On the weekends, I usually stop by Panera/St Louis Bread Company for a few hours to get some concentrated work finished and enjoy a cup of coffee. Today while standing at the register, $1.87 in hand for my hazelnut coffee, I immediately felt my sweet tooth kick in. Why would this happen? Could it be because of the sign right under my nose saying “Would you like a cookie with that? Just $.99!”
Since when does it makes sense to just add a cookie to your meal? What about adding an apple, some almonds, raisins, something to truly ADD to your meal not ruin it? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cookies as much as the next person, but it’s obvious why we gain a few pounds here and there when food is constantly being thrown at us! The problem is that it's not just teenage cashiers forcing cookies down our throats, it's our co-workers, family and friends as well.
As a personal trainer, clients oftentimes ask how to resist the pressures imposed while eating out with co-workers or during in-office lunch meetings. They don’t want to be singled out as “the one” who refuses food or insists on bringing their lunch during meetings. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be “the one.” Yes, you may get teased, but when you commit to being healthy throughout the day, you are more guaranteed for success. The fact is that most people wake up with the intent to eat healthy, and by noon or mid-afternoon, when you’ve shattered your goal, you continue on this path the rest of the day. I’m sure you’ve heard yourself say, “I might as well have a fast food dinner… I already ruined my diet today anyway.”
Here are some tips to make your work place a little more healthy. Suggest scheduling meetings at 12:45, which gives you time for lunch before business. Tell your boss that this produces a more effective meeting and cuts back on costs. If you are forced into a lunch meeting, let the organizer know that you won’t need to place an order. Your boss will actually appreciate that she doesn’t have to pay for you. Or if you have lunch out, eat beforehand and order a warm cup of coffee or tea. If you must, tell your co-workers that you forgot about the meeting, ate early and are no longer hungry.
And what about the time you spend catching up with friends over drinks or lunch? Consider an alternative meeting place! Many of you live in sunny California or somewhere fantastic, but for those of us in the Midwest, there are only so many nice days left to enjoy the company of others, so take it outside! Meet your friend for a walk, a picnic in the park, doggy date, or go to the market!
So look around over the next few days, count how many times food tries to invade your plan to be healthy. "How rude!" Don't be persuaded by some plastic sign or societal pressures to add unnecessary food and calories to your diet. Stick to your commitment, and you’ll win the battle.