How My Corporate Nine-to-Five Helped My Well Being

05/22/2015 12:29 pm ET | Updated May 22, 2016

When I gave my notice to quit my corporate job to become a Wellness and Lifestyle Coach full time, I was thrilled. After an incredibly stressful year, I couldn't wait to have more free time to refocus on my health.

It was terrifying to leave a company I had been with for 20 years, but knew it would be worth it. I thought, "I'm going to be in the best shape of my life!"

...but I struggled! 

It was a complete surprise to me! I finally took the time to evaluate why it was happening.

I discovered three ways my good ole nine-to-five helped my well being... and it all started with going to the gym every day for lunch.

Now I'm NOT a morning person, so going to the gym first thing in the morning was not going to happen on a regular basis for me. If I tried to wait until after work, the gym was crowded, I was tired, it was dark, and I was hungry, so that wasn't an option either.

If it was going to happen at all, it was going to have to happen at lunch time.

Discovery 1 -- Physical
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OK, this one is obvious. In order to ensure that I could go to the gym every day for five days, I had to break my body down into smaller parts; otherwise, I would be too sore to work out again in just a couple of days.

I would lift shoulders on Monday, chest on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, back on Thursday, and bis/tris on Friday. 

This allowed me to focus all my efforts on one or two body parts each day to get the most benefit. It also gave adequate time to rest before I focused on that muscle again the following week.

The best part is that if I were short on time, I could use heavier weights, do less reps, and still get a killer workout in 20-30 minutes.

I was able to get stronger and more toned by being consistent with my time in the gym.

Discovery 2 -- Nutrition
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Since I were going to be at the gym during lunch time, I needed to bring my lunch to the office. I didn't have a lot of time to prepare in the morning (see previous "NOT a morning person" reference).

I created a routine that would allow me to make something quickly. I would grab a Tupperware bowl, toss in a couple handfuls of spinach, throw in a bell pepper that I'd slice later at work, and sprinkle on some mandarin oranges. I'd then throw a container of citrus spice, olive oil, and a can of tuna in my bag.

Later, when my workout was over, I'd mix everything, shake the container, and wa-lah!...healthy, protein-packed lunch with greens and lots of flavor!

Believe me, I didn't always want a salad. I had to get back to work though and that was all I had, so I would eat it. It would always satisfy me.

Every once in a while, I managed to get back to the office before our cafeteria closed and would get a sandwich or turkey wrap instead. Those times were rare, so ultimately, I leaned out and lost weight.

Discovery 3 -- Financial
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All of my coworkers would go to lunch together every day. Even if you're conservative and simply doing fast food, you're spending $10/day. That adds up to $200 month!

I hear many people complaining that organic is expensive. If they'd change their perspective a little, they'd realize that they do pay for not buying organic healthy foods in things like their quality of life, prescriptions, or larger clothes. Because I wasn't eating out like my coworkers, I could easily buy organic if I wanted to. 

I've also had many people ask me how I was financially able to leave my corporate career to follow my passion. Since I wasn't spending much money on lunches, I was investing that money or putting it into savings. Over time, the money ADDs up!

What Benefits Can You Discover?
I didn't plan to do this. I simply got into a routine. By having that consistency, it created a habit and I actually craved going to the gym at lunch.

An added bonus is that it helped my stress levels and I would come back to my desk reenergized for the afternoon.

Now I'm trying to create a routine that works for me in my new life as an entrepreneur.

I love this quote by Mike Murdock"The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine." 

If your day to day is structured in a similar pattern every day, are there ways that this benefits your well being? If not, then ask yourself, how can you use it to your advantage? Make your routine work FOR you!

Tami McVay, CPT, CHC, CCP is a Wellness & Lifestyle Coach who helps overwhelmed women who don't have enough time or energy to focus on their wellbeing. She teaches strategies to make health approachable without giving up their favorite foods, so they can do more of what they love feeling confident and stronger. Tami is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and health coach, certified coach practitioner, and United States Marine Corps veteran. She left her 20 year corporate career in Information Technology to follow her passion of helping women with their health. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

To learn more about Tami, click here.