Thursday, March 24, 2011
Last week I had my very first gain since "doing this for real". I gained 800g. Gutted, but not altogether surprising. Here's what I learnt about myself so I can avoid doing it again.
It was an incredibly busy week at work last week, some days I was in at 6.30am and not leaving until 8pm. All in all, about a 50 hour week. That happens. But it pretty much meant that exercise was out. I got to 2 classes, and towards the end of the week was exhausted after about half the class. By the end of the week I'm also in the mindframe of "I'm so tired, I've had such a big week, I deserve to skip some classes and go home and veg on the couch for a little bit". So...
Lesson Number 1
Try to aim for as much exercise as possible at the beginning of the week, knowing that I won't get much opportunity and will be exhausted by the end of the week.
Lesson Number 2
Acknowledge that with the lack of sleep my body will be exhausted so limit myself to a walk/light jog if I am exercising when tired. Be grateful for the rest I am giving myself from the intensity of my usual classes.
I was fortunate enough to have pre-planned our meals the previous weekend so I already had relatively healthy meals planned each night. Coincidently these meals tended to all have left overs that I could take to work the following day, making lunch pretty easy to prepare at 5.30am. Had this not happened I may have just bought my lunch each day or chucked something less healthy but quick into the lunch box. I also had plenty of fruit around to snack on.
Lesson Number 3
Be aware of when a crazy week may be on the cards an plan meals that I can easily take for lunch the next day. Buy lots of fruit and pre-pack snacks.
My big failing last week was my attitude. I have real reward mentality. It goes something like this: "I'm having such a full on week that I deserve to eat chocolate when I feel like it. It's a little piece of enjoyment in my crazy week." Before I know it, I'm popping lindor chocolates like peanuts. Same with the oversized portion of chicken parmigiana at the pub and the 5 glasses of champagne I had to celebrate the milestone at work. I deserve this. See also the note about "deserving to sit on the couch". More evidence. So what do I do about it?
This is the toughest one because when I'm thinking like this I'm fatigued, not thinking straight and generally stubborn. And clearly not even remotely interested in self control. So, some strategies that I've come up with that I will try next time:
Lesson Number 4
Stock the fridge and pantry with yummy but healthier alternatives. I'm thinking forme yogurt desserts, 99% fat free hot chocolate drinks and anything else I can source between the now and the next time. Pre-packaged (built in portion control), but something that take a little while to get through (so lindor balls don't count). It's the joy of indulging rather than the taste so to make it last longer will satisfy what I'm really after.
Lesson Number 5
Sleep!! I'm tired, it's been a long day, so reward myself with going to bed early and getting the best sleep possible. It will stop me heading for the fridge, and will help me maybe get some clarity into my decision making!
So there you have it, my five lessons for getting through a busy week. I guess all I can hope for is maintaining my weight in these situations but that is better than the way I've felt about gaining 800g. The weight gain I had to have? Perhaps.