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    GORDON66   20,354
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The office and the waistline

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

With a little determination and forethought, one can make their home into a healthy lifestyle haven. Since my only housemates are my two cats, my grocery bags should be loaded with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, fat-free dairy, and Fancy Feast. The kitties are pickier than I am, so I have to be careful and buy the classic fish flavors. If my home becomes a landmine field filled with candy, cake, ice cream, and cookies, it's because I've been making some poor choices. Then there's the office...

I work for an insurance agency in downtown Chicago with a staff of 10 people. There are six women. Of the six, only one does not have any issues with her weight. To say the least, all the rest of us struggle. One of the women has two young daughters and seems to have frequent family gatherings. Since she doesn't want to have the left overs hanging around the house, she brings them into the office. Luckily, the guys in the office like treats and can be counted upon to make sizable dents in the goodies. That doesn't mean we ladies don't indulge in our share. I must confess to making inroads into the strawberry cheesecake that may have been an anniversary treat. Who can tell?

Another woman buys sweets to bring into work. She'll pile the candy dish high with assorted mini-chocolate bars, purchase expensive designer donuts, haul in a cake from a bakery near her home, and bring in Garrett's popcorn (one of Oprah's favorite things). Ironically or maybe not so ironically, she is diabetic and her blood pressure is not well controlled. She also told me she wishes she could lose 40 pounds. Unfortunately, wishing has nothing to do with weight loss.

The randomness of the stuff that ends up in the office is epic. If we order a large amount of office supplies, we get a box of cookies. Marketing reps are always showing up with food. One of my reps gushed about how much weight I had lost and then handed me a candy bar that was part of her company's marketing campaign. I gave it to the skinny guy in commercial lines. For some unknown reason, one of the carriers sends us brownies every month. The agency must have won a contest. In the insurance industry, volume = food.

Being bombarded with food at the office is not fun, and I do confess there are times I partake. All I can say is that I'm glad Girl Scout cookie season is over. Walking by Samoas takes every bit of self-restraint I can muster.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAVERICKDR 4/8/2014 1:23PM

    I was once the skinny guy in commercial lines. Almost all of my snacking problems occur between 9 and 5, Monday through Friday. I am happy to say that I have few if any snacks in my house, and when I do it's very well controlled. The workplace is where we spend so much time, and we deal with different people but the issues are the same. Some days I do better than others. This past Christmas season was exceptionally bad; the extra pounds were not a gift. I have shed most of the excess emoticon

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SIEGRID 4/8/2014 12:22PM

    Wow, and you work for an insurance company, you'd think folks would be a bit smarter. I gather it's not health related insurance or life insurance. I work in a grocery store and we mostly bring our own lunches. On the occasion someone brings in something to share but I have said no so often they don't bother with me anymore....I do live with my hubby who has no weight problems and no major health issues, so he can pretty much eat what he wants. So yes I buy chips and cakes and things and then condition myself not to touch. My dog is also eating 'diet dog food' and the treats are limited because she also gains weight easily. My cat is on a special diet because of crystals in the urine, and my horse, well I always have some treats for her, soft cookies and of course carrots!!!
Good luck with your workplace food fest!!!!

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BATCHICK 4/8/2014 10:39AM

    Our office is a total dumping ground for leftover goodies and treats people want to indulge in but don't want to keep at home. I try to steer clear but it can be very difficult. Right now my strategy is to track what I eat no matter what, and if I indulge too much one day I can try to make it up the next.

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MOJO0607 4/8/2014 10:24AM

    I used to work in a Call Center where we had 100+ employees, so you can just imagine the volumes of food that made their way into the Center...and onto the hips of many of the employees there. We also had vendors who thought the way to shmooze was to send us "goodies." For the vendors, we simply advised them we were unable to accept gifts of any kind. They were actually pretty appreciative that we asked them to stop sending the items. For the employees, we did a Biggest Loser Challenge in the office to spark healthier eating, exercise, and just health awareness to the team, and it was amazing how the food being brought in changed to fruit and veggie trays, or other healthy eating options. We even brought in two blenders for those who wanted to make smoothies instead of having sodas or trussed up coffees. Ultimately, the 34 people who partook in the challenge lost over 700 pounds and has managed to keep most of it off.
In the end, the people you are surrounded with affect your corporate culture, and if the corporate culture is one that uses food as a reward, it can be difficult to overcome. Just remember your focus on being a healthier you, and maybe through your actions you will be able to inspire others to also join in.

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MOJO0607 4/8/2014 10:20AM

    I used to work in a Call Center where we had 100+ employees, so you can just imagine the volumes of food that made their way into the Center...and onto the hips of many of the employees there. We also had vendors who thought the way to shmooze was to send us "goodies." For the vendors, we simply advised them we were unable to accept gifts of any kind. They were actually pretty appreciative that we asked them to stop sending the items. For the employees, we did a Biggest Loser Challenge in the office to spark healthier eating, exercise, and just health awareness to the team, and it was amazing how the food being brought in changed to fruit and veggie trays, or other healthy eating options. We even brought in two blenders for those who wanted to make smoothies instead of having sodas or trussed up coffees. Ultimately, the 34 people who partook in the challenge lost over 700 pounds and has managed to keep most of it off.

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