Monday, December 3, 2007

Holiday Workplace Weight Gain

It's December in the workplace, so you know what that means.

Pot luck. Pumpkin bread. A chocolate bundt cake. A candied nut plate the size of Manhattan.

What would the holiday time be without some goodies around the workplace to spread a little holiday cheer? I know I wouldn't want to work during such a time unless I had a hunk of fudge to see me through, but I also know from my Thanksgiving holiday foraging that I've got to be realistic and understand I can no longer eat the entire Hickory Farms super sampler platter and not have there be consequences.

And while most of us think we've pigged out enough over the holidays to pack on anywhere from five to 10 pounds, the truth is that it's more around a pound -- but we don't ever lose that extra little bit of weight. Eventually it adds up until we can't wait to get home at night to put on our pajamas because we can no longer breathe in those pants we wore to work.(I'm not speaking from personal experience, you understand.)

At the same time we're trying to avoid putting on the weight, we're consumed with the guilt that we might hurt someone's feelings if we don't try their famous lasagna at the potluck, or at least sample the homemade toffee and have a few bites of that cheese log. And that fact that the food is just sitting there, tempting us for hours, makes it even tougher.

So, the question is how to survive the holiday food bonanza at work while not hurting anyone's feelings or caving into your food cravings at the first whiff of those rum balls? Here are tips that might help:

* Make it a team effort. Enlist the support of others in the office that while you don't want to be a food Scrooge, having plenty of healthy alternatives is also nice, such as a fruit platter or whole grain crackers or breads with low-fat toppings.

* Provide support. Be encouraging of anyone who avoids the candy or maybe goes by the three-bite rule and only samples one special treat.

* Get moving. Plan holiday parties around events such as dance contests or meeting at the local bowling alley. Make the focus of the gathering a chance to get together and have fun, not just eat.



Tiffany said...

I lost about 20 pounds before the holidays last year, and I've kept it off, but it was definitely easier then with the momentum I was under to say no to all the goodies than it is now - even though I'm the one with the "don't ask her to bring food unless you want veggies, uck!" - label now. But I just have to remind myself that it's worth it to stick to my guns!

There's something to be said for self-restraint. No one else has to squeeze into my skirt tomorrow other than me, after all, right?

Anita said...

Well put, Tiffany. I think a key is to not totally deny yourself, but to have other options. Although they give you a hard time about the veggie plate, I'll bet some of them are secretly very happy to have another choice instead of heading back to the chocolate truffles tray.

Working Girl said...

Two words: baby carrots.

It seems they are at every buffet and party. Just park yourself next to the BCs and munch away.

Also, I've noticed that few people notice how much one eats. Or, if they do, they don't say anything. We don't have to eat to "spare" someone's feelings!

Anita said...

Tiffany -- I think not denying yourself is the key, but it is really tough when there is a tray of brownies or other goody at work during this holiday season. I'll bet people are glad you are the veggies lady, because at least it gives them a choice.

Working Girl -- Does carrot cake count?