One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

WEEKLY QUESTIONS

What’s Easier? Work or Home?

43 Comments 2775 views

Question of the weekLoveSunniDays asked me a great question today on twitter after I tweeted about the Business Admin in my office who likes to bring in her home baked goods.

LoveSunniDays said…

For me staying on task eating wise is easier at home than with all those temptations at work..How bout for a blog topic? Thanks

I immediately thought it would make a great question of the week because I’ve been on both sides of this coin. On one end I find it easier at work because I bring what I bring and that’s it. If I plan and actually pack a lunch, work time can be a cinch! Whereas when I’m home I have my whole pantry and fridge to dig around in whenever I please.

However, sometimes I feel the opposite. When I’m at work there are too many things out of my control… morning donuts, catered meetings, vending machines, etc. As compared to being home where *most* of everything in my kitchen are things I stocked, Therefore I am in control to make good choices.

So I’m curious which environment do you find easier? Do you feel more in control at work? at home? Does it matter?



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Discussion

There are 43 comments so far.

    Robyn

    August 10, 2009

    When I’m working (teaching), I tend to focus on lessons, the kids, etc. and neglect to eat snacks and my lunch. It was a terrible pattern by the end of the year. I am enjoying the summer when I can take my time, plan things, etc.

    shandy (aka @webgals)

    August 10, 2009

    Hands down (and out of the goodies)…it’s easier for me at the office. I’m WAY more apt to cheat at home. I’m strong at work because other people are ‘watching’ (in my mind). I break from time to time with extra special goodies (ex. pumpkin bars), but if it isn’t worth it…I don’t indulge. At work.

    Kimberly

    August 10, 2009

    Work is easier for me because I only take what I want to eat for the day and my mind is distracted with things besides food. All of my co-workers know not to tempt me with treats. They are very supportive in my efforts to lose 200 lbs.

    Home is hard. There is all of this time to eat when I am bored or indulge in every little craving that I have. To get around that I just don’t have any food at home. If I want to eat I have to go out to get it. It works for me.

    Mara @ What's for Dinner?

    August 10, 2009

    Work is SO much easier for me. I can avoid the room where the treats usually are, and I only eat what I bring!!! Home though, there’s quantity… which is not so good for me!

    joz1234

    August 10, 2009

    Definitely easier at home. I control my portions better, eat my snacks at the right time. The hard part is when hubby is home.

    Rachel

    August 10, 2009

    Oh, it switches back and forth for me all the time. Some days at work, I raid the candy drawer an embarrassing amount, but sometimes I can resist just fine. Then at home I do well when I don’t keep much temptation around, but sometimes I find myself Googling “single serving brownie.” So it goes. I’m inconsistent – human!

    Rebeca

    August 10, 2009

    You know what… work is easier most of the time- because you’re right “you bring what you bring.” The key is planning there but if I’m on top of that then work is easy because I’m not *hungry* at random times, I just know when I get a break from my students and can eat and otherwise I just keep moving and find that I’m not really so hungry.

    Plus, my work friends think of me as a healthy eater so I can’t stroll in the teacher’s lounge with McDs every day or snack out of the vending machine. Although, I do struggle at the catered events with all the desserts, I usually just have the dessert because the events are only about 6-10 times a school year anyway!

    While I love being home and the creativity that inspires, it’s also easy to just grab a snack at the first twinge of hunger and those snacks can really add up if you’re not careful.

    Nicole

    August 11, 2009

    I am definitely more consistent at work when I bring my own food, etc. However, I am more susceptible to temptation from cookies, etc that end up in the breakroom. At home I end up nibbling my way to too many extra calories. A serving of pop chips, some veggies and hummus, a handful of nuts . . . gets me in trouble every time!

    Jenna

    August 11, 2009

    sometimes it changes but for the most part its easier at work. at work I get so busy and even with a desk job I dont have time to eat or the phone is ringing non stop and I cant answer it with a mouth ful of food! lol Today was so busy I totally forgot my mid am snack and all the sudden I was starving and I was wondering why until I looked at the clock and realized it was 12!!!! At home I get these urges to binge. For the most part I dont have things that arent good for me at home…..but I usually can find a candy bar the husband left around or a pop tart fromt eh kids candy from whatever holiday that just pasted and if it is in the house it calls my name. and even if there is nothing at all unhealthy in the house I tend to go overboard on my portions of things! At work I dish my portion out when I pack my lunch and once thats gone its gone and its time to go back to work so it works for me.

    What used to be hard for me at work was the constant cookies or cake that would end up in the back somehow for “everybody” or my boss buys us lunch or lattes alot and that was so hard to turn down something “free and so yummy” but I have taught myself to think “its not free it comes with a huge calorie price tag” and then its alot easier to say no.

    mizztcasa

    August 11, 2009

    home is easier for me. I can control what’s around me at home and can avoid items if I think I might be tempted to eat something mindlessly; in contrast, if there’s candy or cookies (anything sweet) in the junk draw/tray at work, i feeled compelled to eat it. i rarely turn down sweets…and when i do, i eventually end up bingeing on some later down the rode anyways. that’s why i like my home. i can be satisfied with a dove chocalate bar for the whole week.

    Mandi

    August 11, 2009

    It is definitely much easier for me when I am at work. I work part time—3 days a week…so I am exposed to both situations pretty much equally. I can say no, without a problem, to goodies that coworkers bring in and I pack my lunch religiously…so what I pack is what I eat…period! At home, there are too many variables, too many unknowns…to many snacks…even if they are “good for you” to grab a bite here and a bite there. I have a MUCH easier time at work.

    Great question!

    Kerry

    August 11, 2009

    Great topic! I think work is easier, if I’ve packed my lunch and snacks. There is an office candy jar (thankfully, it’s been empty lately) which is a problem for me, especially if I am there late. While gum is not considered very professional, sometimes I chew a piece when I do work later to keep my mouth busy.

    Janice

    August 11, 2009

    Home is much easier! I am a snacker and I avoid them at home for some reason. At work, I am constantly grabbing something. We have a small office and our vending is on an honor system which makes it even worse. If I don’t have the money, an IOU will suffice until tomorrow! However, the owner usually buys fruit and has a nice basket sitting out so I am on a mission to only eat the healthy fruit! I think the snacking at work comes from the need to break up the day and get away from my desk. At home, I am free to do what I want when I want so I am not tempted to snack.

    Lynne

    August 11, 2009

    Work, definitely! I take only the food I need for the day, and when it’s gone, it’s gone! I’ve gotten to the point where I can avoid the candy jars and donut boxes – I just don’t put myself near them. I have a harder time at home, especialy on the weekends when my time is less structured and a stocked kitchen.
    You are an obviously creative cook and come up with some great healthy recipes. How do you control yourself around the extra servings, especially the baked goods? I would love to bake more, but find I have problems stopping at just one!

    crazylady

    August 11, 2009

    Much, much, much easier at work… most of the time anyway :) It can be hard to watch others eating the stuff I’m trying to stay away from though. I think work gives me a routine and naturally keeps me busy. I do find some people at work actively try to sabotage my efforts though! Mainly I think they are just annoyed that I am eating the way they know they should.

    At home I need to be careful about what I buy as if there are goodies in the press I will often just eat them simply because they are there!! Crazy but true.

    Laurie

    August 11, 2009

    I am on the WORK team. Its way to easy to nibble at home. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about food while I am at work or what I will eat when I get home but at least I have to wait!!

    Julie Cooper

    August 11, 2009

    For the most part, work is easier for me. Like the other responses, when I take the time to pack my lunch and snacks, I tend to stay on track. I have to make a conscious effort to resist the treats brought in by co-workers (without offending them) or the cafeteria desserts. At home, I am surrounded by unhealthy foods, as my husband is a junk food junkie! If I am bored and hungry, I will grab the wrong food! Simply put…it is a daily struggle to make healthy choices. If I have taken the time to plan ahead, making those decisions is much easier!

    Colleen

    August 11, 2009

    I find my eating at home much easier to control than work. We have a well stocked pantry in our kitchenette, breakfast twice a week, and numerous free leftovers from meetings at work throughout the week. It is very difficult to pass on brownies, cookies and muffins when they are available all the time. I do not keep such things in my pantry at home (not usually anyway), lol.

    Diane, Fit to the Finish

    August 11, 2009

    I lost all my weight (150 lbs) while a stay at home Mom with three kids. Sometimes just having all the food available just steps away made it challenging.

    Now 12 years later, with seven kids, I’m home all the time, but I can generally control myself around the junk!

    Melissa

    August 11, 2009

    I definitely find eating at work easier. I bring my own breakfast and lunch and have some emergency snacks on hand at my desk. We don’t have a vending machine, and I’d need to go out to get anything else. Sometimes we have leftovers from meetings or someone brings in baked goods, but I can usually walk away just reminding myself that XYZ would taste better at a bakery where I am sure gloves were worn!! :) That said, sometimes I’ll raid my friend’s candy bucket, but for the most part, I’m on track on work days. I can’t mindlessly-munch at work, but can graze at home (and I do — weekends are my downfall re: grazing).

    SMK

    August 11, 2009

    Tough question…I have an easier time eating well at work because my schedule is so regimented and I can bring lunch and only have healthy snacks. BUT what derails me is the work celebrations where there are unlimited sweets or if there is leftover snacks from a meeting that was catered, it is left out for everyone to take.

    Home has the problem of unlimited food…but I find that the days I’ve worked from home, I do pretty well and actually take the opportunity to cook myself a healthy lunch and for whatever reason, when I am at home I do not get my afternoon snack attack and if I do, I will most likely chose something healthy because I don’t have a vending machine in my home. :)

    MMJ

    August 11, 2009

    Inconsistent for me too. It’s all about my mindset. I can do terrible damage both at home and at work!

    jessica

    August 11, 2009

    well, I’m a SAHM now and have been for the past 3 years, but I can say as far as snacking – it was definitly easier to control at work, UNLESS someone brought in treat or we went out or someone wanted to share extra goodies – whatever…but what I’ve really noticed is even if I seem to snack more now that I’m home, I am WAY more active. When I worked, I did exercise, on average, 4x’s a week, but I had a desk job. SOmetimes I’d also walk at lunch, but for the most part, I sat for at least 5-6 hours of my day. I have maaaaybe 2hours while my daughter is awake that I sit still. we cook a lot now that she’s older, and bake a lot too, but I try to do healthier things, and really, we just keep active.

    I plan on going back to work in 2 years when she enters school, but i know the things I’ve learned over the last 3.5years SO far will help keep me on track. :)

    Paige

    August 11, 2009

    Work is easier for me. I pack my lunch and snacks; and that’s that. Sometimes others do bring cakes and things to celebrate birthdays, but I just take my healthy snack with me to the celebration. People used to tease me about it; but since I have been eating a healthy diet for quite sometime, people don’t say anything about it anymore. They know that I am dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, and they don’t try to tempt me. They know I can’t and won’t be tempted!

    Vanessa

    August 11, 2009

    both are very hard for me. At home, of course, there are the pantry, fridge and freezer – even if it’s good for me snacks. At work, there is the office candy dish (no longer living on MY desk) and the awesome cafeteria which is in my building.

    I would have said work but lately its so slow and then you get bored and then you start thinking about the vending machine and all the stuff that you havent had a in a while.

    whereas, ive been so busy at home lately that I eat what Ive planned and then Im off again.

    conundrum for sure!

    andmarie

    August 11, 2009

    Hands down, without a doubt, work is easier for me. I have the structure and a daily routine. When I’m off work and without a routine, look out!

    Rachel

    August 11, 2009

    I’m a teacher but I don’t have my own homeroom anymore – I pull kids out of their homerooms to work with them in small groups. When I was a homeroom teacher finding time to eat a bite at all was a struggle, so for that reason it was easier to eat at home. Now, it’s much easier when I pack something to bring to school.
    A local church has ‘adopted’ us and today brought in homemade baked goods, fruit and almonds – for some reason I wasn’t tempted by the baked goods…the treats I pick out at home is the dangerous stuff!

    Cynthia (it all changes)

    August 11, 2009

    At my office it is just me and Hunni. We don’t have the extra sweets and stuff brought in by coworkers (we are pastors at a church). But when we have to go to catered events it can be hard because I have no choice.

    At home it’s more difficult because it’s always there and available. Even though I don’t buy a bunch of junk and snacks too much of my healthy stuff (raw nuts, hummus, multigrain crackers, etc) is still not good for me.

    When I was a teacher though I totally had a hard time avoiding the nice stuff brought in by the PTA.

    Josie

    August 11, 2009

    It’s def. easier for me to stay on track at home! I work with my husband in our family run furniture business so it’s pretty easy to take breaks whenever you want. It also doesn’t help when my husband rather eat McDonalds for lunch instead of a nice quinoa salad i made or when my father in law buys 2 pizzas to share w/ everyone, seriously who could resist that?? waay to much temptation.

    Ami

    August 11, 2009

    I’m a SAHM, but eating right at home is not a problem as long as I plan. I like to cook a pot of soup before the week begins and we eat that with veggies every day for lunch, so really it seems easier. The food’s planned just like I was at work, only I don’t have the hassle of packing! Plus, like someone else mentioned, I’m just so active. I don’t sit down during the day and most of the evening unless I’m nursing, and I can’t eat then. Another thing – I want my kids (5,4 & baby) to be healthy eaters. So…can’t be giving in to the junk food around them. They’ll learn my old bad habits! Caring for my children has made it impossible many times to give into those unhealthy temptations.

    Erin

    August 11, 2009

    Okay, I’m a stay at home mom…so you CAN stop reading here. But, I have been on WW for 12 weeks and I can say strongly home seems like the easiest place for me to stay in control and not feel tempted. Everywhere else I go seems harder.
    Anyway, the real reason I wrote was to say, “Roni thanks for your honesty”. Doritos… I gave them to my son today (which I know was wrong) and even though I was SERIOUSLY tempted to have one I did not b/c of you. All I could think of was you and your “feelings” towards them. I thought if she struggles, I REALLY WILL! So, I didn’t put a single chip anywhere near my lips. And when he was done (he didn’t finish the little 100 calorie pack….which proves he is an alien), I quickly chucked them in the trash.
    So my butt and gut thank you.

    mg

    August 12, 2009

    I am a mother and a full time med student, and I have found that I do better when I am in my “routine” and my lunch is packed. The schedule and structure helps me to stay on better track with my points. As the mother of a 3 year old son who rarely finishes ANYTHING, it’s always so tempting to eat his leftovers, but I’m still working on that. And if anyone has any ideas on what good beverages for toddlers would be, please let me know! My son refuses to drink plain water, but I’m afraid we are overboard with the sugar, even though it’s Motts for Tots juice!

    Dana

    August 12, 2009

    Home is easier for me. I eat fast food much more during the work week.

    Susan

    August 12, 2009

    It is so much easier at work. I work full time and have 2 little girls.

    I pack my breakfast, lunch and snacks to bring to work and also make coffee to bring too :-). Like you said, as long as I plan ahead, it works out great and my points are easy to control. In fact, when school is in session, I pack as many “components” as I can for the whole week ahead of time. I do the same for my older daughter, who is 6. For example, I pack up my almonds for snacks ahead of time, measure my 3/4 cup portions of cereal and bag them up ahead of time, etc.

    I guess when I have my food packed, it is so much easier to ignore other food at work. Weekends are harder for me (though when I plan, that also gets easier).

    Jennifer G

    August 12, 2009

    Work! As soon as I get home I think I must munch on everything in site. Afternoon is my time of the day that I am so hungry. I do so well at work all day. I need to change my afternoon habits…..

    susan

    August 13, 2009

    Work is way easier. In spite of the fact that I work with mostly women who constantly bring in treats, it’s fairly easy to stay away from them since they’re mostly store bought and not worth eating. At home I’m surrounded by delicious food, AND I have two children, a dh, and a bunch of housework demanding my attention.

    McLauren84

    August 13, 2009

    I work at a high-end public relations agency, so delicious catered treats are abound! However, I manage to avoid them almost all the day. I consider them off limits about 80 percent of the time, so I sometimes indulge in something super amazing looking. I enjoy being able to control my meals. I bring a breakfast and lunch to keep things under control. Work is such a better environment for me that I would probably be much thinner if the weekend didn’t exist!

    Josie mentioned being tempted by her husband’s indulgences. I have a similar issue, with a twist. My boyfriend and I lost weight together two years ago. I lost 25, he lost 35 (men, so easy for them!) Since then, he has lost 10 more and is maintaining a totally healthy weight. I still can’t seem to lose my 40 or 50 extra pounds. He doesn’t at all encourage me to indulge, but I somehow have this attitude of, “I’m with my boyfriend, who I love spending time with. I’d be even happier if I had some chips or ice cream, too!”

    Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

    doug remington

    August 13, 2009

    I really like your site. I have had trouble losing the weight recently. It was all so easy at the beginning when the weight was rolling off. But things have slowed down a bit.

    Your site has renewed my courage to struggle on down that happy road of merky weight loss.

    Carol

    August 13, 2009

    I haven’t been in the workforce for over 8 years now, but I did Weight Watchers then and I’m on Weight Watchers now. I think it’s easier when you’re in the right frame of mind no matter what your environment is.

    I do like the amount of control that I have at home. If I don’t buy junk, then its just not available. When I was working, it was also so much easier to just go out to eat (usually something unhealthy) after a long day at work. Being a SAHM means we don’t have a lot of extra income for restaurant meals, so I always try to have ingredients on hand for fast and healthy meals. I’ve definitely lost more weight at home than at work, but I also gained more at home!

    Cindy M.

    August 17, 2009

    I don’t find one or the other easier. They are both incredibly difficult for me, its a battle every hour of every day. I find what is easy is grocery shopping at the begininning of the week, then planning my meals, prepping all my fruits and veggies, and not bring snackable stuff into the house. Work is hard because of office goodies, free lunches etc…home is hard because nobody is watching me (i live alone) and therefore have no accountability. What I have found however is that the weekdays (M-F) give me structure because of work and home… i have a routine… the weekends get out of control because its an unpredictable free-for-all. Yikes!

    Sandra

    August 17, 2009

    I agree with the work setting being easier. I (also) teach in an elementary school and even though my room is always stocked with a treat box and huge container of animal crackers, I am much better there. The routine and structure to the day is immensely helpful. It helps that I don’t really have time to leave the building to get lunch (there are two delicious, yet very unhealthy fast food places across the street). If I were to ever to opt for either one, 3/4 of my lunch time would be gone by the time I got back. I definitely enjoy the time I have off in the summer, but it’s the time when I regain so much weight. I absolutely loathe the summer heat. We don’t have central air which discourages me from working out or “hanging out” in the kitchen preparing food. I end up hitting the drive thru more often than I should because I have the AC cranked in the car and “cooking and cleanup” are a cinch. Aah, the many excuses one can come up with! I am ALMOST looking forward to the school year beginning again so that the structure will force me back into making better choices.

    Emily

    August 22, 2009

    I feel like I’m the only one who is saying that work is AWFUL as far as snacking goes. lol Home is sooooo much easier to control myself. But see, I don’t have an office job, I actually work in food service. I’m surrounded by food ALL frickin’ day, and when you’re cooking stuff you actually like (even though it’s unhealthy), resisting the urge to nibble is EXTREMELY hard. I’ve tried chewing gum, I’ve tried everything, but I can’t resist BBQ or macaroni salads. It’s a struggle everyday.