Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2013

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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> Failing to plan lunches. Tose who think they don't have enough time for lunch may make hasty food choices, often reaching for unhealthy options. But if you plan your lunches in advance, you greatly reduce your chances of grabbing fast food. Dr. Reynolds prepares a whole week's worth of lunches in one day. She'll grill some chicken breasts, divide them into four-ounce portions, and freeze them until she's ready to take them for lunch. Eating the wrong things at the wrong times. So, you've skipped breakfast and you've skimped on lunch, but you'll head to the nearest Starbucks with co-workers to grab a calorie-loaded Mocha Frappuccino and pastry. Or, you'll dive into the ofce candy jar or sample a co-worker's home-baked goody. Studies have shown that grazing during the day can cause weight gain because people tend to overeat or consume unhealthy snacks. When 4:00 p.m. rolled around, Karen Elizaga, an executive coach in New York City, found herself reaching for a snack— usually a sugar-laden cookie or a bag of potato chips. By dinnertime, when her sugar "crash" hit, she would crave something equally non-nutritious. If you do get hungry between meals, be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand like nuts, fruits, or vegetables. Elizaga decided to shun her junky snacks and now munches on sliced raw bell peppers and other cut-up veggies. It's okay to take a break from the ofce and accompany co-workers on their coffee run—just skip the fufy cofee drinks and sweets. Remaining glued to your seat. Sitting at your desk for hours on end may lead you to an early grave. A study published in the November 2012 Diabetologia showed that too much sitting can lead to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, among other maladies. Analyzing the results of 18 studies involving nearly 800,000 test subjects, researchers found that people who spent the most time sitting had higher risks of diabetes (112 percent), cardiovascular events (147 percent), death from 58 DIV ERS ITY WOMAN Fall 2013 cardiovascular causes (90 percent), and death from all causes (49 percent) than those who spent the least time sitting. "Get out of your chair for a few minutes," advises Dr. Reynolds. "Go to the bathroom—that's a great place to hide out for a few minutes. Do some stretches. Get your blood fowing, even if you can't get outside." Getting dehydrated. Te Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink about 9 cups of beverages per day to remain hydrated. Tis amount may vary by individual and whether you live in a warm climate or at high altitude. In general, you should drink enough fuids so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce about 6.3 cups or more of colorless or light yellow urine a day. "Most of the time, we're not really hungry—we're thirsty," says Dr. Reynolds. She suggests that you avoid soft drinks so that you're not drinking your calories. Working 24/7. Even though we live in a world where we can easily check in with work, and vice versa, at any time, it's important to draw boundaries between your personal and professional lives. "As women move into management, their bosses think, 'I pay you the same amount no matter how many hours I can squeeze out of you,'" says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, who treats patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. "Women need to learn when to say no. If your workload is leading to fatigue and you're having insomnia, that means your body is about to blow a fuse." Jessica Rohman learned this the hard way. Holding a highvisibility position at her company while juggling the needs of her two young children, Rohman did not realize how stressed she was until she was routinely becoming light-headed from exhaustion after returning to work from maternity leave. She took the incident to heart and asked her boss for a reduced work schedule. Rohman, a program content manager for Great Place to Work® Institute in San Francisco, now works three days a week and is happier, less stressed, and more productive. If you must work beyond the regular nine-to-fve workday, set some limits. Rohman suggests that you allow yourself to work only certain evenings per week, so that it isn't an every day occurrence. She now designates Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday as of-limits. She may check e-mail on Sunday evenings after her children are in bed. Te key, she says, is to disconnect from work and not feel guilty about it. "In this day and age, people can be accessible all the time, and your work is not going to draw the boundary for you," says Rohman. Missing workouts. Finding the time, energy, and motivation to get to the gym can be challenging given the many demands on us. Paying for a specifc workout class that's at a set time or hiring a personal trainer can give you a fnancial incentive to make it to the gym. Or, start a walking group with co-workers. Tis will give you collective motivation to exercise, and you'll strengthen your relationships with your colleagues in the process. At a minimum, take the stairs, instead of the elevator, to your ofce. Or, if you take mass transit, get of a stop early and walk to your destination. DW Sherri Eng is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. d i v e r s i ty w oma n.com THINKSTOCKPHOTOS DW Life

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