Sunday, October 21, 2012

Freshman 15? What about the desk doubler?

Going into college I remember the ominous phrase "freshman 15" all too well. I received multiple warnings of those late night munchies and far from nutritious dorm food options and on top of all that, your mom isn't around to tell you not to eat dessert after every meal.

Unfortunately, I didn't get quite the same warnings when I accepted my desk job at DRI. The truth is, it's the same story. Working at a desk means you are sedentary all day long sometimes getting up only to refill your water glass or when needing a quick coffee break. College life turns into a blur and you forget you lived a far more active lifestyle simply by walking on campus from your parking spot,  racing across campus to make it to your next class 10 buildings away and doing daily workouts. I even biked to class from my house when the weather was nice. The lack of movement is only the beginning of the desk doom and gloom.
Often times I don't know if I am hungry or just bored so my desk time snacking has gotten out of hand at times. I even grab my food to enjoy at my desk on occasion when I'm wanting to finish up a work project at lunchtime. THIS IS BAD. (Please reference my 'mindful eating post.') That, my friends is called desk time dining and its a major no-no.

Before you know it, its the freshman 15 all over again....

I've gotten serious about the desk doom lately out of pure frustration and necessity. So far, these have become a few of my weekly workday goals.

1) Plan ahead: Usually on Sunday before the week has begun I like to plan  lunches and snacks for the entire week. This way I only pack what I need and all the options on hand are healthy choices measured out to ensure I'm not bringing more than I should eat.

2) Set an alarm or reminder for you snack times and don't deviate: I know I've shared this before, but I have to remind myself daily. I eat at 7,10,1,4, and 7. 10 and 4 are snack times. When I'm sitting all day, its hard to differentiate between feelings of hunger, boredom, and stress so setting an alarm/reminder to notify me when its time to eat again keeps me from intaking too many calories throughout the day.

3) Stash some tea: I have never been a tea girl until said desk experiences became the norm. I'm more of a coffee drinker. My coffees are strong enough to chew so handing me a cup of tea feels like a joke. I found a favorite though, Yogi Kombucha green tea does the trick. (Whole Foods) Tea combats desk doom like you would not believe. You can drink it when you are bored, or cold, or tired etc.

4) Stay away from break room snacks and treats: Fall is clearly upon us when I show up to work and there are cupcakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and other sorts of fabulous treats to be shared in the break room. Stay away. If you start (If IIIIIII start) you/I can't stop. Its better to not start at all. No not even the courtesy cupcake is an excuse.

5) Anything that can be purchased in a vending machine is not in the healthy food group pyramid and therefore should not be purchased or consumed. Enough said.

6) Don't eat at your desk: Its juts a bad habit. You eat too fast, you don't monitor your quantities, and your body isn't processing what you are doing leaving you hungry sooner than later.

As for exercising....

1) Lately I have been taking walks lunch time walks. Grab your sneakers and get your legs moving.

2) Make sure to get  up from your desk AT THE VERY LEAST once an hour to stimulate your muscles AND your brain.

3) Try and stretch a new muscles group every hour. Focus on legs in the morning, arms in the afternoons, and neck and back at the end of the day.

There it is ladies and gentleman. Dig yourself out of the terrible desk tendencies and get motivated for wellness in the workplace.

YOU CAN DO IT! Enjoy your week.


  1. I love the idea of walking at lunch breaks and focusing on a muscle group to stretch at different times of the day. I have definitely experience the gloom of the desk job. And I think these will help me beat that!
    -Can't wait to try that tea. Looks awesome. I just bought Republic of Tea's new flavor, Pumpkin Spice. Delish and festive!

  2. LOVE this post! Especially for all us new career workoutaholic women! xx