Three Signs Your Job Is Making You Fat
And What You Can Do to Take Back Control
Recently I was shopping for a new journal. Is your job making you fat? The book nearly jumped off the shelf. YES! Blame it all on my job! That’s why I skyrocketed to 198 pounds in 2012 right? Insert laughing emoji.
I knew deep down that I had to take responsibility for my choices. However, in retrospect I do believe my toxic job was a contributing factor. My hope is by sharing my story you might be inspired to find the courage to make a change in your life.
Whether you need to find a new job or just set better boundaries? Only you know. Either way, I hope this article provides actionable steps you can take today to assist you on your journey to well-being.
YOU THINK EATING LUNCH IS A LUXURY
The first sign that your job might be the culprit is if you don’t feel like you can take a break to eat lunch. I often felt eating was a luxury. I’d often skip lunch. I’d be annoyed if there was a work- related lunch. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the deadlines waiting for me at the office. I was constantly fearful I’d be late getting to my kids from daycare because I could never seem to leave the office on time. Once I even got a speeding ticket rushing home to pick them up before daycare closed.
The problem is if you don’t fuel your body, you’re negatively impacting your metabolism and energy levels. To perform your best, you need nutrients from a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and some healthy fats. Peanut M&M’s and sodium filled noodle cups aren’t going to give you the nutrients your body needs. Believe me, I tried. Those noodle cups may be cheap and fast but they have no nutritional value and contributed to my blood pressure problems.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking skipping meals helps you lose weight. Not eating enough can throw your body into starvation mode, often leading to a slow metabolism and gaining weight.
You need to eat a healthy lunch every day! To make it easier, plan your lunches in advance. Be sure to pack healthy snacks to fuel you throughout the day. A little planning on a Sunday can go a long way toward getting and staying healthy all week at the office.
YOU SLEEP WITH YOUR PHONE
Are you obsessively checking your work e-mails? I was consumed with work even on nights and weekends. Living your life in a constant state of stress raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is another factor that will lead to weight gain over time. Especially belly fat.
I was sleeping with my blackberry most nights and found it hard to fall asleep. I’d wake up with my heart racing because I felt like I was running on a treadmill of deadlines that never stopped. Eventually it caught up with me on the scale and the doctor’s office.
Most people need between six and eight hours sleep a night. Personally, I need at least seven. I was sleeping six, often less at my old job. It was affecting everything from my work to my relationships. I even fell asleep once at a stoplight driving home feeling drowsy from lack of sleep.
Your work should not take over your life. As the wise saying goes, don’t get so busy making a living you forget to make a life. Get your phone out of the bedroom and set time each day when you are completely unplugged.
YOU HATE YOUR JOB
Do you hate your job? I did. I was trying hard to keep my head down and just get through the day. I often Starved myself until I got home from work then inhaling anything in sight. Ice cream, chips, and a lot of processed food that I didn’t need. I convinced myself I deserved a “reward” for getting through the day. I felt trapped in a job I hated. Food was pleasure.
If you’re numbing out on food, rather than facing head on your desire for a new job (or career) it could be contributing to your weight gain. I tried for five years to make the best out of a job that wasn’t a good fit for me.
If you can relate to these three reasons, it’s time to make a change. You can start today by writing down what it is you want in your job. Keep adding to the list until you have a clear picture of what will make you happier. Armed with this list you can then begin the process of either transforming your existing job or getting a new one. And when you deal with the job issue you are less likely to use food to numb out and to provide pleasure.
I always looked for the silver lining and focus on things I was grateful for. But it was becoming painfully clear I had to find a new job. One day out of the blue I got an e-mail about a job. I interviewed on a Friday, and had a job offer by Monday. I’ve been happily employed there for almost six years.
Within several months of starting my new job in 2012 I started my journey from couch potato to marathon runner. My marriage improved and I began to enjoy life more. Best of all I’m off my blood pressure medication and I’m at a healthy weight. It was a long five years, but don’t give up hope. Take one day at a time. Small changes over time consistently make a big difference in the quality of your life.
After losing over sixty pounds in my forties I’m helping others do the same as a life coach. You can read more about how I help people transform their lives at www.samanthakeith.com. If you’re struggling with your work-life balance, please know that you’re not alone. Change is possible. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. You can do it! Enjoy the journey.