I did retail management for years. Those were the thinnest years of my life. I, like you, was juggling family and college, along with the stressful job. My rule was to never ask an employee to do something I wasn't willing to do myself. So, I did a lot of running around the store. I never ever sat. I ate standing up...well...to be fair, most of my meals consisted of lattes.
The fact that you opened up by telling us about your family, schooling, and break-up makes me wonder if the job is what's really giving you troubles, or if it's the one thing you feel you can express displeasure about.
Fitness Minutes: (26,588)
1,658 6/13/13 10:17 P
Another good Lunch Stash if you have a place at work: a small box of Triscuits, and a small jar of Peanut Butter.
If you have easy access to Hot Water --some of the water Coolers have them!-- consider stashing some dry "cup of Noodle" or quick soups for a "once in awhile" lunch (since the sodium is rather high). Some brands are much lower than others....
I used to bring a plastic container of Ramen noodles mixed with a Cup Of Soup (toss their broth) and frozen veggies. Then at lunch time...just add the hot water.
Above all, eat a decent breakfast, and try to eat a little something every three hours!! take care, patti
Fitness Minutes: (79,200)
4,852 6/13/13 10:07 P
I wish you well, sounds like a real "rat race" you are in, is there another job at the same place that you would like to try for? Do the "higher ups" do the same stressed out work, or do they sit in offices on their duffs? If this job is making you sick, perhaps you can make a change, do you send out resume's now and then, since you have some college under your belt?
Believe it or not, if you can scrape together half an hour on the weekend to plan, taking quick healthy meals to work with you can SAVE time, not to mention killing a lot of that stress. It takes time to run to the snack bar, and then you spend time there puzzling over what you can get that's not too bad, and then you get back to work feeling more stressed out than when you left.
Take ten minutes and google "healthy lunch ideas." You'll find all kinds of easy idea, some of which don't take any prep time at all. Single servings of yogurt or cottage cheese, some fruit, and whole-grain crackers takes literally seconds to toss in a bag, for example. If you have access to a microwave and fridge, there's nothing wrong with frozen lunches. Buy 5 on the weekend, along with a bag of frozen veggies, and take the whole bunch in on Monday (or whatever the first day of your week is) so there's always one sitting there. (Actually, the first week you do this, take 6 in case you forget one Monday.) Or buy a package of high-fiber sandwich wraps, some lean low-sodium lunch meat, a bag of pre-washed salad mix, and your favorite fancy mustard, and you can make yourself a sandwich in a few seconds at lunchtime. Same thing with snacks-- get a box of decent granola bars or some fruit and nut mix or lowfat microwave popcorn and keep them in your desk or locker or car.
And when you do that, keep track of your spending. Chances are, you're going to start saving at least a dollar a day by avoiding the snack bar. Put that money away in a special spot-- that's your money, because a penny saved is a penny earned. Do it long enough, and you might even be able to cut back on your hours just a little.
You've got a teen at home? Put him/her to work. A teen or pre-teen is going to want some spending money, so hire him/her to plan healthy meals, make the shopping list, and find sales and coupons. Pay a little allowance for it, give him/her a generous but affordable budget, and agree that s/he gets to keep whatever s/he saves by cooking instead of buying prepared products or by couponing. That's a win-win. Both of you will have less stress because you don't have to plan and teen doesn't have to eat things s/he doesn't like, and she will learn all sorts of math and critical thinking skills. Again, a penny saved is a penny earned, so the money the teen gets is money you would have been wasting by overspending on groceries before.
And one other thing: Take your lunch break, and leave the building to do it. You're working retail, not mission control for the space shuttle. If you disappear for 20 minutes to take the lunch break TO WHICH YOU ARE LEGALLY ENTITLED, the world will not fall apart. The building will not burn down. In fact, if they can't find you, somebody else might even (gasp) step up and do their own job. It's really, really hard the first time or two, but pretty soon they'll get used to the fact that "emergencies" can wait 10 minutes or maybe even be solved by someone else.
Fitness Minutes: (14,080)
1,481 6/13/13 8:26 P
First of all take a deep breath. Dragonchilde has given you alot of good advice. I know what your going through having worked those 12 to 14 hour straight shifts. You don't get enough time to eat a decent meal. If you can try munching. There are alot of healthy "finger food" out there. Even cutting up a sandwhich into bite size pieces will help. Crackers and cheese are another good alternative as well as apples and peanut butter. Nuts are good as well. Also make sure you're getting your water in too. And trust me I know those pms days. Exhaustion takes over and you don't want to cook, plan or do anything. Give yourself a big hug, and a hot bath if you can. Go ahead and have that chocolate, chips or whatever you crave those days, and move on. You can do this. Tiny steps. Check out some of the spark teams for further encouragement.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,666 6/13/13 6:53 P
It sounds like you're seriously overloaded. I feel you! Retail's a pain, and there's a reason I'm trying my best to avoid it even though I need a second job.
What I would suggest is that you start working on tiny changes. Not massive ones, but the ones that you can, a little at a time.
The trick here is finding a new way to handle stress; stress is the gun, but it takes you to pull the trigger. We all have stress; what may help you is to try and find other ways to deal with the stress.
Here's what *I* suspect the problem may be, tucked away in your words:
"try vehemently to fix it"
You're basically adding more stress on top of the enormous loads you have already!
Instead of vehemently, start aiming to make small changes. Make time to pack food before work; you know you're not going to have time to think about it there, so don't try. If you have food on hand, you're less likely to head to the bakery to sate your needs.
If you DO have to go to the snack bar or bakery, then start planning healthier choices. I don't know what kind of environment you're working in, but it sounds like it might be a grocery store, or something similar. Let's use grocery store as an example, since that sounds like what you're dealing with. If it's not, the same principles apply.
~If there are low sodium things, start there first. I started eating the Boar's Head low sodium turkey, and I find it's delicious. ~Go easy on condiments. If you HAVE to have an order of fries, drowning it in ketchup and salt is probably not the best option. Skip the extra salt, and use one packet of ketchup instead of a bunch. ~Instead of double portions, go with one. ~Protein, protein, protein. You need LOTS of it. Protein fills you up, keeps you that way, and makes it easier to focus.
You're going to get lots of tips, but know this: You WILL get there. It is hard, but you're tough, and you've proven it. You will do this, and if it takes a while, that's okay. This isn't a journey of perfection!
I am one of the toughest people I know. I have raised 4 of my 5 children safely to adulthood and college degrees, 2 done, 2 on the way, have 1 soon to be teenager, survived infidelity and the well overdue breakup of a tormented marriage, returned to school and earned my associate's degree, have just enrolled to start my bachelor's and have what many people would be consider to be a good job/career and somewhat decent salary. Other than legitimate companionship I consider myself lucky. There is only one problem. The abundant and ongoing stress of my current job makes me eat wrong and I am having the worst time controlling my weight. My highest weight of 270 was 12 years ago after having my last child. I am proud to say that I am not that large. I had my best weight loss stats were during a chosen 3 month break between jobs when I was able to somewhat concentrate on myself for a few more minutes a day than usual, and I almost got myself to under 200lbs. Since then, I have buoyed and toyed between 210 and 230. I truly want to weigh less and be healthier, but my job keeps me troubled and resistance. As a retail manager, I spend no less than 12 hrs a day and quite often in excess of 14 hrs trying to hold down the fort in a huge retail environment. I often try to take a healthy lunch, but many days itís about just getting enough sleep to get out of the door. Then I get to work where I have the task of scaling a whole building trying to make sure things are and stay in order, handling kinks and managing teams of people. By the time I can breathe, or even think of food I feel like Iím starving or know that I have only a thin slice of time to get something down my throat. Time is a major issue in dealing with my weight. I try to stay away from the junk, but sometimes, particularly when Iím overwhelmed, mad or exhausted, I head straight to the snackbar and bakery to soothe my irritability. On my days off I collapse trying to get my body ready for the next stint while trying to keep up with my child and home. I have vied crazily to get enough trained coworkers/mgrs to decrease the workload, but everytime we get near it someone falls through the cracks, through no fault of my own, and I am right back at square one. Changing jobs might be an option, but I have find it first, and then risk giving up vacation, tenure and security as well as increase my drive time and venture into an unsure market. I know whatís wrong and try vehemently to fix it until stress, exhaustion and PMS take over each month. As a single person who can normally only depend on myself, I am at my widths end trying to work past the difficulties. I never give up, but I am certainly depressed that my efforts keep falling apart. Here I go againÖ.
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