November 24, 2010

Limited focus

As I'm sure you have gathered, this has been a very strange couple of weeks for me.

Last week, I was feeling depressed and had a lot of emotional things on my plate, and so more often than not, I chose to sleep or lay around and do nothing instead of going for a walk, going to the gym, or using the Wii Fit. I usually cook most nights, but last week I was too unmotivated to even make it to the grocery store, so I ate all things I had prepared and froze - still healthy, single-serve portions, but nothing fresh, which bothers me. I ended up with a three pound loss - and while I know I need to practice what I preach and recognize that (a) a three pound loss is a healthy loss and (b) a three pound loss is still three pounds in the right direction, it's so hard. My average loss up to this point has been between four and five pounds a week. What bugs me the most is the inactivity.

And the problem is rearing its head again this week. I did nothing last week, and not just exercise. I have a lot of things to catch up on for work - for example, right now, I'm desperately trying to finish a pile of compositions I've neglected for too long. Next week is already the last week of classes! oh hello, office and downtown chicago!My students all have final exams on Tuesday, 12/7, and by Friday the 10th, I need to have graded all their final exams, plus calculated their final averages and submitted them to the school.

It's not an obscene amount of work if I pace myself, but my problem is that I tend to have a limited focus. Right now, all I want to do is exercise. All I want to do is get healthy and keep feeling good. But the problem is that I am not able to focus one hundred percent of my time each day to exercise. I am able to dedicate part of my day to it only because I spend so much of the rest of it working hard to pay my bills.

Since I've been focusing only one one part, my to-do scales are imbalanced - this is one of the hard parts of being an adult, but also, of being responsible with weight loss. It is unreasonable to think that for the rest of my life, I can go to work until 4:30, go to the gym from 5 to 7:30 or so, then come home, have dinner, draft my blog entry for the next day, and go to bed. It will work some nights, but I need to also allow days where I don't go to the gym, or days when I don't go to the gym OR do work.

This week, I have had to commit myself to other things - going to see the therapist on Monday meant losing hours at the office, so I spent all of Tuesday focusing on work. Luckily, I should be caught up by this morning, so I can get back in the gym this afternoon, do my 8k tomorrow morning, and either maintain last week's weight or (maybe?!) see a small loss at my weigh-in on Friday. I'm not expecting a miraculous loss, since I've been eating reasonably but with little to no exercise - not even C25k, which I am frustrated about. I'm behind a few days: I usually run Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and this week it's looking like Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.

i officially love nike+iPod
It's not fatal, but it's something I need to learn from. Procrastination is (and has always been) one of my major weaknesses that always seems to lead to my downfall. I think balance is a major theme for my new transitioning self. Balance with good and better foods, balance with exercise and rest, balance with responsibilities and time off.

How do you maintain balance with your routines and daily life?


Life as a Caterpillar said...

In answer to your question- i have not yet! I still seem to be at a stage where i get thrown off by emotional and personal disasters. Every day i try to do better than the last.


Anne H said...

I have learned to let some things go,
and be ok with less-than-perfect outcomes.

I think weight-loss is like a full time job.
Just like the first year of being a new mommy.
You can't let -up for one minute.... or so it seems!

One of my fave quotes on balance is from
recovery writer Ann Wilson Scheaf:
"There is more to balance than not falling down!"

Amy said...

I think this is the main issue everyone has. It's just a sad reality that life gets in the way sometimes, and it's really difficult to balance it all. This wouldn't be an issue if you were already at a maintaining weight, because one week away from the gym is no big deal, but when it comes to losing weight it really throws a wrench in it. I still struggle with this, because when I'm really busy at work, I'm tired, and when I'm tired I find it impossible to work out. I'm still waiting for that energized feeling to come from working out, because right now I'm just freakin' exhausted.

I think the best we can do when we're super busy is make sure we plan our meals, so we eat well even when we're busy and make sure we plan time to work out at least 3 days a week.

You have to avoid the most common excuses -
1. I don't have time
2. I can't afford it
3. I'm too tired

Anonymous said...

I wish I could answer your question. I'm still looking for balance in my life. Being a mom, being a wife, work, workouts, hobbies. I'm trying to find it. But it's like you said, it's okay to change your goals if necessary (your quote was more elegant!) and sometimes I've had to do that in order to keep all the balls in the air. The best thing you can do for yourself is to find that balance now as much as you can and make your health a solid priority while you're young. Once you get older, there more balls and it doesn't get any easier. Keep up the good work!