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I'm 28, I work full time at a law firm, and I'm also a college student. I find that planning and preparing my dinners on the weekend really helps keep my eating on track. I workout between work and dinner/homework. I don't have kids, so I guess that loosens my schedule a little bit.
Water is super super important. When your body is dehydrated, it sends mixed signals to your brain, often times making it think you're hungry.
A big thing is not to beat yourself up if you have a slip. It's not going to help anything.
One day at a time.
"A mind without anger is cool, fresh, and sane. The absence of anger is the basis of real happiness, the basis of love and compassion." ~Thich Nat Hanh
Hi Loyal Heart. I'm 28 and I too have a high stress, full-time job - so I understand how you feel! I have come up with a couple little tricks over my 7 month SP journey that work for me...may be worth a shot for you -
Water - I love water and I have come to realize that water is the #1 biggest factor in keeping me on track, so I really work hard to get mine in. I find that simply making sure I always have water available leads to me to drinking plenty in the course of the day. So, I ALWAYS have a 32 oz Nalgene of water with me - I fill it when I get up in the morning, bring it with me to work, where it sits out on my desk (I refill from the water cooler), I then always have water for the gym (or a bottle to fill up when I get there) and keep it around at home at night while cooking, laundry, watching tv etc. (I use a glass at dinner though, lol), I always fill it up right before bed and keep it on my bedside table all night. Doing this, I find I drink 3-4 bottles (12-16 8 oz servings) a day without really thinking about it.
Fitness - I know that many SPers find that working out before work in the morning works for them to ensure that they get their fitness in. Alas, I am not a morning person, so that doesn't work for me on weekdays. I do go for a run or do a HIIT workout first thing on the weekends...But on weekdays, I find that after work works better for me. I joined a gym on my way home, so I literally have to make a conscious decision to pass by without stopping on my way home (I mix it up at the gym between classes, cardio machines and strength circuits). I also utilize a nearby park for running outside some days and sometimes just run in my neighborhood. These three options keep my workouts varied so I never get bored, which is so important to my success - I also play rugby in the spring and fall so two night a week practices take the place of some of my workouts during those seasons (practice is later at night because its an adult team, so it doesn't interfere with my work schedule).
Nutrition - I eat out a lot of the time because of how busy my schedule is. I keep non-perishable snacks at my desk, like protein bars, rice cakes, crackers and peanut butter, so that I have healthy options at any time. For speed in the morning I use Slim Fast shakes or other meal replacement shakes/bars that I can grab and eat in the car. Lunch I either pre-pack the night before (often leftovers from dinner the night before) or I order out - salads, oatmeal, egg white omelets, soup, sandwiches - I have menus from local places that I have marked with healthier choices and I just stick to those options. Sancks - I try to keep fresh fruit at home that I can grab on my way out the door for snacks (apples & bananas are favoites), yogurt is also a favorite, and when I didn't pack, I have the snacks in my desk. Dinner I do a similar thing to lunch- if I or other family member doesn't have time to cook, we eat out and I just stick to known healthier options. If I want to order something new that I don't know the nutrition facts of, I use my phone SP app to approximate before I order. I use the SP app ALOT...
I realized early on that some of the people around me wouldn't necessarily understand the choices I was making, or why I had to go to the gym/workout when I said I did, or didn't want that bit of extra dessert or the last spoonful of mashed potatoes anymore. In the past I eventually gave in to those people and their "you can go tomorrow"s and "a spoonful won't hurt"s - they were never being malicious they just wanted me to do other things with them or eat the foods that I have always loved. This time around, I refused to give in and after a while, they accepted the fact that this journey is a priority and all of my decisions will be colored by that now. Now those same people have become extremely supportive and helpful on my journey - when I say I can't meet you until 7:30 because I'm going to the gym, they're responses now run more along the lines of "I should be doing that too" instead of "why"...
This is a journey that will take a lot of hard work and commitment on your part, but by making a few, small healthy changes at a time - you will soon see big changes in your habits. You've already taken the first step by starting this journey!
I also suggest selecting a mantra to keep you focused. My mantra on my journey is "no excuses" - I don't let myself make excuses to not be healthy (that doesn't mean perfect!!). I started this journey in March 2012 telling myself "no excuses" and I have kept that idea in the back of my mind ever since. Remembering that has also helped keep me focused on my mini-goals. Having a mantra is something that makes this journey different than any past attempt of mine at weight loss and maintaining healthy habits - I really think it has made a difference!
Edited by: PHILLY_DANIELLE at: 11/5/2012 (13:54)
Danielle, Philadelphia PA
Give Blood, Play Rugby
SW: 270 (3/15/12)
G1: 249 (5/18/12)
G2: 235 (7/16/12)
G3: 220 (10/26/12)
G4: 208 (12/26/2012)
Hi Loyal Heart, I completely understand your situation. I work in a CPA office I'm technically a supervisor (but its only a small office 5 ppl all together) so not many people to supervise. During tax season is EXTREMELY hard for me. I am actually dreading it coming because I know I will not be as successful with my weight loss as I am doing now. We don't really have office politics but my boss is a control freak and we all cannot get our jobs done without her checking or her approval at every little step (Yes, even sending emails, she has to proofread all first). I get very stressed and aggravated. But I channel all that aggravation into my workouts. Right now, I do my workouts after dinner. In tax season I am going to have to figure out when to do it because some nights I don't get home until after 10pm.
The only thing I can suggest during the work day is to set appointments in your calendar (if you use outlook) to remind you to eat a snack and every hour to drink some water. This may help get your eating and drinking habits back on track. Our boss does not give us breaks throughout the day (only 1 hr lunch...still trying to figure out if this is legal or not, but that's another story lol) so I just tell her that this is what I need to do. If I am busy or a client is in the office I will try to hide my food.
Hope everything works out for you and I hope I helped out a little. Just remember, even if you only do a little bit, it's better than nothing at all.
Hi! I just joined sparkpeople today. I saw your post and decided to answer because i completely understand! I have a job that is a desk job buttttt i have to leave home at 745am everymorning and don't get home from my job until about 8pm every night. I have 2 very small children also so i'm exhausted by the end of the night! So i have found that if i'm going to work out it HAS to be in the morning. i'm not a morning person so this is one of my personal goals. i'm not sure if that helps but it does let you know you aren't the only one out there!
Ok, so all the stress of my job really derailed me from my weight loss goals. My nutrition is down. Water intake definitely down. My dilemma is my job gives me access to possible career opportunities in science and amazing insurance benefits. But I come home really drained from all the politics and abuse of high power individuals. I am not sure what to do. Who else experiences this problem and if so how do you get over it?