A friend emailed me this week telling me that this was happening to her. She said that she felt like people in her office were always pushing food on her like team lunches, birthday cakes etc. And that when she declines she feels like people are judging her when they say “Ohh you’re so good”.
It seems that this is a pretty common problem. You go to work and your colleagues are eating biscuits (the work place biscuit jar is a temptation I often hear about), drinking soft drink, having fast food lunches and trying to take you along for the ride. Well it’s time for it to stop! And I’m going to help you.
This is not just for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain their weight loss. This is for people who want to be healthy and nourish their bodies with high quality fuel that makes them feel vital and alive instead of filling it with rubbish that makes them feel tired and flat. But, it’s important to do this in a way that doesn’t make you the office outcast or make you feel deprived.
Here are some of my tips to help you along the way:
1. Educate yourself. If you know why you want to eat good food it makes eating good food a lot easier. Do some research into what goes into junk food and then read up on the health benefits of natural food. A good place to start are the DVD’s called Food Matters or Hungry for Change these movies will help to cement what food is all about. It’s meant to be our fuel but we’re generally guilty of using really poor quality fuel instead of what our bodies really need and want.
2. Accept that just because you are now enlightened and have a pretty good understanding of the evils of junk food, not everyone cares or is ready to change their eating habits. If you want to keep friends at work, don’t try and push your new habits on them. If they enquire or show interest then YES definitely tell them what you know and help them to achieve better health. But if they’re not interested, don’t waste your time. You’ll just end up feeling frustrated and disappointed.
3. Be prepared. This is such an important part of maintaining a healthy diet. If you prepare your lunch and snacks and take them to work with you then you will have everything you need to eat for the day and it is easy to eat well. If you get to work with no packed lunch then you will most likely forget to have your morning snack, feel hungry and tired by lunch time and reach for a ‘convenience’ food because your brain is too starved of nutrients to be able to clearly think of something nourishing to eat. Make yourself a nut and seed mix for morning snack or useharvest box and have a different mix delivered every week. Make salads the night before and put your dressing in a separate container so you don’t have to endure a soggy salad. And if you want a treat in the afternoon make a cake/biscuit/slice at home so that you can eat something that is preservative, additive and nasty free. There are a lot of yummy recipes available online.
4. If there is a work lunch or morning tea where everyone brings a plate bring something that is healthy but doesn’t look it. Like a raw cacao chocolate slice, or a beetroot chocolate cake or homemade hommous with MSG free rice crackers and vegetable sticks. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring and you don’t have to miss out.
5. Remember that people will always try to sabotage you but you don’t have to sabotage yourself. Like my friend who said that “ohh you’re so good” sounds like judgement to her rather than a true compliment. This is not your green light to stuff a cheese burger down your throat. If you have followed step one and educated yourself then hopefully you’ll be able to think ‘Yes, I am good’ and you’ll hear your body saying “THANK YOU!”