I have been asked to co-teach one of my company's training courses and I am absolutely thrilled and honored. But it throws a kink into my Sparking and healthy lifestyle. For ten weeks I will have to live without four things I've come to depend on: my flex schedule, the free gym in my office building, easy access to a good cafeteria with tons of healthy choices, and Internet access.
Luckily for me, my reaction to such things is to plan.
And I'll have to if I want to get through the course without backsliding or gaining weight. Writing things down helps me think things out, so here goes nothing.
The keys to making this teaching gig work are planning ahead and streamlining my morning. I have to be at a different location an hour earlier than my usual day and I'll be taking commuter rail instead of driving. This removes almost all the flexibility from my mornings and I will have to be very focused on getting up, getting ready, and getting out. That can only happen if I do most of the prep work in the evenings. The good news is that I will be home 2-3 hours earlier than usual, so I'll have more time at home in the evenings than I'm used to.
As soon as I get home I'll do cardio followed by strength training. I tend to not get in as intense workouts when I'm home, so this will require setting my bike up in the living room. DH won't be thrilled with that, but it's the best way I know how to get this done. I'll mix it up with walking/running or biking outside, videos, and Wii Fit. Paying attention to intensity and making sure I'm working hard enough will be the biggest fitness challenge of these 10 weeks.
After I'm done working out I'll do my SparkPeople for the day. This is the biggest disadvantage to not having Internet access. Everyone knows that e-mail is a very bad way to get in touch with me, so most of my online time at work is spent on SparkPeople. This will have to shift to the evenings. Which means I'll have to keep a food log during the rest of the day. This shouldn't be hard; I keep a little notebook in my purse, so I'll just jot things down in there. I have been pretty disciplined about this while on business trips, so there's no reason I can't do it while teaching.
Laying out my clothes the night before will help me streamline my morning so that I have time to sit and eat my breakfast and drink my coffee at home. Picking out my clothes and jewelry for the day is where I tend to waste the most time in the morning, so removing that bump will do a lot to smooth it out. DC's metro system doesn't allow food or drink on the trains, so it's either breakfast at home or in the classroom. And I don't think the lead instructor would appreciate the latter.
Next I'll wander into the kitchen, where most of the night-before prep will happen. I'll set up my coffee so that all I have to do is push the "on" button in the morning. Then I'll pack lunch and snacks for the next day in my snazzy pink lunch bag. I'll set out a muffin or bagel to thaw, if need be. Then I'll finish up dinner prep for that night.
Finally I'll pack my backpack for the next day: class materials; book, magazine, and knitting project for the 2.5 hour total train ride; purse; Metro card; room for my food.
The rest of the evening is mine to relax in. Shower, have dinner with DH, watch some TV, then off to bed at 9:30.
Wow, this is going to take some getting used to. But I can totally do this. My new evening routine seems a little overwhelming, but I keep reminding myself that I will be home MUCH earlier than usual and that riding the train will be more pleasant than driving, so I'll arrive home in better spirits. And the alternative - poor nutrition, nasty food, sluggish because of lack of exercise, weight gain, having to start my healthy life all over again - is just too ghastly to contemplate. Nope, ain't gonna happen. Stick to this plan it is!
And yeah, I know that a lot of you already do this every day. But I'm a suburban, childless, workaholic lady Monday through Thursday and then have my weekends to hang out with DH and do stuff around the house. My normal schedule is to leave the house around 8 a.m., work for 10+ hours, and get home around 8:30 or 9. But I have a gym right down the hall from my office and 3 hours on the clock each week to use it. And the cafeteria rocks. Yes, yes I'm very spoiled, lol. But it makes my crazy long days work and keeps me healthy. Plus, they put that stuff there for employees to use and I'd be a fool to not take advantage of it. It just makes switching to a "normal" schedule challenging for me. Thus the blog and the thought process.