Itâ€™s no secret around here that Iâ€™ve had a hard time staying healthy while getting adjusted to my new job. Iâ€™m not a morning person, and my days have changed dramatically from my last job. I typically work from about 9-7 now, but end up staying until close to 8 many nights. (And yes, I know I could never be a lawyer. I’m okay with that.) Iâ€™m also trying to juggle: taking care of my sweet little dog, Junior League, staying in shape and, oh, the just basic taking care of myself stuffâ€”cooking, running errands.
It would be so easy for me to fall back into my old bad habits and blame it on being busy, but hereâ€™s how I am staying sane and healthy while adjusting to a new, busier schedule. It’s no rocket science, and most of these are familiar tips, but this is how I stay sane.
- You canâ€™t do it all. I can do anything I want, but not everything I want. Thereâ€™s no way I can do every single thing I do to perfection. Shocking, I know. I have finally accepted thereâ€™s only so much I can do. Iâ€™ve learned to prioritize and that those priorities can change over time. Over the summer, with no job, marathon training got to take priority, and that was awesome and helped me from totally losing it while being unemployed. Right now? I had to take a step back from my strength challenge, which sucks.
No time for ice baths…which is really okay.Â
- Redefine what a workout means to you. During marathon training, most of my runs were a minimum of 5-6 miles. Given that most of my workouts now donâ€™t even start until at least 7:30pm, thereâ€™s no way I want to spend another hour at the gym. Wham, bam, thank you maâ€™am, please. The other night, I did 20 minutes of intervals on the StairMaster. Sweaty, got my heart rate up, boom.
- Back to basics. I know the healthy foods that I love that I can either make or buy without having to think too hardâ€”Starbucks spinach feta wraps, Dunkinâ€™ Donuts veggie flatbreads, bunless turkey burgers with veggies, sushi, oatmeal, banana sandwichesâ€”and when Iâ€™m super-busy, I donâ€™t try to recreate the wheel. Even if that wheel is made of cheese.
- Â Losing/maintaining weight is 80 percent diet. Even if I canâ€™t make it to the gym all the time, I still try to eat as damn well as possible. Usually, Iâ€™m content to just eat â€œpretty well,â€ since I exercise a decent amount. This means I skip treatsâ€”no dessert or drinks at homeâ€”if Iâ€™m not making it to the gym. (Iâ€™m honestly not a HUGE sweets person, so this isnâ€™t too hard.) I also try really hard to cut back on the mindless snacking and keep in my desk basically only what I will eat that day so Iâ€™m not tempted to graze.
- Sleep. I am not one of those people who sacrifices sleep when Iâ€™m busy. I wish I could be all pious and say I do it because itâ€™s a healthy habit, but, really, I am just a raging bitch who canâ€™t function if I donâ€™t get at least 7 hours, preferably 8. However, it does definitely help me with willpowerâ€”my willpower to eat well completely disappears when Iâ€™m tired, creating a vicious cycle where I reach for crap that only makes me feel worse.
- Be happy with what you can do. I freakinâ€™ celebrate every workout and every bit of exercise I get now. On days when the only exercise I get is walking one mile each way to work, I remind myself thatâ€™s so much better than nothing. I also remind myself that Iâ€™ve made the choice not to workout when I skip a workout and then I try to move on and not beat myself up over skipping a workout.
- Â Sneak it in. When Iâ€™ve been busy and havenâ€™t made it to the gym, I try to walk all over the damn city. Itâ€™s no sweaty, heart-pumping workout, but itâ€™s something. Iâ€™ll also do calf raises while waiting for the subway or bust out a few planks in the morning.