Brian and I are thoroughly enjoying ourselves in Florida and we want to maximize the amount of time we spend with our friends so I thought it would be fun to have my friend Maria Romaine guest post for me while I am away.
Maria is a fellow Indianapolis girl and we just recently met face-to-face because she works with Brian’s brother during her day job. Crazy small world, isn’t it!? We both love group fitness, social media, inspiring others to be healthy, and connecting with others that are excited about healthy living…sounds like a match made in heaven to me!
Anyways, Maria is amazing (check out her site and facebook page!), she has so much energy, she is completely inspiring and I couldn’t resist sharing her with all of you. Check out her post below about how to stay healthy at work.
How to Stay Healthy at Work
Im not one to talk about my day job all too much, which is surprising because I’ve been at Angie’s List for 6 years now and, like most people, spend most of my awake life there, 8-9 hours a day. I figured when I was asked to guest blog for Tara that it’d be the perfect opportunity to shed some light on how to be healthy at work. I deal with many obstacles myself, and I know the virtual health challenges I lead every month include endless amounts of men and women that gripe about how tough that candy jar and cookie batch are to avoid amidst their daily grind.
A little bit about my story and why I can ABSOLUTELY relate to YOU. I work at Angie’s List in a sales position where Im calling companies all day about their advertising. I join all you cubicle bound workers in claiming that I, YES, sit down all day. I also am in sales which is a high stress environment. I love my coworkers, but Id say the majority pitch in treat is something decadently sweet, which is actually my favorite indulgence of all time (dont even get me started on icing). Its hard for me mentally to squeeze in much activity throughout the day because Im wanting to maximize my productivity. I, too, get stressed, bored, experience anxiety, and can use food as a means of escape or procrastination, and in fact food has been a struggle my entire life and every day Im actively working on it.
How did I lose 30 lbs when I started my desk job? How do I not give in to the daily chances to “cheat” on my plan? How do I make sure to not let the sedentary work environment stall me? Heres how I refuse to let any of these work obstacles become legitimate excuses and how you can apply them too:
1) Have a plan: when you know why youre setting your goals, know what you’re going to eat, and better yet prepare your food, the other options will seem less tempting, especially if what you pack is even better tasting than the processed, low quality food someone might bring in. The gestures are nice from your coworkers, but your boss and coworkers will respect anyone who is loyal to their plan as that shows what type of focus you possess! They might not show it, but I promise they will think it deep down.
2) Remind yourself that you can always have these treats at another time. I personally hate wasting an incredible treat that Id rather savor and taste every bite (not being distracted by the computer screen or those around me). Ever eat something and wonder why you didn’t even taste it? I prefer to make my decadent food an experience, not something to be rushed through or forgotten about easily.
3) Figure out a time that you can move for at least 30 minutes a day. Be that first thing in the morning before work, at lunch, or after. I bust my butt for an hour when I teach every day after work because I know I sat down all day. Theres NO WAY I can sit all day and keep my metabolism revving if I didn’t incorporate HIIT workouts or weight training- its a must to move every day in some way! We were born to experience movement, taking advantage of those endorphins, and become more productive and more pleasant employees as a result!
4) Realize that the more you say no to the things you really don’t want, ie cookie jar, pitch in, and instead eat what YOU want and what gets you to YOUR goals, the more people will stop bugging you to eat something you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. I used to have anxiety at people talking me into things because Im very much a people please and have a very very hard time saying NO. However because of how healthy was to me, I realized the more I politely said no and brought my own healthy food for myself, or to share, the less I was offered these alternatives. It was a relief for them to understand that those options just weren’t for me. As long as I could say no, there was no additional pressure after a while to succumb to the”come on just enjoy yourself”.
5) Feel free to explain to others your goals so that they can respect them. I suggest beating peer pressure with your own positive encouragement/invitations. Kindly gather coworkers to do workout classes with you, go on runs around the campus, get a friendly pedometer challenge going or Dietbet competition amuck (dietbet.com/Likethelettuce)! Colleagues love doing March Madness brackets together and in the same sense love doing Biggest Loser challenges together as well, you’d be surprised!
6) Try to enjoy yourself! Mindset is everything. If you go around hating your work, hating your job, wishing you were somewhere else, youll feel like you “deserve” to skip your workout or have 5 glasses of wine after work, or keep picking at the spinach dip. Take breaks to talk to coworkers, laugh, schedule healthy lunch dates at new places, learn to love your job (trust me you can hate something one day and love it the next), find YOUR source of motivation and have it run you. Ive been at my job for 6 years and because of my financial and business goals, Im never NOT motivated to get the job done. Some days are better than others, but I know why Im there 40 hours a week- and its sure as heck to not feel sorry for myself.
7) When going out to eat there are ALWAYS options. Whether thats leaving the bun off the burger, selecting your favorite (not drenched in dressing, croutons, or cheese salad, or finding the protein and veggie dense modifications you can make- Ive gone out to eat just about anywhere and made adjustments so that I can stay on track and still go out with coworkers. They might razz you but theyd much prefer you come than skip it all together, and whats the fun in never joining your coworkers on their turf when you can easily experiment with going out to eat and making healthy choices. IT CAN BE DONE- and you can do it!
Some of this stuff can be tough, but its what works for me and my challengers. My biggest advice is if HEALTHY is important to you at work, you must START saying no to certain things, holding your foot down, and those things will become easier, and less of an obstacle. The more you say YES to the right things, the easier that will be, and you’ll create the habits you need to stay “healthy” through your work week. If you ever need additional help, group support, or coaching, feel free to contact me at: www.facebook.com/Likethelettuce or enter your email at my blog: www.mariaromaine.com
Remember you’re in charge!