Friday, August 02, 2019

Choices in a weight loss journey

I want to be healthy. I want to be fit.   I want to do a lot of things in regards to my weight loss journey and more specifically my attempts to transform my life into a healthy lifestyle . But I struggle, I struggle badly.   The struggle is actually in the time management area.   How do I find the time to exercise?  How do I find the time to do anything?

I know I’ve talked about this a lot, but I’m just going to touch on what my daily life looks like so we can see what I’m up against. I wake up at 5:30AM or rather the alarm goes off at 5:30. By 6:30 I am heading out the door for work. I only live 20 miles away from my job but it takes an hour or more to get to work. Because my employer is quite strict about my start time, I leave an hour and a half before I have to be at work. Even then, some days I barely make it on time. Work and my unpaid lunch break suck up 8.5 hours and then I have the hour (if I’m lucky) drive home. I arrive home between 5:30  and 6PM I cook dinner every night (except Friday… that is delivery night and eat on paper plates night). So; by the time I make dinner, eat dinner and clean up I have already used at least an hour of hour and a half more of my already busy day… I will do the math for you… That means that it is now 7:30. I want to relax a little bit each evening ...that’s natural.  But remember, I wake up early, I’m wiped out and ready to fall asleep by 9 o’clock. (And if truth be known, I’m usually asleep on the couch before then!).  Even more importantly, my history with relationships has taught me how much I need to value and treasure and protect the relationship that I have now. That hour or so relaxing with Jason in the evening is my most treasured hour of the day! I don’t want to give it up! So how can I add something else  into my life during the work week?

So here I am, struggling to find time for exercise… And I just committed to creating videos. (OK the commitment is in my mind… It’s not some hard fast rule.) Jason and I talked about this YouTube channel and the creation of videos (which we want so that we can see the transformation and progression) and we made a promise that our relationship comes first… obviously. But how am I going to do this? How am I also going to do that AND  add in exercise during my weekdays?

Well, the first place I looked was the time that I mindlessly play games on my cell phone. This usually happens when I wake up super early before the alarm goes off (this seems to happen a lot) it also happens when Jason is watching something on TV that doesn’t interest me. And honestly, I have never been a huge fan of television. So that was my first question,  can I work on the creation of a video during those times? Well yes, I can. Furthermore, I find that I feel so much more alive when I am doing that versus the video games. It rejuvenates me and sparks that creative juice that is vital to my soul and personality.  (Seriously, my mind has been whirling with ideas and thoughts since I started!)

So the problem of when to work on the videos was solved easily stop wasting time on mindless pursuits on my cell phone. Instead of lying in bed at 4 AM playing  games and wasting time until the alarm goes off, I get up and I go mess around on my computer. (Most days ...some days you just need that quiet time!). Instead of mindlessly playing on my phone while Jason watches something that doesn’t interest me, I get on my computer and I am much happier than I ever would be watching TV… And, I’m still beside him and touching distance. (He has also expressed an interest in helping with the editing....after I figure it all out!)  One problem solved….honestly, with time to spare too!

Writing and this blog will always be a first to love. It’s definitely not going anywhere. I will still be writing my typical three posts a week. But that is also a thing of time management.  I will continue what I’ve been doing for a while now.  This post, was dictated while I drive into work. There is an hour or more one way, it just requires me to turn down the radio and talk. Sure, I’m going to need to go back and do some heavy editing but,  I edit my stuff anyway (although some days you may wonder if I did any editing). Luckily, most days are only an average of one hour for my commute which leaves an extra half hour once I get to work. Doesn’t that seem like the perfect time to edit and comment on your blogs?  I have also used that time in the parking garage while I sit in my car to record some quick video clips for intros!  Time well spent.

(And just for reference...I only had the final paragraph to write by the time I pulled into the parking garage...this whole post was written/dictated while driving...and luckily traffic was light so I had30 minutes to finish and edit it! Free time that would have been spent otherwise wasted!)

So now we come to the biggie, exercise. How in the world do I find time for that?
The weekends are easy. During the week I walk on my lunch break...not so much for the exercise, but to get out of the building and to stretch my legs since I work a desk job. So I do have that going for me…but I’m talking about some kind of formal exercise.

My mind has grappled with week day exercise for quite some time. About a year ago a coworker made the comment that if you want it bad enough you will find the time. You will do it even if it means waking up early, watching one less TV show, playing one less video game or whatever you have to cut or adjust in order to make it happen.   Her words stuck with me, I have been wanting to go running during my work week but I don’t want to run in the dark super early in the morning, for safety reasons. (Protective boyfriend alert) So that leaves after work running. If you’ve read my blog you know I struggle with working out after work because of the shortage of time and because it takes away from the time that I am with Jason. (Yeah, I’m a sappy one…but hey, I love him!)  But on Wednesday of this week, I was driving home thinking about running. All of a sudden I realized something.  I might take 20 to 30 minutes once or twice a week from my time with Jason, but it is an investment in my future with Jason. You see, if I’m healthy and fit, the odds are that I will live a more active, healthy and longer life.  I am thus adding value and time to my future with him! (Deep, I know!). It just made me realize how incredibly important this weight loss journey is. Right now, I am planning on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for a run. By planning the day, I can also try to plan meals that are easy to prepare or possibly even pre-make to just pop in the oven. Wednesday night I put together a casserole that I could throw in the oven with only minimal prep work on Thursday, eliminating some time in the kitchen. And guess what?  I did it.  I ran Thursday night.


Yes, I talked to Jason about my revelation and he is in agreement that investing that time in my health is important. (Yeah, it still blows my mind that I found a man that not only puts up with my craziness and goofy antics but also wants a long future with me. How did I get so lucky?)

So that brings me to one last item that I hope to work into my schedule. I have been reading a blog about someone that has decided to do a 30 day challenge with yoga. (Click here for a 
here link to her blog) OK, in fairness she’s almost done with her 30 day challenge. But I was interested from day one. It was the time management that messed me up and kept me from trying it. But she continued to post about the benefits that she was feeling, the changes in her body and all the good stuff. I also know that yoga is really good for core strength and general strength overall…which will help greatly with biking and running. So after talking it over with Jason, to get his opinion;  my plan is to start this morning...so my alarm was set for 4:45 (vibrating alarm on my watch so as to not wake him). I am actually going to do it instead of just talking talk about it!!!!  (Each day of the 30 day challenge is different in length so some days I may not have to wake it up quite so early) it is time to stop wasting time in my day. It is time to stop dreaming about doing something and just do it!  I would rather say I tried it and it didn’t work versus end up saying ‘if I had only....”


It really does boil down to figuring out what is most important to you.  Is reaching your weight loss goals important?  Or is it more important to play a few mindless games on your phone.   Does being thin outweigh a few extra moments of sleep?  Does the chance of a longer lifetime where we are both healthy outweigh a few stolen minutes of time with Jason?   The answer is yes.  The choice is ours.  What is important?  If I always sit and cry and whine about not having time but then find the time for other random pursuits, then I have no right to say that I don’t have time.   So, I am making my choice!  I’ve got this!

15 comments:

Joy said...

I just read your story and I love how you said that Weight Watcher taught you about budgeting your food and gaining balance. You can apply that same idea with exercise. Looks like you have a good plan in place that is achievable! Way to go!!

Your inspire me!!!! Keep up the great work and stay focused!!!

SANRDJ said...

For me, planning is key. I set Mon/Wed/Fri/ (sat or sun) for exercise. No excuses, I go after work cause it's in the plan. That means that I have to plan my meals or cook extra the night before so we have leftovers. Or hubby picks up the slack on the nights that I'm out. You are right that its an investment in yourself and your relationship. You will be happier, healthier and it's much better time spent than the games/tv. Your schedule is a beast though with your commute and wake up times, but you can do it!!

Amy said...

I finally found your blog MaryFran! Thanks for the shout out and I am super excited for you to begin your yoga journey! I had to give up a few years back when I tore some cartillege in my knee and needed surgery. The surgen told to stop running if I didn't want a total knee replacement surgery in 5 years. Like you said, yoga is a great way to increase flexibility and gain strength which can lead to greater mobility as we age. I hope you like it as much as I do!

peppylady (Dora) said...

Time management is trouble I have. I seem to run short in something. Like yesterday (8/1) I keep with my calorie count and water intake. But I didn't get in my steps and I was quite short.
Soon as I read two more blog I will be doing dishes and heading out for work.
Plus I like doing creative things. But I need to learn to also mange my time on the computer.
Coffee is on

Sarah said...

You're always an inspiration!

"You have to have a clear concept of what's most important to you, and choose your priorities accordingly."

Looks like you're doing just that.

Shelley said...

I have feelings about formal exercise and informal exercise - as you remember, I had a pretty set schedule of running in the early morning (always with at least one person, I never did it alone) T/Th, and going to my group workout M/T/Th, plus running on Saturday. That worked really well for me and I never missed a workout because it was just what I did.

But I think spontaneous exercise is great, too - say the evening is beautiful so you and Jason go out for a little walk to enjoy it. Or if you wake up extra early, go into the living room and do a little yoga...as long as you are moving, you're doing the right thing.

MaryFran said...

I am so happy to know that I inspired you!

This journey really is about balance....for everything. Life can’t be unbalanced because eventually it will topple!!!

We can do this!!! Both of us working together to make this happen for each of us!!!

MaryFran said...

I think you are right...the planning is the key...planning easy meals that require little or no work...and having Jason take up the slack! :-)

MaryFran said...

I am so excited to start!!! You have inspired me! Thank you!!!

MaryFran said...

The day just needs to stretch to be 28 hours...that would work wouldn’t it? Lol

MaryFran said...

Thanks! I’m trying...I want to be the best me there is!!!

MaryFran said...

If you have that schedule (like you will have again....hold to that....you WILL achieve a nice workout schedule again!) then it is less likely that we will skip and stop doing it.
But you are right, those extra moments ...the sunset walk with Jason, the lunchtime walks, the extra stretching session...those are the bonus’s in life!!!

MrsSwan said...

I can pull a lot more time out my butt than you can but I completely understand the feelings you're having about no time. I have them as well!! I am a sleeper so I get up when I HAVE TO. I am home, and cooking, by like 7:30- person as well though.

I know there have been times I actually wanted to work out but felt trapped because I had to make or was making dinner. (Hubby is not helpful in the kitchen) Or by a toddler that wants mommy's attention and I try not to turn that down.

Tacos are a great plan ahead! Because you can use leftover meat in so many ways! Tacos again, nachos, omelets, chili, spaghetti, picadillo... Basically, anything with crumbled hamburger since it can be overpowered easily.

I'm still trying on a meal rotation for my family. I like variety. My kids do not. (Tacos are one thing we can all agree upon) I have just gotten to the point (kinda) of I am going to make this (1 boy will like, other will not) and you can make yourself PB&J if you don't like it. I feel a little mommy guilt at times but I try and ignore it.



Kerstin ・The Reluctant Cook said...

Love how methodical you approached this! I remember the days when I worked in an office and had a commute, it always felt hard to fit in exercise and all those things that would help me be healthier. I am a night owl so getting up that early to exercise has never been an option for me. Now that I run my own business I work more than ever before but I do it from home and decide on my own hours which makes everything so much easier. I also love what you say about making meals in the evenings easier, I want to do more batchcooking and meal prep, it makes such a difference during the week. My husband and I also have a few No Dinner days most weeks and that actually is great because it totally frees up so much time! And dictating your blog posts, that's pretty genius! What app do you use for that? xo

Anonymous said...

Your plan of casseroles etc is a great one. There is nothing wrong with making a lot of food, freezing it, then pulling it out for dinner....or making a huge salad that can stretch out for 2-3 days. So much stress is gone and time added to your exercise life if you don't have to make dinner every night.

As others have said, planning is the key. And if you want to exercise daily you WILL find the time.

I don't play phone or video games so can't relate to that, but it sounds like you are making the change to use that time productively! Good for you.

Midwest Cowgirl