When I was working my corporate engineering job years ago, I remember the offices and labs being permanently infused with the smell of donuts. I would bet that not a single day went by when there weren’t donuts somewhere in the building. You would have thought that donuts were one of the main food groups of engineers (alongside coffee and soda, that is).
Even though I’m a nutrition-savvy health coach today, I had a serious donut problem then. On Friday afternoons, our group’s team lead would bring the good donuts to our weekly 1 o’clock meeting. These were no Krispy-Kremes. They were bakery-fresh, chocolate-glazed sugary delights that would conjure up such joy in your mouth that eating only one was practically a sin to your tastebuds.
Fortunately, there were enough people in the meeting that I couldn’t overindulge and eat more than two, but after those one or two, I’d go into a sugar-coma. I would literally fall asleep in our team’s weekly meeting (in my defense—who sets up a weekly meeting on Friday after lunch?!?). My eyelids felt like heavy twenty-pound sandbags. I’d spend the entire two hours of the meeting struggling to hold them open, but usually losing the battle when my head nodded off to one side. In retrospect, I’m guessing that my teammates were not very pleased with me.
The truth is, I was using sugar as a way to cope with the utter misery I felt at work. It was momentarily masking my daily agony of being at a job I didn’t like. Unfortunately, I could only cover up my unhappiness for so long. After working at this company for two years, there came a time when I decided I’d had enough.
I cut myself off from donuts cold-turkey.
No longer was I going to subdue my senses and fight my battles with weapons of sugary destruction. So I took a stand and decided I wasn’t going to use donuts to try to feel better at work anymore. I knew that plan would never get me anywhere. Instead, I started to focus all my energy on moving forward and quitting my job.
At the time, I remember promising myself that the day I quit, I would go to the donut bakery that I loved so much and buy myself the most delicious sugary donut I could find. But when I did actually quit over a year later, quitting in and of itself turned out to be sweet enough.