Diet vs. Office

I’m determined to get back in shape. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered getting in shape and working in an office setting are inherently at odds with each other. To help other young women who might be starting office jobs or have already discovered their impact on love handles, I’ve managed to compile a guide of the top five weight-loss dangers that occur in an office and how to overcome them.

Top Five Weight-Loss Dangers in the Office

1. The Long Meeting: Long Meetings are gatherings of at least 4 employees where matters are discussed for at least one hour. Often times the Long Meeting Scheduler is filled with a sense of guilt for having to take away precious time her co-workers and in an effort to appease co-workers she will travel to the nearest Tim Hortons to purchase a 60 pack of timbits. The general rule is that there must be at least 12 timbits per every employee or the backlash could be fatal. Grumbling and questions of “WHERE ARE THE TIMBITS?!” are often directed at the Long Meeting Scheduler if she fails to provide a form of sugary ball snacks. To avoid this danger, simply sneeze atop all the timbits and spoil the temptation for all. If the social repercussions of this action alarm you, you can alternatively bring your own healthy snack to the meeting, such as a banana.

For my non-Canadian friends. These are timbits.

2. The Thoughtful Spouse: This person is enrolled in Cake Decorating courses and is married to one of your co-workers. He or she often finds the time to bake various sugary delectables for his or her partner (your co-worker) to share with the office. These treats are often extremely tempting due to their freshly baked nature and homemade icing. Avoiding this danger is futile. Not eating the said delectable will result in distracting daydreams about their deliciousness and might offend your co-worker. I recommend you ask a third party co-worker to split one of the treats with you to half the amount of calories yet still allow you to maintain concentration and social ties.

3. The Celebration: Celebrations occur for various reasons including retirements, birthdays, reaching sales targets and going ten or more days without Larry injuring himself. Most often, Celebrations involve a large cake with specific congratulatory messages written in icing. Avoiding Celebrations altogether would earn you the label of Buzz-kill Bill and might jeopardize your likability with your boss and co-workers. To avoid this danger, volunteer to cut the cake at Celebrations and you can either conveniently use up all the cake before you had a chance to have a slice or cut a piece for yourself so embarrassingly small, that it poses no significant threat to your caloric target that day.

4. Customer Wine and Dines: When attempting to schmooze potential or current clients, you may be asked to attend a dinner where good food and great wine are abundant. Unless you have a valid excuse, it is in the best interest of your career to attend. To limit the calorie aftermath, stick to one glass of wine, don’t drink your calories away, save them for the delicious dinner. Limited alcohol consumption will also drastically reduce the likelihood of sharing inappropriate anecdotes to aforementioned clients, like the time you fell asleep during a live David Susuki lecture.

5. Long Commutes: Long Commutes can pose a significant health risk not only for the sheer length of time they waste when you could be exercising, but also for the added stress and cortisol levels bonehead drivers you encounter can cause. If Long Commutes cannot be avoided, use the driving time to learn a new language via CD, such as Italian. The time will not be wasted and the sense of accomplishment will motivate you to take a short run or walk upon your return home. The other alternative is to fit a workout in during your lunch break if you have access to a shower or do not sweat. Or, you could move closer to your work like I did and force your spouse to have the Long Commute. The final option is to work-out in the early morning but seriously, who does that?

I hope these tips have provided other young career women to soldier on in their journey for work-health balance. It isn’t easy when 99% of what you do requires sedentary computer work but the pay-off of a hot bod is definitely worth it! Plus, I suppose the other side effects of longer life and more energy aren’t too bad either.


3 thoughts on “Diet vs. Office

  1. I’m totally guilty of being the “Thoughtful Spouse” – I make sure anything I bake though goes with hubby. My office is only 6 people and luckily there are no other “Thoughtful Spouses” and we also (thank God) don’t have office meetings (and when we did, they only lasted 10 minutes top and didn’t involve food)… shoot… I think this means I can’t blame work.

  2. oh, i don’t even have work as an excuse. i do it to myself at home. “well, i have to bake. i need SOMETHING to do” or “oh, it’s just one brownie and its before 12, so it doesn’t count…right?”.


  3. I totally feel your pain! The staff room in the school where I worked before I had Ethan was exactly like that….always a treat of some kind on the table, always food at staff meetings, plus the school was in Vaughn so I had the commute issue…AND I was pregnant.

    Good luck with your work-health balance, Cheryl 🙂

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