If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between office job | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Jul 19, 2012 in Dear Diary | 21 comments

Office Gut

Happy Thursday, amigos! Just one more day until the weekend. I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

So! As most of you are already aware, blogging about the Hunger Games-like trials and tribulations of weight loss (ha!) is not actually my full-time gig. Though believe me, if someone were to offer me a livable salary to take photos of my dogs and write about how frustrating it is to lose the libbies, I would most certainly NOT turn them down! Alas, however, as that is not the case, I have to have a little thing called a day job. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the concept.

My particular breed of day job involves working for a government contractor in our nation’s capital. It is just as interesting and invigorating as it sounds. I spend the majority of my day glued to my desk, staring blankly at my computer monitor. And between my actual job, blogging, being part of the iPhone generation in general, and taking up the hobby of writing a book in my spare time, I’m finding that I’m spending more time than ever seated. And, y’know, computer…ing.

Sure, it’s great that I’ve replaced hours upon hours of TV and gaming time with something productive (ish) like writing, but it’s still time I’m spending literally resting on my laurels. I’m still making it to the gym 2 to 3 times a week, and often oing workout stuff at home in between, but I’m finding that my efforts there still aren’t really enough to fully counteract the 10+ hours a day I spend on my butt. I think I first saw this infographic (fair warning, it’s really long, so feel free to scroll on through although it is fascinating) on Mary’s blog like, forever ago:

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

I’m pretty sure that after I saw this making the rounds for the first time, I quickly proceeded to ignore it and crawl into a state of denial about my habits. But not anymore! Consider this my official declaration of making an active effort not to spend all my young life in a seated position. As such, I’ve already implemented the following habits:

1. Taking the stairs

Okay, well, this needs a caveat. I work on the 10th floor of my building, so let’s not get crazy: I’m not taking ALL the stairs. But I *am* taking the stairs to and from the parking garage up to the main lobby, and that’s three flights up and three flights down each day. Certainly not groundbreaking, but it’s a start! Maybe one day I’ll start getting brave and tackle the actual stairs up to my office. I’m sure it would give me coworkers great pleasure to see me red-faced and sweaty at 8 AM. 😉

2. Walk through the office

One of the worst things I’m finding is that my efforts to slim down and save money by bringing in my lunches has actually proven detrimental to this whole sitting-all-day-thing. When I bring my lunch, it’s often salads and sandwiches and stuff that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or heated up (or that I’m too lazy to heat up. Oops.) and thus, I just end up spending more time at my desk. I’ve started to force myself to walk back through the office more often, often just to do things like go talk to a coworker about something face-to-face instead of just calling them. Basically, I’m just trying to counteract my natural laziness.

I’m also trying to refocus on my hydration efforts so that I’m more motivated to walk back to the kitchen to get water, which is obviously a healthy effort for multiple reasons.

3. A moderate amount of office-appropriate exercise

At one point, I was really motivated to try and turn my time spent working into time spent working OUT as well. So I tried to turn my desk into a standing desk, and at one point began doing lunges down rows of empty cubicles. In a dress. (It was kind of fun.) Neither turned out to be particularly sustainable, however, since my desk is at the front of our office, and I have high-visibility. Whenever I did need to sit down to work on something, nobody could see me tucked behind my little nook (arguably this wasn’t a bad thing, but you know, the job is as the job does.)

As for the office lunges, well, as amazed as you may be to hear it, even I have a threshold for humiliation. So instead of that, I’m trying to work in movements at my desk that are slightly less attention-drawing, like stretching. It may not be burpees, but it still helps get the blood flowing and that’s something. Before it got ridiculously, outlandishly hot, I was taking fairly frequent walking breaks outside as well, although it’s not particularly motivating to do so with current weather conditions. I know, I know, excuses, excuses. I’m working on it!

So there you have it. Sitting = the enemy. Well, one of the enemies of our computer-driven lives, that is. I’m pretty sure all this typing and computer-based activity is also giving me carpal tunnel, but that’s another whale to tackle at another time, eh? Hahaha… ha.

Anywho, I’d LOVE to hear what you guys to do maintain your sanity and stability while whittling away at your day jobs. One thing I’m sure may occur to you, and that I’ve already thought about, is going to the gym in the AM. I know that if I went and worked out every morning BEFORE work that I’d probably feel less guilty about sitting at my desk all day, but… c’mon. We all know that just won’t happen. It was enough of a struggle just to get myself into the habit of going to the gym AT ALL, and sleeping is just too good, mes amis.

Hopefully these efforts (among others that I will hopefully pick up from you?) will help continue to keep the office gut at bay while I figure out what I’m doing… both with my weight loss, and with my life. You know, until my novel is a national bestseller or something, and then I can pay someone else to figure it out for me. 😉

What are your tips for staying loose and getting some non-sitting movement in at work?

Read More