Q&A: Being an Entrepreneur Is Making Me Fat

By Toddi GutnerBusiness on Main

I started a business about a year ago, and I’ve gained over 20 pounds! I just can’t seem to fit exercising into my schedule, and finding time to cook is out of the question. How do other entrepreneurs make it work? Any suggestions?

Have you heard of the “Freshman 15” — that is, the number of pounds many freshmen gain during their first year of college? They eat poorly — either too much or the wrong foods — in response to stress.

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Starting a business and gaining weight can be analogous to the “Freshman 15.” Dealing with sudden weight gain can be difficult, but there are guidelines that can help get you back on track.

Go easy on yourself: Realize that starting and building a company is a momentous task. Such a huge undertaking zaps your resources — no wonder you have no time to exercise or cook. But there’s no value in beating yourself up.

Accept the weight gain: Go out and buy some new clothes. It doesn’t mean you’ll be this weight forever, but it’s important to look and feel good now.

Take a good look at your schedule: Just as you’re looking at the business plan of your company to make sure it’s scalable and sustainable, you need to ask yourself if a schedule that allows no time to take care of yourself is scalable and sustainable. It’s a moment of truth. You’re the front line of defense for your company — if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.Commit to making a change: Deciding not to anything is a decision in itself. You don’t make business decisions this way, you take action.Consider on-the-go fitness and healthy eating: Once you’ve committed to a healthier lifestyle, you’ll be amazed at how many resources and shortcuts there are. Simple things like booking hotels with fitness centers to packing a bag of nutritious snacks to making sure your freezer is filled with healthy frozen dinners can go a long way.

— Toddi Gutner

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