The most complicated part of my healthy living journey has been being consistent, day in and day out. Over and over I tell myself I am going to be consistent with making the right choices. I do great for a few days
a week or even a month or two following the eating plan or the exercise plan I came up with, and then “something comes up” usually some kind of stressful situation and I get derailed. I am consistently challenged to stay on track following through with my goals; even something as simple as going to bed on time so that I can get enough sleep, or getting up early enough to do a workout before the busyness begins.
Why do I stay up too late? Why am I setting myself up for a bad day, even before the next day starts? The answer to this question is simple enough….I like to have time to myself in the evening after everyone goes to bed! But, if I truly want to exercise in the morning before the day gets crazy–like I keep saying I do–I need to go to bed earlier. For me, 7 hours of sleep is a mandatory or I am exhausted and out of sorts all day. Being exhausted makes eating right downright impossible, and I can forget even finding the desire to exercise. I think we can all see a pattern here, so the key to eliminating my inconsistency, it would seem, is getting enough sleep!
I have been doing pretty well with tracking my foods on MyFitnessPal for the past 10 days, and have started seeing some of my most consistent mistakes. Tracking my eating really opens my eyes to what I am eating, and MFP even shows the breakdown of each macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein). The most consistent issue I’m seeing with macronutrients is even though I have cut out sodas completely, I am still consuming WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR (and fats)! And it’s not the “good” kind of sugar (or fats)….it’s the sugar and fats with no nutritional value which tends to go straight to my hips and thighs! I know that neither one are good for me, but I continue to consume too much. Why?? Because I am tired!! Why am I tired? Because I am not getting enough quality sleep and I’m reaching for things that are easy to eat as I go!
On this health and fitness journey I have been consistently challenged to improve many areas of my life. I have learned that if I focus only on an area or two at a time, I do much better. For instance, I cut the sodas at the beginning of September and am staying true to my goal of not drinking sodas. Now, I need to work on adding another piece to the puzzle, which will most definitely be SLEEP. If I am getting enough sleep, it will be easier to avoid the high-fat and sugary foods!
Being busy is not an excuse to live poorly. If you are well rested, you will have the energy to exercise, eat the proper nutritious foods, and do all the other things that lead to a healthy life. I’m going to start tonight by adding in 15 to 30 minutes of extra sleep a night. I think making this small change will add up to big results in the near future.
This week my goal is to be in bed by 12 midnight and up by 7:00 a.m. I’ll be interested to see how that will help my consistency with exercising in the morning. If I am exercising first thing in the morning, I won’t want to ruin the day by consuming high fat and sugar junk. I know I can change my habits, I just have do it a little bit at a time and be consistent!