This past week has certainly been a test of my time management skills. Between trying to get all of my students’ expository books graded (a task that took me probably 10-13 hours of at-home grading) in time for grades to be turned in this morning and trying to work out five days a week, I’ve really struggled with finding the time and energy to fit it all in….and, again, this is without children at home to take care of (my hats off to ALL working moms). I am, however, feeling as if I’m learning and acquiring lessons through this process that I wouldn’t have gained otherwise.
What It’s All About in the End
At the beginning of this 21 day challenge I was mostly concerned with sticking to a really strict diet of only simple carbs, no alcohol, and no starchy veggies. I set a goal to work out five days a week and to stick to a 1200 cal/day diet.
But, what happens after the 21 days? Have I learned anything? Have I changed any habits…really? Through this process I have learned that in order to make real and lasting change one must change their lifestyle in some way. Sure, I could go right back to eating whatever I want, whenever I want, but I’d end up right back in the same position I was in at the end of December…fat, unhealthy, and wishing I would get my butt in gear and make some changes!!
So, here I am. On my way to being a healthy weight for the first time in nearly 4 years, stronger than I’ve been in a LONG time, eating more healthy foods than ever before on a regular basis, allowing myself to splurge only occasionally, and finding alternatives to unhealthy choices that I enjoy just as much as their counterparts.
So, what’s next? How do I maintain this lifestyle? There has been one simple trick that I’ve picked up in order to be able to complete this challenge. One thing that I feel can help me maintain this lifestyle beyond the 21 days and probably for the rest of my life. Ready to hear it? Planning!!!!! TAAADAAAA!!
Planning my workout schedule around already scheduled activities throughout the week has helped me be able to squeeze in those workouts when I probably would’ve just gone home, sat my butt on the couch, and watched tv. Planning my weekly meals and grocery shopping on Sundays has created a sense of excitement for the meals that my husband and I prepare. It also has helped me see what meals need to be quick on which nights and which ones we can spend a little bit more time on due to my workout and work schedule. I have sooo many wonderful recipe ideas on Pinterest (again, totally addicted) too that I sometimes can’t wait to try!! I also really like to actually make some healthy snacky foods on Sundays that we can munch on throughout the week.
With this being said, this challenge has taught me that planning is my secret to maintaining a healthier existence. I was already diligently counting my calories, so that’s not new. The planning, however, has just made that part easier.
Have I been perfect with the rules I set forth for myself? NO!! I have struggled with cheats and made exceptions throughout this challenge, but I’ve maintained the workouts and been pretty good with the 1200 cal./day diet. I figure if I keep planning, keep training, and keep counting then I’ll be able to reach my goal weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle from now until the day I die. (In my dream world I would never be fat again!!!)
Now, let’s turn that dream into a reality. I won’t get there over night, and there will be lots of bumps and snags in the road. But, I’m gonna keep on trying!
Until next post, have a great weekend! 🙂