As a 43-year-old wife, mother, FITness blogger and personal trainer, it’s most interesting to look back on my 20-year old and 30-year-old self. What’s now so “in my face” obvious was then so utterly conventional and lack luster. What I know now is that God was setting me up!
Fresh out of college, I landed a fast paced Fortune 500 corporate job. Six months prior I was in cushy college graduation mode and had managed to reach a significant weight loss goal. I was fiery eyed and determined never to return to a size 12 which was heavy on my 5’4 frame.
Immediately, I was thrust into the corporate florescent lime light of panty hose, cubicles and was chained to a desk 8-5 Monday thru Friday. How in heaven’s sake would I find time to workout and stay FIT??
Had it not been for this 9 year experience, I don’t think I would be able to identify with all of the folks in the daily rat race. All the people out there doing the redundant 8 to 5, with a strict 1 hour lunch and a 40 minute commute. Been there before. I lived the days of leaving the house in the dark and returning home in the dark. I vividly remember the compressed anxious feeling like there’s no time for FITness. Friend, listen up…where there is a will, there is a way.
- I begrudgingly found the time! Against my better judgement, I set my alarm clock to wake up a whole full hour earlier to FIT it in. I’m not going to lie, it was pure torture at first but the back-end
pay offweight management was a beautiful thing.
- Elevators, what elevators? I found the stair well to be most effective even in high heels. Two at a time doll and squeeze that butt!
- I found a bathroom clear across campus. I would tromp as far as I could to use the lady’s room. This was way before counting steps was even a THING!
In the corporate world, office etiquette is a real big deal and can be an ultra sensitive area. Much like airplane courtesy, eating snacks or lunch at your desk can wreak havoc on an entire floor. I recall the days of stinking up the break room with my canned tuna or boiled eggs. I would politely apologize and awkwardly break a “forgive me, I’m just a dingy blonde” sort of smile. At first it was nothing but dirty looks and jokes then surprisingly followed by healthy eating questions. Thus began new friendships, workout partners, and healthy eating accountability co workers. So, what if FITness stinks? Where there is a will there is a way!
- Try to consolidate the pungent smells to the break room or take your lunch outside. Perhaps there is a lunch room or cafeteria available?
- Quickly light a match or candle after you eat unless it’s against company policy. Then you can try using a plug-in or air freshener. STICK UP TIME!
- Pack only healthy snacks such as berries, pretzels, nuts and protein bars or shakes
- Make a deal with yourself to only eat lunch out once or twice a week…and evens till you can order grilled chicken and grilled chicken salad with no dressing, steamed veggies and rice.
- Tactfully skip the office birthday bash so you’re not tempted to partake in a piece of store-bought cake. Save your cheat meal for something GREAT!
A while later, I had the luxurious experience of the much coveted “work from home” arrangement. After nine years of business suits, I had only dreamed of sitting in my house wearing comfy pi’s sipping coffee behind a dial-up lap top. It’s hard to decipher which environment was more challenging from a FITness stand point. There is certainly something to be learned about getting up, dressing for success and hustling out of the door. The casual kitchen office setting is not as ideal as many might think. Trust me, it’s NOT for everyone and certainly an acquired taste of discipline. I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to handle this kind of freedom. But…where there is a will there is a way!
- I had to fist fight the urge to SIT all day long. Suddenly I actually missed the frequent office interruptions. There was no water cooler chit-chat and co-worker interaction. The only welcomed distraction I might have was if the mail man rang the bell while dropping a package.
- Instead of doing dishes and laundry at lunch time, I had to make a point and YUUGE effort to get our of my slippers and slouchy yoga pants. It was necessary for me to get out of the house. I joined a local gym or took to the streets for some brisk cardio. The fresh air did my mind a favor.
- I had to establish my make shift home “office” out of eye sight and away from the alluring pantry. Holy snackville. Having all of my fridge favorites right at my disposal was a new-found feeding frenzy. I had to move away from the kitchen!
Travel time. Between the cubicle and home office years I spent about two years working corporate trade shows. I was finally living what I thought was the ultimate in corproate fulfillment. The glamorous weekly travel schedule. I was grooving checkin in and out of hotels and bustling through convention centers and airports which was a whole new ball of wax. I had only traveled for pleasure so the whole biz travel deal was a different gig. Any expert road warrior can attest to the grueling hours of luggage retrival, cab rides, delays and bad eating habits developed out of sheer boredom or necessity. But I had a will and I found a way!
- I learned to travel with a pair of tennis shoes in my back pack in case I experienced long airport flight delays. Instead of sitting at the airport bar, I would power walk the airport. You have to completely not care what folks might think. Plus what I learned about airports is no one is paying attention. Humans are so super self absorbed. The people watching while crusing the airport is the best it gets.
- I utilized hotel gyms when possible. Again, the whole wake up early or excusing myself from happy hour with the co workers required dicipline. I traded in an hour of sweat in the gym followee by healthy room service for a next day hang over.
- I had to drill down on packing healthy snacks and keeping hydrated was a MUST!
Stay tuned tomororw for a continium on where there is a will there is a way… thru marriage, bare foot and pregnant, manic motherhood, post partum, depression, weight gain, financial strain and terrible toddlers. The point is, no matter where you find yourself, I’m looking right into your eyes, holding your sweet face and whispering, “there is a way to true weight loss and change.” I have walked through it and it’s not sexy or by any stretch perfect but it can be maintained.
Love, find the time and rise and grind!