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Too Much Work Can Pack On the Pounds

Overtime May Add More to Your Waistline than Your Wallet

63 Comments



  • CHEVYBLAZER
    being a cook/baker and working 19.5 hours a day the pay was great but after 2 years i started to realize i was gaining 100 pounds a year and if i didnt do something to stop the gain i would be 400 pounds by this time next year.i noticed that i was eattting all the time a cookie here a pastrie there and it was all high fat high calerie food.this site has been great i have stopped gaining by just knowng how many caleries are in the things i put in my mouth so far im losing 10 pounds a month and the best part is my back has stopped aching all the time - 5/29/2009 9:09:29 PM
  • EYESONDAPRIZE
    Love EATTOOMUCH11's story--very inspiring! Since the route for my work is along major roads I wouldn't feel safe bicycling but I'm sure there are other ways to incorporate exercise and nature appreciation. I do keep a CD of bird songs and calls at work! 25 lbs gone on the way to 40. - 5/29/2009 5:52:14 PM
  • I hate to be negative here, but this is just one of many lies that I told myself for years. Working overtime and having a stressful job and life didn't MAKE me obese. Eating too much and not exercising are the things that made me obese. I was in control of those things. Stress didn't FORCE me to do bad things for my health. I lost weight when I lost the excuses and did what needed to be done. I still work lots of overtime. I still have a stressful life that's packed with too many things to do, but I CHOOSE each day to keep my focus on good health. - 5/29/2009 2:03:34 PM
  • HIPCHICK525600
    This article fits me to a tee! I think I said yes to every question :( I feel like I'm exhausted even on the weekends! Losing the weight and sticking to an exercise and eating plan is hard enough without your job making it impossible.

    I've just started leaving at five whether my work is done or not. I'm at that point where I think, "This job has sucked my soul dry for three years and I'm not going to take it anymore!" If the work doesn't get done, they're going to have to hire more people. It's taken me three years to realize that I need to put me first, becuase my employer never will. They talk a good game about work-life balance, but it never seems to come into practice. - 5/29/2009 11:44:27 AM
  • Thank you..I live off exhaustion...multi tasking is my middle name not rushed but always doing something...for myself or others. doing doing doing...I cannot sleep unless I am really tired...something to look into. - 5/29/2009 11:11:15 AM
  • HADEER
    This is exactly how my new job is i don't eat much actually but i am gaining weight, i am so unhappy and starting now to resort to comfort food. I am always sleepy, tired and stressed out!!

    I can't enjoy the things i used to...the only thing i enjoy is sleeping and driving home from work!! - 5/29/2009 10:40:37 AM
  • I work two jobs and cook for my elderly parents, and my biggest obstacle is finding the time to exercise. The college where I work has opened a wellness center, and I am going to try to work out before I go to my second job. It's just so hard right now; I am constantly stressed over my parents and exhausted from work. - 5/29/2009 8:40:21 AM
  • It is true that working long hours leaves you exhausted. And having a family at home that also has some demands and expectations. I find it difficult to leave home after dinner and take "time away from family" - I am much too exhausted and I also feel guilty.
    Now a month ago I bought a good and wellfunctioning bike, the right clothes for wind and rain. Told my daughter who is studying for her final examen, that she could count on having the car all summer, during day and evening.
    In rush hour I have 70 minutes to work, out of rush hour I have around 35 minutes in car.
    That gives transport time in the range between 70 - 140 minutes.
    Now I go on bike - that takes 110 minutes each way. That is 220 per day .
    220 minus 140 is a little over an hour. So by investing only that hour I get 3.5 hours exercize equals to around 1800 calories burned each day.

    What is interesting here is, that it is obvious that I cannot do the shopping on bike - so that goes to the weekend, and saves gas. Everybody (my self included) somehow seem to accept transport time better than taking time out for exersize - which means that family has concluded that I have become much less "selffocused" and are "stealing" less time from family compared to when going exersizing. Actually it is almost the same, going to a gym, change clothes and go home again wil take an hour or longer. BUT instead of one hour exersize, I get 3.5!
    I have important businessmeetings at high levels, which demands different clothes when arriving at work. I shower at work and redress. I have a bunch of clothes at work in a closet some for hot weather and some for colder, so I can dress accordingly to expectations and customers. I have hairdryer, makeup etc there as well.
    Once every 14 days - when in that part of town for other reasons (for example powershopping for groceries and food for family) - I bring new piles of stuff to work that I find too bulky to have on bike. Extra T-shirts and panties is no problem, but ironed jackets etc is a challenge to transport on bike.
    My husband asked why I had changed preferred supermarket - and I told that I found they had better savings and offers.......... - the truth is that it was close to work and therefore easy to drop of piles of clothes.

    Now the only challenge here is getting from the bike to the office, get hold of clothes and get to shower before too many of your employees sees you in a condition you might not want to be recognized in. But wearing a pair of sunglasses is enough. Most of them does not even recognize me in that outfit, as it is so far away from what they expect to see, that they do not even combine the two pictures. I know that cannot go on forever - but anyway - this thing works for me. I am lucky that I do have a route where it is safe to bike - but honestly I have lived in my house for 19 years and I had NO clue that there 80 meter beside the highway actually was a bike path all the way parallel to the highway.

    So what is the conclusion?
    - Overall time saved as workout after work is difficult to do in less than one hour.
    - 3.5 hours of exersize per day.
    - 1800 calories burned per day.
    - Body shape is changing fast now.
    - Pretty efficient when starting the days work - somehow all that cardio does something for the brain.
    - Eating patterns has changed, body craves heavier fiberrich food and less of the wrong stuff.
    - Brain flushed for thoughts before arriving at home.
    - Less work stuff is roaming around in the head and keeping me from becoming sleepy. Yes I was exhausted before - but that did not make me fall to sleep. I was just zombiing in front of the TV - and using snacks to fill the void.
    - Now my body is tired as hell, I go to bed 2-3 hours earlier, which prevents me from eating anything after dinner - I am terrific at multitasking and has developed that skill during a lifetime - but eating while sleeping I have still not learned to master.
    - I get 2-3 more hours of sleep each night - because now I can fall asleep and I wake up refreshed and ........... sore in the body as hell - but it seems as 14 days is the peak.
    - I am selling my bike now - and buying a new one - a professional racing bike, and will tell family that unless it is icy and snowstorm - shopping will now continue to happen in the weekends.

    - and yes - sleeping might not be considered being with the family - but at least they know where you are - and my hope is that I in due time will be a little less tired. And zombiing in front of the TV - is that actually creating value time?

    Did you know how intense the feeling of being alive is - when you bike in rainy weather? As long as you have the right clothes and an ability to change at arrival.
    It is wonderful!
    Did you know how different you suddenly feel when passing blooming trees, hearing the birds singing and even passing a bakery and discovering that although you enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread there is no craving as you naturally ate some of the right stuff before going on your bike?
    Do you know? Did you know? Have you forgotten how you felt when you were a kid and had used your body all day - and went to bed, filled with a healthy wornout feeling and not feeling guilty about it?


    - 5/29/2009 8:20:34 AM
  • Thank you for this article. I only wish I'd had it 10 years ago, when I entered the workforce in an overly demanding job and put my career before my physical well-being. It's taken me a long time to figure out how to set reasonable limits on my job, and to realize that burnout is the inevitable outcome. Not to mention the weight I gained, and am finally (10 years later) working to take off! - 5/29/2009 8:08:01 AM
  • Lately I have become increasingly miserable at work. My boss has become erratic and more demanding. She has always snapped, etc but when she vents about someone to me she makes it personal towards me holding me accountable for the actions of others - something I have no control over. There's no talking to her or reasoning with her because she does not listen and refuses to believe that she could ever be in the wrong. So my stress levels are now off the charts. Yesterday I caught myself stress snacking on my glucose tablets. I am looking for another job because I cannot work in this environment.

    Another thing, she resents my weight loss in this really passive/aggressive way. - 5/29/2009 7:55:18 AM
  • This is me! I know my job adds to my weight issue. I work too many hours. After tracking my exercise in the Fitness Tracker, I noticed that weekends and vacation days spike! - 5/29/2009 7:22:26 AM
  • This USED to be me - I worked for Head Start for 5 years - a PreK type program that was federally funded which meant TONS of paperwork - with NO time to do it. My staff were always calling in so we always had substitutes - most of us know how kids behave with a sub in the classroom. I was spending every waking moment doing work, either bringing papers home, staying late, or worrying about my job. When I asked to actually get paid for some of the extra time I was working I was told it wasn't "in the budget" but if the work wasn't done, I would be written up and put on probation. That was a year and a half ago - I found a new job 2 months later and put in my notice and have not looked back. My new job has it's own stressors, but I only work 8:30-4 M-F and if staff do call in - I can work a few extra hours AND get paid for them to get work done. I am a much easier person to work with and to live with now! I'm not always stressed out and exhausted. I actually have time to spend with my family and I enjoy that time because I am actually WITH them - I'm not thinking about Work!! :-) Leaving my job was one of the best decisions I have ever made!! - 5/29/2009 7:15:14 AM
  • This is me! I work long hours at odd times and find it hard to schedule meals or cooking. Family commitments mean I often eat meals cooked for me and have little input about the content. Add slumping in front of telly with a bag of sweeties or pie and chips and you have my profile

    So what do we do about it? We can't all change jobs or abandon the family! - 5/29/2009 6:17:26 AM
  • BUSHNELLSK
    I too work in education and spend alot of time sititng. My only exercise during the day is walking around the school building. I have meetings almost every day after school. Then I go home, while my husband goes to work and I make dinner and spend time with my daughter. Last summer I exercised everyday and ate healthy and lost 14 pounds, but during the school year I stay the same or gain. - 2/5/2009 8:03:32 PM
  • Erratic work/life schedules do have the potential to wreak havoc on eating. I keep healthy foods in my duffle bag so I always can eat good things. I keep a variety of things at all times, such as baggies of grapes, carrots, or celery; granola bars; bananas; peanuts; apple or pears; whole wheat crackers; or other similarly healthy snacks. If I didnít, Iíd always have trouble eating healthy things. I know the problem is further exacerbated when people work a crazy schedule and they also have to contend with going to school too. Leaving home at 6 am and not returning home until 10 pm or later. That can kill a diet. - 12/1/2008 10:01:42 AM

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