True Confessions of a Workaholic

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where does the time go so fast? January disappeared in a flash. This semester I am the teacher of record for 5 classes with over 200 students. I know have slipped back into the old habit of not saying NO . . . I do say No at first and then relent to pressure. The recent budget cuts have already impacted our department at the U and there are more cuts coming. . . so here I am teaching more than what is typical in our university. The typical tenured faculty member teaches 1 or 2 courses a semester . . . the administration recently announced that faculty might expect a 3-2 load next year. Great that would be a cut back for me since I taught 4 courses in the fall and 5 this semester. So I have fallen into my workaholic habits. . . I have been sucked into the trap of work - work - work. Don’t misunderstand what it is that I am saying. I am not complaining or whining. I have no one to blame but myself. I teach to ensure my students have the courses they need to graduate. I teach even more courses to ensure that the budget cuts can be minimized.

Yet, I find that I pay a terrible price in terms of my health. During the last four weeks I found myself teaching 3 days a week in the classroom, teaching online 2-2 days a week, testifying in a court case, helping one Ph.D. student with her dissertation proposal, one M.S. student with his thesis proposal, drafting 3 research applications to the Internal Review Board, supervising one intern in the community, presenting 3 research presentations at a conference, teaching an in-service workshop on online learning, and drafting a journal article for submission.

Not much time to exercise, chat on SparkPeople, or log my food. I made a pledge to myself to not return to this hectic work schedule but it has happened and I must work through it and survive. I must find a healthy life balance between work and my personal life. It is a struggle but I am trying to prioritize my activities to ensure that I draw a line at how much time I spend working. I cannot work 70 hours a week and have any time to exercise, so it is back to the basics.

I have made a list of priorities:

1 Teach my classes and manage the grading in a timely fashion
2 Prepare healthy meals and snacks each day.
3 Exercise 30 -45 minutes a day (At least that is the goal – may not be realistic but it is optimistic hope.)
4 Track my food and exercise daily.
5 Huddle on SparkPeople and check in on the discussion boards (20 minutes a day).

Over the past four weeks I have struggled just to fulfill my first and second priority. At least on two days when I teach in the Marriott Library computer lab, I get considerable exercise. The ground floor entrance was closed for remodeling, so now you have to walk up 3 flights of stairs to enter the 3rd floor entrance of the library and then walk down the 3 flights of stairs to the ground floor where the computer lab is located. Yes, I could take the elevator, but why . . . given that it ensures that I get 45 minutes of stair climbing exercise two days a week. Once in the computer lab I never sit down as I help the students to do the very things that I demonstrate at the front of the lab. When I teach on Monday evening I lecture for 3 hours . . . and I typically get about 2500 steps as I walk around in the front of the classroom. Yes, I use a computer but I have a wireless mouse so I can advance the slides from anywhere in the room. I usually do not count this as exercise but it has helped to get some steps in on the old pedometer and Bodybugg. I have to find ways to work more exercise into my routine. Last summer I was getting 10,000 steps a day and now I find myself struggling to get 7,500 steps. Some days I found 5,000 steps an impossible accomplishment.

So true confessions are that I have slipped back into the old workaholic habits that helped get me into this unhealthy body. I have been exhausted for the past two weeks but I did not slow down. Now I have come down with the flu . . . a sign that I am not taking care of my health. It is the very signal that I needed to remind me that I must put myself back on the priority list. Whereas, I have somehow managed to lose 35 pounds since last March (2008) . . . 10 pounds since Thanksgiving. . . and I have not started to gain, the weight loss has slowed in the last 4 weeks. I need to stop and get back to taking care of me NOW! I need to find a way to either delegate or cut back on some of my ambitious plans in the classroom. I need to take time to take care of my health or I will not be able to help anyone else.

Well that is an update and a true confession. This blog is the first step to regaining some control and towards finding a better life balance.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you everyone who sent me messages of encouragement and support. I love you all for your kind words . . . you have reminded me that I need to take time for me. I sincerely appreciate every one of my Spark Buddies. Thank you for not giving on me!

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    935 days ago
    emoticon on a emoticon & emoticon Blog! emoticon ! understand where you are coming from! I can't get up to 5,000. Yesterday I only got up to 1370 points! emoticon & I will too! I hope you have a blessed day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1123 days ago
  • CAROLYN0107
    I've been wondering where you were! Welcome back!
    From a fellow Eagle..... Carolyn

    3411 days ago
    Linda I am soooo glad to hear from you again. I have missed all your blogs and tips. I am glad things are going well.... sorry to hear you are working so much and had the flu. WELCOME BACK!!! Kathy
    3412 days ago
    It's good to hear what's going on with you, Linda. We miss you on FSC.

    Hugs! Beverly
    3412 days ago
    good luck with your schedule i could not imagine trying to keep that one going and still find time for exercise and proper nutrition. You are really an inspiration. emoticon
    3412 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.