Weight Loss Support - Office job, boyfriend, and smoker.

01-03-2014, 10:43 PM
So here's a little bit about me and hopefully my quest to becoming healthier and happier~

I'm 25 years old and have worked the past three years at a physically demanding job at a liquor store, constantly on my feet and lifting heavy cases. I never really worked out because I was exhausted at the end of the day and thought my job also included a workout. This seemed like it worked... until May last year.

I was promoted to a higher-up position... in the office. Where I sit for about 8 1/2 hours a day in front of a computer from 9-5. You know, that whole deal. I've also been smoking about half a pack of day for two years. In the summertime I noticed a slow weight-gain and so I started to rollerblade after work for about a half hour. It was alright for awhile until the frigid midwest temps kicked in October. I'm 5'1'' and I weigh about 140 lbs currently, around 10-15 lb weight gain since last year.

My boyfriend also moved in with me as well, and with the holidays passed, I've been getting zero to no exercise. He's always moving and lifting since he's in the stock position at my work, but he's also 6'6'', 180 lbs, smokes, and eats like a human garbage disposal. He doesn't know how to cook, and eats like a freshman in college. We always have frozen pizzas, corndogs, almost anything that's easy to zap and eat because he's cooking-challenged. And most days I just end up eating what he eats because it "tastes so much better" and easier than the sensible food I should be eating. He's still slim but has definitely packed on some pounds since we started dating almost three years ago.

When I get home, it's cold, dark, and I'm tired. I also can't afford a gym membership. Every so often I get a spark of motivation and do a 15-20 minute intense cardio workout from an online video and I'll eat sensibly, but it won't last more than two days. We both want to cut down/quit smoking but eventually that doesn't last either. It's definitely affected me where I can't do intense cardio routines because I'm exhausted and wheezing about 10 minutes in. Having healthy lungs is definitely key to a healthy overall body, but I can't shake it. Some days I'll go to my parents place where I don't smoke, but instead I end up binge-eating to replace that fixation.

The combination of work, boyfriend's habits, smoking, and my lifestyle end up giving me anxiety, and I always think "Okay, starting tomorrow..." but it never happens. I'm not sure if I'm looking for surefire "answers" but just words of encouragement, advice and support would be wonderful. :(

01-04-2014, 12:00 AM
Hi Kimchi! It sounds like maybe you need to take small steps instead of trying to do it all at once. Start by cutting out an unhealthy food, as in get it out of the house, refuse to eat it no matter what, and pick up eating a healthy food. When you have that down, do it again. Once you start feeling good about what you're eating overall, think about tackling smoking, or adding some exercise. I think if you can just get one part of it down, you'll feel empowered to take the next step. Good luck!

Mrs Snark
01-04-2014, 06:51 AM
Welcome! Like Jacqui says, it is sometimes overwhelming to try to fix everything you think is wrong about your lifestyle all at once. I'd pick one thing and focus on it.

And cut yourself some slack -- it is HARD to change eating/exercise/smoking habits. REALLY hard. Celebrate "small" victories, because in reality they are NOT "small" at all!

I don't like cooking (never have, so I am cooking-challenged also!), so I eat alot of healthy convenience foods that are pre-made or zapped in the microwave (or just really simple stuff like sandwiches and salads) that are just as fast and easy as junk food.

Take a look around and see what your options are -- it may be easier to transition to healthier, fast convenience foods at first (instead of diving head-first into major amounts of healthy gourmet cooking), particularly if your boyfriend is going to keep rocking the quick-easy-tasty corn dogs.

Then, as you get into a bit of a groove and feel a bit more in control, maybe you do some cooking on your day off to make homemade healthy stuff to eat throughout the week. Just brainstorming, here. :)

However you decide to start, you should know that YOU CAN DO THIS! You really can!

01-04-2014, 11:12 AM
Hi Kimchi, I pretty much have the same advice, ease into it, great advice from Jacqui and Mrs Snark. My suggestion on that same vein is to try and focus on a meal at a time and try not to obsess if the meal before didn't go as well as planned.

I've found that carrying negative energy around with me doesn't help me at all,especially when the event is past and I can't change it anyway. Focus on the positives, you're trying to make changes towards a more healthy lifestyle, and you're asking for help and support, both great steps towards your goals.

I've been really working on trying to get some walking in at work since the weather has forced me indoors, it's harder than I thought it would be, but I am starting to get into a habit. If there's no place to walk where you work, try just standing up more often. There was a big push on for awhile to get people to stand up every half hour or so if you're sitting at a desk all day.

I make myself throw stuff away in the garbage can down the hall just to make myself get up and get away from my cube, I use the ladies room that's further away. Like you I was much more active in my old job so didn't have to come up with things like this to get myself moving more at work.

Wishing you the best of luck, I'm sure you can achieve your goals! :sunny:

01-04-2014, 11:49 AM
Gosh, thank you for the warm words and advice, everyone!!!

You're all absolutely right, I need to take it one day and celebrate the small victories. EVERYONE wants instant results and gratification but we all know that it takes time, hard work, making mistakes and pulling yourself back up and trying again.

>Mrs Snark- Why did it never occur to me to start getting healthier version of frozen meals? Maybe I was just too wrapped up in making things from scratch and fresh :( Also I found a great online recipe for healthier home-made corn dogs I can freeze!

>kelijpa- You're so right, I get negative thoughts and feelings every time I do something bad and never celebrate the small victories. Actually, I was thinking to myself this morning how amazed I was because last night I made a huge vat of curry (which normally I'll just take a few hefty servings of and down it like crazy) but I took just one helping and was eating between typing out a paper. I was taking bites every minute or so, and it took me a lot longer to eat it because I was distracted, but I was surprised by the time I was finished, I was full!!! :)

01-06-2014, 11:11 AM
In my opinion, I would focus first on modifying the diet, then think about reducing smoking and then exercise later. I think that that is a challenge enough, and losing the weight from the calorie deficit is really encouraging to push yourself a little more...and then a little more...I lost 50 lbs without any exercise and something that helped me was intermittent fasting. Office-time = fasting time for me.

01-06-2014, 12:26 PM
Welcome! I just want to second Michelle's advice.

I am not only "cooking-challenged," but I am also somewhat nomadic, so I don't really cook much. Instead, I keep healthier "convenience food" readily available. I have spinach and tuna fish and fresh fruit and eggs and even some fiber bars (which I recognize are not the best choice, but they're better for me than many other options). And you know what? Most of the time, I enjoy the flavor and moisture and "satisfied" feeling of a pomegranate way more than I enjoy the salty, processed taste and heavy, full feeling I get from a Hot Pocket. (I hate corn dogs, so this was a better comparison for me.) Don't get me wrong, though -- I am not pledging to never eat Hot Pockets again.

As you try more things and think about it more, you will come up with a variety of easy foods that work for you that are consistent with your goals. If you're like me, you are not choosing less nutritious foods because you love them. They are just convenient and available and what your bf is eating. Convenient or gourmet, foods that fit your goals can be incredibly enjoyable.

The first step of the journey is done. You are thinking and planning and committing. Go slow, or rev up full speed immediately. Just keep moving. And do what works for you.

01-08-2014, 07:58 PM
Thank you for all the great advice and support, everyone!! :)

The last two days I took some good steps in the right direction, I tried filling in my snacks with better options and it made me feel great! I love raw veggies with ranch dressing, but instead of glopping on a huge amount of dressing, I just squirted about a tablespoon and dipped a tiny bit and savored more of the taste of veggies with a "hint" of ranch. Also a cream cheese are not exactly the healthiest snack still but it was a lot better than the day before when I was snacking on potato chips and leftover pizza!

01-08-2014, 08:49 PM
Yay, Kimchi! Great job! :carrot:

Mrs Snark
01-08-2014, 08:55 PM
:carrot: Fantastic!