Every business woman I know (and a lot of the men too) have struggled with their eating habits at some point. Of course, that isn’t restricted to business owners. It’s just as easy for someone with a full time job to eat junk too.
We’ve all heard the lectures about healthy eating but really, who has the time? We’re busy and the advice about what we should be eating seems to change every week.
The thing is, your business could be depending on you to stay healthy.
The cost of sickness
It’s estimated that UK businesses lost around £16billion through sickness absence in 2015. It’s easy to believe that a day off won’t do any harm when you work in a large organisation. However, if you’re running a small business the effects are much more obvious. The day you take off sick could be the day you miss out on speaking to an incredible new client. By the time you come back they could have moved on to someone else.
What does this have to do with food?
There are always going to be illnesses or accidents that you can’t prevent. However, taking steps to improve your overall health will help to minimise them. I’m sorry to say, that includes eating healthy food.
I’ve had issues with food on and off throughout my life. There was the prevailing burger and chip culture at university (not to mention the beer) and business lunches when I worked in an office. Now I work at home a few feet from the fridge, that’s a whole new challenge.
I’ve hit various crisis points where I just felt rubbish and needed to improve things. I’ve also had some warning signs. I had gestational diabetes with my second child and with a history of Type 2 diabetes in the family I’m a prime candidate.
I’ve decided to challenge myself as I feel things have been starting to slip recently. In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of trying to make dramatic changes all at once. It never works. I last a few days then I’m rifling the cupboards for chocolate biscuits and pouring myself pints of gin and tonic.
I’m going to start by making sure the fridge is healthy. The cupboards too. When I’m busy I tend to eat whatever’s quickest and if there’s cake in the cupboard it’s usually that.
What can you do?
Do you need to feed a family or just yourself? Children don’t always react well to a change in eating habits. A friend of mine was diagnosed with a gluten allergy recently and her kids are still complaining about the ‘boring healthy food’. Equally, cooking for one can be a dispiriting experience, especially when faced with enormous supermarket pack sizes.
All you can do is to build gradually. Cook healthier versions of your normal meals and introduce new things here and there. The NHS Eatwell guide is pretty simplistic but should be helpful if you’ve no idea where to start.
Be kind to yourself
Some people thrive on having strict diet rules to follow. I’m not one of them. If you’re not either, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Eat the delicious food and have a drink (or six) if you want. The things that are good for you can be surprisingly tasty and your business could benefit too!
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