I never thought, however, that the solution to my problem would be what I deem my nemesis – the workplace. Research has started to show that workplace diets are becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. Mainly because group dieting has proven to be more effective than dieting alone is. A lot more "enlightened" companies are beginning to offer healthier lunches in their cafeterias, lunchtime exercise programs, on-site gym facilities, and my personal favorite "Biggest Loser" competitions where employees compete over a period of time for a large prize for losing the most weight.
Even I, Working Girl Two self-proclaimed hater of diets, have joined in on the workplace diet phase and have entered my company's "Biggest Loser" competition. My company is trying to follow the actual show's rules as closely as possible, which means we were separated into five teams of six, told to elect team captains, and were assigned colors to tell us apart. You are now looking at the red team captain (oh, and our team name is "The Milky Weighers" in case you want a good chuckle today). Every week, we get weighed in and we are judged on the percentage of weight we have lost. According to that, our teams go back and deliberate on who should be voted off (yes, Survivor style). Eventually, like on the show, the teams will condense into four individual players who will then compete for the grand prize. And oh, how grand this prize is…a week-long spa vacation including airfare paid for by our CEO (and no, this doesn't count for the one week vacation I get yearly, this is in addition). I think you now understand why I have entered.
Even though my teammates and I have only been dieting for a week now, I am already starting to feel better about myself. I've visibly begun to lose some weight (although I'm told this is just water weight), am starting to enjoy low-calorie, low-fat pre-packaged meals, and am sweating like a pig at the gym every night. And let me tell you, it feels great. And the only reason that I'm able to do this is because of my co-workers. Every day, they come over to check what I'm having for lunch (today was Lean Cuisine Mac & Cheese which was delicious!) and even gave me tips before I went off for a long weekend filled with day drinking and basketball games – I was warned to only drink clear liquor, light beer, and to avoid nachos and hot wings. And to my surprise, I didn't eat any pizza or French fries because I didn't want to disappoint my team when I step on that scale this Friday.
A few quick tips from the pro (that means me), try to bring your lunches everyday and this will reduce your need for a taco from the restaurant around the corner. A special tip, try going early to work on Monday and stopping at a local supermarket to purchase meals. This way, you'll have your lunches for the week right at your fingertips. Don't skip breakfast – eat an apple or some oatmeal instead. And last but not least, try teaming up with someone at work. If you're doing this for someone else instead of just for yourself, odds are you won't cheat as much.
For more tips on staying skinny at your workplace, click here for 8 ways to stay healthy.