Overeating: The Addiction You Can’t Hide
Clients are always so proud to tell me, “Well, at least I don’t drink or smoke,” in spite of whatever eating issues they may have.
OK, not smoking and avoiding alcohol are good enough virtues to have, but the fact remains that if you’re sitting in my office, you have a problem with food. A lot of times that problem is eating too much, and food addiction is unlike other vices. At a passing glance, I would never be able to tell if a person was a gambler, an over-spender, a smoker, or a heavy drinker. If you’re a food addict, your addiction is visible. Your body broadcasts it with every bump and bulge on your body, and quite frankly, people will judge you. You can’t hide being obese or overweight, and it turns out it could affect your chances of landing your dream job. Do you think that’s right?
I’m 100% certain that it’s wrong; it’s only fixated on because it’s a more visible vice. If someone came into your office smelling of alcohol or cigarettes, you might think twice about hiring them. We all know that people who smoke are out sick more than non smokers. Not to mention the frequent cigarette breaks, and their effect on productivity. Would you hire someone who smokes? Personally I would choose the non-smoker over the smoker.
While I think it’s wrong not to hire someone based on their physical appearance, we would do well to keep in mind that food does affect our mood. “Food Hangovers” are a real thing and could affect your productivity and attitude at work. Maybe you would call in sick more because of the co-morbidities related to obesity: Diabetes, Heart Disease, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, etc. Maybe you’re so addicted to food that you stay up late watching TV and eating, and that lack of sleep effects your work. So while I don’t think its right not to hire an overweight candidate, I do think we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves so that we’re as fit for our jobs as possible.
Maybe 2017, is the year to stop waking up with a “Food Hangover”? I am not here to judge you. I am here to offer you science based information. Hopefully, this will help you meet some of your health goals this year. Trust me, I know how you think. The day is off to a great start. It is Monday and you have consumed a balanced healthy breakfast. You brought one of your convenient (processed, chemically ridden, low calorie frozen “cuisines”) for lunch. All of the sudden it is 5p.m. and you are leaving work. Going to run errands and pick up the kids. It is now almost 7 p.m. and you are hungry and tired. And someone asks “What is for dinner?” You have no idea. You are exhausted, ravenous and have no clue what is for dinner. You did not plan or prepare. You are going to make the easy choice, not the healthy choice. What has started as a great “food” day has evolved into another “bad” food day. You and your family decide to order Chinese. Later in the evening, you are sitting alone and the bag of chips is calling your name.
Before you know it, you consumed half the bag. You decide to go to bed. You wake up in the night when your blood sugar drops. Now you cannot get back to bed. Long story short, you wake up with a “Food Hangover”: tired, thirsty, sleep deprived and you have a headache. Now you get on the scale…you are up 3 more pounds. You are disgusted with yourself. Now you try on some pants that fit, way too tight. You have just self sabotaged yourself into starting your day in a very bad way. I do not want this for you. The main reason you ended up having a “bad” food day is because you did not plan or prepare. You came home hungry, tired and unprepared. I am not here to judge, I am here to help you. You can wake up with a “Food Hangover” everyday. Or you can wake up feeling well rested (because you exercised) and well nourished. You weight yourself and you are down 2 pounds. You try on clothes and they feel less snug than just a few weeks ago. You decide how you want to start your day.
Meg has been working as a Registered Dietitian since 1991. She has a diverse nutrition background in a variety of areas including: Eating Disorders, Weight Loss, Cardiac Disease, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Crohns Disease, Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Diabetes. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, CT, she completed a post-graduate dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut’s School of Allied Health in 1991.
In the beginning of Meg’s career she served as the Oncology Dietitian at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT. Thereafter, she was employed at another major hospital in Connecticut where she worked in a variety of specialty areas including: Cardiovascular Disease, Gastrointestinal Disorders, and more. The majority of her time was spent on the Medical Surgical and Intensive Care Units. Simultaneously, Meg was established in her own private practice providing nutrition consultations for clients with: eating disorders, diabetes, food allergies and weight management concerns. Meg is a proud member of the American Dietetic Association, the Rhode Island Dietetic Association, the Nutrition Entrepreneurial Dietetic Practice Group, and the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group.
Meg has worked as a District Dietitian overseeing 13 facilities in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania; where she was responsible for ensuring quality nutrition care for thousands of patients. Meg also served as a member on the Governor’s Committee for Physical Fitness in Connecticut, as the resident “Nutrition Expert.”