Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to Get Fit When You've Got a Suffocating Schedule

No time for working out because you're working so much? I hear ya, my friends. Due to circumstances stemming from the current economy, I had to take on a second job 4 weeknights per week. I was already a substitute teacher and was working as often as I could. Blessedly, when this night job opportunity came my way I simultaneously started working fulltime at the school during the day--still as a substitute for now. I was not only aware of but have long-since experienced the benefits of good fitness first hand so was distraught at being too busy to be able to fit workouts into my new schedule. I love to send up praises for these jobs because I love both of them, the people with whom I work, the children I teach and the chance to meet our financial needs and start getting some things paid off. If I were really honest (and those who know me KNOW that I cleave to honesty) I would have to admit that, even through the blessings, I've had gnawing yearning to reincorporate regular exercise and training back into my routine. But how?! I was hardly getting enough sleep as it was!

I know so many of you are facing the same challenge in your lives. We're working harder than ever these days and are so busy! What precious time we do have we want to spend with our families. Let me quickly lay out "A Day in the Life of Lisa" for you...prior to adding exercise back in:
~Monday through Friday I pry myself from my bed at 6am to quickly get myself dressed and ready, children up and at 'em, my lunch packed, dog let out, dog and cats fed, etc etc...all of the typical morning stuff.

~We scurry out the door at 6:45 to get Dustin to middle school, the girls to their appropriate enrichment/chorus activities and my booty to work at the girls' school.

~I'm at work at the elementary school until 3:15-3:30...depending on which after school duty I have at which time I rush on home. During the schoolday I get a 1/2 hour lunch break and am otherwise typically VERY active the entire day. (this is elementary school, afterall)!

~I've got 1 hour after work (an extra hour on Wednesdays due to early release) to throw a load of laundry in the washer (we're a family of five; we go through AT LEAST one load per day), grab a healthy snack, pop open bookbags with the children to help with homework/look at memos/sign agendas, change my clothes (if needed) for night job, perk a cup of coffee or green tea, kiss my husband and my little lovies goodbye and fly out the door to drive to Orlando for my evening job.

~I work at a proof operator (bank data entry) from 5:30 until anywhere from 10:30 until midnight (or later sometimes). We get a 1/2 hour break but otherwise are keying nonstop during the entire shift. Time goes quickly.

~After work I drive home and arrive there, on average, around midnight. Time to toss a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, fold and put away any that might be ready, wash any dishes that might still be left (Matt and the children really try to help...sometimes he's just so tired too) and do any house chores that I can muster up before washing my face and falling into bed. I'm usually getting to bed around 1am...sometimes later on those later worknights.

~Day starts all over again the next day!
~Tuesday pm's, Saturdays and Sundays I'm off work. As I'm sure you can relate to, the time flies by lickety split. I fill that time with housework and getting organized as well as family time (playing games together, eating together, relaxing together, etc).
So there ya have it! My life in a nutshell these days! Sound familiar to any of you? Not everybody has to work 2 jobs but many of you do or you probably at least feel like there's little spare time. You'd LIKE to exercise but just don't know where to start or where to fit in it. I urge you to read on, though, because you owe it to yourself to rethink things and do what it takes to take measures to attain a good level of fitness. If you're overweight and/or walking around with excess belly fat you are really setting yourself up for some dangerous health problems. Don't think you have time NOW to do anything? Imagine what issues with high blood pressure or heart attacks will do to your current routine. It's not just about exercising to fit into a pair of skinny jeans (although looking FINE is a really fun benefit of taking good care of yourself). It's about making yourself a priority so that you will feel your very best and be your healthiest. This, naturally, leads into you enjoying your life to the fullest and being the best you that you can be for the special people in your life.

How do I accomplish this then, Lisa?!

I'll share with you what I've done and maybe you can borrow some of my tips...the things that are working for me in the midst of my nutty agenda:

~Staying organized is key. I use a part of my weekends to plan meals for the week and we shop according to those mealplans. I prepare healthy meals in advance and freeze them and also plan healthy crockpot meals. Remember to plan healthy and easy lunches and snacks for yourself like I do so that you aren't scrambling and finding yourself in some drivethru for your food. What we put into our bodies is actually cornerstone to shedding excess weight and feeling great. Exercise just gives us a boost and makes us stronger, more flexible and relieves stress. Healthy eating choices are paramount--it's all in the advanced planning, people!

~Try waking up an hour early to get a workout in. It's a GREAT way to start your day! I have a hard time with this right now because I'm only getting 5 or less hours of sleep (and you do NOT want to cut out sleep,'s important to your overall health as WELL as to weight loss...did you know that?) and I can't sacrifice more but, when I can, I like to kick start my day with the AWSOME Yoga Booty Ballet "A.M. Latte" workout. It's only 30 minutes long but supercharged and leaves me feeling great).

~Wherever and whenever I have to walk during my day (and it's a LOT at school) I push that body! I move like I'm a woman on a mission...squeezing with my cheeks (and not the ones I smile with ;) and working those legs. Park as far aways as you can at stores; don't take easy ways out. Stick that extra exercise in there anywhere you can! It all adds up. Don't just schlep around---MOVE it! (but don't forget to smile)!

~See if you can incorporate a brisk walk into your lunch break at work. I know LOTS of people who have started doing that. Some do it at the school. We've started doing it at Symcor (night job). Instead of eating during our break, my friend Shelly and I eat before work or on the way and then we spend our break fast walking with a little run here or there through the corridors of our building. 6 times 'round is a mile. We crushed 2 miles last night and are looking to attain a higher goal. We'll do this those 4 nights per week! My husband has often thrown some pushups, crunches and pullups into his workday. Drop and do as many pushups as you can a few times a day. Squeeze your butt while driving (rofl...try it...I'm serious)! Challenge yourself to look for unique ways such as these to incorporate exercise into your regular day. Get a friend involved...your more likely to stick to it if somebody else is depending on your company and encouragement.

~Find a workout program that is shorter but very effective. I can help you with this! (I'm a BeachBody coach loaded with a multitude of programs, remember)?! I'm a HUGE P90X fan but had to reevaluate my game plan once I started working 60+ hours per week. I don't have time right now to commit to the hour-hour and a half, very regimented workout schedule per day with P90X. I've vowed to do another round in the summertime when I've got a break from school. In the meantime, I've found success and heaven with BeachBody's Yoga Booty Ballet. SO many different workouts available under the YBB category...many are just 30 minutes. I've mentioned the morning one. I've also started doing the "Pajama Time" relaxation dvd almost each night when I get home--it's the absolute DESSERT of yoga and I've never slept better. Pure and Simple Yoga (also YBB) is only 30 minutes but a wonderfully intense workout. Then there are other hour long ones for days when I wake up early enough or have the day off.

~I keep a journal of the food I eat, the water that I drink and the exercise I do each day. This holds me accountable to myself and pushes me to do SOMETHING each day (I hate to have a page that doesn't list some form of exercise for that day).

~During our family time we make sure to spend some of that time in motion...biking or running together, playing on the playground, playing tag, tennis or some other shenanigans that burn calories while we have fun. Actually, Dusty, Sydney and McKenzie have certain BeachBody workouts that they like to do with us. Dusty's wanting to do P90X to get stronger for drumline tryouts at the high school next year. McKenzie got complimented on her 'ripped abs" during a checkup following her appendectomy last month and she told the nurse "I do P90X" (grin...she does me proud), and Sydney can do all kinds of crazy yoga moves! We just bought BeachBody's Shaun T "Fit Kids" workout dvd and I did it with my P.E. classes. A group of the 4th grade students wanted me to work up a similar routine with them for the talent show. So you see what serendipidously good turns your focus on including fitness in your life (and your family's life) can take you! Sometimes we'll throw on some music and spontaneously bust into a family dance party. Get nuts with eachother! It's fun, keeps you fit AND sets an all-important example for your kiddos.

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed when you have so much to do, when the piles of things to file are stacked up (mine are, by the way) and when you're at the bottom of the hill looking up. Gillian Marloth from Yoga Booty Ballet says, "In order to change your body, you have to change your mind." Start today. Make a plan. Let me help you. You're NOT in this alone--that's why I'm here. I'm here to share my story and to help you put a plan of action in motion. Do not be bound by the seemingly heavy weight of an overwhelming schedule. The boundaries are all in your mind. Leave me a comment here or, better yet, message me through my BeachBody website or on Facebook. Anything is possible. I'm a walking testimony! ♥~peace!♥