Prioritize Your Time
One day when my grandmother and I were talking about a family member who needed to lose weight, but somehow always had an excuse to stay fat, Maw Maw summed up the cause of this person’s dilemma. She said that the girl was not going to make herself uncomfortable. I said, “Well, I know, but she really wants to lose weight!” My grandmother said, “Brenda, people do what they want to do.” That, my friends, is a profound truth. What do you really want? If you want to be fit and healthy, you will find a way. Priority is everything. Health and fitness have to be your first priorities. Although there are other very important aspects of your life, unless you actively try to preserve and improve your health, you won’t accomplish those other things either. You have to decide if you want to have the energy and health to do great things. If you do, start right now to see to it that you do. Extra fat on your body drags you down and robs you of many productive days. If you want to be around for others, take care of yourself first.
The first hour or two of your day are critically important to time management. If you are inclined to drink cup after cup of coffee while watching Tik Tok, stop it! You are not benefitting in any way sitting at the kitchen table mesmerized by animal tricks, Sexy Sadie or Sam the Studmuffin. I uninstalled that annoying app from my phone within 3 hours of installing it because 3 hours passed so quickly. I thought I had been sitting there staring at my phone for 45 minutes. Not so, it was almost 3 hours! While this app can be quite entertaining, it’s the TV of this era. You sit on your butt and probably even eat while doing NOTHING for endless hours. It eats your life. Facebook, IG and other social media can do the same thing. Decide which is more important, your body or the body of someone else. Instead of sitting there wishing you were one of the beautiful people and living vicariously through false images on your phone, get up and get into your workout clothes and Just Do It! (Nike)
If morning isn’t your best time to work out, then do something that you won’t have to do later. Clean the kitchen, walk the dog, do some laundry or help the kids with their homework. Later, when you’re properly fueled and ready to go, you won’t have these necessary tasks hindering you from your exercise. EAT BREAKFAST!
Get errands done and out of the way. If you are at work, dive in and get the bulk of your work done now. After getting essential tasks finished, you are more able to focus on your personal needs. Plan the rest of your day around exercise and healthy meals. After clearing the To-Dos off your list, you can prepare for your evening. Decide what you will do for dinner to avoid last minute, impulse eating. Nail down exactly what you have to do in the afternoon and begin to implement early interventions to make time for exercise. Don’t wait until 4PM to remember that you agreed to take the dog to the vet today. Look at your calendar and see what tasks you can get crossed off your to-do list before lunch. Make sure that you have healthy food for your lunch. Don’t wait until you’re starving and make a dash for the drive-through! If you have eaten enough calories to fuel your workout, this can be a really good time to exercise. You will have your day off to a good, healthy start and planned the rest of the day. You can hit the gym with a clear mind.
If your workouts are extremely energy demanding, have a snack of complex carbs before working out. Although most people choose to eat protein after a workout, you can have some before and give it a head start on repairing the muscle that a good, hard workout will tear down. I have a sweet potato before a workout and have recently added protein to that snack. It helps me get the 145 grams of protein that I like to eat every day.
It helps me to have protein pre-cooked. I sometimes cook fresh or frozen chicken tenderloins, roast beef, steak or 93% Lean Ground Beef ahead of time. When I’m ready for lunch, I can just add romaine lettuce, red, yellow and orange sweet peppers, pepitas, sunflower seeds and premeasured dressing for a quick, healthy salad. You can also make a lightning-fast wrap with a high protein, low-carb tortilla. Sandwiches are a quick meal, just choose your bread carefully. Get a 100% whole grain bread and measure your condiments. Mayo can add hundreds of calories quickly. Pre-made stews and soups are a real time-saver! Whether you’re at home or at work, lunch is a snap with a hearty soup. Pack it in a steel thermos to travel.
If you have planned your lunch to be time-sparing, you can sneak in a quick walk, run or even a mini weight workout during a lunch break. Every little bit of exercise helps you reach your fitness goals.
Regardless of your schedule, the time after your mid-day meal is a time that many people become lethargic and unproductive. The business of the morning has subsided, much work is out of the way and the specter of a hectic evening is looming. It’s so easy to just shift to auto pilot and do nothing. Instead of losing these hours, get active! If you drink caffeine, this is the time to indulge. Make sure that you are well-hydrated. One of the earliest signs of dehydration is lethargy.
If you can slip in a workout now, you will feel better throughout the evening. It will give you feel-good neurotransmitters to get you through dinner with friends and family in a good mood. If you get your workout in during the afternoon, your evening will be so much better. The pressure of working out is off of you, and the mood enhancing hormones produced by exercise, and the freedom of having your workout finished, will set you up for a great evening. Your confidence and energy will be high in a way that only a good workout provides. You can plan your evening with confidence that you will shine, with energy to spare.
The habit of sitting in front of the TV after dinner is worse than wasted time in many cases. Most people continue to eat once they sit down. Couple the extra calories with hours of inactivity and it’s easy to see how this habit can make or break a fitness program. If you have not exercised during the day, forego the mind- numbing effect of the boob tube. As soon as you get home, or before you prepare dinner, change into your workout clothes. There’s plenty of time to work out after dinner and get the kitchen cleaned up. Work out first. The dishes can wait. If you clean first, you may feel justified to skip your workout because you’ve been working all day and you’re tired. It’s not advisable to work out really hard immediately after a heavy meal so eat moderately and get your exercise in before you get sleepy. There’s enough time afterwards to wrap up any left-over projects before bedtime.
As you can see, there are multiple opportunities in every day to sneak in a workout. As I said in the first paragraph, people do what they want to do. If you want the benefits that come from a good exercise program, then prioritize exercise. All of the excuses in the world won’t give you the health benefits and streamlined form that a good fitness regimen will provide. The choice is yours. Make the time for health or make the time for sickness. Either way the time will pass.
What will your choice be?