donut_bananaCelebrating with food is a big part of working in an office environment. You will celebrate every occasion with a muffin or a bagel in one hand. Office culture revolves around celebrating with food – muffins for office move day, cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday, cake for a baby shower, etc. The ferris wheel of carbs never ends.

At my workplace, we have a free company breakfast every Wednesday morning in addition to the stream of baked goods during the week. For the record, I am not one to complain about anything free. (And if I ever become that person, you have permission to slap some sense into me.) The breakfast spread is impressive: cut fruit, whole fruit, every baked good you can imagine, and a hot entree like oatmeal or eggs.

Choices, Choices

Life is about choices. You can make a bad choice or a good choice; it’s totally up to you. This is especially true at the free breakfast table. I’ve trained myself to be blind to pastries and other junk food, but old habits got the best of me and I grabbed a danish along with my bowl of fruit yesterday. In the 10-ish minutes it took to walk back to my desk from the cafeteria, that lovely danish oozed a blob of jelly and left a garish grease stain on my napkin. That was all I needed to see.

Past Me would’ve looked past that grease stain and kept on eating. Present Me tossed that fat- and sugar-laden mess in the trash and ate a banana instead. Celebrating with food – good food – is one thing, but eating junk because others are eating junk around you is completely different.

I’m guessing it’s not a coincidence that a recent study from CareerBuilder found that 41% of workers said they gained weight at their present job. Time to put down the pastry and go for a walk.

Suggested Reading

“Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss (Buy from Amazon | Read a preview from Google Books)