Food days, potlucks, international feasts, share days…no matter what you call it, these gluttonous events remain a serious work hazard. OSHA should have a workplace regulation that bans these (and vending machines while they’re at it). As we spend more time sitting in our cubicles, our natural tendency is to find a way to relieve the boredom. Why else would we look forward to the monthly food day with as much anticipation as a long weekend? Ok maybe not quite that much enthusiasm.
As summer rolls in with full force, many of us find ourselves scurrying around trying to start that 10-day diet or at best, a half-hearted attempt to stick to the one you were already on. Then enter the food day at work, complete with macaroni and cheese, lasagna, homemade chicken strips (who can pass up homemade??), potato chips, brownies, cookies, cake…I could go on forever. If you are one of the fortunate ones that does not know what I’m talking about, it’s time to say a little prayer to the employer gods, thanking them for not bestowing this travesty upon you.
However, for the rest of the real world that is plagued by this necessary and unfortunately delicious evil, here are a few suggestions to help you through the food days:
1. Bring a picture of yourself into work from what is commonly referred to as “the better days”. The picture should be one of yourself, that when you look at it, a wave of nostalgia and possibly drool comes over you. It can be of you dressed up for an event, whether that’s prom or something more recent like a wedding, or perhaps even of you in a bathing suit- although I should caution you not to post that one in your cubicle. Unless you want HR knocking on your carpeted and removable walls. Regardless, the friendly reminder of better times may give you the willpower to resist the temptation of those frosted brownies.
2.Bring healthy snacks everyday to work. You never know when a secret food day could pop up in another department! That accounting is so sneaky sometimes…. Although fruits and vegetables don’t quite make up for the taco dip, your bathing suit will thank you.
3.Suggest a healthy food day for your department. This one will require you to reach out to your band of brothers at work. Whether it’s the ones that are already trying to diet or the ones that owe you a huge favor since you didn’t report them to your boss for stealing office supplies, make sure to find a few people to support your idea before broadcasting this to the department. You would be surprised how angry a fellow employee can get when your food day bans them from bringing in their meatball specialty.
Unfortunately, the only way to survive the food day torture boils down to what it takes to successfully completing a diet (or lifestyle change): willpower. These tips will certainly help you in your fight against work buffets, but it will come down to you in the end. Godspeed.
This is a guest post by Lauren Kleinman.