Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Had a good little discussion with myself in the shower this morning, right after I stepped on the scale and saw I was up 1.5 lbs again this week. It wasn't surprising, since last week had DH's birthday (and the Manly Mac), a baseball game, a dinner out and a boss-bought lunch. It also wasn't surprising since I hadn't tracked a single thing, and hadn't gotten nearly enough exercise to destress, much less undo the effects of caloric excess.
It was, however, a red flag to myself: this is not what I want to be doing.
I knew it would be a little tough, going back to work. I do tax return preparation, and the bummer about part-time, seasonal work is that by the time you get into the groove of a new lifestyle it's over, and you have to try to remember what the old groove looked like. I did a little planning, made it a habit to pack some healthy power-snacks since I knew I wouldn't be eating lunch at my usual time, and found some desk stretches to help stave off the stiffness and pre-carpal tunnel tinglies I get from sitting far too long at a desk, hunched over a computer, scowling at numbers, numbers and more numbers! (Without earning me too many odd looks from the co-workers, no less...)
However, short term or not, I need to figure out something different. The good news is that I have been really good about getting up and walking my tax returns around the office, and all those desk stretches are feeling good and, I think, paying off. I'm still doing really well meeting my goal of 7 hours of sleep each night, and getting my water in, even if I'm not always tracking it. I think I've also found a good snack balance, which keeps me satisfied until I get home, so I'm not eating like a vole the minute I walk in the front door. So, I'm getting some things right. Now I need to work on the things I'm not doing so well with, so I don't regain every pound I've lost in the next 3 weeks (which is distressingly possible, even likely, with the path I'm currently on!)
What's to do? Well, expecting perfection is just setting myself up for failure. Getting up earlier to do it in the morning is a total non-starter, and I KNOW how hard it is for me to come home and exercise. Between kids and homework and phone calls and errands and chores and dinner and and and, there's just no way I'm getting 60 minutes of exercise in every day. Trying and failing to get that many minutes in, along with getting back on the food-tracking track will just make me depressed, and when I get depressed I eat. Ergo, gotta move on to Plan B.
Back to my shower discussion with myself, we decided on a Plan B. First and probably most importantly, I need to be tracking again. As often as possible, I should do the predictable meals (breakfast and my work snacks) the night before, and dinner as well, so I know how much and what I should eat when I get home in the afternoon. Secondly, I need to plan for exercise, but ease off on the frequency so I don't feel overwhelmed. I just now reset my SparkPlan to get 3 ST sessions in on T/Th/Sat, and 4 20-minute cardio sessions on M/W/F/Sat. Lifestyle exercise, like cleaning and yardwork, will definitely count right now, although usually I don't include it so I can focus on higher-intensity workouts. More exercise, of course, is good, but that gives me Sunday for focusing on family and house chores, an opportunity for a good bike ride or wog on the weekend, and a manageable amount of exercise during the week. It'll keep me in the groove of exercise, it'll destress me, it'll keep me from losing the things I've gained (like muscle tone and endurance) while keeping me from gaining the things I've lost (like, well, the weight!)
That, in a nutshell, is my New and Improved Plan for the next 3 weeks until I'm done with tax time. I feel comforted knowing I've got a plan, and energized by the great day I just had today following it. Now to go and get tomorrow's foods tracked, so I can get off to bed for some well-deserved rest!