Thursday, June 3, 2010

Make time for yourself

So many times we don't take the time needed for ourselves.  We are busy.  Busy with work, busy with kids and spouses and just plain running around like crazy.  But, if we don't take the time to take care of ourselves with exercise and proper nutrition, sleep and relaxation, we will end up being forced to take it.  Trust me, it's a lot more expensive this way.  Hospital stays or doctors visits are not cheap!

The definition of busy says it all:

1 a : engaged in action : occupied b : being in use

2 : full of activity : bustling

3 : foolishly or intrusively active : meddling

4 : full of distracting detail
I think I have been busy in all those ways :)
The more we run around stressed out and eating on the run, the more we run the risk of getting sick, being tired and not sleeping,  gaining weight or losing too much weight, feeling run down and just plain ol' crabby.
So, we know what we need to do, how do we do it?
1)  Get organized.  Keep a to-do list and schedule your workouts.  Treat it just like any other appointment in your day.    Refer to your to-do list many times throughout the day, stay on track and you will be able to get more done in a shorter period of time.  Avoid the time-robbers.  Internet, tv, and anything else that you do mindlessly.  I know I am so addicted to facebook and twitter and phitter.  It's crazy.  I can be on the computer for hours and not even realize how much time has gone by.   If you are like this, I have found that setting a timer for an alloted time and then when it goes off, turn off the computer or tv.  Get up and move!!
2)  Take a few moments each day to pray or meditate.  Really, 5 mins is all you need.  Just sitting still and being in the moment.  Talking with God, listening or getting focused before the day begins makes all the difference in the world and at night will calm you down so that you can sleep better and relax.
3)  Plan and prepare - your meals that is.  Make your list of what you are going to eat for the week and stick with it.  Take one day to grocery shop and get as much food prepped as you can.  wash and chop your veggies and fruit so you can have snacks on the go.  Bag almonds for snacks that will fit in your purse.  If you are going to out of the house for 3 hours, you need to take a healthy snack.  Be prepared.  This way you won't go overboard on calories or foods you normally wouldn't eat.  I like to make a couple of meals in advance.  It doesn't always happen, but I try to get something ready for a night when time is crunched.  Then I can pull it out of the freezer, pop it in the oven and go on. 
4)  Lay out your clothes the night before.  Have your workout bag packed if you go to the gym.  Get everything ready and then you won't be rushing in the mornings.  Also, this will remind you that you need to workout.  Put it where you will see it first thing.  I recommend working out first thing in the morning.  Who knows what is going to happen with your day.  Get it out of the way and then you can't make any excuses! 
5)    Don't have time for a full workout - get in little things when you can.  Put on some music and dance around while cleaning the kitchen or house.  Do commercial cardio - when watching tv, when the commercials come one, get up and move - pushups, crunches, jumping jacks, jog in place, march - whatever it takes to get you moving and burning calories.  Play a quick game of horse with your kids, walk around the block.  Just move for the time you have.  It doesn't have to be formal.  I think it is especially important to move if you are sitting at a desk for long periods of time!  Get the kids involved.  This gets them into the healthy habits as well!
6)  Keep your food journal.  Be aware of what you are eating.  How many calories you are taking in.  If you don't want to keep it in a notebook check out some of the great online tools.  I use a bodybugg and take advantage of their website ( you do have to pay to use it), but there are great free sites that allow you to do the same thing.  Sparkpeople, My Fitness Pal, Calorie King.  Find one you like and use it!  When you see exactly what you are eating, you will know where you need to make changes.
Our health is so important.  If you don't make the time for yourself, you won't be around for those that love you and need you.  Do it for them!  Do it for yourself!  You will be glad you did!!!
Discussion:  how do you incorpate healthy habits into your busy life?
Tomorrow I will be issuing an ongoing challenge that will help you to stay motivated, healthy and happy!