Sweets

Everywhere I’ve worked there is someone who loves to bring in sweets.  At my last job there was a lady who kept an entire drawer full of candy for anyone to eat.  Now I’m surrounded by baked goods.  It seems almost every day there is a new tray of brownies or cookies sitting out in the office.  There sitting right behind by cube as I speak.

This doesn’t even count all of the cupcakes and cakes for anniversaries and “town hall meetings”.  It seems like every day is spent avoiding sugary foods.

It’s nice that people are excited to bring in food for each other, but it can be very frustrating when you are trying to eat healthy.  Sitting in a cube all day is already terrible for your body, why is every so enthused to load up on sweets at the same time?

When I first started working, I would eat the candy and cupcakes that people brought in pretty regularly.  I’d have some kind of junk food almost every day actually.  It seemed great.  Everyone was so nice to bring food.  Then I realized that I was getting pretty fat.  I’d gained about 20 pounds in 3 years.  Something had to change.

I had never been in really good shape, but this was a major change.  The combination of junk food and sitting was killing me.  I worked out a lot too, but it didn’t help.  I eventually changed my diet and cut out almost all junk food.  I started eating plenty of meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and some dairy.  I cut out all grains and sugar.

I basically switched to the paleo type diet.  Click here to check out my success story on Mark’s Daily Apple.

I’m not here to debate types of diet though.  We can all agree that eating candy and brownies on a regular basis will make you fat.  It will eventually give you cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

So why do we think it’s a great idea to feed this to our coworkers all the time?  Maybe people really just hate each other and are trying to get ahead by killing the competition…  Funny, but I doubt it.

I think we do it because we’re depressed about working in an office.  We sit here all day long in dreary gray cubicles and need something to pick us up.  Sugar does a pretty good job of that.  We’re also stressed.  I know that I like to eat bad when I’m stressed out.  I had a family member die recently and all I wanted to do was eat pizza and ice cream.  It just seems to help for some reason.

Having some junk food every once in a while isn’t really a big deal.  If it’s in response to something like a death, it’s probably even pretty good for us psychologically.  Having it daily to deal with the stress of office work is another story though.  It becomes a habit and makes us more stressed.

The sugar makes us hyper and antsy.  The extra calories make us fat.  Being fatter makes us more stressed.  Being unable to get up and move around makes us even fatter.  All of that makes us want more sugar because we’re depressed.

I think that eating sweets while working in an office is just a downward spiral into obesity, depression, and poor health.  It may make us happier at the time, but in the long run it will only make us sad.

It’s hard to resist though.  Like I said, there is a tray of baked goods sitting a few feet away from my desk right now.  It can be annoying at times.  Especially when people are always asking you if you want some.  I make up excuses or tell people that I’ll have some later.

I personally think that it takes more than willpower.  Willpower will get you through until you get stressed or have a bad day.  Then you’ll usually give in and grab a cookie.  I have to make up my mind that I don’t want to eat the junk food.

I’ve decided that I don’t need it.  I like to pretend that the person who brought the cupcakes in is intentionally trying to make me fat.  Then I secretly laugh at them while not eating the cupcakes.  I know that they didn’t get me that day.  I know it’s kind of dumb, but it works better than willing yourself to resist.

I may be crazy, but it works.  And by no means do I completely avoid sweets.  I just made a rule for myself that I can only eat them on special occasions like family gatherings, parties, and baseball games.  That’s what sweets should be anyway, a treat, not something you have every day.

So stop eating junk food, especially at work.  Do it for your health or to spite the lady who always brings in brownies or your boss who’s always eating candy.  Whatever reason you have, your body will thank you.

Break out of the work, stress, sweets, work, depression, sweets, work, death cycle.  I for one want to live for a while after retirement.  Don’t you?

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  1. #1 by Daria on June 22, 2011 - 9:39 am

    I can say I used to be one of those people who brought in baked goods. Not very often, but whenever I would get the urge to bake cookies or something I would bring the extras to work. The reason being it is only my husband and myself at home and we can’t possibly eat a batch of cookies or a whole cake before it goes stale. I’m sure others think this way too and sometimes when you make something sweet you inherently know it is not good for you to eat a bunch of it, so you “get rid of it” at work.
    Though there could be people out there who are just mean and want to make other people fat. 🙂

    We have food here a lot at my office. They are big on having these lunch meetings and then putting all the uneaten food in the breakroom. I used to eat all this stuff just because it was free, even if I had already eaten lunch. Needless to say I gained some fat.
    I went paleo and I thought it would be more diffcult to resist the food and the sweets, but it really hasn’t been. I found out that gluten and dairy are big issues for me, and honestly it is like a blessing in disguise. When we have cake for a birthday I can sit right beside my coworkers eating cake and I don’t want it because I know it will have horrible effects and it is just not worth it. I also told them all I’m allergic to wheat so that pretty much stops people asking me if I want something. The “allergy” excuse is a great one, even if you are really not.

    I indulge myself at home now with a homemade fruit smoothie or a piece of dark chocolate. I focus on the great things I’m doing for myself and how great I feel, and how I’m not going to wind up unhealthy and unfit like my coworkers who eat cake. It is a bit of an elitist attitude but it works.

    • #2 by survivingthecubicle on June 23, 2011 - 4:09 pm

      It’s definitely a nice gesture when someone brings stuff in, but hard on the waistline. I eat paleo most of the time too, so it’s easier to resist.

      I usually just tell people I’m not that hungry or just ate. Nobody likes to hear that you don’t want to eat the same junk food they are.

  1. Self Experiment « Surviving the Cubicle

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