Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Office Cake vs. Home Cake

Alright, moving on. Fine, those were a couple of harder weeks. While I did much better than I would have normally, I still didn’t do as well as I wanted. This has been a new week, a normal week, and I’ve dived right back into our gym/food tracking routine. Maybe some habits are getting more ingrained. We’re now in week five, steadily plugging along.

But I did realize some interesting things as I was shoving cookie dough in my mouth this past Saturday night. There is another dimension, so to speak, about the default settings I’m trying so hard to change - where I am.

Part of the reason this past week or two was a bit more challenging in terms of food is that we spent over half of it out of the house - first at my parent’s place, then at my MIL’s in Michigan. All of the not-as-great days happened there. It goes without saying that whatever I ate was my choice and I cannot blame anyone else for the occasions I ate too much.

I’m still working on leaning towards saying no when food is offered. In terms of work treats, I’ve made great progress - no bagels at the office breakfast, no cake at the farewell parties (except for that chocolate cake), none of the treats that co-workers randomly bring in. And it really is true that nobody cares whether or not I eat it or why, so I’ve stopped feeling self-conscious.

Oh no, it's fine. Come on in!

As I was eating that cookie dough and vaguely thinking how perhaps I should stop, I realize I probably wouldn't be doing this at home. It’s the setting as much as the actual treat that influences how good I am at turning it down (or, alternatively, deciding that the treat is worth it and enjoying some).

I’ve been able to make progress with ignoring office treats partially because the office is part of my normal routine. Even if the treat itself is special or new, the fact that I’m in the office setting makes it fairly easy to turn it down because I’m used to turning down things in the office, used to passing by the kitchen without peeking at whatever delectable has been placed out. However, that same habit doesn’t really work in new settings, places out of my routine. Turning down cake at work? No problem, I don’t even like cake that much. Turning down cake sitting on the counter at my parent’s house? Gimme.

Somehow I’m still fighting that childhood mentality, which said that parties and basically anywhere that wasn’t my house necessitated some kind of FOMO free-for-all. Treats were a rare commodity in my house, saved for once a week. No cookie jars or ice cream in the freezer. Being a little girl with a lot of issues, I sought the food that thought I was being deprived of elsewhere, anywhere. 

While I’m really proud that I’ve still eaten at “weight loss” levels for almost every day, it’s still a little frustrating that I let a new setting get the best of me. But now I know that new places, even with the same foods, can make it just a little bit harder.


  1. Sounds like you're on the right track Leah! It's so tough to change but it can be done. In my family, my mom especially, equated food with love. If you don't eat what is served, then it's an insult. As in weeping tears if you didn't have dessert that she specially made. It took about five years for me to change my way of thinking and to rationally explain to the family my reasons for my choices. They understand now.

    Yeah in my office, the cake is usually grocery store cake and not worth it, so it's easy to walk by.

    That is one cute kitty! Almost wish I had one too :)

    1. Wow, that sounds awful with the guilt trips! But it's impressive that you were not only able to turn around your way of thinking, but get them to understand too.

      I would love to have a cat but sadly it's not in the cards right now since we don't even know what state we'll be living in in a couple of years.