“My job is making me fat!”
Have you ever thought that work was a major culprit of the scale going the opposite direction than you’d like it to? Perhaps it’s all the sitting you do, or the cubicle friend who is always ordering in food (the good stuff, like pizza) or the stress of your job description, but the scale number is reflecting. I’m guessing the majority of us do not have the ability to leave our job to solely focus on diet and exercise, so we have to make adjustments and be creative. (But, If you don’t hear from me for a few weeks, assume I’ve been granted time off to ONLY focus on my fitness and nutrition, LOL!)
If you have a desk job, it can be especially difficult to get your exercise and steps in for the day. One thing that I suggest is to pick a time each hour to walk for a few minutes. My office is located in a long hallway, and I will do 1-2 laps at least once an hour. This not only wakes me up, but it helps me get my steps in for the day. If walking isn’t your thing, pick an exercise that you can do a few times during the day, or once an hour. This could be squats, lunges, wall pushups, leg lifts or marching in place—anything to engage your muscles and get the blood flowing.
Here at Fort HealthCare, we have a gym that is accessible to all employees after patient care is done for the day (typically after 2:30 p.m. all the way until 6:30 a.m. the next day) - in our Cardio-Pulmonary Rehab department. This gym also happens to be accessible to the public, after signing up for a nominal membership and seeing the space during a brief orientation. For more information about that, contact our staff there at (920) 568-5349. Also, I have "walking" penciled in daily from 12-12:30 in my Outlook calendar, and I treat this as an immovable appointment. In nice weather, I plan to get outside for part of my lunch to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Even taking a few minutes to step away from the office is major refresher to power me through the rest of my day.
Another option is to park a little further away than normal in the morning, or even walk or bike to work. It's one easy way to get those extra steps in before and after work, and to get the heart pumping a few times during the day.
Perhaps your place of employment offers fitness classes on site during the day that you can utilize before work, during lunch or after work that will offer an easy transition for you to get your exercise. Or maybe you have flexible enough hours where you can get away and join a class. We offer a multitude of classes at all hours of the day—it’s just a matter of signing up and packing your gear in the morning. If classes aren’t available, wrangle up some coworkers, your boss, company clients or the CEO and get together to walk for a few minutes at lunch or find a fun Youtube workout video to crank out at a time that works for everyone.
If you have a department or workplace that is notorious for having the ‘naughty’ foods out (think doughnuts, candy bowls, cake, etc.), make a plan to combat the temptation. Pack a healthy lunch, and avoid the "dangerous" area that has the food bombs. If you have a candy bowl staring at you during the day or within arm’s reach—move it! Sometimes the simple task of removing it from your sight makes it easier to avoid all together. Another trick I do is chew gum at potlucks, or when we have treats in the area. I will also have a big glass of water with me so I don’t feel like I need to hold a plate or hold food and be tempted to snack. Small portions are ok if you absolutely cannot resist, or sharing a dessert (honestly, I’m not sure who would but I’m throwing it out there) with a coworker keeps you both in check.
Last but not least—the STRESS component. Every job has its own stressors, and you have to find what works for you for combating this. This may be breathing techniques, closing your eyes, talking a walk, reading after work, taking a bubble bath or taking a yoga class—whatever works for you, but stress, when left unchecked, can cause detrimental body damage. It’s easy to resort to food when you’re stressed, but that will only cause a vicious cycle of weight gain and potentially more stress. Exercise is always my go-to with stress, but I can’t go for a run when things aren’t going well at work, so I have adopted my own stress-release techniques. Find what works for YOU.
Until next time!