Ode to the Wheel of Death

Posted: June 30, 2012 in Weight loss
Tags: , ,

Good morning!

I never really thought I’d be able to do this, but this post marks my 30th post for the month of June. Uhm, yay me? Seriously, though… I just wanted to thank all you who read my musings on a semi-regular basis. Writing this has allowed me to really keep focused on the goal and helps alleviate boredom which would normally make me eat. As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing (and I’ll still keep writing even if you stop reading). So, on to the meat of today’s post.

I’ve found that perhaps my biggest challenge on the weight loss journey has been to eat well while at work. We are surrounded by any number of  food joints within an easy drive ranging from the ubiquitous McFood, Long John Silvers,  Rude Wendy’s, a Pizza Hut, two Subways, Waffle House, and a host of local joints. For those feeling a little more adventurous, there’s an Old Country Slurp n’ Munch, and if you’re feeling more creative, there’s even a supermarket in the shopping complex next door.

The Wheel of Death in all its glory

If you work on the day shift, there’s a cafeteria upstairs, referred to by us locals as “Chez Ptomaine“, or you can take your chances on the Wheel of Death. The Wheel of Death is a staple in many break rooms around the world. It usually contains an array of refrigerated “food” including sandwiches, fatty hamburgers, unhealthy fried junk and overpriced grocery items. Take, for example, a tub of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee pasta. It goes for $1.00 at the nearby grocery. In the Wheel of Death, you’ll pay $2.75. So, you get to pay a 175% markup to stuff your food hole with preservatives and other chemical swill. The other choices aren’t much better. The Wheel of Death also has a reputation for going belly up with alarming frequency, which makes me question the safety of the prepared food stored within.

My two best friends at work.

This leads me to the conclusion that the only way to eat healthy at work is to bring your own. To that end I’ve made a couple of investments. On the left side of the picture, you’ll see a red insulated bag. It’s not huge but allows me enough space to pack a well-balanced meal and adding an ice pack to the penthouse compartment also helps to keep my meal cold. On the right side of the picture is a recent find. It’s a water jug holding around 64 oz. of fluid. The bariatric team has recommended that I try to consume at least 64 oz. of fluid every day and this makes it easy to keep tabs on what I’m drinking. The container comes with its own insulated carrier, so if I load it up with ice, my water stays cold all shift. On that note, if I’m not feeling like water, there are any number of zero calorie drink mixes I can add to jazz up the water. Two of my favorites have been the 4C Totally Light Half & Half, which is half lemonade/half iced tea and the other is not actually a zero calorie mix, that being Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Lemonade. It’s still not too bad at five calories. Either one can really enhance the water or disguise the nasty chlorine taste found in some tap water.

Meal planning and portion control are not that hard if you’re willing to invest the time to work on them. It also helps if you don’t mind leftovers. The real key with leftovers is to use them or freeze them before they go bad. You don’t want that… it might be dangerous to your other condiments.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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