Procrastination Observations

Here we are; moving into yet another year!  Where does time go?  It seems like everytime I turn around, there’s another week/month/year that has passed.

How do we slow it down and enjoy it more thoroughly?  What does that even mean, anyway?  It seems like we will continue to do what we enjoy on a regular basis.  If there’s something you have been “hoping” to get around to “someday”; it probably isn’t as important to you as you think.

For instance, the top ten list of things people procrastinate about lists ‘exercise’ as #1.   Why would this be, you may ask?  First of all, it’s hard to know where to start.  You may not want to experience the discomfort that comes from exercising and sweating.  You may not know how to get the best results.  You may just not care as much as you think about making changes to your routine.

The second item of procrastination is cleaning clutter out of garages, cupboards and drawers.  You know that area that you cringe at each time you are confronted with?  You may make a mental note to clean out the “junk drawer” in the kitchen everytime you are scurrying through to find an invisible object.  Do you ever schedule it into your calendar?  Probably not.  Again, maybe it seems important enough at the time you cannot locate an important item but once some time passes; it becomes less important and you really don’t care as much as you thought.  So, it sits cluttered.

What about # 3?  Can you guess it’s losing weight?  Duh!!  Why else is that the top resolution each New Year’s day?  Just try to step into a gym the first few weeks of each year and you’ll be met with this fact.

But then you could also re-visit that same gym; at the very same time in mid-February and find it a much less populated area.  Why?  Because it seemed like such a great idea at the time but once these folks fight against their already-busy-schedules and find out how much they actually have to do; it loses it’s appeal. How about the weight loss centers?  Think they do their busiest work in the first few months of each year?  You bet.  But you can also bet they see it dip by the third month of the year again.  Only the highly motivated and already-proactive folks are keeping up with their healthier and lighter habits.

Face it; if it feels too difficult and draining, it won’t stick.  You can’t just wake up one day and want to make a huge change to your daily life.  It has to mean something to you on a deeper level.

So let’s focus on this fact for a moment.  Think of your top priority of procrastination that has been haunting you lately.  I’ll give you a moment…

Okay, now that you have that in mind; why haven’t you gotten around to it yet?  Before you start listing off excuses I’d also like you to ask yourself if it’s really that important to you at all?  Many times you may just be able to “scrap” the idea completely and go along your merry way without much more of a thought.

If it’s still something you are serious about; start by simply writing it down.  You may have to post this task so you can see it every day for a few days before you get started.  Let it “simmer” or sink in for a bit.  This alone can help your mind start working through the task and coming up with ideas and ways to begin.  If not, you then must schedule it into your day.  Again, write it down and be specific about breaking it down into simple steps.

For instance, if your task is to start an exercise routine; you may write down for Monday to “buy a pair of shoes”.  On Tuesday you may write down, search out a gym or exercise routine you can follow easily.  On Wednesday, you would start with a simple walk or exercise class to get your foot in the door (no pun intended!).  It could continue on through your week and into the remaining weeks of that month.

Is it difficult in the beginning?  You bet! But you will also begin to feel it settle into your schedule in time and it will feel like your regular routine again. Do you have to complete everything you have been hoping to get to? Of course not!   I can’t tell you how many projects I have wanted to pursue and only when the stress of “not” getting to it was overwhelming, did I realize I had to put it to rest and move on.  What is important to me is not necessarily important to the next person.  And that’s okay!

So, the next time you find yourself wishing you had tried something different within the past year and making promises to achieve them in the new year;  make sure it’s something that you really want and not just something that seems right.

My goals for the upcoming year are clear to me.  I will compete in my very first figure competition.  I can visualize it and I work on my program each day to achieve the goals that are needed to get there.  I also want to be true to myself and only work on projects and jobs that make me feel inspired.  No more empty “yeses” when I wanted to say “no”… who’s with me here?  Taking some family time this year and going on a nice vacation that we all want to enjoy; not just what we feel we should experience as a family.  Hawaii, anyone?  =)

My motto for 2012; be true to yourself and be happy each day!  Simple and yet, deep!!

Binge and Move On Already!!!

Since I’m blogging about my training and eating plans; I may as well come “clean” (no pun intended!) about my past weekend.

I have started a new plan for my meals and it’s based on “carb cycling”.  In case you have been living under a rock (who does that; besides Patrick of Spongebob?), I’m sure you’ve heard this from people in the fitness industry or online.  It’s based on eating higher carbs one day, lower carbs the next and close-to-no carbs the third day and repeat.

Anyway, it was last Friday and  I was mentally preparing for the new plans this week when some unexpected issues arose and I was without all of my planned food items.  This doesn’t usually cause any problems, since I know what to eat and how to make the best of most situations….

But…

I ate my “meal” and was dealing with some stressful situations when someone comes in with PIZZA.  I wasn’t worried…pizza doesn’t usually press my buttons anyway so what’s there to be worried about?  Don’t take anything for granted with food and stress.

I decided to have “just a small piece” since I knew my new plan would be starting soon and I hadn’t even enjoyed a piece of cake on my birthday the week before; so this was nothing!!  (again, taking things for granted)

This lead to another slice and then, yet another slice.  ugh…

The damage had been done and now I was “FULL”!!  I do not like being that full anymore because it just reminds me that I have taken in too many calories and fat; which are NOT a good combo on any given day for me!!

Ah well, deep breaths and moving along.  I finished my day as well as I could and actually ended up skipping one of my scheduled meals since I wasn’t remotely hungry.

What do you do when you have an unplanned “cheat”?  It isn’t really what I would have chosen had I given it some thought and planned ahead for the foods that could really feel like a true “cheat meal”but it happened, nonetheless and I had to move forward.

Remembering that it isn’t the end of the world; or my plans, for that matter.  I decided to learn from the mistake and start fresh the very next meal.  Not day; meal!  And I did.

My carb cycling plans are now in motion and probably stronger than they would have been, had I NOT fallen into the pizza trap.  There are times in our lives that we must find reasons for our “failures” or “unplanned” scenarios and chalk it up to experience and learning.  I learned that when under stress to “stop” and figure out exactly what I need, in terms of food and emotional support.  In the case that I am the emotional support at the time, I must then have a plan set out that I can adjust as needed without feeling like throwing in the towel; which is basically what I had done.

Today turned out to be my “NO” or quite low-carb day and although it’s challenging for me to follow; I am revisiting the feelings from my stress binge and allowing myself to enjoy this process of changing my body and mind.  I hope you are incorporating similar changes into your plans so you don’t feel deprived or unable to “live” a “normal” lifestyle again!

Happy New Plans!!

The New Decade Begins!!

Reflecting on this past year today.  


I am about to enter my fourth decade of life tomorrow.  I have heard from so many women that they either “feel” their age at 30 or 40 and since I felt nothing special at 30; I figured that this would be the year.  


I braced myself.  I took deep breaths.  I tried to focus on other, more important things.  In other words, I worked hard so that this “number” wouldn’t hit me and send me reeling down an emotional road of melancholy.


Obviously, it hasn’t even “happened” yet, since I’m still officially 39 as I write this. However, I am feeling almost certain that this will be yet another “number” in my life that doesn’t define me.  After all, don’t I aspire each day/week/month/year to do better, challenge myself in more ways and inspire others to do the same?  Then why would a silly number limit me?  


It hasn’t so far.  


I spent this past weekend enjoying many important people and events.  On Saturday, I ran a 5K with my church community and my 14 year old son.  Pleased to say that I placed #1 in my “age range”…whatever that means!! haha  I then shopped the remainder of the day with my 15 year old daughter and niece.  Enjoyed their laughter and lack of worry for the day.  Later that evening, ate a quiet, home cooked meal with my hubby and 9 year old son.  Peaceful.  I fell into a deep and wonderful sleep that night.


On Sunday, my plans changed and I decided instead of being the “busy bee” that I was supposed to achieve today, I would take it easy, catch up on my tasks at home and NOT leave home at all today!  What a concept!  Who does this?


I did.  Not even a workout today.  Can you believe that?  I slept in; although does 7:15am really validate as “sleeping in”?  Verdict is still out.  Anyway, enjoyed my awesome weekend “protein pancakes” (refer to previous blog posts for more info on this topic), caught up on laundry (again, who does that?), tackled my piles of paperwork and emails and still had time to bake and decorate holiday cookies with my 9 y.o. son.  He and I had a blast!!  My awesome hubby did any “running around” that the kids or I needed…although it was all local and quite simple like getting the day’s newspaper (for the coupons) and buying a gingerbread house kit for daughter’s Culinary school project.  


I am feeling calm and peaceful as I ready myself for the week ahead.  Will it prove to be as busy as before?  Of course.  But I’m already armed and ready with my lists, clean clothes, prepped foods, lunches packed, and details set out ahead of time to eliminate most surprises.  


Hope that you were able to take something special away from this weekend as well.  If not, think hard about what it is that would be meaningful for you in the next weekends of this year.  It’s not all about “how much we get done” but sometimes to simply slow down and enjoy the process of “whatever gets done”.


What’s On Your Plate Today?

This before and after photo really came as a surprise on how much my body is still able to change.  I have been into fitness for over 20 years and although my routines might have been shifted a bit; it has more to do with my daily nutrition than ANYTHING else!!

Now, I am a firm believer that everyone needs some type of regular activity.  It benefits our hearts, minds, and bodies like nothing else can.  Plus, you get to experience all the “happy time” druggy feelings afterward; or as otherwise known; “endorphins”.

I heart endorphins.  I could be as mad at someone or as depressed about an event as could possibly be; and then give me some heart pumping workout and I have forgotten what the heck it was that got me all upset in the first place.  Endorphins are good!  Stress is not.

Back to nutrition; if given a choice (and I don’t condone this choice) of either eating right or working out only….
I would say eating right is more beneficial to change and health.

This is not said lightly, either, because if you really know me; then you know that exercise is the medicine I take on a regular basis.  I allow myself one day of rest each week.  BUT….nutrition accounts for 80% of your success.  EIGHTY PERCENT!!!!  That leaves only 10% to fitness and 10% to genetics.

Now, once you have your eating down pat and then you enter in your exercise…watch OUT!!  It’s definitely ON!!  I am constantly learning and re-learning what works for my body and life and I know that you are going to be different from my experiences.  The secret is to just start.  If you are already working out; continue and then let’s work on your nutrition.

I’m available to any comments, questions or concerns about your own habits; so please post below. You can also feel free to email me for more personalized contact.  I believe we all endure our life’s challenges to then conquer them; and then share them with the world in a way that we can help benefit others.  My nutrition has been a longtime journey which continues today.  I am more efficient and knowledgeable than before so it may seem as though I’ve always been this way.

No.  

My Most Challenging Meal Plan…So FAR!!

This week has been quite challenging with my meals but I’m plugging along as best as I can and seeing an enormous change already!!


Let me back up a bit by explaining how I told my trainer that I felt as though I stopped dropping body fat as fast as last month.  She then sent me a revised meal plan to follow this Monday through Friday.  hoo boy!  Change is good?  I don’t know about that…


I had been happy with my previous meal plans and actually was worried that this was the reason I wasn’t enjoying the continued body changes as before.  The new plan was exactly what I thought it would be…depriving!  


Don’t get me wrong; I was getting my same 5-6 meals and snacks per day and enough food to nourish and help with my muscle growth and repair during this eating and training phase.   But wait; there’s more!  I haven’t been able to enjoy my protein bars or even my all time favorite; Shakeology ALL week!!  I’m in agony!  Those were the items I most looked forward to during my week.  Give me all the chicken breast, fish, yams and veggies as long as I could enjoy my shake as my final meal and a bar or two when I was having hunger pangs or terrible cravings.  Not this week…not happy, either!


It’s not as awful as I am making it sound but really; I am only getting in a limited amount of chicken per meal; very small amounts of yams/brown rice and green veggies.  Then tiny, tiny amounts of berries…it’s the way to make change but I don’t have to like it, right?


So, why am I still doing this, you might be asking yourself?  Because I’m still very committed and excited to compete.  This is something that I’ve always dreamt about and now is a great time for me to take it on.  My kids are not babies anymore, we are re-settled from an international trip/move, and I am re-assessing all my goals as I turn the big “4-0” next week!  If not now, when?  Right??


I was pleasantly surprised today when I saw my abs in the mirror at the gym and noticed they are really starting to POP!!  That is worth more than all the complaining I’ve done this week.  I know my trainer has my best interest in mind and I trust her completely.  Do you know what she told me when I mentioned how hungry I was during the afternoons?  “enjoy a whey protein shake made with water and maybe 1 tablespoon of nut butter”.  That sounds ridiculous, right?  But for now, it’s my “sinful” food of choice!!  


More to come and my upcoming event date…stay tuned and stay well, my friends!