The Workplace Dilemma
Lunch should just be a meal in the middle of the day that provides us nourishment and keep us energized for the rest of the day. Depending on your work environment, lunch can often be a metabolism smouldering, blood-sugar spiking, nap time at your desk taking, artery clogging, muffin top materializing, pants unbuttoning, chicken parm you taste so good, bad decision.
Workplace war zone
The workplace is like a war zone when you are trying to eat well and live healthy. You walk in the front door and wonder if Big Sal is going to keep his consecutive streak of showing up with donuts going. Yep, he did! Then there are the candy bowls that are like IED’s (improvised explosive devices) for your diet. Oh, what’s that? It’s someone’s birthday again. Woopty-doo! Let’s go and celebrate another grown ass man’s 46th birthday with sweets. I haven’t even got to the worst culprit of all – Lunch!
The Drawer of menus
The drawer has all the usual suspects: Italian, Chinese, subs, burritos, barbecue and various restaurants. Everyday the drawer gets opened and someone places the call for pick-up or delivery. The only person safe is the one, who from day one, as always brought their own lunch. The person that has it the toughest is the one trying to make a change. When you try to break out of the lunch group, you’ll get ridiculed, teased and made to feel like an outsider. It’s the crabs in a bucket syndrome.
Crabs in a Bucket Syndrome – When a bunch of crabs are placed in a bucket, none of them will get out. As one crab tries to climb out of the bucket another crab will reach up and pull them back down.
How to succeed at eating healthy at work when no one else cares
Step 1 – Realize that nobody cares
Your health and fitness is your own personal responsibility. Your co-workers (who do not care about making a change) will hate the fact that you are trying. Your success will make them even more angry. Don’t take it personal. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
Step 2 – Partner up with the coworker who has already been making the choices you want to make
You need an ally because success is a team sport. More importantly, this person can be a mentor or someone to lean on for advice and accountability. This person may not exist in your workplace. I’m sure someone else wants to make the same changes, they’re just nervous to start. Find that person and form a team.
Step 3- Bring your own lunch
Leftovers of last night’s dinner work well. A salad with protein is great too. If you have an office with a good break room, maybe a smoothie. Lunch shouldn’t be a huge ordeal.
Step 4 – Stand up for yourself
Make it clear to your co-workers what you are doing. Most will respect your decisions if you put it out there. Your actions will dictate what happens next. If your actions do the talking, I bet you’ll end up with a few people interested in what you are doing. Success often leads to a leadership position. Be ready for it and embrace it.
Step 5 – Get out of the building
I don’t know how long you get for lunch,but If you get an hour, eat your food and then go for a walk. I know you have deadlines and work to do, but it isn’t going anywhere. That thirty minute walk will be the best part of your workday. You’ll burn some calories, loosen up the joints and relax the mind, which will lead to better productivity.
The workplace dilemma can be a real struggle. I have had members drop substantial weight and improve their health and fitness by tackling this one challenge. It won’t be easy, but if you truly have a desire to change you’ll do it.