The most common answer is “on a Monday” right? I have been guilty of waiting until the perfect time to start considering getting back on track with my fitness and nutrition regimen. As in, I was guilty of that as recently as one month ago. And I want to tell you all my story and my final conclusion.
I have been busier than ever this year. My husband and I started Northington Fitness and Nutrition in July, one month before I returned to my full-time job as a school nurse. Since then, I have been working full 40 hour work weeks plus spending hours on end in the evening on our rapidly growing business. We also had a hefty amount of extra activities and homework since our five year old began Kindergarten. On top of that, I was trying to maintain my training and nutrition. On top of that, we had a household to maintain. Needless to say, I wished for a 36 hour day seven days a week. I had a conversation with my close friend and colleague, Evan Lagace, and told him “I am not going to be able to work on my nutrition and fitness goals until May 19 when my full-time job ends.” His response, “There has to be a balance, I’d hate for you to waste these next two months.”
Here is the truth of the matter: I have to eat each day. I have to drink something each day. Is it truly “easier” to not care what those things are? Could I ignore feeling sluggish? Can I keep going on wanting to make changes to my physique but not doing it? I haven’t been comfortable with this extra 10 lbs. Was walking around with them for two more months making my life easier and less stressful?
Dieting doesn’t have to be miserable. If anyone knows the truth in this statement, it’s me. I wasn’t practicing what I preach. There is a plan for EVERYONE to fit EVERY lifestyle. I was giving up before I even tried. I had a mentality that if I couldn’t execute my training and nutrition regime perfectly while I was well rested with ample free time, then I couldn’t do it at all. All or nothing, right? Go hard or go home, right? I was wrong because if I waited for those conditions, my start date would never come. There is no such thing as the perfect time. Life happens. The only way any of us will succeed is to learn how to find a sustainable plan and weather the usual life occurrences- vacations, events, holidays, sick kids, busy days, the list goes on and on and on…
After that conversation, I decided to start moving in the direction of taking care of myself. In small little steps, not huge strides. I didn’t plan to hit every training session each week; I didn’t slash calories and banish foods, I just did my best when I could.
I had less “oh who cares anyway” moments. I started picking foods that would help me feel as good as possible with limited sleep and a heavy workload. That didn’t take one extra minute of time, it probably saved me time and money from going to pick something up at a restaurant or drive-thru. Planning to eat the same thing for a few days took the time away from figuring out what to make for dinner each night. It simplified my week.
If I missed a training session or accidentally ran out of food before I could prep again, I didn’t freak out. I stopped saying I can’t and started believing I can. I wish I could emphasize how much your mindset dictates your life. Once I focused on my thoughts, I realized how crappy I talk to myself half the time.
Moving through this past month making small changes for my health didn’t take one extra second of my day. Cutting out the quick pick me ups of sugar and caffeine plus eating nourishing meals has helped everything from my energy to my mood.
Changing my mindset from “I have to eat healthy” to “I want, and I GET to eat healthily” made all the difference in the world. “I have to workout” changed back to “I GET to workout.” When I was too tired to train, I didn’t. That’s it.
If I can continue to make positive choices related to health and wellness while I am grappling with the busiest, most stressful time in my life, I am certain you can as well. Besides that, many of my choices have helped me to cope with stress during this time as opposed to adding to my stress. We all default to immediately thinking “oh this is ONE more thing to add to my list” and forget to think of the benefits watching our nutrition and exercising can have. You will have more energy to be a better mom, employee, business owner or if you are like me, all of the above.
So when is the best time to start a fitness and nutrition routine?
Begin when you want to start feeling better from the inside out.
Begin when you want to reduce your stress.
Begin when you want to gain confidence.
Begin when you want to improve your sleep and energy.
Why would anyone put that on hold?