Welcome to the land of #noexcuses, the place where if you fall, you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and give it another go. For instance, I just reached for the tea instead of the wine. I also reached for the pie but that’s not the point. Ok, it may be a little bit the point because the point is I’m trying to refocus my goals and stop making excuses.
And struggling a bit. Because I’m human. As are you. So while this is a post about my commitment to get back on track, it’s also about embracing the setbacks — mine as well as yours — and about being kind to ourselves as we push the reset button.
Here’s the Deal
If you know me, you know I like to keep it real. While I’ve come a long way with my #fit40s fitness goals, I’ve had some challenges along the way — things I struggle to get under control; mainly sleep and late-night snacking, sprinkled with an injury here or there. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that one negative habit leads to another and then another until you end up in a vicious cycle.
I’ve been candid about my health and fitness fitness journey from the beginning. My goal was to continue updating the blog with my progress but I got complacent. First with my writing and then with everything else. Without dwelling too much on numbers, you may recall I had a goal weight of 150lbs which I hit in February!
For, like, a day. Yay, me.
In my mind, I had wanted to maintain that new weight before shouting it from the rooftops, but, guess what? It didn’t stay there. Instead, it hovered. And recently I felt it creeping further and further from the 150. (I say felt because I hadn’t stepped on the scale in months). Now, because I am one smart cookie, I already know what I’m doing wrong.
For starters, I let the bad habits and excuses creep in even though I was keeping up with my basic exercise routine and — in my mind — kinda, sorta still eating well. But it was more than that.
Groovy. Problem identified. So now how do I make it right? Well I figured the best thing to do was revisit my goals in concrete terms and crush them. The end. Easy peasy. #noexcuses, amirite? Alas, if only it were that easy.
Ok, let’s break it down. I’m a big believer in the power of lists. To the point where I’ll add something I’ve already done for the sole purpose of crossing it off. You’ve done this, too. Lists make you feel productive and accomplished and satisfyingly smug. Plus I’m big on accountability. If I put it out there, I will do my damnedest not to let you guys down. Check out my new and improved #noexcuses list below.
My Big Fat List of S*** I Need to Change:
- Sleep: My biggest nemesis. I stay up too late working — this summer, especially, proved challenging because as much as I tried, it was tough to work uninterrupted with the kids home all day. Being up late, means I get uninterrupted quiet time, but it also means I wake up groggy, cranky and am slow to start my day. On top of that I don’t hit my peak productivity until late-morning or early-afternoon and then I get slammed with interruptions so I continue working after the kids go to bed. You get the picture. My silly late hours are a source of ribbing from my family. And not an evening goes by that my teen, when saying good-night, says to me, “Don’t stay up too late.” Wise girl.
- Late-night snacking: This is basically the Penn to sleep’s Teller. I’m up late ergo I eat because by 11 or 12 at night it’ll have been five hours since my last meal and however healthy that last meal was, now I’m hangry. Girl’s gotta eat! But, surprise! at 11pm healthy options go out the window. Make no mistake: I love my nutritious snacks! Just not at 11pm. The problem is not so much in the eating itself, rather, it’s in the choice of snack, like, oh Pringles, Starburst, a few squares of dark chocolate, a banana split, pie, wine. Sometimes granola.
- Wine and candy and…: So much. Too much. I should invest in Wrigley stock for the amount of Starburst I consumed this summer. And while I had been diligent about restricting adult bevvies to weekends, I loosened the reins a bit over the past three months. Ugh.
- Supplement schedule: I’ve been seeing a naturopath for nearly two years now and follow a solid regimen of vitamins and supplements which include anti-inflammatories. However, when taking remedies or any type of vitamin or supplement, it’s beneficial to stay on a regular schedule. Lately I’ve been all over the place and my system feels discombobulated. Must. get. back. on. track.
- Work schedule: While we’re discussing schedules, man do I ever need to revamp my work schedule. Admittedly, the summer, with the kids at home, was a more challenging balancing act than I had anticipated which left me doing most of my work late at night. Not ideal. See item #1.
- Running again: One thing I noticed — and this was in part as a result of having suffered sciatica, knee and ankle issues — is that I laid off the running. Instead, I favoured long walks; but between my new work gig and summer, I couldn’t even do those as frequently. Last year I supplemented my daily workouts with a run, even if just 1-2 kms. I need to get back on that horse. In fact, I’ve run three times in the past eight days. Yay, me!
- Consistent workout routine: This is the one thing I have maintained and is critical to my sanity. I love my daily 15-minute dose of Whole Life Fitness Manifesto HIIT. If I do nothing else all day but this, I feel like I have accomplished something. However, my timing is all over the place. Sometimes it’s first thing in the morning. Other times late morning or early afternoon. Or late at night which I hate. This is another one of those items that’ll fall into place once the whole GET SOME SLEEP starts happening. (I sense a pattern forming.)
- Mindfulness & meditation: Don’t knock it till you try it. I’ve been actually doing quite well with my guided meditations, doing one almost daily. But am I seeing results? I don’t know, honestly. Mindfulness is a whole other thing entirely — setting aside 5-10 minutes a day for some personal development seems to be impossible. I just always feel like there’s something more pressing or important to do.
My Sleep Pledge (or Something Like It)
So? What do you think? Totally easy, right? It’s interesting, you know, when you write things out, how suddenly everything becomes clearer. I mean, I already knew that my horrible sleep patterns were the main problem; however, to actually see how most of my other problem areas link back to the lack of sleep, is rather eye-opening. Sleep is so important!
The irony is not lost on me that I recently won a prize during a Twitter party of a case of Dream Water, an all-natural sleep and relaxation shot. Seriously. I have yet to try it because I want to be committed to a regular sleep schedule before I do and I’m not quite there yet. Consider me a work in progress.
I feel like if I set myself an attainable sleep goal and stick with it nightly, the rest will sort of fall into place — including releasing some excess weight (because apparently sleep is good for that.) I know. Genius, eh?
So for my first week, I pledge (gawd, that sounds way too official) to be in bed before 1am. Yup. That’s legit. I’ve been going way past 1am for the past several weeks (including at the time of this writing) and it is showing in these bags under my eyes. I’ll see how I do after one week and then I’ll bump it up, oh, say a half hour earlier?
I’m nothing if not committed! 😉
If you find yourself with similar setbacks here’s my take: if you want the pie, eat the damned pie. Eat it without guilt or judgement — but also remember that there are #noexcuses! But be kind to yourself and balance it out with the healthy, good stuff. For me that means loading up on sleep and curbing cravings. For you it might be something different. I’ve got your back if you’ve got mine.