"I hate my job."
Sound like the story of your life? Do you have that dread when you wake up in the morning thinking, "Gosh, do I really have to do this all over again? And again? For the next 40 years?!"
You don't love your work and that discontent starts to seep into other areas of your life. It's that restlessness that stirs within you. But you really don't know how to navigate and quell the stirring, do you? You just know that you want something more than this. So you reach for the easiest thing that will give you more. Immediately. And it usually comes in the sweet, salty or fried variety. And that's fine every once in a while, but then that "more" often morphs into a full-fledged coping mechanism. And I don't have to tell you that the more unhealthy foods you consume the more your waistline grows. Not the kind of "more" you had in mind right? Now you're not only unhappy with your job but you're also ticked because you can't seem to get this health and fitness thing under control either. And so you restrict and eat all-the-things and then try and restrict some more and then throw a massive pity party. Let the self sabotage games begin.
Girl, I've totally been there.
To give you perspective - in my first job out of school I was pretty miserable. I worked about 80 hours a week (yeah, it's possible), barely had time for friends and frankly and did not love the work I was doing. So I medicated with frozen yogurt, jars of almond butter and wine. Not really my most healthy diet. My discontent in my work life transferred quite fluidly into my health life. I knew I had to make a change.
So I became very intentional about figuring out what I actually wanted to do, what I was passionate about and what type of company I wanted to be a part of. Since switching out of that career and eventually into a company and job I love, my health (both physical and mental) has dramatically improved.
Think about it - if you're happy in your job (which is essentially your second home, with coworkers being your second family) you're not going to have to find instant gratification elsewhere. You'll just be so immersed in the work you're doing that food becomes an afterthought instead of the main focus. You'll start to realize what your body actually needs versus a dramatic attempt to regain control by falling into the crazy cycle of restrict & eat, restrict & eat.
I'm giving you permission to want to love your work. Don't stop looking until you find something that you are passionate about, that lights you up every day. Get a career coach, do your research and get excited! I've found that sweet spot and it has positively affected every area of my life, including my health. Now, no job is going to be perfect - but it is possible to find something where you are thriving in your career.
So get after it. Get excited about your work again! Your health with thank you for it.
originally written for the Real Life RD