Healthy Living in the North

Avoiding the sweets temptation at work

Cutting vegetables for lunch.

Planning healthy lunches at home can help you avoid the temptations of sweets at work.

I have no self-control. None! Sweets are my particular weakness and I can’t pass a candy dish without indulging. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well with my very sedentary desk job.

This past January, I was feeling more and more sluggish and my self-esteem was shrinking, so I decided to do something about it. I enlisted the help of some friends for support and we set up a plan to move more and eat healthier. We took all the things out of my house that did not support our plan. After the initial withdrawals, it has been surprisingly easy to eat healthier and delicious foods.  Even my 8 and 9 year old kids are on board and happy to have made the change (most days).

I’ve been doing very well at home where I am not tempted by sweets at every turn but work is a whole other issue. When did dessert squares become a staple at catered lunches? Worse yet, there are usually leftovers that make their rounds just begging me to have a second. Then there’s the steady stream of birthday cakes, Christmas buffets, ice-cream days, retirement cakes, bake sales, etc. A girl can only withstand so much temptation before she caves! And I do. Every. Single. Time.

While I can’t remove all refined sugars from my workplace, I can refuse to compound the problem. Now when there’s a birthday in my team, I bring in a healthier treat. So far, I’ve brought homemade muffins, a fruit tray, and fruit and yogurt cups. And you know what – it seems to have caught on!  When it was my birthday, someone else brought in the most delicious homemade carrot pineapple muffins that didn’t leave me feeling guilty or depressed.

It seems like such a small change but it has made a big difference for me. I enjoy celebrating with others and I’m happy I can do that without compromising my personal goal of improved health and fitness.

Ana Paterson

About Ana Paterson

Ana Paterson is the Business Support Manager for the Northern Interior. She really enjoys being part of the Northern Health team and watching her work inform decisions that ultimately improve patient care. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, camping, biking, and playing board games.