Excuses are like jobs, everyone has one or they really want a good one. However, excuses are not in my book, The 4x4 Diet. It's time to drop the excuses and find the results. I have some go-to moves that you can do at your desk and in your car and are subtle enough to spare you strange looks from your coworkers, yet effective enough to make a real dent in your sedentary time. Happy deskercising to all you aspiring desk jockeys out there!
Smokers take smoke breaks and, so why can't health aficionados we also take wellness breaks throughout the day, to help take care of our bodies? Remember, small moves in the right direction add up, and taking some time for yourself and it will pay off in the long run. With just a little bit of planning you can really create a healthy atmosphere that just might inspire your co-workers or at least reveal your true friends.
Take the stairs
This may sound like old hat advice but every step matters. The more you move the better you feel. The better you feel the more you move, which is a great cycle to be a part of. Just be wary the opposite is true too, as it can really set you back. Get up off that elevator and use your body like it’s meant to be used.
Pack Your Lunch
All those things you would tell your kids to do so that they avoid the massively unhealthy school lunches just may be the same thing you need to do to stay healthy. Not only will you be able to control exactly what you pack so that you fuel your body with healthy food but you can use the extra time to get a tiny workout in! Not every workout needs to be an hour or the best, most intense session ever. Even getting a walk in will help your body digest your lunch and even help you avoid that 2:00 need for a nap.
Do a Tabata
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to pack in some serious moves in a short time period. My book is full of tabatas, which are a great form of HIIT and help increase your creativity, inspiring some great ideas throughout the day. Even better? A tabata is just four minutes total. Try one instead of having coffee, I guarantee it will wake you up.
Get as many steps as you can. This purely means that you will refuse to remain sedentary. Try to avoid having the best chair in the office because you don't plan to be in it too frequently. Take some of these examples to heart and others try to mix in weekly.
- Take an opportunity to drop in on a colleague instead of an email;
- Be generous to your fellow drivers and park far away. They will appreciate the open and close parking and you get closer to your 10,000 daily steps;
- If you’re on a call try taking it on the go. Not all are possible this way but let’s be honest. You’re a rock star and already know your business well enough to do this away from your desk (sometimes).
Use a Stand Up Desk
If you have the luxury of being given a standing desk, just make sure to maintain good posture while using it. Cocking your hip to one side all the time will create some soreness. Plus, it’s a bonus ab workout holding yourself properly all day.
Desk Butt Squeezes
No one will notice that you’re creating a nice strong backside while going over the TPS reports. Try squeezing for one minute then resting for one minute. Repeat as many times as possible (then start again the next hour to beat your time).
Waiting to get your exercise done at just the right moment is silly in my book. I never have the time to do this. If I have a late client, I do lunges and push ups until they get there. If my coffee is brewing I run in place (to my husband’s amusement). You don’t have to go to extremes but these little gems can turn your daily commute to and from work into small workout sessions.
Car Butt Squeezes
Yup, these perfect little flexes aren’t just for your seat at work. Try holding tight for one mile then resting for one mile. The regular traffic jams will really make those squeezes last.
The same thing as butt squeezes but holding your abs instead. This is a recommendation to all my clients because most people don’t exactly know how to hold their core correctly. Practice tightening from beneath your belly button and holding the position during your drive and you’ll be come a pro one mile at a time.
Dehydration is something that sneaks up on everyone. Once you’re thirsty, you’re way too late. Start your day off the healthiest by making sure you get your water in. If you drink coffee, you’ll need even more water. Staying hydrated will make your workouts easier I promise. I’ve cured quite a few dizzy clients by getting them to up their intake.
Working out does not need to be complicated. With just a few of these great recommendations you can really change your life for the better. Take pride in the fact that you want to make this 1 life a strong, healthy long one. Peer pressure is a two-way street too. Enlist help at work to get these done. You just may become the inspiration for someone (even yourself) to turn some bad habits around.
It seemed like everything happened overnight because, well… it did.
One moment, my team and I were business as usual, running a multi-million-dollar edible cookie dough company I built from scratch in my at-home kitchen five years ago and the next we were sitting in an emergency management team meeting asking ourselves, "What do we do now?" Things had escalated in New York, and we were all called to do our part in "flattening the curve" and "slowing the spread."
The governor had declared that all restaurants immediately close to the public. All non-essential businesses were also closed, and 8.7 million New Yorkers were quarantined to their tiny apartments for the foreseeable future. Things like "social distancing" and "quarantine" were our new 2020 vernacular — and reality.
What did that mean for us? Our main revenue source was the retail part of the business. Sure, we offered delivery and take-out, but that was such a small portion of our sales. I had built a retail experience where people from near and far came to eat edible cookie dough exactly how they craved it. We had two stores, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, which employed over 55 people. We have two production facilities; an online business shipping cookie dough nationwide; a wholesale arm that supplies stores, restaurants, and other retail establishments with treats; and a catering vertical for customizable treats for celebrations of all sizes. And while business and sales were nearly at a complete halt, we still had bills. We had payroll to pay, vendors we owed, services we were contractually obligated to continue, rent, utilities, insurance, and none of that was stopping.
How were we going to do this? And for how long will this go on? No one knew.
As an entrepreneur, this certainly wasn't my first-time facing challenges. But this was unprecedented. Unimaginable. Unbelievable. Certainly unplanned. This control-freak type-A gal was unraveling. I had to make decisions quickly. What was best for my team? For my business? For the safety of my staff? For the city? For my family and unborn baby (oh, yeah, throw being 28 weeks pregnant and all those fun hormones in there, it's real interesting!). Everything was spiraling out of control.
I decided to take the advice I had given to many people over the years — focus on the things you can control. There's no point worrying about all the things you have no control over. If you focus there, you'll just continue spiraling into a deeper, darker hole. Let it go. Once you shift your perspective, you can move forward. It's not going to be easy; the challenges still exist. But you can control certain things, so focus your energy and attention on those.
So that's what I did. I chose, for the safety of staff and customers, to close the retail portion completely — it wasn't worth the take-out and delivery volume to staff the store, open ourselves up to more germs and human contact than absolutely necessary.
I went back to our mission and the reason I started the business in the first place — to spread joy. How could we continue to bring happiness to people during this uncertain time? That's our purpose. With millions of people across the globe stuck inside, working from home, quarantined with their families, how can we reach them since they can't come to us? So I thought back to how and why we got started.
Baking, for me, has always been a type of therapy. I could get lost in the mixing bowl and forget about everything else for a moment in time. Sure, I have a huge sweet tooth, but it's about the process. It's about taking all of these different ingredients and mixing them together to create something magically sweet and special. It's about creating and being creative with the simple things. It's about allowing people to indulge in something that brings them joy — a lick from the spatula or a big batch of cookies.
It's about joy in the moment and sharing that joy with others. So my focus is back on that, and it feels good.
We could still ship nationwide, straight to people's doorstep. So we are making it easier and less expensive to send the ultimate comfort food (edible cookie dough) by introducing a reduced shipping rate, and deals on some of our best-selling packages.
In a way for us, it feels like we are going back in time… back to our roots. When I first started the business, we were only shipping nationwide. There were no stores, no big team, no wholesale. It was just me, a small crew juggling it all, and we made it work then. And we'll make it work again. We have to leverage our online business and hope it floats us through this time.
We are focusing our digital content strategy on sharing recipes, activities, and at-home treats with our engaged, amazing social following so they bake with their families and stay busy at-home. We started live baking tutorials where our fans can bake-along with me and I can share all the tips and tricks I've learned over the years with them.
I've leveraged the cookbook I published last year, Hello, Cookie Dough: 110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake & Share, to come up with fun content and additional things to do at home. We started shipping it and our at-home baking mixes for free to encourage people to get busy in their kitchens!
And as a business, we will continue to connect with our community to bring them joy and focus on what we can control, including our attitude and outlook first.
During times of uncertainty, which this certainly is, you should do the same. Identify the things you can control and focus your time and energy on those things. Distract yourself with the positive. Force yourself to stop asking and worrying about all the what-ifs. Do what you can for the moment and then the next moment. Make a list, and take it day-by-day.
It's going to be okay. You will be okay. We will all be okay.