Today, there were doughnuts in the break room at work. It’s always exciting when there are treats in there. Who doesn’t love office treats? Being responsible, (and because I wasn’t even hungry) I cut myself a HALF of a doughnut. Then, while chatting with co-workers, I went back for the second half. Oops. A little while later, I went back to the break room to get some water, and now there were doughnut HOLES in there too! So, I could just have one more little bite, right? No one’s around, no one’s looking, I eat kale every day, SURE! You can imagine what happened next. I started to feel sugar sick. I had a mild headache, my stomach hurt, I was tired and irritable. Let me tell you something, the doughnut wasn’t even that good. It wasn’t even worth it.
Does this story sound familiar to you? Do you fall into the “sugar cycle” at work when there are free treats to be had, and maybe you are bored at your desk, and hey, “you deserve a treat.” Are you even hungry when you are going for the treats? Notice how easy it is to eat sugar mindlessly. How do you feel afterwards? Maybe you are more unfocused or foggy-brained, or have some of the symptoms that I do. Headaches, stomachaches, and even mood swings are common.
Aside from feeling crappy short-term, there are also much more serious long term effects from eating too much sugar. Weight-gain, diabetes, and candida are all real problems in our sugar obsessed culture. I’m not saying that one cookie will kill you, but it’s important to look at the way we make our choices around sugar. It’s all around us, all the time, and it’s addictive.
Who just eats ONE cookie anyway? We are at the prime time of year for there to be more sweet snacks at work, which is why I propose a challenge. For the next couple of weeks, let's take a break from sugar. Let's be curious about the role that sugar plays in our lives, and how much of a hold on us it really has. Let's test our will power and say, "I can do this!" I'm going to try to hold off on cookies and baked goods until Christmas eve, and I'd love if you would join me.
Sugar is toxic. It’s flat out bad for you. Now, I’m not suggesting we never eat sugar again. That’s not realistic. Let's just see if we can abstain for a little while, and see how it feels. After this little sugar-detox, you might find that you have broken the addiction cycle! After that, Do Dunkin Donuts or kroger-baked cookies really make the cut? I say, if you are going to eat some toxic sugar or baked goods, make it worth it. A family member’s home-baked pie, or a high quality chocolate dessert at a restaurant that specializes in their chocolate desserts. If you are going to have a treat, make it count, and truly enjoy it. In the mean time, here are some ways to avoid the sugar treats at work.
1. SUGAR=POISON. It is not nurturing, it is harmful. Make that association in your mind. See cookies? Think POISON. Poison poison poison. It’s a mindset game. You might want to eat cookies, but you won’t want to eat poison. So, there you go, they are poison now. YUCK.
2. Always have healthy snacks on hand. Don’t let yourself get hungry. Here are some suggestions:Fruit (there’s still sugar in fruit, but there’s also fiber. Satisfy your sweet tooth this way)Freshly sliced veggies and hummus (bell pepper, carrots, celery)Almond or peanut butterSugar snap peas or green beansNutsLeft-over roasted sweet potato from the night before (make extra!)Granola (check the sugar-content when you buy it!)Plain greek yogurt
3. Drink lots of water. And herbal tea. If you think you are hungry, you might be thirsty.
4. Find a friend to hold you accountable. You can do the same for them! Tell people around you that you are taking a "break from sugar". The more you say it, the more you make it true. Others might be inclined to join you!
5. If faced with temptation, simply say to yourself, "No. I am not eating cookies right now." Make this your default response - a habit of saying NO THANKS. Let it empower you that you can stay true to yourself. Tap into that fiery part of yourself!
6. Stay out of the break room. Ask someone else to get your water for you if they are heading in that direction. If you need to take a break or a walk, try the stairs. Good luck guys! If you decide to join me in avoiding sugar at work in the coming weeks, stay empowered! You can do this! I am right there with you. I will be avoiding the cookies in the break room next week! Comment with your success, or with more tips that you have to avoid sugar at work!