My Competent Guest: Office Fitness

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Camille does her exercises.

I’m extremely adequate. But that doesn’t mean I can be adequate at everything, all the time (I’m only human!). Sometimes, I need to seek the help of someone who is just as adequate as I am. So I’m pleased to present my first interview with a Guest Competent Person!

Work days are long, and sitting kills people. So when I wanted to learn about how to get more exercise at work, I talked to my friend and fellow blogger Camille Campbell.

Camille has been a dedicated assistant since she graduated from college (she declined to say when she graduated). When she started life as an “office drone” she was worried that she would have to sacrifice her physical well being in order to earn a paycheck, but then she created a revolutionary ‘stay fit at work’ program. I met up with her at her favorite donut shop to discuss her body goals and office fitness, or as she calls it, Offness™.

Julie: Tell us about your Offness™ routine.
Camille: The core of my practice revolves around breakfast. Every morning I have breakfast at my desk, usually some Lucky Charms and then two hard boiled eggs with 5 tablespoons of Cholula, and to carry all that food involves a lot of delicate balancing, shifting weight between arms, while engaging my core. Then once I make it to my desk, I don’t get my coffee until later. That way I’ll get up from my desk to get my coffee. That’s the beauty of Offness™ – it’s subtle and smoothly blends in with your day.
J: I don’t think I could commit to anything that makes me delay coffee, but maybe I’ll get there someday. Besides breakfast, what are some other ways you practice Offness™?
C: There are so many ways to creatively enjoy Offness™. Yesterday, I printed all the reports I needed at a printer in another building. Then I went and looked for them. Took me twenty minutes, so that’s almost one of the three recommended 30 minute workouts doctors suggest you do every week. To get those other two workouts in, I’ll drink a lot of water to increase my trips to the bathroom. People think I’m speed walking to the bathroom because I really have to go, but it’s just a part of my program.
J: Wow. I’m lucky to get five minutes of cardio when I’m running for the bus! What about strength training? Flexibility?
C: My desk is in a very public area, so there’s a limited number of socially acceptable movements I can do. I tend to do hourly leg lifts under my desk. I just lift one leg up and then the other. It keeps the blood flowing in my legs. Or I’ll print out copies of my favorite gchat conversations, so I’ll need to refill the printer more. We keep our paper on a bottom shelf in the supply closet, so that’s one squat, and the paper acts as a three pound weight, more if you take two reams. Exercise is all around us once you look for it.
J: Thats a beautiful mantra. Do your coworkers support your efforts?

C: I was questioned about my use of office paper. But I just let our Office Manager, Jared Krakowski, know that it’s part of my fitness plan, and I have every right to take care of myself. He was very understanding. He’s been trying to walk to his car in the parking lot more, and I can tell it’s made a difference for him. This is why Offness™ is the best kind of fitness – it forces you to express who you are and fight for your rights in the workplace.

J: What about diet? I notice you’re eating an apple fritter right now.
C: Offices are not known for their healthy food, so if you’re going to adapt and thrive in an urban office fitness environment, you have to be able to eat whatever and whenever. This donut keeps me training on a Saturday.
J: Yes, speaking of Saturdays, how do you practice Offness™ on the weekends?
C: This is one of my two rest days. All fitness plans have rest days.
(Camille then stared at me for an uncomfortably long time.)
J: I see… Well, how many calories do you estimate that you burn per day practicing Offness™?
C: Offness™ isn’t about burning calories. Because when you turn the whole office into your gym, it’s impossible to count how many calories you’re burning. I mean how many calories do you burn typing? Your fingers do a lot of lifts and crunches, but how do you measure that? No one knows, so we don’t count those calories, which is a sizable loss if you’re trying to count calories. So you can’t measure Offness™ with calories. You have to measure it with results – how does it make you feel.
J: I like feelings. How does Offness™ make you feel?
C: Before I started Offness™ I never moved – I just sat, counting the hours until I could go home and sit and watch “Call the Midwife.” Now I feel alive and filled with zest, and I’ve done that without disrupting my life with jogging, yoga or any other aggressive form of exercise.
J: Has your body changed since you started practicing Offness™?
C: I think it has, but until Jared agrees to buy scales for the bathrooms I won’t really know. And on one level I’m okay with that. Because like I said, Offness™ isn’t about results. It’s more about surrender and compliance.

4 Things I Love (That You Should Arbitrarily Care About)

 

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This object is larger than it should be, and is also hilarious.

This is a lifestyle blog, and lifestyle blogs LOVE “five things” lists. They also LOVE weekly series. So in order to be a successful lifestyle blogger, every Wednesday I will post a list of four things I loved during the previous week (five seems really ambitious). That’s a lot of loving of stuff, but I think I can handle it.

  1. Stone IPA with Blonde Coffee Roast. I had this beer at Jay’s Bar the other night. All the alcohol of a strong beer plus the bitter dregs of an over-burnt Starbucks roast? Count me in. That sounded sarcastic, but it was perfect. The added perk is that the caffeine is definitely included. I skipped dinner and drank it at 10pm on an empty stomach, which is an experience I recommend. Afterwards I wandered the aisles at Von’s, confused. I think I made a cameo in someone’s grocery store snapchat. I either stayed up all night or fell asleep immediately, and I couldn’t tell which one it was. It’s an experience I’d like to repeat ASAP.
  2. Tastemade’s Tiny Kitchen. This is a series where disembodied hands cook tiny versions of popular dishes. I find it hilarious when any object is smaller or larger than it’s supposed to be, so I’m powerless against this clickbaity nonsense. On the other hand, I can’t even get it together to make myself normal-sized French toast that I could eat for a regular human meal, so it downright offends me that somebody has time to make novelty meals. Feeling torn about this one.
  3. Apocalyptic Weather That Would Be Benign Anywhere Else. I woke up on Monday to a horrible, loud, crashing noise like I’d never heard before. I thought maybe plane fell out of the sky? I was terrified! Except it was thunder. That’s it. Just thunder. In the midwest, storms happy like three times a week and they’re 100% normal and fine. In LA, cloudy skies are a call for panic. Free anxiety? Count me in!
  4. Vending Machine Breakfasts. I was really responsible for about a week – I bought a box of oatmeal packets so I could eat breakfast at work. But those days are over, because I keep forgetting to buy more. So lately I’ve been getting morning snacks from the office vending machine. I love it because it’s better than eating saltines from a drawer in the kitchen, but cheaper than going out for a bagel. Usually I’m responsible and choose something like chex mix or vegetable chips, but this morning I answered the siren song of the mini vanilla sandwich cookies. I feel ill.