Monday, September 5, 2011

Coming up with a Plan

Last night was a bad night. I could't get to sleep. I tossed and turned for hours - tried listening to relaxing music, reading, watching a bit of TV, and just meditating - nothing worked. I know what it is ... the stomach cramps, stiff neck and shoulders plus the restlessness are the hallmark signs of stress for me. I need to figure out how to handle this before it gets too out of control - I can't afford to waste time and be distracted.

I've been told time and time again that stress and lack of sleep have really negative effects in terms of weight loss ... but it's not just weight loss that I'm concerned about. It's just my overall feeling of healthiness - which is not something I'm feeling at the moment. It's moments like these when I realize how losing weight/being healthy are so much more than just exercise and eating right. Those two factors are definitely important, but what also has to happen is a calm and centered mind and a positive attitude.

I am not feeling calm and centered and while I am trying to be positive, the feelings of major panic are dominating any optimism that I may be feeling.

I just have to figure out how I am going to get through the next few weeks. Finishing up my PhD is a MAJOR task and it's something that I need to do by the end of this month - that's got to be my top priority.

Having that as my main priority doesn't mean that everything else has to fall to pieces. I know that I can still exercise and I can still eat healthy - I just have to be practical about it ... and I think I should give myself a little slack. If I don't workout one day, that's ok ... right? Right?

See, althought I'm saying these words I don't entirely believe myself. For me, the more stressed I get the more I try to control things ... which means a to-the-minute schedule, crazy intense workouts to relieve stress, minimal sleep to maximize my time at my desk, and food ... well, I don't resort to stuffing myself with junk food ... but the whole nutrition aspect (which you know is time consuming) kind of suffers.

It all sounds terrible, doesn't it? I know that I just need to balance everything - keep my fridge stocked with healthy foods, figure out a workout plan that keeps me satisfied but doesn't interfere with my study time, and get enough rest at night.

I know these things. I just don't know if I can do them or how to do them. I'm really concerned ... and that freaks me out even more because I don't have time to be concerned about these things ... but I am. Does that make sense? Can you see the stress that I'm going through? Aaarrgghhh!!!

Anybody got any advice/suggestions?



  1. Lance6:52 AM

    Stop stressing so much. You'll be fine. Just stay focused. Finish your PhD. Set both minimum and maximum goals so that you don't burn out and that goes for everything. Studying, working out, and eating. You can do it, put your back into it ;)

  2. Perhaps being practical, in spite of fear, will help.

    You have stated that the PhD is the top priority, so assign it time that you know is needed.

    From a workout/eating perspective, perhaps you can make choices that will support that top priority.

    i.e. food - choosing snacks that while still healthy (i.e. apple, oranges, etc.) are instantly ready to be eaten, perhaps all washed/prepped ready to go when you had a bit of time to do that. Maybe you have a bit of budget to buy some pre-made (but still healthy) things like pre-made salads. Maybe ask some friends/family to come over and help you prep a few days worth of healthy food all in one afternoon so after that you just need to walk to the fridge and all your food is ready to go, no need to think about it.

    i.e. exercise... choose things that maximize your efficiency... Now, I'm not necessarily suggesting you do this because it was designed for athletes so it's just an example, but for example the Tabata intervals take less than 10 minutes to complete. ALSO, please choose exercises that don't "burn you out" (though they may make you stronger in the long run), but rather exercises that completely ENERGIZE you and help bring your mind into focus... Maybe choosing something like Yoga, or some other more meditatively/breathing/stress free class, and making this month about stress reduction.

    You are SMART, and you've already talked through much of what you know you need to do to cut yourself some slack, so just do that, don't let the fear get to you... You are going to give it 100% on the PhD, and you are going to make choices in the coming weeks to allow that... Keep up with the healthy eating, and when lying in bed, feel all those WONDERFUL feelings of how no matter what happens in your life you are always going to be giving your life the attention and care it (you) deserve, and you are totally capable of living a great life no matter what the circumstance, because the circumstance will reveal you, it will not make you... And you are going to make some great decisions, and follow through on them, in the coming weeks.

  3. You need to remember, this is only for the next 24 days. If your exercise/eating regimens take a hit, it is only very temporary and will all be back to your normal groove in 24 days. Keep that number in mind. Remind yourself this is a tiny period in the scheme of things. And like you said, it's not like you are going to suddenly start eating junk and stop moving altogether. You can do this! You are almost there! *huge hugs*

  4. Thanks for the words of encouragement and the advice. I really appreciate it!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)