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There is one thing standing in the way of me achieving all my health and fitness goals. It is not ice cream or deep fried appetizers. It is not my busy schedule, or my lack of motivation, or my desire to sleep in instead of working out. Though those things do indeed challenge me, this is one temptation I give into way more than I resist.
And that weakness is the food at work.
Every Monday morning, my work provides breakfast in the form of pastries, bagels, or burritos. Every other Thursday, they provide pizza and beer at the end of the day. And all the days in between, there are leftovers from lunch meetings, treats and baked goods from birthdays, and freshly popped buttery, salty, delicious popcorn from our in-house popcorn machine. Plus, every couple of days, an ice cream or cupcake food truck swings by our office, usually perfectly timed around 3 p.m.
Pretty much everyone I work with loves this constant stream of goodies. Who wouldn’t? Well, for someone trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s not the greatest work perk. Because no matter where I turn, there’s another snack or treat that’s begging to be eaten and throw me off track.
I try to remind myself that this food is not really free for the taking. I’ll be paying for this later, because the more garbage I eat, the worse I will feel both mentally and physically. I’ll feel guilty for my self-control failing me once again, and my workout later that day or the next will probably suffer because I chose pepperoni pizza over veggies.
So what do I do? I try my best to not even let myself be tempted. Out of sight, out of mind, right? So I try to completely avoid the breakfast table for a couple hours every Monday morning when it gets delivered. By the time I sneak down later, just to see what’s left, the pickings are usually slim. And instead of stopping by for just one teeny corner piece of pizza, I try to head straight to the gym and pretend like the pizza is not even there. I also try to keep my desk stockpiled with healthy snacks so that when something sugary or cheesy suddenly presents itself, I can reach for a banana or a handful of nuts. I will admit that try is a good, positive word, but I probably only succeed half the time.
It’s frustrating because a lot of these foods are things I really love. But I want to chose to enjoy these treats in moderation, not pig out on them just because they are up for grabs. So I’m always working on it. I do think that the more than I am able to resist these temptations, the stronger my willpower will become.
Every day is a new challenge. You never know what the goodies there’ll be today. Cake balls? Homemade brownies? Hot dogs? It could be anything. So I’ll just have to hope my bag of baby carrots are enough defense to keep my willpower strong!
Betsy Mikel | betsymikel.com
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