Fitness Goals

Exercise, Eating, and Why I Should Not Have Thin Mints In My Office

February 27, 2020

I thought perhaps we would pivot from yesterday’s slightly deeper topic!

For the first time in months, I am not thrilled with how my clothes are fitting. I am not in a panic about it, but I am interested in taking action before things escalate.

But first, an analysis of WHY. Interestingly:

  • I have been running a bit more regularly (but actually not really any higher mileage than my half marathon training)
  • I have been drinking alcohol less than I ever have (except for pregnancies of course). 1-2 glasses of wine per week (usually one on Saturday, sometimes one on one other night) seems to be my new norm. This just seems to be better for my sleep and overall energy levels.
  • We have been eating out less because I have been working on reducing our “restaurants” budget! More home meals, less takeout, etc.

But, on the downside:

  • I have been eating in the hospital cafeteria for lunch a few days/week. It is free for physicians (don’t get me started on that, I actually don’t think that’s ideal, but that is not the topic of today’s post)
  • I have only been doing 2 Beachbody workouts most weeks (used to be closer to 3-4). And I think running actually makes me hungrier. I did a 5 mile interval run yesterday and was ready to eat my arm by 11 am.
  • I have, though random gifts, accumulated a box of girl scout cookies AND some Lindt truffles in my office.
  • I turn 40 in May. Obviously there is no sudden metabolic implosion, but things are certainly not going to automatically go in the favorable direction.

Now, I am a moderator and it’s not like I have eaten a sleeve of thin mints in one sitting (though I can see how people do that; I LOVE those damn things). But these are not good things to have in one’s office for regular consumption whenever a midafternoon snack craving arises.

I am ready to reign it in because I prefer not having the distraction of body image woes on my mind from day to day.


  • Thin Mints and Lindt are getting rehomed to the break room today 🙂 I previously survived without snacking most days and will go back to that habit.
  • I am going to aim to either pack lunch more OR make better choices in the cafeteria (but the latter is hard; I just don’t think the food is very healthy overall or high quality so I’m probably better off bringing)
  • I am going to consider adding back a Beachbody day, particularly once we get through the end of “mini winter” here and it becomes less pleasant to run.
  • I also may consider diving into the more intense BB program (80 Day Obsession) for summer. It’s not much fun to run in 80+ degree humidity even in the 5am dark, so this would be a seasonal shift that makes sense.
I am not ordering this Wellness Petite Planner from Erin Condren, but isn’t it cute!?!?
Image from their website

Usually when I start paying more attention, I start feeling more comfortable in my skin in a fairly short period of time (couple of weeks), so hopefully that will happen!


  • Reply Rachel February 27, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Re: Girl Scout cookies, my household stopped buying altogether them several years ago and instead we make a donation to the girls in our neighborhood who come to our door. It’s a win win, more money directly for their troop and no temptation for us. Also, I recently decided I’m not above flat out throwing out junk food that’s gifted to me. This Christmas in particular I ended up with about 5 containers of Trader Joe’s chocolate covered something’s, plates of homes made cookies and the like. The unopened store bought treats mostly went to the break room at my husbands office but a lot just went in the trash. I hate wasting food but when it comes down to it copious amounts of sugar and food coloring isn’t really fuel for anyone.

    Love your blog!

  • Reply Kaye February 27, 2020 at 9:05 am

    I hear you on the snacking! I have been getting really bad with that lately too. This week I have been trying to jot down in the morning what I am planning to eat for the day (B, L, D, snacks including a couple treats) and then sticking to that! If it’s not on the list, I haven’t been eating it. (within reason- unless some plans came up or changed, then I would be flexible). But it has been helping me to avoid the constant grazing- a bite here, a bite there, finishing my kids’ snacks or a bite of their waffle, grabbing a piece of chocolate… that I really don’t need! Definitely helps if I “plan” to eat just 1 cookie with my lunch, for example, versus just trying to swear it all off, which is probably pretty unrealistic and not much fun.

  • Reply Kristen M February 27, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I found when I started training just for a 5k last year I gained about 5 pounds which have been very hard to shed ever since – which was super frustrating. When I was running more regularly in my 20s I didn’t have that happen! But it taught me focusing more on HIIT type workouts, yoga, and walks seem to be the best mix of exercise for my body at this time in it’s life (I’ll be 35 in April).

  • Reply Mara February 27, 2020 at 9:56 am

    You inspired me to finally throw out the fried pita chips and pimento cheese I’ve been grazing on all week! Every day I try not to eat it, but when it’s right there it’s almost mindless! I’m so much better when stuff isn’t there to tempt me. I don’t sit around thinking I want cookies or chips, but if they are in the house or office, I will graze and those little bites add up!

  • Reply Gillian February 27, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I also wonder, now that you are doing more admin/less patient care if you are a little more sedentary at work. Plus if you are working on GME/meded stuff it is easier to snack than if you are actively seeing patients (can’t eat thin mints in the exam room 😉 ). In my experience these little change in routine can temporarily throw us off. But your plan seems reasonable and I bet you will feel good again pretty quickly.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 27, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Definitely could be a factor!!!

  • Reply gwinne February 27, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Yeah, I hear you. I have been actively trying to lose five pounds. My weight was quite stable–and on the low side of healthy for my height (not quite 5′ 1″)– until I weaned Tiny Boy and turned 41. It’s been a steady creep upward since then. About 7-8 lbs total over what I consider my ideal. I eat well. I exercise. In the moments that I have been very deliberate (trying IF or Whole 30) I do lose a couple pounds….and then they almost instantly come back. I’m at the point that I’m trying to decide what matters to me more–(a) recalibrating my mental image of myself to this newer one and allowing myself to eat generally the way I want or (b) trying some very strict dietary rules to see if I can get back to where I once was. At this point I’m leaning toward (a); I also realize that I am likely much more muscular than I was pre-kids, because I didn’t really work out then at all.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 27, 2020 at 11:12 am

      I track what I eat and honestly it’s been a train wreck for the past month or so 😂 I deserve every lb. so I do think if I reign things into a more normal routine things should settle.

      I hope.

      I’m the same height as you are so I absolutely get how just couple lbs in either direction makes a difference in how I feel.

      • Reply Kaye February 27, 2020 at 2:20 pm

        When you say you track what you eat, do you mean just a general list of what you ate in a notebook, or do you track calories/ macros in an app?

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 27, 2020 at 2:59 pm

          Zero measuring or macro counting. Just writing things down.

          • gwinne February 27, 2020 at 7:07 pm

            Sarah, FWIW, I also track, and my diet really isn’t haywire….I really think something metabolic happened in my mid-forties (I’m really on the cusp of menopause). I can mostly wear my same clothes, but they don’t fit the same, and I’m bummed. It’s a deep identity thing for me, and I hate that.

  • Reply Zulema February 27, 2020 at 10:52 am

    I have been having issues shedding 15 lbs after my second pregnancy. I joined a 7-week program that involves intermittent fasting. But I didn’t do so hot. I’ve realized I’m a moderator and when I can’t have something I go a bit crazy. As I was writing down my goals for this year one of them is to shed 15 lbs. So my new goal is to loose 2 lbs a month. I feel this is doable. I def need to cut back on my alcohol consumption and make it a goal to hit 10k steps a day. Love that planner!

  • Reply LDMN February 27, 2020 at 11:59 am

    When I’m running more I’m way more hungry. When I’m hungrier, I tend to make poor choices (grab whatever I can stuff into my face, usually carbs). And then I gain weight. I have to be SO thoughtful about meal and snack planning, as well as eating more protein and healthy fat. Love the “Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow” cookbook… (Even though I do not run fast!)

  • Reply ecahoy February 27, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    My best tool is MyFitnessPal, which allows me to track what I’m eating and make mindful choices throughout the day that are within my caloric limit.

  • Reply Danielle February 27, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Girl Scout Cookies! So, last year I didn’t want any in my house so when my niece was selling I was happy to see that “Donate boxes to the Military” was a checkbox on the order form. Yes! Win! Win! Win!

    Later in the year my husband (in the Air National Guard) comes home from a training on his base. The base had waaayy too many boxes of cookies, and they had batches that were close to expiring. Yeah….. My husband brought home around 60 boxes of cookies.

  • Reply Ann February 27, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Running makes me super hungry! Seemingly every marathon cycle, I gain a few lbs. I need to make better food choices when I’m so hungry I could eat my arm, ha

    Haven’t bought girl scout cookies in years. Did see someone yesterday in traffic offload a few boxes to a panhandler on the sidewalk. Maybe that’s the best way to make my donation really count 🙂

  • Reply DVStudent February 27, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Totally random, but I’m on peds endo rotation now for my speciality rotation in MS3 (also OMG endocrinologists are amazing, and all they want to do is talk about molecular mechanisms, and someone actually asked me to show them my PhD thesis and we fangirled about T cells for a while), and each day in diabetes clinic, I just have the worst sugar craving. And I never eat sugar!

    And of course today was Girl Scout Cookie Day. Hello Boxes of Samoas.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 28, 2020 at 5:17 am

      ha! I have not run into this but maybe I’m just desensitized! I’m so glad you’re having a good rotation!!

  • Reply Lisa Whit February 27, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    I have also been running more and always struggle with hunger when I increase miles. And I work in a hospital too with free food…it’s just so convenient. They have a nice salad bar so I can get a pretty healthy salad but I am usually snacking in the afternoon and that routine lunch does get boring.

  • Reply Elisabeth February 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

    So timely! This is me right now. Before Christmas (including Christmas Day), I weighed in so close to my goal weight and am now about 8 lbs above that. Ugh. In 2 months I’ve gained 8 lbs!!! I find it so much harder to find the enthusiasm for outdoor exercise in the winter (it’s currently below freezing and icy where I live in Eastern Canada). Also, I just crave carbs and food for a pick-me-up when it’s dark and cold.

    I am trying to worry less about the carbs per se and focus on “Is what I’m putting in my body good?” A big hunk of cheese might be low-carb (love cheese, but do have a lactose sensitivity), but I’m probably better off eating the higher-carb apple instead.

    Also, in January I had a “record a 1km workout every day” goal. I’m going to do it again in March. Although my daily mileage was lower than average (3.8km/workout) in total, it ended up putting me pretty close to my averages in the fall when I was doing regular 8-10km runs, but NOT a workout every day.

    I’m also finding it hard to switch my mindset of “If I can’t fit in at least 5km of running/walking I might as well not bother.” The 1km goal EVERY DAY is helping me a bit with this, though I am still finding it hard to imagine hopping on the treadmill for less than 5K. That said, a 3K I run every few days is better than a 5K I only fit in once a week…).

    Keep us updated. LOVE, LOVE these posts as they reassure me I’m not alone in this struggle.

  • Reply Teresa February 28, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I really like your food tracking and it really is what motivated me to get the Hobonichi. I have been logging my meals and it is eye opening. Good luck with your changes. I’m hoping to make some of my own – one being write down what I will eat that keeps me on track and then stick to that.

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