Life. Can we say busy?
Like almost every other human being I know… as summer approaches, life seems to get a bit more hectic. Weddings, showers, vacations, reunions, gardening (yes, I’m a grandmother) etc. take up life. And what are we all trying to do before these events… “lose some weight.”
I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard “I need to lose weight, but I am just too busy to work out and pay attention to what I eat.” Now, my response to this is always different. But usually I want to scream “YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO EXERCISE BUT YOU CAN UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK STATUS 6 TIMES EVERY NIGHT ABOUT THE BACHELOR OR AMERICAN IDOL?!!!” Just kidding… But, really.
No one is just sitting around in life thinking “Gosh, I am sooo bored maybe I should go to the gym and then stop by Whole Foods and buy some healthy groceries.” Get serious. EVERYONE is busy. So as long as your excuse is “I’m too busy” you will never see the results you want. The ones of us who do eat right and exercise have to work HARD to make time for it, day in and day out. Whether that be exercising on our lunch break, or waking up before the sun…it almost always involves some type of planning and scheduling.
I had the discussion with my small group ladies recently on how planning meals for the week can save time, money and frustration. It’s a pretty easy concept. The hardest part is actually making the effort to sit still long enough to plan for the whole week. Just this effort alone will help you stay on track 100% better than you would otherwise.
Think about it…
You forgot to bring your lunch to work today and then when it is time to take your lunch break, you are STARVING (“forget the gym, I have to eat NOW!!). You are driving and there is bound to be a McDonald’s nearby. You smell it and you’re drawn in. It’s uncontrollable. You take a sharp right, headed for the drive through, the whole time telling yourself “I will just order a salad.” You get to the menu to order, roll down your window, smell the aroma of burgers mixed with fries and grease, and before you know it you are blurting out “I will have a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a Biggie Fry with a Coke. Wait…. make that a Diet Coke.” And you drive to the window to pay thinking that you still succeeded because you resisted all the empty calories in that Coke by choosing Diet instead. You tell yourself you will just work it off at the gym this afternoon. Now it’s 5:00 and you can barely keep your eyes open and are wondering why you feel so lousy. You convince yourself that you must be getting sick, so you probably should skip the gym today…. and you don’t feel good enough to cook so you should probably pick something up for dinner. Probably McDonald’s because it’s on the way…..
Think back to the beginning of this story. What was at fault?? UNPREPAREDNESS.
I will admit. I am not prepared in all areas of my life… But I have learned to be prepared in the area of food. Because I know the story above alllll too well. Maybe not with McDonalds (because it disgusts me) but I know the story.
So what to do? Start with ONE thing.
If you suck at getting to the gym, come up with a plan to make yourself get there. I may be the only one, but bribes work for me.
If I say to myself….
“Constance, if you go to crossfit 5 times this week, then you can have a small milkshake on Sunday!” You better bet I make it to crossfit 5 times this week!
So, if that works for you, go for it! Just don’t give yourself unrealistic goals….
“Constance, if you lose 6 pounds in one week, then you can have a cookie on Sunday!”– I would never ever ever ever get a cookie on Sunday.
“Constance, if you workout twice this week then you can have an entire pizza, 6 cookies, 4 cheeseburgers, and an extra large root beer float on Sunday.” – Uh. no. Defeating the purpose entirely!!
But the problem typically seems to come with meal planning. No one knows how, or thinks they are doing it wrong. Let me just say now, there is no wrong way to do it. Even if you are planning to cook spaghetti, burgers, and tacos for this week– you are PLANNING… and more than likely saving money. AND believe it or not, you are probably saving calories. Almost always a home-cooked dinner will be healthier than anything take out. At least by planning your homemade meals, you have control of the ingredients going into your mouth. So. There is a start. And slowly you will find yourself working healthier meals into the mix. After all people, we are blessed with Pinterest now which provides us with more “healthy” recipes than ever imaginable!!
Now, of course you need props for this type of planning- you aren’t going to remember an entire week of breakfast, lunch and dinner in your head (and if you do, well I’m super jealous). You can create an easy calendar on your computer, use an app, write it down on a notepad that you keep in your purse orrrr (drum roll)…. may I introduce you to my saving grace… Maybooks Meal Planner.
It allows you to keep track of your weekly meals and your grocery list all in one place. Not to mention, it’s super cute and you can choose from so many colors/patterns and personalize the front with whatever you want! I am obsessed with Maybooks, but any planning tool that you find easiest for YOU is what’s best…
Please note that I am in no way endorsing the company above- don’t kid yourself into thinking that I am that “big time” that they even know I exist… I am just obsessed with Maybooks!!.. Did I say that already?
So go out and plan your life and live healthier! 🙂