Plan for the Break
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Once again, we are reaching the end of a round of the BLC and it's time to think about how I'm not going to lose all the ground I've gained during the round, especially since this is a long break (5 weeks) over the Christmas and New Years holidays. We are supposed to be detailed and discuss potential obstacles and how we are going to deal with them.
First, I want to say that it's hard for me to come up with detailed plans because, frankly, the core of my success so far has been an ability to be flexible. I have to be flexible. I have to be flexible and adjust when life gives me a curve ball, I have to be flexible when my body says "NO WAY. You are not going to work out today. You are going to sit on this couch and not move because you are in PAIN and are hurting yourself." The holidays make it more complicated because it means on top of my normal responsibilities, I have 2 office parties (no idea what that's going to be like as it's with my husband's new company), 2 family Christmas parties, 2 SCA gatherings, and 2 parties with friends. Plus all the stuff related to that--buying the gifts, decorating, wrapping, planning, cooking, etc. Oh, and we also have THREE birthdays we're celebrating! And if that isn't enough, we still have to finish moving in (not to mention getting unpacked!) We still have stuff at our local apartment to box up and bring over and then clean the whole apartment, and every room in our house is full of boxes. The only rooms that are remotely functional are the kitchen and office and even there they're only marginally functional. If I try to adhere to a rigid food or exercise regimen, I know myself--it will all fall apart.
So instead... my over all plan is to be as flexible as possible. I will also be continuing to be active on another team challenge, which will hopefully help me keep my healthy lifestyle in focus.
1) I hope to continue my streak of working out in some manner shape or form for at least 20 minutes 5 days a week... but first I need a break. Like a multi-day break. I know it's going to set me back, but I am hoping that a few days will do it (hoping too I can postpone it until next week as we have a walking challenge this week for another team I'm on) but I can read the signs and my body has been pushed really long and hard this summer and fall and it's reaching a quite literal breaking point. And while I want to earn a lot of steps for the challenge, I am not willing to risk messing up my hip and knees so that it takes months to recover, like has happened before. In fact, today was a rest day for that very reason--I walked a TON while I was in D.C. last week for a conference and I needed a day off.
2) Nutrition... I try to make healthy choices when it comes to food, but I don't do well with deprivation schemes (they make me very angry and resentful and even depressed) so instead I aim at moderation. So yes, this means that I will have pie at Christmas. I only get my mom's homemade pie a couple of times a year and I plan to enjoy every bite. The same for my husband's applesauce--it's a treat and one I fully intend to enjoy. But I'm not going to go hog wild, either. I don't usually, to be honest. I like veggies, I like a lot of healthier options, and frankly most of the food, even holiday foods, that my family and in-laws prepare are relatively healthy. The work parties will be harder since I have no idea of what to expect but I'm hoping that balance and moderation will work there, too.
3) I will get my sleep. I need this, especially during a particularly stressful time of the year. If my sleep unravels, everything else falls apart.
4) Related to that, I will continue to carve out me time. This typically means reading time, though it could also be playing video games, crafting, etc. This is necessary for my sanity.
5) I am still working on cutting back on the pop (or at least keeping it cut back!) It has crept back this summer, despite my efforts otherwise.... but I'm not giving up. My tea is more accessible now, and I'm going to drink tea every morning.
So.... obstacles (the real rub)
1) Exercise has 2 major obstacles. One is my cranky, semi-broken body, which means I need to practice thoughtful exercise, if you will--that is, to be AWARE while I am being active how my body feels and rest when necessary. The other is that with the weather turning cold and with my house literally full of boxes--there's no floor space anywhere--finding a space to work out in is a challenge. To add insult to injury, we fence at a local university, which closes for the holidays... so tomorrow is our last local fencing practice until January. However, we had always planned for me to join the local YMCA in December--I can get the admission fee waved and it will give me access to a lot of exercise resources, including a pool. Also, if the weather is nice enough, we live in a great area for walking and I want to explore the neighborhood some.
2) Nutrition has 2 major challenges. The first one is the holiday gatherings (all 8 of them!) the different parties have somewhat different challenges, but I will do my best to moderate my eating, chose mostly healthy foods, and to enjoy myself and my choices. The second one is that our kitchen is barely functional, since we've been painting and working on the basement and the old apartments ever since we moved in. But we will continue to unpack the kitchen and get things put away and, most importantly, cook more foods at home.
3) Sleep has a lot of obstacles this time of year, but stress and my routines being off because of holiday etc. gatherings. However, I don't have to be up at specific time, which helps, and if I stay active and avoid caffeine hopefully the stress won't keep me awake.
4) Me time is precious and I just have to figure out how to carve it out of a busy schedule. I don't really have a recipe for this other than insisting on making it a priority.
5) My biggest obstacle to making tea are related--laziness and difficulty in finding/making the tea. But I have my kettle and tea pot at least set up in the kitchen, even if it's not the way I want it long term, and my tea is finally accessible if not organized (I would love to have it organized but I doubt that will happen before Christmas, with everything else that is going on) so I can quickly find the tea I want.