When I was younger, I could go for a walk once a month and stay in perfect shape. I could eat cake and burgers and fries and not gain an ounce. I could leap tall buildings in a single bound and go bra-less in public.
Now, I wear a bra with hydraulic lift support and bounding is reserved for reaching my favorite wine on the top shelf. I reached a point in my life where going for a walk was a cause for celebration… “Whoa! I walked today! Step aside Ultimate Athlete guys, I went for a walk!”… and then it would hurt me for two days after.
I had to make fitness a priority in my life.
I had to make fitness a given.
I had to make fitness a Lifestyle.
Here are five ways I have made time for fitness. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it! These five practices have made it possible for me to lose 25lbs, (and keep it off!) and have made me happier, healthier and bra-less.
(I’m kidding. Bra is best friend!)
1. Wake up EARLY!
I know. Bed, good. Snooze, good. Coffee, good.
I get up every day at 4:40am. Yes, this sounds ridiculous. Even as I write it I’m thinking, “That’s ridiculous! Who does that?” But it works for me! My work day starts at 7am, so when I stagger out of bed at 4:40 I have time to stretch, have a poo, workout for at least 45 mins to an hour, shower, gather lunch (which I’ve prepped already! See #5) meditate for 10 mins and hit the road for work.
If I don’t get my workout done first thing, I know I’ll have a million interruptions and excuses later in the day. Early works for me, and this habit is etched into my soul! I even follow this routine on the weekends, and it has helped me lose and keep off twenty five pounds! (Tip: How can you get out of bed? Read “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins.)
2. Limit screen time.
It’s way too easy to scroll through Instagram for 20 minutes, Pinterest for another 20, facebook, twitter, email… and suddenly an hour is gone and my saggy ass is still glued to the screen. I make a conscious decision to limit my screen time, especially if I’m scrolling at a time in the day when I could be going for a walk, stretching, doing yoga or meditating. I save screen time for the very end of the day. Not only does it help me reach my fitness goals, it also limits my exposure to the overwhelming negativity that is fostered too much on social media. Fitness makes me feel alive, screen time leaves me feeling Mostly Dead.
3. Don’t go home after work.
As soon as I get home from work, there are all the Things. The Things that Need to be Done. Housework, meals, homework, time my Love needs… so I try to fit in some fitness before the distractions and delights of home consume me. Go to the gym, if that’s your thing, go for a walk, find a private spot at your workplace where you can run through a 30 minute workout video. Making fitness part of your work day, just like meetings and obligations, will help to make it part of your daily routine. Going for a walk before you get home will help you unwind from work too, so your home time can be more focused on home.
4. Time block
I love a good list. I’m a post-it note kinda gal, and I love my planner the most. I plan my day to include time for fitness just like I plan to attend a meeting or go to an appointment. My usual block is first thing in the morning, but I also block time for meditating and walking later in the day. If you make fitness an unequivocal part of your schedule, it gives it the priority it requires. Pick a time, write it down, check it off the list, make it happen! You wouldn’t skip an important meeting with the boss, so… be The Boss!
5. Meal Planning
Every Sunday I make my lunches for the week ahead. This practice has saved me, nutritionally, and I wish I had been wiser when my kids were all at home and life was crazy. I make a big soup, or stir-fry, or meatballs, divide it into my portion sizes and freeze them in baggies, ready to grab and go. I boil a bunch of eggs to have in the fridge for a quick snack, and I make sure my homemade granola and energy bites are topped up. I plan our evening meals as well, to simplify grocery shopping, but it is the lunch and snack planning that makes all the difference. That way, during a busy week when I need to be organized and efficient, I just grab a baggie from the freezer and I’m good to go. This gives me more time in the morning for my workouts, and keeps me dialed in with my nutrition because I’m not running for something unhealthy when I get hungry at work.
Five simple practices… get up early, limit screen time, fit in fitness before you go home, time block and meal planning. These tricks work for me, hope they help you too!