Skinny Daily Post


I used to work with a guy, Shupe, an admitted curmudgeon, a fine writer, and a metabolic brother. Shupe wrote in the other day after an A ha! moment. He says theyre rare for him, but I doubt it. Here’s Shupe:

During a career lull, I took an interstitial job working in the kitchen of a chain steakhouse. I was a member of the inaugural crew at this particular store. The training crew was comprised mostly of kids in their early- to mid-twenties, and the learning pace was fast, the energy level high, especially for a forty-something guy coming off an eighteen year stint as an office worker.

We trained eight to ten hours a day, learning the corporate standards for slicing, dicing, frying, grilling and plating. My job was appetizer expediter, or app expo in restaurant-ese. The training period flew by, and we opened for business.

We worked our tails off. I was on my feet and moving from the moment I hit the door to the time I punched-out at the end of the day. I never took a break off my feet and seldom ate anything. Those of us who did the cooking were pretty much fueled by stress hormones and Pepsi, and I anticipated the daily lunch rush just for the adrenaline buzz. I loved working with people half my age and took pride in running head-to-head with the young dogs. At the end of the day, my muscles ached and my joints creaked. I never slept better. I looked forward to going back the next day.

About three months into this gig, I started noticing things. I was using a notch on my belt I had never used before. When I hitched up my jeans they slid up to my navel instead of getting stuck four inches below. My old leather jacket fit again. I stepped on a scale and found I had lost thirty pounds. Without trying. Without purposely changing my eating habits (though I didnt eat during the day, I still ate whatever I felt like before and after work). And without anguish.

Thirty pounds gone just because I started moving. It really is just kilocalories in versus kilocalories out, and the better your body is at burning them the less youll see of yourself in the mirror. Movement truly is the dominant variable in the weight loss equation and is far more important than counting fat grams and carbs. To lose your butt you have to move your butt.

Alas, the pounds are back. I got a new job using my head instead of my body, a job that pays a living wage and keeps my can in an office chair eight hours out of every nine. But I remember that restaurant job and how I lost 10% of my weight without even noticing it. Im gearing up. Ive had an exercise epiphany. Im developing the mindset.

And there it is. I wasnt sure, at the beginning of this story how it would end. If it had been me in that restaurant, serving up appetizers, the story would have taken a different turn. More of a two for me, one for you kind of scene. But we each have our moments, dont we? This is Shupes and I’m looking forward to hearing more from him.

Can your job make you fat?

Jobs that Burn

4 thoughts on “Shupe’s Epiphany

  1. Brenda says:

    Oh, totally LOL at “two for you, one for me” Me too!!! Although, I worked at Wendy’s for a while when I was in high school, and it’s pretty much impossible to eat anything while you’re on the job. There’s just too many people around, watching what you’re doing. It’s a good thing. 🙂

  2. Rams says:

    God bless Shupe — he had me at “career lull,” and “interstitial job” finished me off.

  3. Kelly says:

    Must. Remember. “To lose your butt you’ve gotta move your butt.”

    LOVE it!

    Not to mention, it’s oh-so-true. 😉

  4. Kirsten says:

    Whether or not you lose in that kind of job does depend a lot on the atmosphere. I’ve had jobs in which the food was strictly for the clients, and jobs where the staff were expected to hoover up any leftovers. It’s very hard not to eat if everyone else is constantly sneaking food and it’s tolerated. They say that if you work long enough in catering you go off food… well, it hasn’t happened to me yet, alas.

    More recently I worked in a large bookstore, which was surprisingly good for physical fitness – I spent a lot of time running up and down the stairs, often with 25 books in my arms. To begin with I did lose weight. Unfortunately, there was a caf in the store and the girls there would give the booksellers any pastries that were left over when they closed (we worked later hours). This didn’t happen every day, but after a while we all got in the habit of eating sweet stuff (because it was delicious as well as free) and tended to buy it ourselves on the days when there wasn’t free stuff going. Maybe it was all a cunning marketing ploy… Anyway I didn’t exactly gain, but nor did I continue to lose. I think the knowledge that I was getting a lot of exercise made me feel that I “deserved” more food than if I’d been sitting still, also.

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