Anyone who has worked in a typical office environment knows about the threat of fattening office snacks. First it begins with a bit of birthday cake for each member of the office. Then, someone baked too many cookies for their PTA event, too much banana bread for their Sunday get together or felt like trying their hand at a new snickerdoodle recipe and knew they could unload it in the break room.
Other Risk Factors
Long working hours and stress-inducing goals or deadlines make sweet, readily available snacks irresistible. The desire to fit in with the rest of the office can make it difficult to say no to what’s offered. Habits are hard to break, especially those created around food and working routines.
The Realization Something Is Wrong
The first few weeks you may not notice the weight creeping up on you, but soon those suits fit a bit more snugly, the pantyhose feels much more constricting, and suddenly you realize your bottom is jiggling as you walk towards your desk.
An Office United
The best case scenario is to convince the majority of the office that the snacking is a bad deal for everyone. With others in the office working towards weight loss and fitness, the pressure will be on to keep the fattening office snacks away. Encourage your co-workers to take a fitness challenge with you. Set up a weight loss competition or create a walking club for after hours. Upcoming charity marathons or walk-a-thons are a great way to get everyone on board. It’s a difficult struggle when you’re the only one in the office trying to avoid junk food. These efforts could have the positive side effect of bringing co-workers together and providing a way for employees to form friendships within the office. As the organizer of this new health kick, you’ll benefit from the peer pressure of those who are looking to you for a good example. If you don’t succeed in your efforts to convert everyone, don’t despair. In the end, it’s your health that should be most important to you.
How to Stop It
You may not be able to stop the madness for everyone, but you can stop it for yourself. It’s easiest in these sorts of high-pressure environments to surround yourself with advocates and guardians. Tell everyone that you really want to stop snacking at work. Try to convince them you are serious about it, and ask them for help. There will be those who will try to sabotage you. Perhaps not maliciously, some may try to save you from the deprivation of a strict diet or think you’re turning into a health nut. Some may need you to validate their own snacking and try to tempt you to make themselves feel better. Most will simply forget and fall back into their old snacking and food-pushing behaviors. Having a few people in the office who try to help you break your habit with office snacks can remind both the food-pushers and you of your quest for health, as you reach for that little nibble of cheesecake.