You are sitting at your desk, buried under work, and you are exhausted. So you reach for a can of soda, or a leftover cupcake from the company lunch, and eat it mindlessly as you click through your email.
As you get dressed the next day, you zip up your pants and think to yourself “Oh nooooo...my job is making me fat!”
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Sure, you can argue about long work hours, loads of stress, no time to finish your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight (remember that?). You can easily just blame your job.
We’ve all been there, trying to finish up a project before the next meeting and eating whatever is leftover in the break room for lunch. Or coming home exhausted and surviving on a diet of caffeine instead of sleep. You aren’t alone in feeling like your job is (literally!) a weight around your neck.
But the truth is that your job has nothing to do with it.
Your job isn’t grabbing a cupcake and shoving it in your mouth (for a long time, I was convinced my job was purposely buying cake...you know, just to mess with me!), it isn’t skipping workouts and making you chose a burger over a salad at lunch.
So the number one reason why your job is making you fat is because you are letting it! (It would have been so much more fun if I had said something like: “Overuse of email is highly caloric!” instead, right?)
And as tired and as stressful as your job is, you are still the decision maker when it comes to what you put into your body (unless you are a chef. Are you a chef? You are exempt!)
So when you reach for a donut at work or give up on your fitness goal, you are letting your decisions about your self-worth become unconscious. You are deciding that you are definitely less important than what is going on around you.
This is bad news.
Every time you justify a bad nutrition by saying “I’ve got a deadline” or “I’m under the gun” or “I didn’t have time to cook because a meeting ran late” you lose a little bit of confidence. You put your body’s needs last, and the needs of others (your boss, your team, your friends) first.
You might be quirking an eyebrow at me and saying “but I really was under a deadline and there was no food but donuts. I did what I had to do!”
To which I say: “Every day?”
Here’s the problem - when you aren’t eating well, you often don’t sleep well. And when you don’t eat and sleep well, you make more bad eating choices (we’ve all had cookies for breakfast). And then, you end up being tired and run ragged at work. And what does that do for your career?
So ask yourself this question when you find yourself reaching for the donut and wanting more cookies: “Aren’t I worth more than this?”
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I know the answer is yes!