When Having a Job Gets in the Way of Health

Good morning, sunshine.

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Two things I’m proud of:
1. I am a relatively healthy and fit individual (in other words, I make living a healthy lifestyle a priority).
2. I have a good, stable job that allows me to make a comfortable living.
The problem is that sometimes those two things clash with each other. As is most often the case, #2 gets in the way of #1.

As anyone who works in an office building (and more specifically, a cubicle) knows, sitting at a desk all day is not conducive to optimal health. Neither are the cookies, cinnamon rolls, bagels, or donuts that coworkers leave out in the break room. Nor the florescent lights, lack of fresh air, or general stress caused by a boss with unrealistic expectations.

What I’m struggling with most this week is working long hours. One of my coworkers is lounging on a beach in Hawaii, and I’m picking up the slack. I’m on day 4 of logging (painfully) early mornings in addition to my usual late, late nights. I’ve been averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night, which to some people (notably new parents, who are in a different category all together, and to them I apologize for the 6 hours I just bragged about) is a legitimate amount of sleep. But for me, it’s brutal. While it’s rare for me to get more than 7.5 hours a night, I thrive on about 10. No joke. So, I’m really starting to feel the fatigue. I told Andrew this morning that I think I was having dreams last night about sleeping.

For me, lack of sleep translates to diminished desire to workout and make healthy choices. I still take the stairs with Andrew at work, and I still try to drink my 5 glasses of water a day, but gym attendance has gone way down, and my Fitbit ranking is the lowest it’s been in a while.

Of course, come next Tuesday, said coworker will be back in the office and I’ll be gearing up for MY vacation (hallelujah), during which he’ll surely become sleep deprived and promptly forget all of his blissful vacation memories. Such is (work) life.

And to be clear, I know there are PLENTY of people who would love to be in my shoes, complaining about being fully employed, doing challenging work that exhausts them. I am SO grateful for my job and how well my company treats its employees. But that doesn’t mean I can’t dream of the day I’m able to step away from corporate life and pursue fitness and nutrition holistically, on- and off-the-clock.

Enough of my musings, what is YOUR dream job? Are you already doing it?


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