These are the Days
When I volunteered to write a guest post for my mom, the first words out of her mouth were, “How will you find the time, between school, work, exercising, and boyfriend (otherwise referenced in her blog as ‘lovey-dovey boy’).”
We brainstormed ideas on what I would write and I jokingly told her I only know about legal theories, time management, and losing weight. I know no one wants to be bored to tears by listening to me talk about the law, so losing weight it is!
Losing 65+ pounds (only 20 pounds left to go, people!!) is a long story and definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done. However, I want to give you a rundown of my schedule to show that losing weight while being busy is completely possible.
Quick rundown of my schedule:
“Work on your fitness” alarm beeps angrily telling me that indeed, it’s time to work on my fitness. Turn it off and go back to sleep.
4:53 a.m. (why the odd number? no idea)
Second alarm. This one is a bit more direct. “Get up GET UP GET UP.” Seems like my alarm knows me well. I roll out of bed and, if it is a running day, grumpily pull on my running shoes or if it is a hot-yoga day my sweat-wicking attire and towel.
**Disclaimer: some days I turn this alarm off too. And promptly fall back to sleep. Definitely not perfect. Just tryin’ to keep it real.**
7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Mad dash of coffee-making, saying goodbye to “lovey-dovey boy,” shower time, MUST.EAT. because my stomach is now making angry noises at me, blissful 20 minutes with my good friends oatmeal, coffee, and HGTV. I then try to look presentable for work (emphasis on try).
**Side note – my version of getting dressed for work may include staring in panic at my closet for two minutes, grabbing the first top and bottom I suspect may go together, and hoping for the best.**
8:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Work. Legal research. Phone calls. Client demands. The usual.
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Lunch. This can run the gamut, from running errands (it’s amazing how many errands I can cram into one hour), to studying (on a good day), a quick run at the park across the street (followed by a baby wipe partial shower…shhhh, it will be our little secret), to napping in my car (yeah, that’s definitely happened).
1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Work. Move along people, nothing to see here.
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Law school. Legal research, teacher demands, and keeping up with the crazies (aka my classmates) that seem to like to hear themselves talk, no matter the subject or relevance. Ya know, the usual.
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Party time! Dinner! And complete utter exhaustion.
10:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Bedtime. Yes, I am a grandma and proud of it.
My life is scheduled this way and I make it through because I know this is a small period in the big picture of my life. I am on the declining tail end of school and I must push through just a bit more in order to get my first big-girl job as an attorney. (Yes, we refer to my first attorney job as my “first big-girl job.” Professional, I know.)
My first 30 pounds were lost when I was just working, but this last 30ish has been while I was working full time, going to school part time, and trying to have some semblance of a life. Tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to losing:
1. Know where you started. True for anything in life, but especially for weight loss. Look the big, scary scale in the face and come to terms with the number. More importantly, take measurements of all body parts. Sometimes these numbers will reflect your hard work when your weight may not.
2. Start out with small, do-able changes. When I first began to lose weight, I looked at one change I could make that wouldn’t set me up for failure. For me, that was giving up soda. Which led to giving up fast food (the greasy food makes me sluggish) and incorporating more whole grains and vegetables into my diet, etc.
3. Know when to say no. A lot of my ability to juggle so many things comes from knowing which things are important. Spending quality time with my family, boyfriend and close friends is crucial for me. As well as being done, once and for all, with this losing weight thing. (Maintenance may be another story.) I may decline going out with some people from school in order to spend time with my boyfriend or avoid a late night (in order to get some sleep and be awake for my early workout in the morning). I really think about whether I actually have the time to commit to someone (or thing) before I say yes.
4. Remember the activities you used to love as a child, and try to spin them into your new adult-type exercise plan. Did you used to love to explore nature? Find a hiking path and go out there and enjoy the sunshine. Did you love to race your friends, play tag, etc.? Running may be for you. (And please don’t be discouraged if running is WHOA hard for you at first. We’ve all been there, in that *I’m-going-to-be-sick-can’t-catch-my-breath* place. Yah, it sucks. But does get better.) I got started by using the Couch to 5k program, which is free, uses run-walk intervals and can also be downloaded to your phone/mp3 player.
5. Can I also put in a good word for weight lifting? Because those pretty muscles that start popping out are AWESOME motivators. Also, lifting weights tones your body (which you will need as you get smaller) and helps burn calories long after you’ve finished your session at the gym.
6. If you have a lot of weight to lose, make small, incremental rewards for yourself once you hit that weight. (And I aimed for non-food rewards, but that was just me.) For me, this meant maybe a pedicure, a massage, day at the salon, a new pair of jeans, etc.
7. If you fall off the eating healthy and exercise wagon, get your butt right back on. Don’t let a high calorie meal turn into more unhealthy food choices. You always have the opportunity to make better choices. That minute, that second after you’ve put down the crust on your fourth slice of pizza (that has never happened to me) and feel stuffed, .1you have the precious opportunity to turn things around instantly. Our bodies are really amazing. They are conditioned to respond and adapt to change and do it well.
8. On that note, be kind to yourself regarding your body and body image. If you would not say it to a close friend, it is not acceptable to say to your own self.
9. Remember that life is for the living. My goal for my life is to be happy and live my life. Losing weight was just a means to the end. Now, I’m not saying that my life is perfect because I’m thinner. I still have cranky days, bad hair days, PMS days (aka cranky days), days I do NOT want to get out of bed and work out, days I eat too much, days I don’t do my planned workout, etc. But the coolest thing is, we are not meant to be perfect. Living life for me is finding that balance of treating my body right, creating precious memories with those I love, and living my life well.
If you are starting a weight loss journey and would like to chat, you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks Mom for letting me take over your blog for the day!