Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Think My Job is Making Me Fat


Okay people, it's the start of a new year (okay, it will be tomorrow), and this is the time when many of us make resolutions to lose weight.  I've been one of them for...I don't even know how many years now.  And today I sit here typing, the heaviest I've ever been.

I've had the pleasure of being off work for over a week now, and it's given me a lot of time for reflection.  I've said before that the times in my life when I've lost the most weight, it seemed to just fall off effortlessly.  I wasn't ever on some fabulous new diet plan or working out like crazy.  So, I've been thinking lately about what exactly was going on in my life at those times that could have contributed to the weight loss.

The time I lost the most, and got down to my all time low as an adult (112), I was 28, married, and teaching 6th grade.  The interesting thing is that my husband and I separated right after I hit that weight.  So, clearly, things in that department had not been going well while I was losing the weight.  What was going well was my job.

I was teaching in a really small school and had a self-contained class of 17 6th graders.  I loved them.  This is the only time in my life when I would wake up Monday morning and be excited about going to work.  (Maybe because I wanted to get away from that husband?)  I had a gorgeous classroom, I loved the small class, and yes I had a couple challenging students, but I loved all 17 of them as though they were my own kids.  We had a lot of fun that year.  I look back at pictures of me during that time, and I swear I was beautiful and glowing.

The next year, they moved me up to teach Junior High Language Arts, and I hated it.  And I gained a lot of the weight back.  Plus I spent that year separated from the husband.

The husband and I got back together, and the next time I was able to lose a large amount of weight, we were desperately trying to build a business (I think this is where the term "epic fail" originated) and to resuscitate our failing marriage.  I wasn't working a typical job, just working on the business, and I could pretty much set my own schedule.  I did exercise during that time, but nothing crazy.  And I lost maybe 20 pounds.

Then I got my current job (and eventually got rid of that husband!) and gradually built my fat stores up to their current levels.

Being off work all this time for the holiday break, I've been pretty calm and content.  I did some visiting with friends and family, slept in a lot, ate whatever I wanted, got snowed in with my cuddly pups, and have done virtually no exercise.  And I swear I've lost weight.  I haven't actually stepped on the scale, but I can tell.

Then the other day one of my co-workers called me, and I kid you not, after a 2 minute phone call with her, I hung up the phone and cried for an hour.  I can't even explain why, and if I tried, it wouldn't make any sense to anyone else.  But just speaking to that person threw me into a tailspin.

I do stress an awful lot about my job.  There are things about it that I love an awful lot too.  But a lot of things I don't love.  I've debated quitting (briefly) but I truly don't think that's the thing to do right now.  However, I do need to find ways to minimize the stress, including minimizing my time with that particular person!

My plan, going into the new year is to right away schedule myself some time off.  Having two weeks off in a row is pure heaven, so I'm going to plan another long vacation for about 1/2 way through the year.  I'm also going to look at the months in between and make sure I have at least a long weekend every single month, whether through an actual holiday or through my own vacation time.  Hopefully regular time off will help keep me sane.

I have also talked to my boss about cutting back a bit on my late nights and weekends.  We all are, not just me.  So, hopefully that will ease a little more stress (for everyone in the office).  Also, I have a new duty that will require me to spend one more day per month on the road, rather than in the office.  I'm going to make sure that day I'm gone is a day when you-know-who is there, and make sure I'm there all day if you-know-who is to be out.

The other thing is that I truly need to let go of this need to make sense of all the craziness that my job entails.  I work for the state, which means government red tape and bureaucracy (I spelled that so wrong the first three times that spell-check couldn't even figure out what I was trying to say) and a lot of nonsense.  In the past, we've had a bit of a say in eliminating some nonsense, but anymore it seems like the more we protest, the more nonsense is thrown at us.  I don't handle nonsense well.  But, I think, in the interest of my own sanity, in this case, I can't beat 'em so I need to join 'em.  Which means just accepting the nonsense and doing what I'm told and not expecting anything to be logical or reasonable.  Regina and I are going to work together on this.  And try to get our creative and intelligent outlets outside of the job.

I hope all of these steps, combined with making more of an effort to exercise and eat right, will help me find the magic formula that makes this body let go of her fat.  What do you plan to do differently in 2010?

1 comment:

singedwingangel said...

OH yeah stress is a HUGE fdactor in weight gain and loss. Sounds like you are getting it under control and taking control of your stress for you...