Tuesday, August 27, 2013

From my blog at Obesity Help: Time Managment for the Active WLS Athlete

Time Management: How Do I Balance My Lifestyle Change, Home, and Fitness?      

One of the hardest things that I found pre and post my lifestyle change was time management. How do I balance everything: my family life, my professional life, eating, and exercising?  It became much more apparent as I decided that I wanted to train to compete in my first Ironman, as 30 plus hours of training became almost another full-time job. My relationships and friendships started to suffer.  I needed to make myself find that fine balance between all aspects of my life.

Time Management: How Do I Balance My Lifestyle Change, Home, and Fitness?

I have a saying that I live by and promote: “You either make the time, or you make excuses, you can’t have both.”  My clients in my personal training and endurance sports coaching business live it everyday, and it holds true for many of us that are trying to balance our lifestyle change along with our professional life and personal life.  Lifestyle change, whether you are changing your eating and exercise habits, or have undergone WLS, it is definitely a large part of who we are and our now everyday lives.  It is no wonder why so many of us were overweight, it was easy.  We didn’t have to worry about everything that we eat or make time to workout or train for that upcoming race.  This change takes work, a major time commitment, and support from those around us, and definitely some selfishness at times.

For all of us, we have made some sort of financial commitment and obtained the resources to make the positive changes in our life.  Now it is up to you to make it a successful journey.  When I first started my journey, I lost out on many things, including friends.  I didn’t know how to make the ultimate sacrifice, balancing my time.  For some the balance requires an extreme amount of family support, while for others it requires pre-planning and scheduling, much like at your job.  For one of my clients, Brigitte, “I find for me it is all about planning! Especially when the kids are in school. I have to schedule my workouts just like any other appointment.  My family also knows my weight loss is important to me, and they will join me on a lot of my workouts just to have the extra time together, which in turn keeps them active so they never have to go through what I have.”

Time Management: How Do I Balance My Lifestyle Change, Home, and Fitness?

Now a little of that selfishness comes in to play with our journey.  You have to take the time for you, take the time to make the positive changes, embrace the new lifestyle and do the things you never thought you could do.  If that means riding a horse, running a marathon, or traveling, do it for you!  For example, if you look at 24 hours in a day, getting in a 1 hour workout takes up 4% of our overall day.  You can schedule that early in the morning, during your lunch breaks, or later in the evenings.  I offer my clients a varied schedule of times and events that they can take part in.  Many gyms are open 24/7, so there is no reason why you can’t take an hour of your day for yourself.  Those that make the time are seeing the positive results.  Those that make the excuses come back to me week after week frustrated at their lack of results.  Heather, one of my running clients puts it best; “Before WLS I always put everyone before myself. I had to shift this habit and learn to start taking care of myself too. Putting the same importance in myself.”

Finally, I believe you have to have a plan.  Make sure you develop a plan and that those around you know the plan, this way family can help support you.  There are plenty of programs and phone applications that can help you track your meals and your workouts.  I build my clients weekly, customized training calendars with nutrition and fitness goals and workouts.  It is essential for your success to know what the plan is day in and day out, week in and week out.   So stop and ask yourself, what are you doing to guarantee your success?