How to Avoid Cubicle Obesity

How to Lose Weight and Look Great Working Full-time in a Cubicle Environment

Does your office look like this?

It was a brisk Monday morning as I woke up around 7:45 AMto get ready for my normal 30-minute commute to work.  I had gotten dressed, put on my makeup, brushed my hair, and headed out the door into my convertible Volkswagen. Everything seemed fine and normal until I walked through the building into the lobby and onward through to the other side of the building. I could start to feel my face getting flush and heard myself huffing and puffing all the way to my cubicle.  

'What is wrong with me?'

I thought I was okay. I ate whatever tasted good and never exercised nor got on a scale.

I thought I was having a panic attack or the early signs of a heart attack. "What is wrong with me?" That's what I was thinking as I waddled all the way to my office seat. Surely to goodness I haven't gained a bunch of weight. I didn't eat much except when I was hungry. I kept myself busy and I was a very positive person. I was in my early 40s so maybe it was a sign of aging—or maybe not. It wasn't until after my work shift after I got home that I removed my clothing and stepped on a bathroom scale.

251 POUNDS! How did I gain 35 pounds since I started working at a publishing company? Then I started to think about how my life had changed in general. I was living over 45 hours a week in a cubicle! The only exercise I had was walking to my desk to work and walking back to my car at the end of the day. Weekends were my only time to spend with family and there wasn’t a lot of walking or exercising going on. Whenever there was bad news or a customer service issue, I would break out the comfort food. A cupcake here. A granola bar there. Nothing that I was eating was healthy at all. Not even anything that I was drinking. I would drink at least two soda pop cans during the workday and even more by the end of the night.

Did you know that sitting for very long periods is very unhealthy for you? If you spend most of your time sitting down, it can lead to a very early death. The disorders that your body will face are tremendous: obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and the list goes on. A statistic shows that 86 percent of Americans sit their entire day at work.  

So, how did I start to lose weight? First, I changed my thinking. I was not going to allow myself to grab a cupcake or take a sip of soda every time I received some bad or negative news. Rewarding yourself with unhealthy food is not a reward. It hurts you. It may give you a temporary emotional high but it doesn’t do you any good physically speaking. Therefore, I replaced that thinking with some meditation. If I didn’t like what I was hearing, I would take a few moments to relax and start thinking positively. Before you know it, I was past thinking that the only alternative was to grab a frosted goodie or take a sip of soda.

Second, I changed the way I was eating. I started bringing to work some healthy food and began a more healthy lifestyle. Instead of eating junk food and drinking soda pop, I started to bring fruits and vegetables, a sandwich with some protein, as well as tea and some bottled water. Soda was not even an option anymore. It was difficult at first to forget the soda, but within a week, it made it easier and easier to forget about it. Now I haven’t had a soda pop for months and I don’t miss it.

I also started to fit some exercise into my busy schedule. Your job allows you to take breaks aside from lunch, don’t they? I would take those breaks and begin to use them by walking around the parking lot or on the sidewalk along the street while listening to some music or walking with some co-workers. The time would fly by but before you know it, I had ended up walking a lot and enjoyed it more and more without breathing heavy.

I would also keep an eye on my calorie intake on the weekend and avoided any comfort food that wasn’t good for me. After a few weeks of tracking my progress, I weighed myself on the scale and noticed I had dropped ten pounds! I was victorious! I knew I had a long road ahead of me so I kept doing what I was doing and would increase exercise whenever I could and replaced unhealthy eating with very healthy eating and only ate when I was hungry.

Quit making excuses!

Making an excuse doesn't make you healthier.

My advice to you today is to quit making excuses to yourself on how you are "too busy" to do this or that it doesn’t fit your schedule. It’s going to feel different at first, changing your normal work scene. But once you do, I will guarantee you that you will look and feel 100 percent better and you will lead a much healthier life and live longer.

Kathy Lester
Kathy Lester

I'm a published author with two major publishers, a graphic designer, co-founder of Madcap Toys and Dreamscape Ministries, a mom to three adult sons and a Nana to four grandchildren.  If you like what you are reading, send me a gift or tip. 

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