Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity with Terri Pugh

6. How to handle all the food at the office

May 30, 2021 Terri Pugh Episode 6
Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity with Terri Pugh
6. How to handle all the food at the office
Show Notes Transcript

Let's talk about all the food at the office, such as the birthday buffets, the celebratory cakes, and how much guilt can come from enjoying them. Enjoy a little rant about my clothes shopping trip, and this week the great food debate is asking what people like to eat that other people find odd. 

 
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This podcast is intended to be general information and is for entertainment purposes. Any topics discussed apply to people who do not have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant. As always, please see a registered professional before making changes to your diet⁠ or lifestyle.

Okay. I need to start this week's episode with a bit of a rant. I know this is supposed to be a positive motivating space for you and it will be but I just needed to tell you about my week first. 

This week. I went clothes shopping. I'm not going to tell you where these shops are, because I don't want to be sued but I'll just tell you about my experience of them. 

So while my husband was having his COVID vaccine, I decided I was going to do a little bit of clothes shopping. The weather is changing. It's getting warmer and I need some new clothes for around the house and, you know, general everyday life and I need some new clothes for work because our office is baking hot in the summer. So I thought, you know, I'll treat myself , payday's just been, I'll get myself some new clothes. I really don't like clothes shopping at the best of times but I thought actually, It'll be all right. I haven't been shopping for such a long time because of lockdown. And I thought this might be okay. 

So. I go to this shop. A shop that I usually trust and a shop that I actually usually really enjoy shopping at, and I get my basket. I got a wheelie basket because I was planning on buying clothes. I go around the store and I can see that none of the racks of tops did, my size. None of them. I find that they went up to about a 20, most of them. Now I'm not going to tell you what size I am. It really doesn't matter. But they just don't have my size. I walked around and I thought, right, well, I'll get some trousers and, you know, keep looking at the tops because maybe they just haven't got an awful lot of stock out. 

Got a few pairs of trousers to try on and still no tops. Get to that curve section and I'm like, oh, they've got an actual dedicated curve section. Brilliant. Look at the curve section, the curve section is two free-standing racks and a lot of vest tops. Now. Really? Is that a suitable curve section. 

Quite honestly, I think if a store is going to do something like that they are better off, not even bothering. Don't even pretend to cater to people when you don't really cater to people. There were lots of vest tops. Lots of t-shirts, like just plain standard t-shirts and then there was, I don't know, four or five tops maybe and that was it. That was really it. 

It's really frustrating. I kept going anyway. I kept wandering around and I thought, well, maybe there'll be some more stuff. Went to the nightwear section, picked up a new dressing gown. Oh yes. Push the boat times. Got myself, a dressing gown. That fits. And then I thought, right, I've got a few bits and pieces. I'll go and try the trousers on anyway. 

Went up to the changing room and of course no changing rooms available. Because. COVID. 

I thought I will just buy them and I will take them home, I will try them on at home, and then I will return them because  I am under no illusions that most of those clothes were not going to suit me or fit me. 

So that's what I did. I brought those home. It's about a 40 minute drive to the shops as well. I don't know where you're listening. That might be no time at all for you. But for me little towny me there's still quite a drive really, just to return some clothes. Anyway. I got home and then I just didn't want to try them on. 

Because I was so deflated by the fact that this shop had had very little for me. 

Anyway, took these bags of clothes home. Couldn't be bothered to try them on there and then I was not really in the right mindset for it. It wasn't in a bad mood. Just a bit disappointed. So, anyway, I left those and tried them on the next day. 

Sure enough barely any of them suited me or fitted. So I kept two pairs of trousers. None of the tops, nothing. So that's all going back. Kept the dressing gown cause that fits. So then I thought, right. Okay. Go back to the trusty old ways of online shopping. I know where I'm at with that. 

I ordered from a store I've got an account with. So I do use them quite regularly. I ordered. 220 pounds worth of clothes and that's not expensive clothes. That's things that were kind of about 15 pound each, maybe. So I'd ordered quite a stack of stuff. I actually went up a size because I don't know about the blouses. I've not tried them on from them for a long time. So I went up a size in the blouses. Those arrived in a nice big bag the day after. Open the bag up full of hope. Cause remember this is a shop that I use quite regularly. And none of the chops fitted. None of the blouses fitted. None of the trousers fitted. Now I am under no illusions as to what size I am. I am not one of those people that tries to squeeze into clothes that don't fit. I just buy my size because I don't care what the label says. But none of these fitted and I'm telling you the trousers, which had already gone up a size in, because my trousers at home are a little bit tight really. So I thought, oh, well, general, I'm just going to get the next size up. 

Got those. I couldn't get them over my hips. I am not even kidding. 

That's not me putting on a little bit of weight that is bad clothes sizing. Because even if I had put on a little bit of weight, which I don't know if I have or not, because I don't weigh myself. Given that my clothes at home still fit me. My body hasn't really changed too much. 

I'm confident that those clothes should have fitted me. Nope. That is just poor sizing. Really poor sizing. And I don't know what it is about clothes shops, I don't know whether they are intentionally making sizes smaller so that you feel better about it and buy more. Or whether their sizing has just changed and is out. 

I don't know what it is but nothing in that bag fitted me. Tell a lie, one top did and that's because it's an oversized top. So I'm keeping that one. The rest of it's going back. How is that possible that out of 220 pounds worth of clothes that much of it is going back. 

Make what you will of that. Whether you think I'm in denial and I've clearly outgrown several sizes. Or whether you agree and think that the clothes sizes have changed. I don't know. I don't know what you're thinking but either way clothes shopping was a pretty darn miserable experience. Why is it so difficult? Why is it that there are such limited shops for people who live in bigger bodies. 

Now I know that there are cost implications to stores making bigger clothes. I understand that. But as I was saying to my husband it's really hard to be positive about yourself in a bigger body when the world around you makes it so very difficult to live like that. And I don't think I'm asking a lot to be comfortable in some clothes. 

To be comfortable at work. I don't think anybody should have to work hard to find clothes to fit them and that are suitable. And actually that are a decent shape and size when you do find them. 

It's frustrating. It's just frustrating. So I don't say that to whinge and moan and to bring you down, I say it so that you know, that I might sit here preaching body positivity but actually the reality is you can't always be positive about your body. You cannot always feel good about your body. And I understand that. So. Just wanted to tell you that I'm kind of on your wavelength with this stuff. I understand. It's difficult. It's really difficult. 

It's made harder by the fact that around here, none of the shops are even open anymore. Shops around here. Seem to be closing down at quite a rate. We just lost debenhams. That was my go-to for all kinds of different clothes and sadly they've closed. Dorothy Perkins here has closed and that was another one that I really liked to get clothes from. It's really sad that lots of stores here are closing. But you know, maybe this is it, maybe we're all going online now. Maybe we're all just buying clothes online. 

Maybe that's the easier option. I don't know. I prefer it. I said in a previous episode, I like the option for shopping online because it's easier. It's less stressful. It's more comfortable. But sometimes you just want to go out and buy some clothes. Don't you. 

This week I'm going to talk about food in the office. 

Hands up. If you work in a workplace where everybody loves to eat. 

Oh, God our place loves food. I mean, I love food. I love eating. But our place really really loves food. We just have food all the time. We have food for birthdays. If it's your birthday, you bring food into the office. If it's a celebration of any kind, you bring food into the office. If it's the middle of the week. We'll bring some food in. If it's a Monday and you've been baking at the weekend. We'll bring some of that in. 

You don't need an occasion to eat in our office. 

But that situation can be very stressful for a lot of people. I know that. 

Let's use a birthday, for example. Birthdays people bring in a lot of food. You'll have a range of savory snacks and you'll have sweet snacks. Pastries and crisps and snacky things.  Donuts. Jam donuts obviously. God forbid you should bring a custard donut into our place. People tend to go all out. Which is lovely until you help yourself and help yourself and help yourself. And then you start to feel bad. 

You start to feel guilty. 

You enjoy a piece or two? And then you have a piece or two more. And then. You start to feel bad for having what you've eaten.

So you decide you're not going to eat anymore. That's it. Done for the day. 

until you get up and you have to move around the office. Maybe you'll go to the photocopier. Maybe you'll go to the toilet. And you just happen to have to pass the food table so you grab a thing or two in passing. Just pop it in your mouth. No one will know. 

And then, you know, Sitting at your desk wondering why you did that. Because you said you weren't going to have any more for the rest of the day. And then lunchtime comes around. And you think, right. I'm not going to eat my lunch that I brought with me because I have eaten far too much this morning. 

So, no. I'm not going to eat anymore. But then as the afternoon ticks on all of a sudden you're hungry because you haven't really eaten properly or morning. 

You've just picked at things. 

But that stuff hasn't filled you up. Then you didn't eat your lunch. The food that you've eaten in the morning hasn't sustained you. So your only other option is to go back to the food table. you know, you'll pick a bit more, you have a bit more and by now, the donuts are at a little bit sweaty because they've been there most of the day but you eat one anyway because you're hungry. Then you'll pick up the sausage rolls that are left and you might have some crisps and, and before you know it, the day has gone and then you feel awful because you have eaten way too much of the stuff you think you shouldn't eat, nothing that you planned for the day, and you're not even that satisfied because actually by the end of the day, you're sick to death of eating the stuff anyway. You're not even enjoying it like you were when you started first thing in the morning. 

There are several problems with the buffet situation. And surprise, surprise. It all stems from diet culture and restriction. What diet clubs, for example, don't allow for is events like this. 

They will say, okay, have you got anything coming up this week? And you're like, yes, we've got a birthday in the office. It's going to be food there and they say, okay, how are you going to manage that? And the suggestions are things like. Well, if you save up your points through the week, you can have a little donut. 

And things like  if you can just fill up on free foods as you go through the week then you can get away with it. Get away with it. You didn't get away with eating. You just eat. Or what's the other one? Fill up before you go. Have a good breakfast. And then you won't want to eat the food in the office. Or if it's going to be in the afternoon, it would be. Making sure you have a good lunch. Then you won't want to eat so much in the afternoon. Well, that's a load of rubbish, isn't it? Because. 

I'm not being funny. If there's chocolate on a table. Free for me to help myself to I'm going to help myself to that chocolate. Regardless of whether I'm hungry or not. Fill up before you go. Have you ever heard such rubbish? There is some logic to that. 

 For example, if you have allergies or intolerances and do you think that there's going to be a lot of food there? That's going to be heavy in the thing you can't eat. So for example, if you can't have dairy. And you're going to go to a place where there's a big cheese board as one of the main courses you are going to need to find a way to manage that. 

But that's for medical reasons. That's not to stop you eating some food that is part of a celebration that everybody else is going to be joining in with because you're on a diet.  How do we manage this? 

Give yourself permission for starters. This can be a difficult thing to let go of. It can be really difficult to let go of that feeling of not being allowed to eat something. Or if you eat it, what will the repercussions be after? Yeah, those can be really difficult to let go of. 

So the first step is giving yourself permission if you know, there's going to be food. In your office today. Just give yourself permission to join in. And if it's too much, just to give yourself full permission to go for your life, fill your boots, eat what you want give yourself permission to have something. 

Give yourself permission to have a doughnut. Give yourself permission to have a sausage roll. Give yourself permission. That will be a massive step forward. Don't restrict other food to make up for things that you eat because no good comes of that. The restrict binge cycle is very powerful. 

You will cut back on other food in order to make room for the buffet food. You will still have the guilt about the buffet food. You will not be satisfied because you haven't eaten decent meals that you know would usually satisfy you. 

Because you're not satisfied you, then look for more food. 

And if the only food that you then have around you is the buffet food you're back to square one. You're eating the buffet food to try and fill the hole that is left because you haven't eaten lunch. And then before you know it, you're cutting back on your evening meal because then you're also trying to cut back for the food that you've eaten in the afternoon that you ate, because you're trying to fill the hole that you had for lunch ,that was there because you at buffet food in the morning. It just goes on and on and on. Then you go to bed at night. You feel terrible. You feel physically terrible too, because you've not eaten proper meals. You go to bed and you're probably going to go to bed hungry because you've not eaten as decent evening meal because you've been trying to cut back. 

You go to bed thoroughly miserable. And what's the reverse of this picture. In an ideal world, what happens is you get up. You have breakfast. You go to work. You are pleasantly surprised by this lovely buffet that somebody brought in for their birthday. What a treat look at all this lovely food. 

You help yourself. You have a sausage roll. You have a donut, you have a few other bits that take your fancy. You have your lunch? And then maybe. Maybe three o'clock the afternoon lull comes around. You're feeling a bit. Blur because. It's the middle of the afternoon and you're sat at your desk. 

So get up and go for a wander and oh, look. There's some little chocolate mini rolls still there, ooh I'll have one of those nice.  You go home and you've had a really nice day at work.  You've had some lovely food. Then you enjoy your evening meal as planned. 

I know which of those days I would rather have. And. All of that stems from giving yourself permission to eat it.  

You don't need to make up for it the next day, either. 

It can be really, really easy to get up and think, I need to make up for yesterday. I let myself eat whatever I want. I gave myself full permission to eat that food and I ate it But maybe today I should be good. Because you know, I did eat a lot. 

You try and restrict. So you try and have a super healthy breakfast. Maybe you'll cut back on your lunch. You'll just have a little bit for lunch. Maybe you'll restrict your evening meal to just down to something you know, Super healthy. But you don't need to do that. 

Everything balances out in the end. If your overall diet is pretty good really what damage is that one day going to make? What damage is that buffet gonna do to you? Nothing. Because overall. You have a good balance of all the food groups. All the vitamins, all the minerals. You have a good intake of all that stuff and if for one day, your day is not balanced  it really doesn't matter. Nobody became vitamin deficient through eating that kind of food for a day. 

Nobody suffered poor health. Through having a day where they weren't on a diet plan.  

And anyway, where do these rules and restrictions come from that say you shouldn't eat it. Where does that come from? Who said you shouldn't eat it. 

Who said that that was too much food. Who said that was the wrong food. 

Have a little think about that right now. If you feel guilty about eating a particular food why do you feel guilty by that? Who told you, you should feel guilty about that food.  Who told you that carbs or fats or party food or a cheeseboard or anything else that you really enjoy eating, if you eat a lot of it, who told you that's too much food. Too much, according to what. Too much in comparison to what? Too much in comparison to what you would usually eat in a day? Does that matter? Does it really matter? 

If we listened to everything. That we are told by other people. By your friend. Who's on Quito. And he's not eating carbs. To your mate, who's on a super low fat diet and has cut out everything that contains an ounce of fat in it. 

If we listen to any of that we would never eat anything. We would have so many rules in place that we wouldn't eat anything. We would never eat carbs. Cause, you know, you gotta go carb free. Right? We'd never have fat because you know, you've got to eat low fat. We'd never have sugar. We would never eat past six o'clock in the evening. 

We'd never eat before midday in the morning, we would never eat cooked food. We would never eat meat or any animal products.  If that's your thing, that's absolutely fine, but I'm just kind of putting this into context that if we used all of the food rules, In the world we would never eat anything. In fact, we would never even eat vegetables because vegetables have got carbohydrates in them. So if you're taking out all your carbs, well, you're not eating any veggie either are you. Note, I know that not all veg has carbs in it, but you get the point. 

Something else to bear in mind is if you lived on vegetables and vegetables alone, you would still not be healthy because you don't have all your food groups there. You will have vitamin and mineral deficiencies if you left on only vegetables. You would be missing substantial amounts of things like protein and fats. 

All things which are important and help your body to function properly, and help you to build new cells and for your organs to function well, and for your processes in your body to all work. If you just took out everything that we're told we shouldn't eat we would just be walking around with massive nutritional deficiencies. 

What's more important is actually to think about how the food makes you feel. That's a much better approach to food. How does the food make you feel?  Enjoy that buffet. But if you know that by eating a donut, It's going to make you feel physically bad then don't do it. If you think that, for example, let's, let's use the gluten example again, if you know that having a sandwich from the buffet is going to make you feel physically unwell because you are gluten intolerant then don't eat a sandwich. 

That goes for everything else. It's much better to eat some food and gauge it. See how it makes you feel. If it doesn't hurt physically. Great. Sometimes food can make us feel a bit sluggish maybe. I know that  if I eat a certain type of food, Then it's going to make me feel a bit sleepy. I personally, for example, couldn't have a jacket potato for lunch without knowing that I'm going to be sleepy mid afternoon, because I know that's the way potato makes me feel when I eat it for lunch. But I know that if I have a sandwich or if I have a baguette or something like that that doesn't affect me in the same way. So a good place to start is by listening to your body and seeing where foods have an impact for you and then you'll know what you can have on the buffet. Because you'll know how it makes you feel. Does that make sense? Things to look for, might be does it make you feel physically uncomfortable? Does it make you feel sluggish? Does it make your stomach feel heavy? 

Does it make your brain feel a bit foggy? You know, does it make you feel like when you're sat in a stuffy room and you can't think straight in you're like, oh, can we just get some fresh air in here? Sometimes food can have that effect. Does that make you feel like that? 

Or does the food make you feel good? Does it fill you up? Does it give you energy? It just feels good to have eaten it. 

So. My message for this is let go of the guilt. Let go of the guilt of eating. If you give yourself permission, there's no need to feel guilty. So next time you have a buffet. Go for it

Also here's a little sneaky tip for you. 

Maybe it's not a full buffet at work. Maybe somebody brought in biscuits or cakes and if your place is anything like our place, You got to get in there quick otherwise you ain't getting none. 

You can find yourself in a position where you think if I don't get some of this food right now, I'm not getting any of it today. And that brings on this horrible scarcity mentality. In that situation, If you think later on this afternoon, actually, I might be comfortable enough to have some of that food but it might not be there. Then get some of the food. Get the thing you think you might like later. Wrap it up. Pop it in your desk drawer. Tuck it under your monitor stand, wherever you feel like you want to put it, and save it. Save it till later. You can still have that food then on your own terms. 

Sneaky. Huh? Hmm. Hmm. 

Finally. Just remember, it's just one day. It's just one day. It's just one meal. It's just one splurge at the buffet. It's nothing to feel bad about. 

Okay. Food debate the great food debate. I still haven't come up with a, a jingle for this have I. I maybe need some intro music. I need to sort that out. I clearly can't sing. I don't know anybody who makes jingles, maybe I'll find some snazzy music. This week we did. Odd food. In the office, which is where I get a lot of my motivation for this podcast right now, just because I'm surrounded by people all day, every day. It's great. Isn't it when you people watch just lots of things to see and hear, and. I like it. I like people watching. Not in a creepy way. Not sat there staring out my windows with binoculars. You know? I just like watching human beings. Interacting around me. Anyway. 

One day this week. I saw somebody eating Kiwi with the skin on. What was that all about? I've never in my life seen that before. It turns out lots of people do it. Lots of people do it. Well, That's odd. I mean, the skin is just furry. Who wants to eat that? And is it not a little bit chewy the skin as well? I mean, it doesn't strike me as something that would be easily edible. 

I don't know. I don't. I don't know about that. So they thought, right, this is it. I'm going to see what other weird things people eat. Now, obviously it's weird to me. It might not be weird to you. You might be sat there right now going. Yeah, I do that. 

So I thought, right. I will chip in with my odd thing and then I thought, actually, I don't really know what my odd thing is. I like hot cross buns with cheese on. That apparently is strange. Is it. I don't think it is. But people around while we were having this discussion apparently they think that's odd. 

My sister goes one step further. She also has coleslaw. Hot cross bun. Cheese. Coleslaw. And brown sauce. That's wierd. Stick at the cheese, just be done with it.  

Somebody messaged me and  Mint sauce. On toast. Now for those who don't know what mint sauce is cause I know that this isn't necessarily going to translate across the oceans. Mint sauce is vinegar with the herb mint in it. I don't like it very much. But it is a big thing. It goes with lamb quite often. Or apparently. 

Toast. And I said, I don't really know how this works. Do you put butter on it? Because otherwise you're just going to make the bread soggy, right? Nope, straight on with the mint sauce. Sometimes also with tomato paste.

A common one was apple cores. 

Apple course complete with pips. I don't know about that. Cause they're a little bit better. Aren't they? So, I don't really know. I don't like it. 

Also one that came up quite often. Potato. Raw. Raw potatoes. Apparently. Soak them for a bit in cold water and then they're amazing. Raw potato. Anybody else do that? 

Someone has raw mushrooms. I don't think that sounds odd though. I think that sounds acceptable. I don't like mushrooms. But I can see how that would work. 

What else?

Mango with skin on it. 

Mango with the skin on. And I said, is that even good for you? I don't know if that's acceptable is mango skin a good thing to eat? Her response was, well, I haven't died yet. Fair enough. Fair enough. 

I used to eat salt and vinegar chips sticks with cottage cheese. Chip sticks are like crisps aren't they. I can understand that I'm all for dipping crisps in things. But cottage cheese.  

Then we really get into it. Right. Matt. He says is his own version of the McDonald's McMuffin. He calls it the Matt muffin. So a cinnamon raisin muffin. With basically. Bacon egg jam and cheese. I think it's the jam in there that feels weird to me. 

Right. Jordan has bacon wrapped in a pancake. Like a burrito. And I said any sauce.  Nope, just the pancake. But you can dip it in syrup. Then I understood it because I was like, oh, bacon and syrup, bacon and maple syrup. Yeah, that's good. 

Somebody has what they call a waffle pastry. Two toasted waffles. Cream cheese on one side, grape jelly on the other and then sandwich them together. Oh, Don't knock it till you try it. I agree, but still, Ooh. 

Are there marks olive loaf, which is bologna with olives in it. And liverwurst. And there are reasons why he had that when he was little. That's the thing, isn't it. When you've got memories that linked to childhood and food. 

It's a real thing. Isn't it? So whether it's the strangest thing in the world or something very plain and simple. Links to childhood means such a lot when it comes to food. 

Cassie has fried eggs with soy sauce. I did say I tried that and then I forgot. I think I like the sound of that. Yeah, I don't think that's so odd. 

Oh, Renee. Put sour cream on spaghetti and her husband puts butter on his. I don't know about that. The cream actually is one step away from a carbonara, I suppose. 

Kevin has oatmeal with peanut butter, sugar and milk, his friends called him weird, but growing up, that's how he was shown how to prepare it. Now I have something similar. I have oatmeal, peanut butter milk and honey so that's similar. 

Janae has nutella and tortilla chips loves the sweet and salty combo. Yeah. I mean, I love the sweet and salty idea, but tortilla chips and nutella. Hmm. 

Someone else with the raw potato. 

Kosher dill pickles. And chocolate milk. Don't dip it in or anything. Just eat the pickle and drink the chocolate milk. Ooh, that's a hard, no, for me, I think. 

Another one who eats the core of the apple. 

And then Diana said, am I strange when most of the above doesn't seem weird to me? No.  

All right. Melissa now this, this one is the strangest one to me. Melissa says I eat menudo and love it. I love tripa. I think it's tripa tacos too. T R I P A. My husband thinks I'm weird, but Hey, I'm a Latina and a Texan and we love menudo and tripas. 

I had to ask what they work. Cause I don't, I've never heard of them before. Menudo is a soup made of the stomach lining of cow and tripas are deep fried beef intestines. 

Oh, I don't know about that. I almost wish I hadn't asked. 

 Somebody said that weirdness where food is more about what they won't eat, because they have problems with color and texture and smell. So things like eating bruises on fruits and dark spots on potato and things. I think that's normal. I think lots of us have got things like that. I don't think that's weird. I, I think lots of us have got that sort of thing going on. 

And a potato chip sandwich. Now I know this that's crisps. Potato crisps. Crisp sandwich. Yeah. I'm on that. I like that. 

And then Alonzo says peeling, Kiwi skin is a waste of time. It's an awesome snack and the most valuable thing that Mr. Rogers has ever taught me. Right. I need to look up this Mr. Rogers thing. Cause I had to ask what it was. Cause I don't think that's a UK thing. I think that's possibly a us thing. 

And 

And they said that. Mr. Rogers neighborhood, there are clips on YouTube, basically the nicest man in the world who taught kids how to be good neighbors. Oh, I love that. 

But yeah, apparently Apparently. Mr. Rogers says that painting Kiwi skin is a waste of time. Thank you, Mr. Rogers. 

Ah, Another good, great food debate. Thanks guys. 

Okay done for today.  Before I go, if you haven't already please do sign up for the newsletter. 

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Pop your name and your email address in the form there. That's it that's all you have. to do.

Happy bank holiday. If you're listening to this, actually on the bank holiday happy bank holiday. Hope you have a good week ahead. I hope you enjoy whatever food crosses your path. Take it very easy. Look after yourself, be kind to yourself and I will speak to you soon.  Hi.