This may be one of my most practical blog posts yet. Ok. So you have a plan. You prep your food. You work out. Maybe you even track your food. You have a typical routine. You like things to go according to plan. You have every good intention in the world to follow your food and fitness plan, but life says otherwise. Maybe life says this weekend you aren’t going to be home for more than 5 minutes. Maybe it says you’re going to get to bed much later than usual. Maybe it says this is the food that’s available and you start to freak out. Whatever it says, it is NOT what you had planned. So what do you do NOW???
For many of us, this may be where we throw in the towel. Where get off track. Lose the plan. Hit a wall. It’s where we can’t follow our rules. Where we struggle to be flexible. Where we get scared or angry and maybe even try to grip tighter to the control we are losing because life has other plans.
Sometimes, these aren’t unexpected wrenches. Sometimes, we are fully aware of the craziness that awaits us. And we have two choices. Throw in the towel and wake up Monday regretting it. OR we roll with it and learn from it.
I am writing this because my last few days, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, were so far out of my control. They did not follow my usual routine. I had appointments I don’t normally have. I had social plans I don’t normally have that were set to a schedule I had zero say in. The food was different than usual. The timing was different than usual. And my sleep and activity was different than usual. Are you stressed out reading that? Because if you are trying to control your food and fitness, these things will make you start to get a little nervous!
And that’s ok. Because that used to be me. So I want to help you today. I want to share how I handle the wrenches of life. The things we don’t control. The routine we don’t get to stick to. The usual things we have to adjust to. So that you too, can roll with things a little better to reduce any stress, anxiety, or the need to control what is not yours to control.
Over the years, I have learned a lot about myself and my body. I have learned how much sleep I need. I have learned what happens when I don’t have enough sleep. I have learned how I like to eat and what I like to eat to feel my best while still not feeling deprived or overindulgent. I have learned what works for me and what doesn’t. What throws me off and how I usually react. But this doesn’t happen by chance. This is learned by being self aware. Over time. It is learned by making the effort to notice to experiment rather than react and control.
Thursday. I had an appointment that took two hours instead of 30 minutes. I was starving. All I could think about was what to eat and what I was craving.
Friday. Taste of country concert. It followed a day swamped with work, appointments and to do’s. I knew we were ordering subs which sounded amazing but wouldn’t get to eat til 5:30pm. Then we didn’t get home til 12:30am.
Saturday. Up early for work. Had company right after work. Brayden’s baseball game. And a birthday party.
The common theme this weekend was that I didn’t get the rest I needed. I didn’t get a substantial, satisfying meal early enough in the day. I have learned that lack of sleep and snacking are two of the top things that make me feel like crap. So I have made decisions in my day to day life to prioritize these things. To get enough sleep and if I don’t, I try to get a 20 min snooze in to counter it. When I snack without having meals, I don’t feel satisfied. So I keep wanting more food and I get irritable. And if I’m tired… I crave carbs. Crappy food. Quick energy. Food that spikes my blood sugar and sets me on a blood sugar rollercoaster for more quick energy food which is food that ultimately makes me feel crappy.
This is what I mean by being self aware. By noticing things about you over time. This doesn’t mean reading what your fave celeb is doing for a diet. Or joining in on the fad diet your friend is doing. Quick doesn’t matter. And what works if different for everyone. I know we all want the quick fix. But I promise you, if you take the time to LEARN YOU, you will have a sustainable way of eating and moving for the rest of your life.
I didn’t need tootsie rolls at 6pm Saturday night. What I needed was to close my eyes.
I didn’t need a healthy salad at noon Saturday morning. What I needed was my omelette, greens and bagel that satisfies me for hours.
I didn’t need half a sub at midnight Friday night after the concert. What I needed was water and bed.
I understand what we need may not always be possible. Which is why it is imperative we learn to bend and go with the flow without having to control everything and without throwing in the towel because we can’t.
In the big picture, a wrench, or 4, won’t ruin anything. In a few days, it will all be forgotten. Unless of course, you decided to throw in the towel and start over some other time. The only thing that lasts with that mentality is the fact you will always be starting over.
So instead, when there’s a wrench in your usual routine and things aren’t how you would prefer them, you’re first thing to remember is that it’s ok. You’re ok!!! Then, see if there is a way you can still fit in things that make you feel good without being controlling. And if there isn’t? Know that this is just temporary. It’s just a blip in the radar. The next chance you have to do what makes you feel good, you do it.
So for me, I caught up on some sleep this Sunday morning. I didn’t try to overcorrect with overexercising or extremely clean eating. I slept. I worked up a sweat. I chose a satisfying meal. And I got on with my life. Those wrenches from the other days? They reinforced what I know feels good and what doesn’t for me. And that is invaluable. That is knowledge I will have forever and will help next time control is fleeting and wrenches are inevitable.
So don’t panic. Remember the big picture is that you’re ok. And then learn about yourself so that you are empowered. So that you don’t need other people telling you what to do. So that you don’t have to pack your own food everyday. So that you can enjoy different things. So that a change in routine can be exciting and enlightening, not debilitating and destructive.
Wrenches are inevitable and learning YOU is imperative. Be open to both.
Until next week…
**Need help?? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for all coaching inquiries. I’d love to see if we are a good fit to work together.