Let's talk stress. There are SO many things that stress people out and between work and all of the other things going on outside of work I have been STRESSED out. Now that I'm back into the exercise, I'm realizing how much I missed it during the reset because I have been SO stressed. That's why for me exercise has always been really important to me. Not just because of weight loss, but because of stress relief. I realize when I look back at my life that a lot of the times I had a lot of rapid weight gain they were times that I didn't exercise regularly. I think because the exercise helps me to keep the stress eating at bay. I just had this revelation in the last week or two and it's been really eye opening. It tells me that especially when I'm stressed, I need to make sure I take the time to get to the gym or even do a quick short BodyRock workout. Workout doesn't need to be super long or super crazy - I think the key is just to move my body so I get that mental relief. I'm going to really work on planning ahead for weeks when I am super busy and stressed out. And with the holidays coming up, clearly that means I will need to lock it down. I still use my fitbook to plan my week and this helps a lot.
The other piece of this is sleep. Between vacation which went straight into the reset and then straight into a trip for work my schedule is a MESS. I have been staying up later, waking up later, and just not really on my sleep schedule. I've pretty much realized through experimentation that I need a good 7.5 - 8.5 hours of sleep. So I used my exercise rest day yesterday to get that back on schedule. I went to bed closer to on time then I woke up at 5:30 and hit my basement for my workout. Already I feel better. For one, starting my day with exercise usually helps me start it in a good mood. For two, getting up an hour earlier to exercise means that I actually get to spend my evening doing whatever I want. When I exercise in the evening I come home, exercise, cook, and by the time all that is done, I stay up way too late because I am not really in my free time until like 9pm. When I exercise in the morning, I come home from work and from 6 or so on, it's whatever I want to do. Which means that getting into bed at 10 pm is easier because I've had ample time to take care of whatever I need to take care of. I know people don't like going to bed so early. My mom is always telling me I'm crazy because I miss my tv shows. But I just watch them on hulu.com the next day. It's not as important to me to watch the 10pm show, even if it's a favorite, as it is to get my sleep and make sure I get that workout in. Plus working out before work eliminates a lot of excuses. You aren't too stressed/tired/annoyed/running late, ect to get it in. It's done and you can move on. But it can only happen if you go to sleep early enough to get enough sleep before that alarm clock goes off. I've done a lot of reading on creating a great sleep environment and I've put a lot of that into action in my bedroom. One of the biggest no-nos is the cell phone and I haven't quite broken that habit yet. But most other ones are already addressed.
My goal in life is not just to lose weight - but to figure out what things are going on that are prohibiting that from happening so I can keep the weight off when it's all gone. I have had the yo-yo for years without ever really realizing how important the two things above really are to me. It's only recently (this year) that I started doing morning workouts and researching creating a good sleep environment. This weight loss thing is a continuous improvement effort. For most of us, it's bigger than just moving more and eating less. It's trying to fix the behaviors that have allowed us to gain the weight. That means looking a little deeper which is hard, but quite rewarding.
Anyone care to share what habits they have had to change on this weight loss journey that are outside the obvious answers of diet and exercise?