Skinny Daily Post


Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m rather fond of eating at my desk. Of course its one thing for me to recommend to others that they not multitask while eating, but when it comes to me well, physician heal thyself and all that.

Its a fact that if part of this journey is to eat less, then one thing we have to focus on is enjoying it more. Clearly, quantity in and of itself cannot be the thing that we rely on for satisfaction because we’ve done that and we know where it leads. No, we need to find ways to maximize our enjoyment of food, so that the smaller portions we’re having can leave us feeling satisfied.

Unfortunately (or, better put, FORTUNATELY) I’ve come to the realization that my practice of eating while working cannot continue. I’d like to say that its because I’ve had a profound revelation and I’m now evolved enough to start changing my unhealthy ways.

No, the reality is more mundane. At my new job, I no longer have an office, but rather a tiny cubicle in a large warren of similar workspaces. And as a matter of course, any time I eat anything, the sight, sound and smell is causing my coworkers to comment. I knew something had to change yesterday when someone came to me and said “I can never get lost in this division, since yours is the desk with all of the aromas.”

This was only one in a series of comments that have come my way, and I realize that, just like making loud personal phone calls, my surreptitious eating is just not amenable to a group working environment.

On the positive side, my new job has something my old one sorely lacked — a large, separate dining area. Sure, its a bit of a walk, but that’s not a bad thing. Sure, it’ll take me away from my desk for extended periods of time — but that’s not so bad either. After all, if I have to leave my desk because I’m snacking all day, then it says a lot about ways I might be able to reform my eating habits!

This afternoon, I dutifully went to the cafeteria (a bright, clean area with a nice view) and had my popcorn and some crystal light. It was a nice, pleasant experience, and it helped me focus on the food and enjoy it a bit more.

Of course, I had to bring the newspaper with me. Old habits die hard.

7 thoughts on “Location, location, location

  1. Andrea says:

    My main eating (and overeating) location in my house is on the good old couch — with the TV on, of course. Breakfast, lunches at home, and most snacks are eaten here, as are the dreaded (and thankfully less frequent) binges.
    Since getting married last year, supper has become a family event in the dining room, which has helped with the bonding process (my 7 year old daughter is slowly beginning to refer to my husband as “Dad”). There’s no TV to distract us, and all of the routines involved (setting the table, passing the serving bowls) makes it feel like more of an event, rather than us just strapping on the feed bags as we mindlessly stare at the boob tube.
    As Lent begins I think one of my goals will be to give up “couch eating.” Like Jonathan noted, it will make me focus on the food and enjoy it without the distractions of the television. Will it be difficult? Maybe. I may resort to old habits like Jonathan’s and bring a magazine along. But if I can at least tweak my routine by changing this little thing, maybe it will help overall with my eating issues in the long run.

  2. Matt says:


    I wish I had a cafeteria … for me it’s either eat at my desk or eat out, which inevitably will turn out to be much less healthy and/or more expensive than eating something from home! Though I do TRY not to work while I’m eating … to enjoy the meal more. But inevitably lunch usually turns into a “fueling” rather than a meal.

  3. stretchy says:

    I feel as if I post too often here, but I have trouble with eating mindfully. I like to read while eating– I am a readaholic since early childhood, and curling up with book, a cup of tea and an apple has been my way of having that snack for over 40 years.

    What I learned from this post is, you will keep track of every snack by ‘walking to it’ and sitting in a dining room with it.
    Seems that when you eat “anywhere” you tend to associate food with more places/things.

    I have recently stopped absentmindedly ” cleaning my plate” in restaurants while listening to a friend tell a story .
    Stopped “on the run eating” , “car eating”.

    Can I keep the “Balzac Snack?” It is so hard to put the book down.

  4. Deirdre says:

    Unless I’m eating with someone, I can’t seem to just eat. I need to read, or watch TV, or be on the computer. Eating bores me.

  5. Richard says:

    I think we should get special dispensation for eating while reading. I live alone, so when I eat at home I normally eat alone. I believe that reading slows down my eating, which is good. It’s hard and messy to eat and read simultaneously. So if I read a little, then eat a little, then read, etc. I think it may be healthier in the long run than just eating without reading. Or is this a gross rationalization?

  6. london slimmer says:

    I agree with everyone else on the reading while eating issue. I’m lucky enough to be able to have many of my dinners with my husband and then we sit at a dining table, sometimes listening to the radio, but more often just eating and talking or sitting in companionable silence. When I’m on my own, however, I find it much more enjoyable to eat with a book propped up next to me or sometimes even headphones and an audio book. If I’m eating alone, I’m usually taking a break from my work schedule and it’s relaxing and fun to read at the same time. I’m not at all convinced it leads to overeating or to eating more quickly than I otherwise would and it seems silly to insist upon doing nothing while eating just for the sake of it. Eating while working, however, tends to give me indigestion and leads to a sticky keyboard!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Stretchy – I do not think you post too much, I always really love to read your comments, FYI.

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