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.
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Do you have a minute?
Are you wearing pants?
If so please come to my office, I have big news to share!!!
This past week we've celebrated one year of having an official landing page for the homeplaceofthefuture and all the fun it has included. The traffic is looking good, I've got a list of ideas/topics to tackle and I'm working on some branding assets to get a nice package around the blog content -- all good things while we build this empire on the side. I'm also about ready to throw the switch on some social media experiments, watch out world.....the homeplaceofthefuture is coming and you better be ready (to make fun of it).
Working from home can be a drag and just having a release with a little bit of acknowledgment is a nice perk of knowing we're part of this new community in this digital age. Have laptop will travel -- how's the wifi?
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We all know there is a fine line between work & life when both of them occur at home. As the world shrinks and I have more & more clients all over the world.....I find myself checking and thinking about work at hours that I promised myself I wouldn't work (at least while working for someone else). It might not even be clients - our busy culture is one that should not be envied. More often and prove me wrong I'm finding that people wear busyness as a badge of honor and nothing makes me more upset than checking emails from colleagues that were sent over the weekend!
Case in point this past Saturday. I woke up at 7 AM with a list of personal things ready to tackle including a canoeing trip. I'm making coffee, fixing breakfast for the kids and my phone lights up with a LinkedIn message and new connection request from a new supplier who I can tell already wears busyness as a badge of honor. Let me say this now - connecting with people on LinkedIn over the weekend is useless and I won't honor it nor will I accept your invite!
I typically blow them off and move on with real world stuff, but this one really got to me. I am an over-thinker and I over analyze everything, which can be debilitating. Why would anyone be thinking of connecting with me at 7 AM on a Saturday in July? Will there be awkwardness because I WILL NOT accept the invite? So many questions that will remain unanswered as I start another week here in the homeplaceofthefuture.
Is it really friday
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Is it really Friday? Someone smack me....oh wait no one else is here! Okay it is Friday and Fridays are particularly more exhausting on a re-entry week.
What's a re-entry week, you ask? It's the first full week back in the office after a holiday and/or vacation.
5 full days in the homeplaceofthefuture dealing with hundreds of emails and hundreds of out of office messages from my European colleagues. I often feel that in the summertime the Americans (me) are keeping the world running while the rest of Europe takes a 5-week vacation to some random coastal city we've never heard of. I generalize of course, but you know its true. Here in the US we take a 4 day weekend and worry about how many emails have piled up or if we'll even have a job when we return on Monday. The Europeans and especially the Dutch, yes the Dutch just don't care. I had a Dutch colleague who in the middle of a large re-platform project (that she was running) decided she needed a 4 week African safari -- and not the chintzy ones that you drive through, she took a legit 4 week vacation in the jungle and left us all hanging! I hated her and envied her at the same time.
Where am I going with this? I don't know, but please for everyone's sake if you have vacation time USE IT! Regardless if you get 2 weeks or 8 weeks, take it all.
Anyways......it is Friday and I'm exhausted. I find myself already blocking my calendar to avoid any calls and most likely I'll start compiling my to-do list for next week. Not saving live here, but it sure felt like it this week.
Cheers to a summer weekend!
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When you work from home full-time and take a staycation, you have to be intentional about the places in your home you go and breaking up your routine. Instead of crying in your home office at 8 AM everyday take some time with your spouse/dog/kids/partner/whatever on the porch enjoying coffee. I found myself having little to no desire to do anything on my PC and that includes posting my comments about the homeplaceofthefuture and social media. It was a wonderful break until that feared re-entry of email barrage on Sunday night!
Turns out being intentional for a few minutes everyday really does make the homeplaceofthefuture a wonderful vacation destination. Quick snippets of things we chose to do over the past 2 weeks.
Past 2 weeks or so I started to see the homeplaceofthefuture in a new light and for the moment I see a fine line between work & home. Ideally my home office would be cut off during non-working hours, but it's not realistic with a smaller house and limited rooms. Setting up some things to do to keep me out of this room was a great plan.
Adventures in working from home
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With a weekend full of yard work and outdoor activities behind me, it is time to get back to work on this fine 5071th day of working from home. In an effort to make my work a little more "at one with nature" I installed a bird feeder outside my window to see what comes around....or maybe I'm just lonely and the birds are my only friends - either way bird feeder installed and filled with 6 pounds worth of seed.
This morning I had to chase a mama deer and her 2 babies away from the feeder. Mama deer literally just gets up on her back legs and licks and licks and licks the bird feeder like a dog licks his paws. It was funny at first and kinda unexpected, but those deer are creatures of habit and after about 4 times of seeing her come to the well I went outside (with my headset on because you never know when a client is going to call) and I chased her off my yard with a hose.
I turn my back to put the hose back and there she is again! Licking that bird feeder like she hasn't eaten in years. Well that's it -- I crossed the creek outside my window and took the bird feeder away with her watching me like I just turned off the Xbox. Now I need to find a high point outside my window where only the birds can get to it.
I bore you with this story because the entire time I was chasing mama deer away I was laughing. Laughing at the fact that I'm working from home, dealing with angry clients, miscellaneous fires and oh those pesky emails and while all of that is going on -- this virtual employee to squirting hose water at a deer. In a way it kind of put things in perspective for me as I started the long road of yet another 5 day work week.
hide the booze
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If you were having coworkers over to your house, would you hide the bottles of booze that normally sit in your office?
I'm asking for a friend of course.
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Unless you travel often for your work from home job, most of us are home and rarely leave. Over the years I have perfected my people watching skills and this morning on a flight I really was fascinated with this woman sitting in front of me on the other side of the aisle.
It's June -- yet it looked like she just got off the ski slopes coming from Dallas. She opted for the inflight wifi and used it wisely by searching for more travel (something that doesn't require a wifi purchase when you are searching on the provider's app). I thought what a DUMMY and then she started shopping -- have you ever purchased Lululemon clothing for full retail on a plane? Yeah me neither.....but wait there's more, I didn't catch the brand name, but there are apparently $235 backpacks for kids and she bought 3 of them for her grandkids (I'm assuming).
One thing she did do that I can agree with is give the stink eye to crying kids and their parents. Spending a small fortune on full retail wasn't enough to distract her and the first noise from a kid she had that hawk-eye vision that all parents have experienced when their kids cry in public. Kids are all happy before the plane takes off and everyone loves seeing the kids and smiling at them......then the first "unpleasant" sound comes from the kid and all hell breaks loose on the flight.
Just a weird observation on a random flight outta Dallas headed to the homeplaceofthefuture and back in my black t'shirt.
homeplaceofthefuture thoughts and comments from the boss