A Letter Of Apology From The Other SideJul 20, 2015
I had the answers. The solution. The do-this-and-good-things-will-happen plan. I even thought I was being empathetic and understanding. Until it happened to me.
For 5 years I’ve been a work-at-home mom (and for 13 before that). During that time, my focus has defined itself in the health and wellness world through a combination of both personal and professional experience. I’ve learned a ton. And I’ve shared a ton.
One of the most common mantras I’ve spouted has been the importance of eating every 3 hours.
Because it worked for me when I needed to lose weight and boost my own metabolism. The research supports its efficacy, too. I still support this method.
So, why am I apologizing?
Because I’ve been at home, working in my kitchen (literally), with access to food 24 hours a day. My schedule’s been mostly mine. I could say yes or no to playing taxi driver for my boys. I could schedule doctor’s appointments, shopping trips, and even work commitments around my hours. I was in charge… boss, CEO, entrepreneur.
It was, therefore, easy for me to eat every 3 hours. It didn’t require much planning. I had a microwave, refrigerator, and stovetop to do whatever I pleased with given that day’s whim. I had a glove box filled with healthy snacks in my car, so I was prepared for days I was on the go.
And then things changed. I got a job.
Not only did I get a job, but a full-time one outside of my home. The first one for me in 18 years.
There are so many changes I could share with you (mostly positive), but there are a few take-aways from food in particular that have nailed me between the eyes.
- Wake-up call number one: There is no refrigerator or microwave in a hotel conference room. And bananas don’t pack well…
- Wake-up call number two: Other people don’t eat every 3 hours or think about those who do, especially instructors. I’m not sure they ever use the bathroom either (or maybe they just don’t start their day with a bottle of water and a Grande Starbucks coffee).
- Wake-up call number three: Healthy food is not fast food. When you wait until the morning you’re leaving the house to pack your food in a cooler (lesson learned from wake up call number one), you will leave much later than you planned. Boston traffic sucks.
- Wake-up call number four: Planning is hard. Finding foods that require no heating, no cooling, is filling and good for you requires thought and preparation. Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and mozzarella together doesn’t suck.
- Wake-up call number five: Reduced calories and irregular eating patterns during the day will lead to overeating and poor choices later. That burger at your favorite restaurant will know you on a first name basis… as will the onion rings.
So, to all my working friends out there, I’m sorry.
I apologize to all my nurse friends, my teacher friends, and all my other working friends. I know now how difficult it is to eat well and eat regularly in the workplace. My husband is my new hero for committing to making it work every single day. Kudos to the rest of you who are making it work, too.
I am no longer in control. My schedule is not my own. My “eat every 3 hours” mantra, though still firmly held, is dictated by the work, the pace, the people.
Would I trade it? Absolutely not.
But I’m viewing life from the other side. And learning long-overdue humility and empathy daily.
Will you accept my apology?