Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is Going To Work Making You....

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Overweight?  Your job is notorious for being a hinderance to your diet goals.  At almost all places of employment, there's food just about EVERYWHERE, and food plays a huge role in just about everything.

Whether you work in an office, work in construction, work for a large company, a small company, own your own business, work alone as a consultant, food is involved.

How so you ask?  Well, think about it.  Most often when there's a meeting, food is ordered in. There's celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and generally people bring in or order trays of goodies, and pastries are generally included.  Business meetings involve lunches and dinners, generally in restaurants.
During the holidays, many companies treat their employees to luncheons, dinner parties or order food in. Business owners throw parties for their employees and customers.  I've been to holiday business parties that were like weddings, some more elaborate than some weddings I've been to.

At every job I've ever worked at over the past 30 years, there has been food EVERYWHERE, every day. On any given day at work, there's donuts, chips, pizza, bagels, just to name a few items.

Face it, your job is fattening.  People eat socially.  Many feel it's rude not to indulge when offered.  Many feel they aren't part of the team if they don't partake. Some just eat because it's there and available.  Some are drawn by the smell or the ooohs and aaahs of how delicious it is from coworkers.

I was always able to say no and not have it frowned upon as I always had a medical reason why I couldn't accept their offer when birthday cake was being passed around, bagels where in the kitchen because a boss bought breakfast as a thank you for a job well done for his unit, a client sent chocolates for the holidays, etc. etc. etc.  People understand medical issues and will not try to persuade you.  However, very often, I've seen people try to persuade those who simply said "no thank you."  They offer them "just a little piece" or tell them how insulted they would be if they didn't try their brownies, etc.

Graciously sticking to your guns can be challenging for some.  Some are battling with themselves to begin with and when you have someone pushing you, it's easy to rationalize that a little bit won't hurt.  However, as I stated in my post about how little things add up, all those "small" tastes, do add up and they add up fast.

Stick to your plan, learn to simply say no and don't feel guilty.  Most of all, don't attempt to please others, please yourself, you are the one that counts.  And the best advice, worry about what you think and pay no mind to what anyone else thinks.  If you think it's a bad idea to eat the cake, don't worry about whether or not someone else thinks it's insulting, rude, not part of the team, etc.  They will get over it and you will be healthier, happier and feel more confident that you are in charge of your own choices.

Of course, if it is your choice to indulge once in a while, that's fine too.  No need to feel guilty.  You deserve it and as long as you don't go hog wild, why not.  As a very wise doctor once said, a small piece of cake on a holiday will never hurt anyone.  Small amounts aren't going to cause harm, unless there's an underlying reason.  Obviously someone like myself, with food allergies, can't have any, but a healthy person, with no food allergies, can decide to go for it on occasion and all will be fine.

How to cut calories at work, at business meetings, at business meetings in restaurants, etc.  Be mindful of liquid calories... soda, wine, alcohol, fruity drinks, flavored coffees, juices, syrups, sauces, gravies, dressings, ice cream, etc., etc.

Don't be afraid to ask for special preparation; I do it all the time.  Ask them to leave off the sauces and gravies, leave out the butter, put dressings on the side so you control how much you put on.

Instead of soda, wine or alcohol, ask for ice water.  Replace the ice cream with fresh fruit, just be mindful of what kind of fruit and what it is served with, ask in advance.  I once ordered the fruit and it came with nuts (I'm allergic), and chocolate syrup drizzled over it.  Lesson learned, ask, ask, ask.

Don't feel badly about "driving people crazy."  I waitressed for years and was always happy to accommodate.  "Warn" them in advance.  I generally say with a big, friendly smile on my face, "ok, I'm the one who is the pain in the butt" or if it's a more formal affair, such as a wedding or a business meeting, I will say, "I just want to make you aware, I have special dietary needs."  I've never had a problem.  In fact, quiet the opposite, they practically stand on their heads to help me.

If they can't help me, they let me know. Fridays could not guarantee they would be able to safely serve me nut and gluten free.  Their grills are used for everything, flour flies around their kitchen, nuts don't come pre-packaged like in a place such as McDonalds so they are everywhere.  They didn't want to take the chance, nor did I.  McDonalds on the other hand could guarantee me gluten and nut free.  They changed their gloves, used a grill they know that no gluten or nuts has been on or near as all the nuts in their facility come in prepackaged, and made me a special meal.

High end restaurants I frequent generally have absolutely no issue guaranteeing me a safe meal.  They are diligent about being sure my needs are met, in fact, they, have on occasion, even had management come to speak with me, brought me company literature from various brands, showed me labels on products, etc. etc.
Ask and you shall receive.  You are paying them for a service, they are honored to have you as a guest and if they do right by you, you will be a life-long customer.

Stay strong,  do what's best for you, remember to only worry about what you think, not what others think and you will succeed.  Don't be embarrassed at a business meeting if you need to ask the wait staff for special accommodations, everyone will understand.

Keep in mind, every little bit counts, and small amounts add up fast!

If you have any questions, want tips or would just like to chat, feel free to email me at!

Check out some of my other favorite dishes below:  Click on links for recipes and instructions!

Special Needs Diets

Reene Pisi

For my intro click here

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