Well, I have officially started my yearly battle with school and work food. I am a fourth grade teacher and this week I began my fourth year at my elementary school. My stepmother once said "When it comes to bringing unhealthy food to work, teachers and nurses are the worst!" Not only do I have to pry myself away from the donuts and muffins that appeared in the lounge yesterday to welcome back the teachers (thanks, PTA, for trying to make me fat), but I also have to walk my class to the cafeteria every day at 12:30 and shut off the sensors in my brain that think crispy crinkle fries and low grade USDA beef are appetizing! Trust me, it truly is a daily nutrition battle.
Last year I had two school lunches that I always, and I mean ALWAYS, fell for. That would be the chicken nuggets and the cheeseburgers. What's so amazing is that I KNOW these things are bad for me! I KNOW that the meat used to feed American school children is barely meat at all and that there are enough calories on the average school child's plate to last a 175 pound man all day. But by the time 12:30 rolls around, when my stomach is rumbling nearly six hours after my bowl of breakfast cereal, something in my brain says, "It's okay! People eat this stuff all the time."
Well, this year I've decided to resist the temptation from the get go. I try this every year, but I think this year it'll work, because I've chosen to write about my daily struggles, regardless of who, out there in the vast Internet kingdom, decides to read it. I have this philosophy that if I can keep myself away from the food in the cafeteria and the food in the teacher's lounge, I will somehow be a healthier, happier, person. One of my fellow teachers (who used to eat school lunch every day) said that once she stopped eating school food for two weeks, she lost five pounds! Now, I've been eating a somewhat healthy diet over the summer and I'm not looking for huge weight loss (a few pounds here and there would be nice, right?), I'm just hoping to stay away from the food that can kill me.
So far I've managed to trek through the cafeteria jungle as it served up some chicken strips (new on the menu this year) and cheeseburgers! My first two days arrived with my biggest temptations and I'm proud to say, I've overcome! I enjoyed my ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with carrots and dressing alongside my trusty diet coke while I watched my students scarf down those crispy fries. Success! I've also walked INTO the teachers lounge, browsed the food available, and actually WALKED OUT after deciding that I had better food at home. Hooray! I can only hope that the next few days, weeks, and months are as successful.