Monday, September 21, 2015

Where I Am Versus Where I Want to Be

My brain is trained to focus on outcomes. When I step back and focus on the outputs, here's what I notice about my life right now:
  • I'm tired all the time.
  • My clothes aren't fitting well.
  • I'm having trouble mustering up motivation.
With those outputs on the table, my mind then goes to the inputs. What am I doing (or not doing) that is contributing to those outcomes? 
  1. I'm addicted to a TV show. While a little bit of TV can help me relax, a lot of TV makes me feel lethargic, passive, de-motivated, and tired (in part because I let myself go to bed too late to fit in one more show and in part because I'm not doing anything interesting or productive if I fill up any free time I have with television).
  2. I'm not eating a good breakfast (or sometimes any breakfast). I'm not eating a consistently good lunch (or sometimes any lunch). And I'm not eating enough fruits and vegetables. One day, I ate nothing but donuts before dinner time. Seriously. (At least they were delicious donuts from my new favorite donut shop.)
  3. I'm not exercising at all. Since my back injury in May, I haven't been running and I've only gone to yoga a couple of times. I hardly ever do stretches before bed.
Geez. As I write all of this out, it is crystal clear that I am missing some of the key components of a healthy life: healthy food, healthy sleep, and healthy activity. I'm surprised I'm not feeling worse!  

I write these posts every so often because I need a re-set. It's too easy to get busy and let any one (or all) of these things drop. 

I need to re-commit to the healthy habits that lay a solid foundation upon which to build my life. I commit to:
  • Drinking a green smoothie every morning for breakfast (plain yogurt + spinach + frozen mango + banana + ground flax seed)
  • Going to a yoga class once a week
  • Stretching each night before bed
  • Starting physical therapy for my back (and then getting back into the habit of running)
  • Turning the light out by 10pm every night--no excuses
  • Bringing fruit to work for a morning snack
  • Getting back into the habit of having a salad with dinner
  • Ordering a new work bag so I can comfortably fit my water bottle, snacks, etc. 
  • Take vitamins every day.
  • Leaving work on time each day so I can have more time to prepare my lunch for the next day in the evening
Whenever I make commitments, I try to ask myself: "What will get in my way from actually doing these things?"
  • I hate making smoothies every morning. I need to find a way to make them in advance. I might try this method. I can definitely make a big batch on the weekend and freeze it for the week.
  • I just need to make myself go to yoga class. That's all there is to it! I feel like my boys need me during the bedtime routine to feel like their lives are safe and complete. Maybe if I commit to leaving work on time every day, that extra time might help me feel like I am filling their buckets.
  • I also just need to make myself stretch. It's not rocket science. I am going to ask Matt to help me recommit to this one (and all of these!). 
  • I added "Call the doctor" to my action plan for Monday. 
  • Talk to Matt about the new 10pm rule. I think he'll be on board. 
  • I need to get a lunch box. I like this one. I will also need to get everything ready the day before.
  • Making salads won't be hard. Now that we aren't swimming every day anymore, I have a little more time to make dinner.
  • Done! I just ordered a new work bag.
  • I'll take my vitamins when Matt takes his. 
I'm already feeling much better by having these next steps in place! 

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Kelsey said...

I love your reflections and honesty, Sara! I think many people complain about similar things but what makes you different is that you get to the root of an issue, make a plan for change and then follow through. It seems simple but so many people never get past the complaining part.

mamaschlick said...

Not sure if this would help, but I read about putting together a bunch of ziplocks filled with smoothie ingredients so that all you do is pop out of freezer and into blender, and add yogurt. Maybe that would help! Good luck!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks, Kelsey! I try!

@mamaschlick: I tried the bag of ingredients, but my blender couldn't handle the big block of frozen-ness. This week I tried the ice-cube tray thing and it worked like magic! It takes a little too long to melt, but it's the best scenario I have tried so far. My next iteration might be putting the ice-cubes in my jar at night in the fridge and seeing if they melt a little in there and then a little in the morning.

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