I'm back! Lets go go go! Ok hang on, where are we again? Oh yes, living long & strong....
A few weeks into any new change in lifestyle, I find I begin to get unmotivated. Not unmotivated to be healthy but unmotivated to keep up the efforts and do the daily work required in the areas I need to improve. It all gets a bit much, feels like a strain on the family & I give up. I know I've often been and all or nothing girl.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Try a different approach!
Little continuous improvements!
But only if you want.
Maybe its not the right time for you? And thats ok. If you really want some change, no matter how big or small, then lets call this crunch time. Lets commit and make sure we have contingency plans. Because change isn't easy and life throws curve balls. Its fine to fall. But we just get up & press on.
I am committed:
I want to lose 20 kilograms this year. There I said it. And.....
It can be emotional to talk about these things. Please know that if you are following along, you never have to 'out yourself'. I love getting your emails. Feel free to keep doing that. Or use that journal we talked about back here and - if you want - make some commitments for yourself.
I have contingency plans:
Now that school has gone back I'm desperate to put new contingency plans in place to suit the more structured week and avoid my weakest moments.
Remembering my water - I heard of a great idea a while ago which I thought I might try this week just to double check I'm having enough water. If I want 8 glasses, in the morning when I get up & get ready I add either 8 rubber bands, or bracelets or hair elastics or whatever to my wrist. Each time I have a glass, I take one off. Easy to keep track. Maybe go treat yourself to a little bundle of thin bracelets hey?
Combatting late night snacking - My weakest moments are late night snacking because a] I've skipped breakfast and/or b] I've dinner with the family at 5.30pm and and up awake & busy well into the evening.
As I chop brain food/recess & lunch in the morning, I chop some extra fruit/veg to go towards my breakfast smoothie. If you make lunches at night, maybe you can do your extra chopping then, all ready for the morning! There's not too much extra time involved if you are already chopping. Seriously blending is like a minute. And even better, how about this idea I just found on Pinterest. On the weekend make a bunch of smoothie packs & put them in the freezer for the coming week. AWESOME! I am so doing this.
As for late night snacks, I'm swapping sweet treats with cutting a piece of cheese and having some celery/grapes, raspberries or strawberries. I haven't been perfect but I am getting into a better routine with this. Going to see 'This is 40' and having movie popcorn 3 times in the last 2 weeks wasn't so great. But that was a rare occurence, its not often I get out to the movies. I also need to bring back the timeslot for evening snacking between 8-9 probably. I realise I should be having more veg than fruit at this hour too but I'm just trying to develop that habit right now.
Late afternoon snacking contingencies - School only went back yesterday for us but my plans for avoiding after school snacking with kids after school are to prepare their snacks [and maybe some for me, chopped veg, a few nuts] at lunch time when I'm making lunch at home. I'm already washing/cutting fruit/veg so I'll do a whole pile extra that we can all snack on. Maybe keep a snack bin like this one below [from here] that you can keep adding to whenever you are making another meal in the kitchen. Chopping more and being in the kitchen less means I can get some time with feet up on the couch after school pick up. That definitely makes me happy.
Avoiding dinner dramas - Sometimes I find cooking for the family every night is a complete drag. I love cooking but its endless. There's no personal chef on hand. Sometimes I forget to take meat out of the freezer and then a bit stuck for options. Sometimes if I have a busy weekend, I get behind on meal plans.
I detest handling & trimming chicken breasts & I am very fussy with poultry & meat. I also want to have chicken available to me some days for lunchwithout adding more cooking to my day. So now I'm cooking double portions twice a week to reduce time in the kitchen. Its time saving & I'm much happier. So mid week I'll cook double chicken batch + veggies. Cool down one half of chicken & store in fridge for tomorrow. Eat chicken & veg that night. The next night its an easy 10 minute thrown together salad & warmed chicken. Same thing repeated on the weekend with a beef undercut, roasted with veggies. The next day we can have a beef salad. Thats essentially 4 nights meals for two cooking nights.
I've now set alarms on my phone to pull meat out of the freezer for thawing whilst I am preparing school lunches at breakfast and also an alarm for a meal plan meeting with myself twice weekly. I'm thinking of going back to online shopping for general groceries too. I can still visit my fresh greeen grocer twice a week to pick out my own fresh food, but just avoid Coles altogether. This will help the odd little chocolate purchase & save me time!
Scheduling important health plans
So I'm setting alarms for making sure I have meat for dinner out of the freezer and also for meal plan/shopping list meetings with myself. But there are other alarms you and I could be setting too.
A sleep alarm - I have one set for bedtime [finish being busy & get into bed & read] and another set for sleep time. Yes I push my boundaries alot but if I didn't set my alarms, I would never be in bed on time.
A relax alarm - I haven't set this yet but I think its a great idea. Could there be a couple of times in your week where you can block out 10, 20 or 60 minutes for complete relaxation? Reading, napping, meditation or a bath? I'm going to look at my schedule again and see if I can find some time slots where I can do this. Its as important as good sleep and good nutrition to just have peace & slow the mind.
An exercise alarm and a back up up plan for exercise like skipping or hand weights for when you can't get to the gym or its too wet outside to walk or you've had the day from hell & just need a quick 15minute workout.
This last contingency idea is, I think, a cracker. Not a cracker with wheat or sugar in it, just a super cracking idea.
Avoid emotional trigger snacking - How often do you find yourself in the pantry or the fridge because you are sad, bored, happy, lonely, excited, any emotion at all really? Today, I am adding notes for myself to the fridge and the pantry. They will say something along the lines of, "Kate - feed yourself love - don't open this door - don't pass go, don't collect $200, go directly to the goodie basket!"
Putting together a goodie basket...
I bet if you are crafty you have a bunch of unfinished projects right? I bet you wish you had more time to write lists, make plans, do a little sketching. You probably want to read more, spend quality time with the kids. Maybe you missed exercise today? How often do you think about writing a quick hand written letter to someone, do some mending or other hand sewing but never find the time?
I'm putting together a little basket/box thingy and I'm filling it with unfinished projects. I'm putting list paper & pens, notepaper/postage stamps/envelopes, a book, my iPad, my skipping rope and my sketchbook all into this basket. I'm going to write interview questions so I can interview my kids more - its always funny & magical & they love one on one time.
When I find myself heading to the fridge, I'm going to divert myself to the goodie basket. I'm going to enjoy all the little things I complain I don't have the time for & choose something to keep me busy for at least 10 minutes, longer if I can.
I'm also going to be proud of making a better choice and enjoy my few minutes doing something I enjoy.
And now its crunch time:
Not in a frantic panicked sense. Just decision time. Am I going to just move forward or am I going to sit where I am and not improve my situation? Its up to you to decide. I'm decided.
The more I read the more I find out about what is good for our bodies. Its actually hard NOT to get all fanatical about it. But I also know, if add too much pressure at what is most definitely the busiest period in my life, with young children, then I will just give up again and let those old habits creep in. I want to avoid that. So I try not to feel guilty, I just wake up each day knowing I can choose to make good choices and take each week to try something new. And I'm feeling good about it. I know I can't go backwards. No matter how many times I fall over, I am going to keep getting up. And moving forward.
How about we press on together?
Thanks for taking this journey with me.
PS. Sorry for the late post this week. It was a bit of an unusual week for our parenting team here with Jeff working incredibly hard last long weekend, leaving me to finish off home projects, get everything ready for school/kindy starting today/ Wednesday + endless feeding & looking after the babes. And they seem to be getting hungrier!!!! Whats with that?