How To Know What To Eat
It’s the last week before Christmas, so you know what that means.
Break rooms and desks are littered with plates of homemade cookies, fudge, and toffee. Gift baskets stuffed with cheese, sausage, and nuts are delivered daily.
My personal favorite was the huge tin of gourmet popcorn that a local company sent to our office every year. Not being a cheese popcorn fan, I devoured the olive oil popcorn and caramel corn.
If I already had a snacking problem at work, this time of year magnified it ten-fold.
So how do we stay on track when we’re constantly seeing and smelling delicacies only available to us once a year?
The way that resonates the most with me and my clients is looking at food as my employee.
What I mean by that is this:
If I were to hire this food I’m about to eat as my employee, would it show up on time and get the work done? Is it an asset to the workplace, contributing to the success of the company?
Or does it show up late, cause drama, and undermine the goals of the company? Does it end up making more work for me because I have to clean up the mess it left behind? Sure, it might be a bit of a party animal and a lot of fun to have around at times, but does keeping it around hold the company back from achieving its goals? Would it, as my employee, ultimately end up getting fired?
Of course, the “company” here is my body. And the goals are permanent weight loss and freedom from the desire to overeat.
When we diet, lose weight, and then promptly regain it, only to start another diet plan to continue the cycle, it’s the same as building a company from scratch, hiring terrible employees who run it into the ground, and then having to start a new company from scratch again. And then not learning from our mistakes and hiring terrible employees again.
It’s a whole lot easier to be thoughtful about who you hire and why you’re hiring them. What are you expecting them to do for your company? Will they for sure do that?
So when I think about eating something off my protocol, or maybe even a food that’s on protocol but wasn’t in my immediate eating plan for the day, I ask myself, “What am I expecting this to do for me right now? How is this going to make things better right now?”
The biggest example of where this comes in to play for me right now is with drinking alcohol.
I don’t have a rule for myself that I can’t drink alcohol. In fact, I really enjoy prosecco and other sparkling wines. But I very rarely drink them anymore.
Just the other night, we had music on, the kids were playing nicely, and I was making dinner. It was dark outside and I could see my neighbors’ Christmas lights reflecting off the snow outside. And I thought, “You know what would make this even nicer? A glass of wine!”
I used to love having a glass of wine while I made dinner. It took the edge off the work stress. I felt calmer and more patient with my children. It even dulled the hunger I was having, making waiting for dinner to be ready easier.
But, yes, there was a downside. Multiple downsides.
I was already exhausted, so by the time I’d had another glass or two of wine with dinner, I was really, really tired. So tired that I really dreaded the tasks I still needed to do, like put the kids to bed, clean up dinner, and make lunches for the next day. I snacked much more after dinner than I usually did. My sleep that night wasn’t of high quality so I was even more tired (and crabby) the next day.
As my employee, the wine looked like it would do an excellent job, at first. But then things would unravel and I would see all the negative consequences it left behind in its wake.
So the other night when I was making dinner and thought that wine would be a good idea, I asked myself, in a kind and interested way, what the wine was going to do for me in that moment. How was it going to make the experience better?
I couldn’t come up with one thing. It was pretty disappointing.
I’ve decided that if I don’t have a good answer for myself, then I won’t go ahead and consume it. So I didn’t.
When you are tempted by the buffet of treats staring you in the face in your office, I want to challenge you to ask yourself if you would hire that food.
What are you thinking it’s going to do for you? How is it going to make your life better, right in that moment?
Please ask yourself from a place of compassion and curiosity. Please do not use an inner voice reminiscent of a sixth grade mean girl.
If you don’t have a good answer for yourself, honor that and don’t eat the food.
When your company (body) is thriving, you will be so proud of your hiring practices!
We’re approaching the end of the year. Are you sensing that it’s time to make a change and finally lose the weight for good?
If you are a practicing MD or DO, my Doctors Only Weight Loss group coaching program is the perfect gift to yourself. It runs just a couple times each year, so be sure to get your name on the information list by clicking here. You’ll be among the first to know when the next session opens to registration
If you’re not a doctor but are ready to take your journey to the next level, please use my Contact page to connect, and I’ll help you get started!