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Apr 13 2005

The “Hansel and Gretel” Conspiracy

These days most companies place a high value on the health and well-being of their employees. This is especially true in Sweden, where a health club membership or participation in sports leagues is often paid for by your employer. But after six months of working at my present job, I’m convinced that my boss is trying to fatten me up! (Or perhaps more accurately, “fatten me further.”)

Initially I blamed the cafeteria food. We are served very hearty meals of traditional Swedish fare (with salad and bread) for lunch, which as it turns out is the *main* meal of the day for nearly all Swedes except Dr. Darling…who insists that we have a big meat and potatos-type repast for dinner. (Which is actually okay with me because my personal preference has always been to eat a fairly “lite” lunch and then have a substantial meal in the evening.) But the combination of a big lunch at the office and a big dinner at home quickly resulted in 5 extra lbs. that I have been trying to get rid of for the last six weeks.

My strategy for accomplishing this was to limit my lunch to the salad bar and increase my activity. This was a very fine plan except that it did not factor in the regular Friday fikas, Easter, colleagues’ birthdays, new babies, retirement celebrations, and the endless round of formal meetings (which always include food) I’ve been a part of for the last couple weeks.

So today I even abandoned the salad bar in favor of an apple and a Wasa Sandwich, which is basically two pieces of Swedish crisp-bread with some fake cheese in between them. That was my lunch. And by fika time I was naturally quite hungry but also simultaneously pleased with that fact. And then my boss shows up in my office with a chocolate ball (a common Swedish treat) for fika.

I didn’t know whether to punch her or hug her.

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Feed my ego!

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