The work from home diet
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In the early days of my working from home career I used to joke that I ate all day and that lunch was always free, all I had to do was open the fridge or the pantry at any time. Honestly, it’s a true story for most of us - just grab a snack, grab a drink, spill something on your work from home uniform and repeat several times a day. Fast forward a few thousand days into my working from home career and not much has changed – hungry at 9:30AM after that annoying European conference call? Go and grab a hot dog! I didn’t grab enough chips this morning, so I’ll have a second helping at 3:00PM.
Chips and salsa on my shirt – who cares, no video calls scheduled today.
…….what if I mix salsa & cheese together and cover it with guac?
The work from home diet is obviously different for everyone and for your sake I hope that’s true. I have plenty of colleagues who eat all day, eat on calls and seem to get larger every time I see them (what do they think of me?). Then there’s the colleague who doesn’t drink caffeine, wants to make sure their chicken comes from the finest of farms and uses the group text (yes, we have one) to show off pictures of themselves doing CrossFit at 6AM. Overachiever is what I say!
In honor of my high cholesterol after years of eating like an 18-year-old, I’ve started to take the following baby steps to a healthy eating regime at home. I’m by no means an expert, but when it comes to diet I am finding the less temptation at home the better.
The above tips and tricks are all part of my journey into a healthier eating career while I sit on my butt and save lives 10-12 hours a day. Your diet and journey to a healthier work from home diet will hopefully vary - the key thing is to be conscious, get proactive and avoid the temptation of eating those delicious non-organic, non-free-range hot dogs every day for lunch!
Let’s talk about cholesterol
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I enjoy giving blood just about as much as a home inspection or being audited, it is a sneak peek under the covers and like a trip to the mechanic where he finds 20 things wrong with your car – this is giving blood for me. In my 5144 days of working from home and my 15,000+ days of living I never thought I would talk about cholesterol. I’ve been mostly active my entire life with some sedentary habits such as video games and watching tv, but as I’ve gotten older I find that it’s really not my thing to sit around after hours. However, when the stressful or depressing times hit that’s when my true colors really shine – eating. In my 15,000+ days of life I have never had to watch what I eat – I just eat! I am by no means overweight and been blessed with good metabolism that allows me to eat what I want and still maintaining that coveted 34-inch waist. There’s my past – a skinny dude who is semi-active and eats whatever he wants without gaining much weight and being like this for so many years I just assumed not getting fat was healthy and I didn’t have words in my vocabulary such as cholesterol or triglycerides.
As the world as aged around me while I continue to sit at the same desk looking out the same window everyday something has happened to my cholesterol. Look at those numbers! What isn’t shown was my life insurance bloodwork in 2015 where it was 175…..ah those were the good old days!
How does the number rise this high in 4 years?
I’m glad you asked, for one thing our local office had closed and even though I rarely went in, I did go in for happy hours or boss visits – having that escape helped me get those steps in. Also, in the past 4 years I’ve taken on a management role which is much more stressful and gives me great uninterrupted sitting time. Please don’t envy the Mr. Manager!
The first piece to this diet & fitness discipline puzzle is an escape. You can’t be home all the time and you need to get out. Go for a walk, take a bike ride or run errands at lunch. Simple stuff, just get moving! Let me say it again, “Go for a walk.”
The first response I tend to get after giving out these tidbits of knowledge is why don’t you get a standing desk. I’m not anti-standing desk, but for everyone’s sake you need an escape from work – if construction workers can take a union mandated 1-hour lunch, you can walk your neighborhood or pace your house for 15 minutes to get up and moving (away from a screen) and not feel guilty. Oh, that pesky guilt! I’ll save that discipline topic for another day.
Working from home sounds glamorous and I am the envy of some of my friends, but this getting older and dealing with more adult-like stress does absolutely require discipline in many areas such as time management, fitness, cleanliness (did you brush your teeth today!) and suppressing guilt…. did I mention guilt yet? I’m dedicating my September to the diet & fitness disciple, which as the numbers above attest too -- I need help in this area.
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Never a believer in new years resolutions, I always look to each month and try to make a small change. Even though it's September 3 -- we are coming back from a holiday week and in my mind September starts today (as does the back to school routine)
Science and my own personal experience prove that new years resolutions only last 18-22 days....just ask the regulars at the gym or the guy who stocks the shelves in the organic, non-GMO, free range whatever section.
Taking small bites I really do try and make each month better than the last. We had some health scares here in the homeplaceofthefuture in August -- nothing serious, but we caught some things in time and now this born again meat eater has to limit my red meat intake, eat more vegetables and it's back on the road trying to walk or bike EVERYDAY. I'll be dedicating a lot of my posts here in September to health & fitness especially (obviously) as it relates to working from home.
Sitting is the new cancer and whelp we are the specimens!
Pros & cons do exist when it comes to working from home and watching your health/fitness. I could eat an entire bag of chips in-between a conference calls and I can also get on the treadmill or my bicycle and belt out a few miles while listening to the sweet jams of Eddie Money.
homeplaceofthefuture thoughts and comments from the boss