Monday, November 4, 2013

Now not Later

This morning I had a few hours to finally get some errands done (including 4 loads of laundry!!). As I was putting things away, I found myself getting distracted and planning for things that I didn't need to focus on until a later date (e.g. worrying about what I was going to wear to work NEXT week). That's when I had to stop myself and take a step back to reassess what I was doing.

I feel like I have so much going on in my life, but it's all things that I want to be involved in. I know the one way to make the most out of my day is to be more focused with how I spend my time. I know that I spend a lot of my time doing busy work. I need to be more efficient.

This attitude needs to translate into my workouts as well. The risk of taking on too many activities, even if I have the actual time for it, is that I get worn out. There really isn't any point paying for a class, attending, but only giving 60% effort -- and still leaving the class feeling exhausted.

One of the things that I've done, and this may sound strange to some, is that I've made rest a priority for me. In fact, on my monthly goal checklist, I actually have a place to record how many hours of sleep I'm getting a night.

For those of who have followed my blog for a while, you know that I have struggled with insomnia - sometimes only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night.

Once I increased the intensity of my workouts (particularly through CrossFit) and I cleaned up my eating (no more unnecessary sugars and preservatives), I started sleeping much better.

Now I've found that if I don't get my rest, then I really struggle to complete my workouts. That's not to say that I won't workout if I've only gotten 4 or 5 hours of sleep. It's just that sleep is more of a priority for me, and it makes a huge difference in how well I complete my exercises.

So even though it may fee like a waste of time to sleep (that's the way I used to think before), I have found that investing that time to rest and recuperate is important because I can be more efficient and effective in my exercises.

Being efficient with my exercise is important too. I know that when I go to the gym to lift weights, I have to make sure that I'm lifting enough to challenge me and really stimulate my muscles. However, I also have to think about what other workouts I have planned for the day (or the next day) to gauge how much to push.

I used to spend a LOT of time on my schedule - figuring out when to do what exercises, how much to lift, how much time I was going to spend on my workouts ... Now, I still plan, but I try not to get distracted.

My main focus is to get my exercise done every single day. If I spend too much time trying to figure out the technicalities (should I do 8 reps today or 12), then I waste time, feel rushed, and end up not enjoying my workout and feeling stressed.

There's no point to that. Now I try to just get to the gym and start -- after that, the details will fall into place.


  1. Hi Plum - thank you for participating in the Montana challenge. You are leading in weight loss for this month. I read once that if you sleep 8 hours per day, that by the time you are 60 years old you will have slept 20 years of your life away. I was young when I read that and I also thought...what a waste of time! But I now know that sleep is vitally important to our overall health, mental and physical well-being. As you may also know I'm a newbie at yoga. Even though I have only tried yoga a few times, the one thing that I learn at every lesson is to live in this moment. During that time in yoga I am not concerned with anything coming up in the month or week that involves planning. I am just living in the moment. The yoga mindset is very new to me, as a westerner, but I know what I like:)

  2. you sound so much like me..the workout part is exactly what I go through...every word is true for me..I also used to think sleep is a waste of time if I have less time in a day I would always always cut down on sleep, I don't mind not sleeping also but I did notice my workouts suffer because of lack of sleep and now a days I make it a point to get enough sleep :)

  3. Hi A, When I was your age, I was a candle burning at both ends. At a certain point, I just couldn't do that anymore and I stopped.

    It's kind of like me explaining to my oldest daughter that I am too old for high heels all day at work. My knees would not put up with that. I'm too old for procrastination because it's just too frustrating to me, after younger years of getting so worn out of it.

    I've exercised for what seems like a bazillion years in a row now (in reality--almost 7 years). At a certain point (probably year 3 or 4), it no longer mattered to miss a workout. By year 5, it didn't matter to only workout on weekends. And embarassingly, I did not get any weaker from working out less. If anything, I'm more rested to hit the gym really hard, plus my joints are no longer sore from excess strain on them. I'm not worried about losing strength or not getting an exercise in or anything like that because--I have the rest of my life to exercise! Everything I want to do will eventually get done--or it's not a priority.

    Sleep is crucial. It's mood changing too. As I learned how to sleep better, I lost weight. I also got happier. I was also in better control of my emotions. So sleep should be a high priority, as you say above. :D

  4. Hi, I think life is about getting the correct balance, which s not always easy to do.

    For the past five or so years I have been living the low carb high fat lifestyle, it works well for me. But it is also important to include exercise and sleep within this, which so many of us do not give any thought to.

    All the best Jan

  5. I don't know how I missed this post. Anyway, I agree with the comments above that sleep is very important. My daughter was complaining yesterday that when she was eating gluten, she slept too much because she was just exhausted all the time. Now that she is gluten free, she is having insomnia a lot. Hopefully, it will all work out for both of you. :)

  6. Rest is so important, I agree! I know that if I don't sleep well my workouts are just not very intense.

    Sounds like you've really improved on the insomnia though!


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