“Don’t eat the crap at work”

BagelsThat’s the phrase originally said by someone in my former Weight Watchers meeting and quoted often by everyone because it’s so true. No matter how carefully I plan my meals and make tasty lunches to bring to work with satisfying snacks – if there is food at work, it will lure me out of my office and tempt me to stuff my face. Bagels, cookies, chocolate candy, birthday cake, pretzels, leftover pizza, donuts – it’s all there for me to eat, right? Why else would they put it outside my office?

We don’t have a staff break room and in fact the “kitchen” amounts to a fridge and microwave that live in my department only steps from my office. People congregate there, and there is a big table between the “food prep” area and my office that is a sort of no-man’s land and generally used to leave food for people to nibble on. It is really, really dangerous for me.

We also are a social lot and have morning get-togethers to welcome new staff members with bagels and juice, small parties to celebrate birthdays, larger parties to send off departing staff, and other pizza events to just get everyone together. My department has the biggest gathering area for the staff for both departments – remember, no break room – so everything happens within our space. Sometimes it drives me crazy, all the setting up and cleaning up that happens, and then all the extra food just sitting there.

Fruit saladOne thing that is within my power is to bring something to these food events that is on my program, that I can eat and feel in control. Usually this means fruit. Oddly enough, or maybe not to oddly, it’s usually one of the first things to go on the table because other people are also being mindful of what they eat.

My most popular and most often requested contribution is fresh fruit salad. The one I made for today’s party was a mix of pineapple, mango, kiwi, red grapes, strawberries, apple, banana, plump blackberries, a few craisins, and topped by chopped pecans from my dad’s tree. It was gone in a flash. Making it is a pain in the neck but it’s always well received – and I know that it’s not only tasty but easy on points. That made it easier to have half a bagel, which I’d planned for, and some juice. Since I was in charge of buying that, too, I had V8 as well as OJ and Apple Juice. And once again, the V8 was more popular than I’d expected.

But the “crap” at work is a problem. I could try moving the “leftover general food” to another spot in the department but there really isn’t a space that isn’t in the way of routine work other than the place where it is now. Which is right outside my door, calling to me. Eaaaaaaaatttt meeeeeeeee.

It’s hard to ignore that cry and just fill the water bottle.