Time Challenge

Welcome to another day where the ordinary outweighs the extraordinary, but I am quite ok with that for the time being.

Today’s challenge, like many other days, concerns time – How am I going to use my free time?

Generally, this is who my day goes:

  • Wake up at 6am
  • Stretch while waiting for water to boil for peppermint tea
  • From 6:10 to 7:15am enjoy breakfast and tea, get ready for work
  • If the line isn’t too long, make the morning extraordinarily awesome and get a coffee at my favorite coffee bar
  • Work from 8am to 5 pm
  • Drive home and after 5pm: the challenge: what to do with my time…

As of late, it has occurred to me that there just simply isn’t enough time for all that I want to do. I want to embrace Tim Gunn’s always inspiring “Make it work!” mantra, but I also want to try and get 8 hours of sleep (like the doctors say you should).

Here are the main things I want to do when I get home:

  • Write
  • Draw/sketch/paint
  • Read
  • Workout (a must with summer fast approaching…see my last post for more details)
  • Spend time with the boyfriend
  • Watch whatever fantastic show we’re into (Peaky Blinders = Complete Awesomeness)

Like all of my other ordinary, wonderful people out there, there is never enough time to get everything done. How am I ever going to become an artist/writer if I’m too tired after a whole day at work annnnnd working out??? Gah! Priorities!

Unlike many of my friends, I do not have kids or pets (unless you count our mechanical fish Harold and Harvey). There are no goats to feed, no pasture to clean, no yard work either because we live in an apartment…so why can’t I make this all fit?! I must pick and choose and sometimes that seems like the hardest part. Kind of like picking out the next book that you’re going to read…you feel that you might hurt the other books’ feelings by picking this other book and you really don’t have a preference on which you read first but the whole time you just want to read them ALLLLLLL. Tough stuff I tell ya…

Anyways, math-wise, if I want to get at least 7.5ish hours of sleep, I have about three and a half to four hours of free time, not including time to shower off the day’s stress and sweat down the drain annnnd do a quick kitchen clean up after dinner.

Please understand that I know how lucky this is. I used to have a horrible work schedule and maybe two hours at home before I would have to go sleep. I understand that I don’t have kids or other large responsibilities so this may seem like a plethora of time to most. But like I said earlier, I want to do all these activities and truly the hardest part is deciding what to spend that time on.

Tonight was a great start to the week! I got home quicker than usual thanks to a few extra green lights on the road and I had a decent upper body workout. During this workout, I was thinking about this post. How can I make the “What should I do tonight?” question easier?

So here it goes – For the next week I am going to do my best to be conscious of what inspired me or caught my attention that day. Did I leave my book in the middle of a great chapter? Did I think of a great topic to blog about? Or maybe I just feel like getting a solid workout in and chilling on the couch with the boyfriend?

I know that I can’t fit everything in but perhaps this is a start to making it happen through the week.

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That Real Ralph Lauren Bikini

You cannot escape summer and therefore, you cannot escape swimming or at least standing next to the water…in a swimsuit.

Year after year, I trained for my collegiate sport during the summer so when everyone else was trying to slim down, I was bulking up to beat out my squat max and impress my coaches. Never did I have the bikini body I wanted.

Now, things are much different. After my four years of running foul poles, and  doing endless burpees, I workout for the body I want. My wonderful boyfriend (who is very much in to fitness) so kindly put together a couple of 4 week workout courses for me. Some of the exercises he has written down have made me furious with memories of painful conditioning after practice.

Officially I had done 12 weeks of his workouts and loved the results. My legs were so much leaner and they might not be as strong as they used to be, but they fit into pants much easier and I quite like the way they look in leggings.

The “Skinny Gene” has never run in my family so it is in my mind, my responsibility and choice to create the body I want. I have to work hard at this, I have to make conscious decisions about the food I put into my body. Most of all, I want to do it the healthy way. I have enough will power to give up dairy (acne medication requirement) and bread (just because I wanted to see if I could), and now it’s the challenge of constantly make the right decision. Some folks (ahem, Mr. Boyfriend) do not hold my will power in the greatest of light because I get home after a long week and want dark chocolate with sea salt, and that means I have terrible will power.

…Thanks for the support?…

My diet is absolutely more healthy because of him – he is fantastic cook! Right now, he is making a potato/leek encrusted halibut with brown rice and a salad on the side. I have also become accustomed to having a salad at lunch. When there’s no salad, I feel sluggish and well, squishy. My family came from farming backgrounds where dinner was meat, potatoes, and whatever vegetable was in season or available cheap by can.

Like I said, the skinny gene has avoided my family.

After a few unseen and unfortunate events , the gym did not happen for two weeks. My good habits or working out every day and eating well at every meal evaporated and all of my hard work vanished from visibility. To put it simply, I feel that I am right back where I started. 12 weeks of hard work and now I can’t do a pull up – a goal I fought for and achieved, and now I’m back to square one.

Why is it that falling off the workout wagon is so easy? My body felt so good and was in a rhythm where salads and workouts were wanted, even craved! Now I’m just frustrated with myself and those two weeks where my mountain of workout success crumbled over microwave popcorn, wine every night, pastries with morning coffee, and large portions of home-cooked dinners. I could feel my body saying, “No! I don’t want this! Don’t eat it!” But I already get so much crap from a select few back home about the food lifestyle my boyfriend and I have chosen. So I challenged them and ate as if I didn’t have that new Ralph Lauren bikini in my closet back at the apartment. The teasing stopped for the rest of the trip but now that I’m back at the apartment, disappointment hangs in front of me like a shower curtain you can’t pull to the side and walk away from.

Those few months of hard work were wasted and now it’s time to start over again. June is here and summer is coming on fast. If I’m going to make my goal and feel amazing in that new bikini (the first one I’ve bought in over 5 years), my willpower has to go to a new level and my workouts do too. The frustration of flab has reached a new high and so has my inspiration. I am going to do this because I want it. This is not for someone else, but for me.

And what better motivation is there than to try and better yourself?

I truly hope that when the wagon gets tipsy, I can look back on this blog post find the inspiration and willpower to stay on there and keep trucking along.

Here I come Ralph Lauren bikini bod!