I lost 15 pounds by finding the right job

Within the past few years, my life has gone through a lot of changes. College, jobs, friends, apartments; some changes have been good and some… not so good. The year that I graduated from college I gained 15 pounds within 5 months. I have never really struggled with weight, but suddenly my body seemed out of my control. I tried diets, calorie counting, and countless exercises but the scale never budged.

This same year I was working in an incredibly high-stress job. I spent every single day full of fear and anxiety. I found myself surrounded by miserable people and slowly… I became one of them. I had no idea at the time that a job can cause so much harm to your mental state that eventually it can start to turn physical.

When I finally realized that I could not continue on with that career, I found a new one. This time, my qualifications changed. I decided that rather than a job that was about “what I did”, I wanted a job that was more about who I was with. I found a job where I am surrounded by smart, funny women that motivate me to be better every day. I found a job where I don’t feel stressed or anxious and if I do it doesn’t last long. I found a job where I come home feeling recharged rather than exhausted. This has made all the difference.

Here are a few ways that my lifestyle changed, just by finding the right job.

  1. Sleep: While I have always been able to get a solid 8 hours, I didn’t realize that the quality of those hours was so important. In my previous positions, I would have stress-induced dreams, sometimes even portraying an entire work day! That meant that I was only getting about 15 minutes of deep sleep (according to my Fitbit). Now I sleep soundly most nights and my deep sleep has tripled.
  2. I have the freedom to walk. In my current position, I am very lucky that I am free to take walks. I am a huge believer that sitting is the new smoking, and most jobs make you feel like you are tied to a desk. Being able to step back from my computer and step outside for a few minutes helps me clear my head and feel recharged.
  3. I come home feeling energized. When you come home from a job that you hate, you often feel too exhausted to get anything done at the end of the day. Now I come home feeling ready to tackle dinner and household chores. Cooking my own meals has always been important to me, and I finally have the gumption to do so.

I may not know the science behind it, but I know that the combination of these things along with my all-around happiness has helped me lose those stubborn 15 pounds. I hope that you learn from my experience and if you find yourself in a job that you hate, know that there is always a way to get out. The pros of leaving are so much more than simply enjoying your job. It’s important for your mental and physical care.