When I worked at DreamWorks Animation my co-workers would often joked about the DreamWorks 50. Similar to the Freshman 15, it is the idea that new employees often would gain weight after starting working at the company. DreamWorks Animation is known for its free food they provide for their employees. With copious amounts of food for breakfast, lunch, soft served ice-cream machines, cookie day, and snack kitchens all around campus it is hard to resist the urge to fully take advantage of your new employee benefits. Many new employees inevitably pack on a few extra pounds. Eventually the excitement of free food wears off, and they learn to be more reserved with their eating.
When I left DWA to start my own company one of the things I knew I would miss would be the free food. I joked with my DWA friends that the next time they saw me I was going to be nothing more then skin and bones. The reality is that I actually gained weight since leaving my job at DWA.
You might ask “How could this be?”. Do I have my own person chief? Do we have a lot more food in my house then we had at DWA? I can assure you that none of those are true. There are several things that I’m sure played into me gaining weight, and not being as healthy as I once was.
While at DWA I would walk a lot more. It was a big campus, so even walking to lunch was more exercise then what I get now. Walking to and from the parking garage, going up and down stairs on my way to meetings. I actually walked a lot while I was working there. Now I sit in my office and the most walking I do is the 5 steps to the kitchen for lunch. One of the things I have tried to get me to walk more is going on a daily walk around the neighborhood. I’m really good at coming up with excuses not to do it including I’m to busy, or it is way to hot out, but I’m working on keeping it a priority.
Since I started working from home lunch is often something I forget about until the last minute. With the busy entrepreneur schedule I have it never fails that at some point normally around 2pm I start feeling light headed, and my stomach starts yelling at me. At this point I’m far beyond planning a meal, or even thinking clearly. I want the quickest and easiest meal possible. I had regressed to eating like a college student which often included Ramen Noodles and Mac & Cheese on the menu. When I got sick of those tasty treats I would run to the nearest fast food place. I realized this was not ideal, and I have been taking steps to eat healthier.
There are other things that could have contributed to my weight gain, and loss of energy. Things such as a newborn that had a goal of keeping my wife and I from getting more then 3 hours of sleep at a time. Even the best of us can’t function without a good nights rest. Lucky for us our son is sleeping much better, so in turn we are finally starting to get more sleep at night.
I’m sure I could go on all day about reasons, but I’m more concerned about making changes. In addition to the above mentioned changes I have been trying to find other ways to stay fit. It is not just about losing weight, but also being healthier mentally and physically. I have started doing a workout routine 3 days a week in the morning before I start working. I set a bedtime for myself although I’m still really bad at sticking to this. I also became proactive about looking for ways to be healthier.
I found I’m not alone, and it is pretty common for people in my situation to put living a healthy life style on the back burner while starting their businesses. I have read multiple articles that are directed on this very subject. I’m sure some of you might be in a similar situation, so I thought I share some of the articles I have found.
The last article I read last night, and I started doing the 10-10-10 rule today. Every hour do 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, and 10 jumping jacks or squats. I feel this will help me keep my energy up, since normally around 4pm I start getting sluggish.
Anyways, I hope some of this can help you, since staying healthy is extremely important. I know this is not the typical topic I write about, but this is a huge part in starting and running your own company. I want to be able to share all of my challenges, and this has been a big one for me lately. No pun intended.
If you have not already, I hope you will join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog. If you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.