Are you one of the struggling individuals who want to stay fit and healthy but just can’t because your work schedule is killing you? I am! I’m a full-time employee in a big company, and I didn’t get the praise and salary increase just by sitting around and going to the spa or the gym. I am a dedicated worker who can’t think of a week in my life when I didn’t go overtime. So as much as I want so much to keep in shape, at the end of my workday, the exhaustion, anxiety, and fatigue would catch up with me.
Finally, just last month, I found my saving grace – Chelsea – a cousin of my colleague from work. She’s a yoga practitioner, and I met her at the office when she went to fetch her cousin. We talked about getting in shape, and she gave me awesome tips that have helped me balance my work and my health. I’m sharing these with you here in the hopes that you, too, might get positive results.
Plan Your Week
This one could be the most crucial tip of all. If you’re working full-time and you need to attend to the needs of your children and your spouse, you’ll save big time if you plan your week ahead. What I do is I open my notebook every Monday, and I jot down my schedule for the whole week. I begin with the time I wake up and my time for a lunch break until the time I go home. I had struggled with when I could sneak in healthy eating and exercise in the middle of my schedule.
After you’ve made a draft of your week’s schedule, identify the days that you can squeeze a short workout or time to fix your meals for tomorrow. If you need to get out of the house very early, then you’ll need to ready your food the night before. Maybe you can spare 20 minutes in the evening to do some abdominal exercises or a quick cardio session? Don’t worry if things will go wrong at first, or if you aren’t able to stick to your weekly schedule. It’ll smoothen out eventually. Be patient.
Create Achievable Goals
You know you can’t do an hour or two in the gym, especially on toxic days when your hands are full of work and chores. Be truthful. If you’ll be arriving late on a Wednesday and you still need to cook dinner, perhaps you won’t be able to do that quick workout. How about writing the days that you are 80% to 100% you can do the 20-minute exercise? Your most important goal is to stick to your weekly plan and commit to performing your workout when you say you can fit it in.
Prepare Meals In Bulk
The best thing that can guarantee consistent healthy food throughout the week is to cook in bulk. If you’re catching up on deadlines this week, you won’t have time to make a complete dinner every day. So cook food that would last two to three days, the period for food to spoil. This way, you only get to cook two or three times for the whole week, plus more time to do your exercises.
Don’t Give In To Your Cravings
You usually have cravings when you’re on a low-calorie diet, and your body lacks nutrients. During this time, you are highly stressed and emotionally unstable. When you notice that you are feeling this way, find the means to calm yourself down so you can’t think of stress eating. Take a shower, drink chamomile tea, or learn some yoga poses.
Additionally, let me tell you honestly that I DO NOT follow a very strict diet. I just eat clean, meaning that I don’t consume processed food as much as possible. If you want to modify your lifestyle permanently, you’ll have to ‘tighten that belt’ as you will be committing to this way of eating for the rest of your life.
Hydrating is a vital part of maintaining proper metabolism. When you’re busy most of the day, you forget to drink enough water, and often you think you’re hungry, but you’re not actually. You’re just thirsty. Before you chew something, take that bottle and drink first. You’ll realize how much better you’ll feel when you’ve curved that craving.
Don’t Be Super Serious
There are weeks when you successfully follow your plan, and there are others when you just fall off the wagon. Things happen, and we can’t control them. Maybe you had to pick up your kid earlier because she got sick in school, or your boss asked you to do a priority project that couldn’t wait till tomorrow, so you missed your chance at preparing meals and doing your workout. Don’t exaggerate that frustration. It’ll only stress you out and activate your hunger pangs. You already know this, but maybe somebody needs to tell you: It’s okay to fail once in a while. What matters is that you are determined to get back on track, back to where you left off.