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Too busy? Try these tips and suggestions!

December 25, 2007

Seasons Greetings!

As 2008 approaches, I am sure that you are all getting motivated to get started on implementing some changes to your lifestyle-I know you cannot wait! šŸ™‚ However, once the year gets rolling, we will once again get wrapped up in our hectic lifestyles, and our health and fitness goals will possibly be forgotten or put on the backburner.

You may be thinking, “I’m too busy, I can’t possibly adhere to a strict exercise regimen”, or “I just do not have the time to eat well-it is too much work!”. With careful planning and a bit of preparation, I promise that you CAN start living a healthier lifestyle.

You don’t have to adhere to a super strict program to achieve benefits-you must do whatever you are able to do, in accordance to your lifestyle, and the time you have available. Here are some recommendations:

1. If you a mother, work long hours, or just have too much on your plate to think about preparing food every day, try taking a few hours (one or two should be enough) on the weekend (or whichever day is best) to prepare meals for the week. You don’t have to get fancy here-you can pre-cook rice or the grain of your choice, lentils, meats, hard boiled eggs, and other dishes that you enjoy and are easy for you to prepare. Buy Tupperware and store your dishes to use for the week.

2. You can also do the same with other food such as vegetables-buy in bulk and wash, chop, and then store in Tupperware. Buy spinach or salad mix in bags that are already washed and chopped-mix with your pre-cut vegetables and lean meat (if you’d like), add your dressing of choice, and voila!, your salad is done!

3. Buy a insulated lunch container that you can take with you to work or when you know you are going to be away from home for awhile. It is imperative that you start getting into this habit if you are serious about your goals and health. Do not succumb to convenience store pit-stops. Have the healthful snacks with you! Stock your cooler/bag with snacks such as: fruits, veggies, trail mixes, pre-made sandwiches on whole grain or sprouted bread, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, whole grain crackers, meal replacement bars (I don’t care for most of them, but there are a few good ones out there-Good Vibes Greens bar, Organic Food Bar Active Greens Bar, Gnu Foods Flavor and Fiber Bar-available at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s), yogurt and string cheese (if you eat dairy), & healthful cereals. There are so many options available-just get creative!

4. If you are so busy that you cannot even dream about fitting in exercising (if you have children or if you work incredibly long hours), I urge you to start prepping your food on the weekends so it is available for you during the week. If you can’t exercise, you are going to have to be even more stringent with your diet. And remember, even getting 15 or 20 minutes of exercise when you can squeeze it in is better than nothing at all.

5. If you have children and cannot escape to the gym to exercise, buy some simple equipment that you can use at home. Exercise tubing, some light free weights, a stability ball-there you go! You have yourself a little home gym. Dips, push-ups, abs, squats, lunges, upper body-you can do all of these exercises right in your living room. I also recommend buying cardio/yoga DVDs you can use at home if you cannot get to the gym for a class. I recommend Tami Lee Webb, Karen Voight, or Rodney Yee (yoga) for exercise videos.

6. Also, if you can’t get in the exercise you need, REALLY start thinking about monitoring your portion sizes. Remember, as you age, your metabolism starts to decline, meaning, if you do not change the amount of food you eat as you get older, YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT! So please, try to pump some iron to keep the loss of muscle mass at bay. If you can’t pump iron, think about portion sizes. Do you know what a 1,600 calorie day looks like? Yikes. It’s not what you may think! One trip to a restaurant, and you could be done. Studies have shown that most people underestimate how much they eat, even more so when eating in a restaurant.

7. If you are a mother and do not have access to a babysitter, try joining a gym that has a day care center. Many gyms have great day care facilities, and you can easily get in a quick work-out without having to leave your children. Take advantage of these opportunities.

8. If you can afford it, try hiring a trusted babysitter a few times a week for a few hours, so that you can get away and have some time to yourself. Use the time to prepare your food for the week (without having to worry about what your children are doing), get in a favorite exercise class, or use the time for an extra long workout. Like I’ve stated before, something is better than nothing, even if it is only 1 or 2 times a week.

9. Accept and love your body. We live in a society that covets the ultra-thin look-an image that is unrealistic and most of the time, very difficult and unhealthful for most adult women to maintain. If you are struggling to maintain a certain bodyweight, if you have to constantly undereat and overexercise to maintain a certain weight, then that weight may not be the weight you are meant to be! Let’s stop worshipping these ultra-thin models and actresses and start loving our bodies-strong, healthy, and powerful. šŸ™‚

So, for all you ultra-busy women of the world, just try taking it one day at a time. I know you have a lot on your plate-no stress! There is nothing worse than constantly worrying about what you are going to eat and when you are going to exercise. I’ve been there, done that. It sucks.

The stress is detrimental to your body! You didn’t make it out for your work-out today, so what? Just make up for it somewhere in the week. Don’t stress or worry-it is a complete waste of time and precious energy. Even though I am a health nut/fanatic, I don’t stress when I fall off my regimine for a day or two. Life goes on!

Peace & Love,

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