

“I go back and forth on this all day, thinking I should have just swallowed my anger and gone back to HR or just stopped eating lunch in the office or whatever.”

“I didn’t mean to ruin anyone’s fun but I also feel justified in pushing back on their harassment.”


Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked for feedback by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Nearly everybody said OP was not the a**hole. And they voiced that conclusion with conviction.

“NTA . They suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.” — Xerkihz


“They took this public, not you. Your HR team handled this appropriately. I’m glad some of your coworkers are supporting you as well.” — josiebadcat

“NTA. Have any of these people ever met a human before? They were being unbelievably rude. Weight is touchy subject for a lot of people, it’s ridiculous that they kept pushing the matter.” — justwork-already

“NTA, your coworkers are ableist sh**s with no concept of boundaries, f*** them in the ear.” — NotTooSpecial

“NTA. What they did was nothing short of harassment. And just like true abusers, they’re now trying to blame you for their shi**y behavior.” — OKflyboy

Others focused on the fact that this all went down in the workplace. 

“You’re spot on, because what they are doing really is harassment – and that does not belong in the workplace.”


“And if they continue to give you grief in retaliation then you should continue to report – because the issue is not done.” — dennisthetiger

“NTA. Your co-workers were harassing you. No matter your reason for saving no, to a non-work related competition, they should’ve dropped it immediately.”

“Honestly, I’d let HR know about the comments being made, especially the women saying they don’t feel safe because you are recovering from an eating disorder.”

“That seems like it could easily skew into more harassment from them, based on how they’ve acted so far.” — Oxbridgecomma

“Holy harassment and hostile work environment, Batman.”

“NTA and just because they don’t like the consequences of their actions doesn’t mean the consequences weren’t well deserved. Take care, OP. We’re all cheering for you and your recovery. 💜” — theexitisontheleft

Others made sure to offer tender support for OP’s situation. 

“NTA and please remember for you that also means Not The Anorexic. That’s somebody you used to be, not who you are.”

“You’ve come too far to be dragged back to the past by clueless a**holes.” — Dszquphsbnt

“NTA. Not even close. People these days lack any form of empathy and were just trying to put you down to make themselves feel better.”

“I am so sorry you were pushed like that after struggling with anorexia. No one can fathom what another person might be going through/feeling, it’s terrifying.”

“You should have never been made to feel like this.” — boostlolita

“nta, been recovered from anorexia for close to six years (still struggle occasionally but no longer trapped) and it often takes a whisper to send you back into the hell of eating disorders.”

“you explained yourself so eloquently and clearly, I wish i had had your strength, courage and intelligence in similar situations. weight loss competitions are vile and i’m so happy HR backed you up!!”

“wishing you health and happiness x” — bbybambi

Unfortunately, it’s clear that the social dynamics of OP’s real life are not quite so supportive as their treatment on Reddit. 

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.