Picture the scene: Last year your office had "Thursday doughnut day". Or a Tuesday birthday with a cake to celebrate. It would be rude not to partake, especially since somebody baked choc chunk cookie cupcakes for your “return from holiday” treat last month. Poor food choices in the work environment have to be the easiest way to fall off the healthy eating wagon and when that 4pm dip comes around, the hardest to avoid.
Staff rooms, hospital wards, office kitchens and teacher's lounges all have one thing in common right now - the last of the leftover Christmas choccies.
The sweets and treats which flooded the office in December are almost finished. Somebody right now has to make the decision to buy more or not.
How about you just don't buy any more?
And this one for the teachers and nurses... how about you give away the gifts you receive to charity raffles?
There will be office fallout. I know. But consider for a moment...
Not having to avoid the biscuit tin (because there isn't one)
Actually taking notes instead of eating the pastry at the office meeting (because there isn't one)
Leaving work with enough energy to go to your Pilates class because you had a 4pm banana instead of half a tin of quality street (because there isn't one)
Oh but I have to learn to be strong and say no...
No you don't. Don't rely on Willpower. Willpower is just the craziest plan for change ever. Humans can statistically only say no 3 times before we're exhausted and actually need a sugar lift. FACT! Saying no to sweet treats actually makes your body physically crave them more. How insane is that? Trying to use willpower in the fight against obesity and diabetes is the lifestyle change equivalent of scratching a midge bite or bringing up an old fight at a family reunion. When it blows up, it blows up badly. It's a study in unnecessary and rampant escalation.
Here are some ways to force change in the workplace and live a healthier life.
REQUEST A SNACKING AMNESTY. Just for a month. No baked goods. No gifts. No excuses.
Make it a charity event if necessary and donate all cake funds to the local food bank or set up an events fund instead.
REPLACE SNACKS WITH FRUIT BASKETS. Just for a month.
INSIST ON ONLY HEALTHY OPTIONS AT MEETINGS. Just for a month.
There will eventually be full on rebellion and you can slip in some pre-wrapped offerings for the cake-a-holics but if you can force a culture change in your workplace then your willpower doesn’t have to work as hard.
Right now your workplace is on a knife edge. This is a pivotal moment. You can make a choice today which will affect everyone around you for the rest of the year.
Ban the fudge brownies. Do it today. Live a healthier life. And tell me how you get on!
Enjoy Good Health!