I’m very blessed to have a job I love, that just so happens to make it easier for me to lose weight. I am on my feet all day, overseeing jobs and monitoring the actions of other employees. I work long shifts, which not only increases the amount of physical activity I do throughout the day, but it also enables me to take short breaks which I use to eat.
My typical day looks like this. Wake up at 4:45, leave the house at 5:15. Drink a cold bottle of water on my way to work, and clock in at 6:00. I normally drink 32 oz of water between 6:00 and 9:00. At 9:00 I eat my breakfast, which is normally 2 high-fiber muffins or a Special K Protein Shake. Between 9:00 and noon I normally down another 32 oz of water. At noon I eat my biggest meal of the day, always. No matter what I have prepped to eat for the week, I always eat the meal that takes up the most room in my lunch box at noon. Between noon and 2:00 I drink about 16 oz of water, and at 2:00 I have my snack. My favorite snack is either cubed cheese and gluten free pretzel sticks, or 2 hardboiled eggs. Between 2:00 and 3:30 I drink another 16 oz of water. I normally go to the gym right after I leave work, putting me there around 3:45 of 4:00. I drink at least another 32 oz of water while I’m at the gym, sometimes more. When I leave the gym I either drink my protein shake or a small Gatorade, depending on what I did in the gym that day. I normally get home between 5 and 6, shower, and go to bed shortly after.
**disclaimer: I really really really like sleeping**
So that’s my daily routine. Water all day long, as much as I can drink. 3 small meals, and 1 workout. Any given day I take between 5,000 steps (just a light work day) to 15,000 steps (heavy workload and cardio after work).
My biggest challenge on a daily basis is drinking water. I hate water. But water is ESSENTIAL to weight loss. My smallest challenge on a daily basis is cheating. When I’m at work, I only have the food I brought with me that day. I don’t keep snacks in my filing cabinet and I don’t keep candy on my desk. Cheating is literally the last thing on my mind.
On the weekend, though… That’s a totally different story. They might as well slap a sign on my forehead that says “Caution: Struggle bus coming through” because I struggle with everything. I struggle to get exercise, because I normally have plans all weekend long and my gym is 25 miles from my house. I struggle with the temptation of food, because it’s all around me. I struggle to get enough sleep, because somehow my weekends are busier than my weekdays (really don’t know how that happened because I love sleeping). I struggle with water intake, because I’m normally running around a shopping mall or getting my nails done. Weekends are really hard for me. I try to choose healthy options at restaurants. I try to eat smaller portions of home cooked meals. I go for a walk around the block if I can fit it in. But weekends aren’t typically good for me.
Yet somehow, through the cheat-induced weekends with little to no exercise and little to no water, I’ve still managed to lose almost 30 pounds in less than three months. I credit my success largely to the strict schedule that I maintain throughout the week. I give my body the nutrients and calories it needs to keep going – no more. I don’t indulge. I eat small, prepared meals throughout the day. I track my calories eaten vs. calories burned with the apps Lose It! and Fitbit. And I try to get a workout in at the very least three out of the five days of the week. I sleep as much as I can, but at the very least I get 7 hours a night.
I'm not saying life doesn't happen, because that would be a lie. If I have to come to work at 4:00am, I still eat my breakfast at 9:00. If I have to stay late, I will have a shorter gym session and not as much sleep. If I have a headache, I might down a Coke Zero. If I have a bad day, I might go out to eat with a friend. Life happens. And the main difference between my current weight loss journey and journeys I've taken in the past, is that NO MATTER WHAT I get back on my schedule the very next day. So I broke down and went to McDonalds. Okay! I'll just try not to do that tomorrow. So I was craving Starbucks and went and got myself a Venti Caramel Frappuccino with no whipped cream. Cool! Don't do that again for a while. Forgiveness is important. I forgive myself for cheating the same way I forgave myself for being fat. I accept it, and try every single day to change it.
I already know what happens when I give up. I want to see what will happen if I don't.