Friday, October 17, 2008

Why My Job is Bad for My Health

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I'm a non-profit fundraiser and I've made my whole career working in the arts. It's stressful and often means long hours, nights and weekends. And as I've grown in responsibility and reached the double-edged sword of middle management, it means I often lose a lot of sleep worrying over things and I still need to find a better way to find a life balance. But that's all for another day.

No, today I'm sharing about a very literal way in which my job is bad for my health... cuz I spend a huge portion of my working life on special events. Lately, we've averaged 2 events a week. And that means lots and lots of catered food. Oh, catered food, how I love thee... it tastes good, there's more variety than I ever make myself, I don't have to prep or clean up! But, of course, it's terrible for any kind of diet or sensible eating.

In the past, when I've really been *on* in terms of watching what I eat, I made sure to have a Lean Cuisine or something about a 1/2 hour before an event would start, so that I wouldn't go hungry and make my first stop at the buffet. Since I am WORKING, it's not like I can just make myself a huge plate and go at it -- I actually rarely have time to eat during an event, but it's the aftermath. Once all the guests have gone, all of our staff just closes down the buffet and chows on the stuff we've been looking at all night. Then, any leftovers magically reappear in our office the next day. There is ALWAYS food in the office, and it's usually pretty darn good stuff. (pear a brie mini-quesadillas anyone? LOVE.)

So, one of the things I know I have to do is just exercise better discipline overall about what I eat at events. We're going to continue to have them, and I know I won't be able to just eliminate the temptation. That means I have to monitor my own behavior - such a chore! - and make sure I'm not overdoing it just cuz there's tantalizing little goodies right in front of me.


DC Food Blog said...

Don't beat yourself up about it. It was TORTURE for me when my job had a meeting with croissant sandwiches. I did a phone banking thing the other night where the food for volunteers was pasta and salad. This shit is HARD. You're right though. The key is the same key as making sure you don't go to the supermarket hungry. When you're hungry EVERYTHING looks good. I've found that having chicken breast on hand makes a huge difference. If you can cook three or four at a time bring two to work just to have on hand for emergencies. I've found vegetables aren't going to kill a bout of hunger but protein really does the trick without bloating you.

ScottE. said...

We made a mini rule for our work events...also very frequent...we aren't "allowed" to go the buffet until we're done, at which point all that is left is crudite and maybe some cheese. So you don't scarf down as much, but get something in your belly so your aren't ravenous! And another good thing I guess, our caterers won't let us take leftovers...liability when the event is done...the food is done/gone/out of sight.

I say "allowed" as in...we can get something if we want too, but we're going to try to spend our time talking to our donors instead of eating.

We've cut back on catering for our meetings.

The only other thing are our donor lunches, one to one, here, we're usually talking so much you don't get to eat as much anyway. I tend to get salads, they are easier to eat while talking and you don't have to worry about your hot food getting cold.