Friday, February 14, 2014

Why Valentine's Day at the Office Is Slowly Killing Me

So Happy Valentine's, everyone. I'm not too big on the holiday. Last year I really tried to go above and beyond and did 14 different things for the first 14 days of February so my family knew I loved them. It worked out as well as you'd imagine it working out for a full-time working mom struggling with breastfeeding, money, and a sense of self-worth. A whole lotta pink hearts and salty tears.

This year I took a different approach.....just do nothing. Zilch. Not a card. No candy. Not even a pair of Valentine's socks. I helped my big girl cut out 25 sets of little paper penguin pieces for her Valentine's Day party at school. I dug around in the basement for a box of valentines I remembered seeing last Halloween. That was about it. I wasn't goin' nuts this year. It just wasn't going to happen.

So the day started off normal. I got up early, got dressed, made an effort to wear red. I even threw on a pink bracelet. Bam. Valentine's Day.

I got to the office early. I had some work to do - I'd planned an office-wide associate appreciation event that started at noon, complete with catered lunch and soda. It was my boss' way of saying "thank you" to everyone for stepping up at year end, working overtime, and exceeding goals and expectations. Everyone looks forward to it and I'd worked out every day that week to prepare for total face-stuffing.

After wrapping up my morning duties and arming my workload against the two hours I was about to lose that afternoon, I headed downstairs to get my annual health screening. That's right. The company I work for has an elective health program, complete with free screenings (BMI, cholesterol, blood sugar, body fat percentage, triglycerides) and rewards (reduced copayments/deductibles, drawings to win $5k). It's a really sweet program and I was pretty pumped to get my numbers.

You see, this past summer and fall, I'd gotten healthy again. I really worked my butt off to eat right and take care of myself for once. Then the harsh winter came (read - no outdoor activities at ALL), and with it, an overall feeling of heaviness. I'd put on a few pounds mentally and physically. Motivation was lacking and I was hoping these numbers would put me back inline with the goals I so meticulously concentrated on over the summer.

Awesome news - my numbers came back great. I mean I really rocked 'em. They do this side-by-side comparison with how things looked last year I scored better in every single thing. There's some room for improvement, but overall, I felt better.

And then I went upstairs. Back to my floor. Back to my office.

It was like in the 35 minutes I'd been downstairs some deranged cupid came and chucked sugary baked goods everywhere. This is not an exaggeration. Everywhere I looked, I saw Valentine's Day food.

Well, I remember thinking, this is just great. Here I am, with my awesome numbers still hot off the press, still warm in my hands, and I've already got three donuts and a Butterfinger heart in my mouth at the exact same time. 

Your honor, I'd like to call My Office of Valentine's Day Death to the stand.


Those donuts you see above? Those aren't your everyday donuts. Those are donuts filled with cookie dough. I shit you not, the chocolate-frosted, sprinkle-coated donuts actually have cookie dough inside of them. And those candy hearts? Nobody can just eat one. Especially this girl. No, no, no...I have to eat one of every color.....and then at least three per favorite color (white and green - by far the best colors).


Imagine that. More donuts. And yes, that is a big chocolate cake in the lower left corner. And then the thumbprint cookies. Who doesn't love a soft-baked thumbprint cookie??


Those aren't just Reese's. Those are Valentine's Day Reese's. See the hearts on the package? That makes them special. Same with the KitKats.


The office leaders all pitched in for a dessert table. This isn't even half full...I took these pictures when I came back from my screening at 8 in the morning. Can't tell what you're looking at? I'll help you out. Kolackys. More soft-baked cookies. Some brownies. Chocolate-and-raspberry-dipped pretzels. Couple trays of other cookies. They later added some additional brownies, and some cheesecake, and some homemade cupcakes which were literally to die for. I told you. Killing me.


That bean dip is exactly like you'd imagine heaven to taste. Savory. Creamy. All the good things in your mouth at one time. More donuts here. Some pigs in a blanket. Chocolate-covered strawberries. Chocolate-covered pretzels. Chocolate-covered shoes. Ok not the shoes. But you get the point. Chocolate-covered.


Lookie there, super adorable cupcakes!!! And those Butterfinger hearts I mentioned before. Super soft sugar cookies. Did I mention each of these pictures were taken in a different part of the office? This was not me standing there taking pics of the same table from multiple angles. Each department had their own flavor station of doom and deliciousness.


Then we've got these guys. Someone brought these guys. You know the super hott dude you can't stop staring at no matter how inappropriate or unavailable he (or you) may be? No? Ok....hmmm....well you know that air you need to breathe? This is the chocolate version of that. For me. The girl with the food good numbers.

So you see, your honor, I've provided undeniable proof that my office is slowly trying to kill me. Yes, today is Valentine's Day, and so far I've survived. But next month it will be St. Patty's. And then Easter. And then BBQ season with potlucks and BBQ wings and potato salad. Let's not even get started on the topic of ceaseless birthdays. There's no stopping a serial killer like this office, especially around the holidays. We have a moral obligation and responsibility to protect the public from this monstrous pit of temptation, once and for all!

What? What's that, you say? You can't imprison cupcakes? I can't pepper spray the people who bring this stuff in? Illegal?

Hmm, I suppose you're right. I guess I need to come up with another method of resisting and arming myself against attack.

What do you guys think, my lovely readers? What are some of the best ways you avoid overindulging? How do you stay motivated?

Full disclosure: I ate the crap out of this stuff today. I'm feeling like crap because of it. Haven't decided whether it was worth it or not. Leaning towards not, seeing as how I broke down in tears when I came home and my husband said he cooked me a big pot of pasta with garlic toast.

I truly hope each and every one of you had a lovely Valentine's Day and thank you so much for reading!


Jen

jen@jenniferludwigsen.com

19 comments:

  1. Hahahaha. I never understood Health care industry rewarding with horribly unhealthy food. Hard to resist. Way to go on the numbers! !!! Very proud of you.

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    1. Thanks Sarah :) It's crazy how much food we get through those doors!! We don't even need to pack a lunch most days!

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  2. Sometimes resistance is futile. I mean that insane, ridiculously overindulgent display…yeah, you had no chance of withstanding that! In those situations, I do what I have to do—what they're forcing me to do, really—then get back to normal life the next day. :)

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    1. Hi Dawn! That is exactly what I'm trying to do this morning....started off with a healthy breakfast, made one of my green smoothies to chug later. But MAN am I ever feeling it. Blech. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  3. Hi Jennifer! So glad to have found your blog via SITS. I'm no detective, but it sort of looks like your company doesn't really want you earning those reduced co-pays or winning that 5k. I'm suspicious with all those goodies around. Geeze. I would have eaten it all too;)

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    1. Right!?!?!?!?! It's crazy! I work for a really huge company, so I'm not sure this is how it is at all our locations - but I know for sure this is a regular thing anytime we have a holiday....a birthday......the sun is shining.....a storm is coming.....someone sneezed.....

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  4. Oh wow--that is a LOT of treats! I actually don't have much of a sweet tooth, the salty snacks are what do me in! Still, my husband would have probably been eating his fill if his workplace had the kind of treats yours does! :)

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    1. Oh totally - I am a savory person, too, which makes BBQ season more deadly than the winter holidays. Some of these people can COOK, lemmie tell ya! I've never had so many awesome varieties of pasta salad in my LIFE. Thank you so much for reading :)

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  5. OMG - I could never work at your company. Every time I get stressed I go for the treats in the lunch room. For awhile I thought I was the only one that ate them and ended up eating almost the whole plate. I actually told one of the women to stop bringing her leftovers in - that I was the only one eating them - and gaining weight.

    Hopefully your office took all the leftovers home.

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    1. HHAHA that is me, too! People actually bring me their unwanted food because they know I would love to eat it!! And the leftovers will be out again on Monday....they made me plan the event on a Friday so we could have leftovers Monday morning.....GAH

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  6. I would eat the crap out of that too. Yum!

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    1. HAHAH right!? It was gone before my iPhone even finished processing the pics I snapped.

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  7. Should you need a partner in crime to take down this inconsiderate, temptress of an office....I'm your gal! And P.S. this article is exactly why I just love ya!

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    1. YES! I couldn't do my best eatin' without you girl! Thanks so much for reading :) :) :)

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  8. I think the key is learning how to listen to your body and eat what you are craving/wanting without the guilt. For me, the more guilt I've had, the more I've eaten.

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    1. That is so true - I am also one of those "clean your plate" kids....we didn't waste anything! People will bring me all their leftovers because they know I'd rather eat them than let them go to waste! In other cultures I would be seen as quite resourceful, but in this country I'm just a pig! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  9. Just found your blog on SITS. It is so hard avoiding certain foods. I'm trying to be gluten-free, but haven't done so well lately. I love shamrock shakes & they are out already. Also sugar cookies in the house, Girl scout cookies & lots of chocolate.
    http://therantingsofadramaqueensmum.blogspot.com

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    1. OH. NO. The Shamrock shakes are out ALREADY??? I did not know this. I can't decide whether to thank you or curse you.....I'm leaning towards thanking you, not only for the shake alert, but for stopping by! :)

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  10. So true! I find it much easier to keep holiday weight off now that I work at home. December in our office used to be one long, chocolate nightmare.

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