Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Power Schedule

This post is for everyone who shares in my quest for health and fitness. If you have a goal to lose weight or build muscle, where exactly does that goal fall on your list of priorities from day to day? Do you have other goals that come before this particular one? If you do, then you'll probably just want to pass on this blog post because in today's post I'm talking about MY discoveries on the road to attain my goal of ultimate health and fitness and THAT IS MY FIRST PRIORITY. Not to say that God and family are not important.... they are actually my HIGHEST PRIORITY! But I've realized that those relationships are lacking when my health and fitness levels are low. The healthier I am, the more energy I have and the more I have to devote to God and family. So, with that said, let me tell you about the greatest tool I've found to reach my goals... A schedule!

A schedule is really just a list of your priorities with a road map for planned execution. Steven R. Covey writes in The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, “The key is not to prioritize your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” What you do first doesn't necessarily hold the most important place in your heart. As a matter of fact, experts say that the thing you dread most should actually take first priority. They describe it as "eating your frog" that way the worst is over and the rest of your day can continue quite easily. But I've found that by planning the worst first (yes, it WAS my workout), the benefits I got from completing my workout first thing in the morning made me LOVE mornings. There is no coffee in the world that could compare to the energy and kick I get in the morning with my workout! But I only discovered that when I SCHEDULED my workout first... EVERY DAY. MMMM that frog is tasty! hahahahaha

The other aspect of my FIRST priority is nutrition, or eating. Yep, that gets scheduled too! I schedule 5 small meals everyday and EVERYTHING else gets scheduled around them. Now before I go into my amazing discoveries with this facet of my schedule, I'd like to point out that there ARE tricks to getting all five of my meals in with a ton of other appointments and to-do items suffocating my food time. The greatest weapon in my arsenal is the meal replacement shake. I personally use EAS Myoplex shakes (and I usually have 2 a day)... because they taste good. If I find one that tastes as good and provides better nutrition, I will switch in a heartbeat. I have no product loyalty when it comes to my first priority. And at 160 calories for one meal and a price of about of about $3-$4 a day for TWO meals... well that's kind of a no-brainer. Plus I can drink those shakes while doing just about anything without disrupting others trying to work through their own schedules. It just works for me.

I've found that by having a schedule every day that I get far more done with far less stress, but what I've found by scheduling my exercise and eating is freedom! I literally spend about 20 minutes every Sunday starting my week's schedule. Every day of the schedule starts with when and how I'm going to work out each day of that week and what and when I'm going to eat each day of that week. Not only does that 20 minute investment save me HOURS of time throughout the week, but it also saves me money. That little bit of scheduling also forms my grocery list for the week so when I get to the grocery store I know what I'm buying and exactly how much for the week. I've NOTICEABLY dropped my food bill AT LEAST $50 a week by simply not buying food I don't need. I also have far less food that goes to waste. This scheduling rocks huh?
Finally, and this goes back to that freedom I just mentioned, my schedule has changed my paradigm about food. I am a food lover and OFTEN mistake eating as an event. It was never uncommon for my answer to be, "I know a good restaurant" when friends would ask what I wanted to do when we got together. But when I scheduled my eating, food became a scheduled action item... like gassing up my car. No longer was I going out to eat with my friends for entertainment, now I was eating (or drinking) my meal prior to heading to the mall or walking in the park. Eating suddenly became separate from every other activity in my life. I've found a new respect for food as fuel now that it has its own time slot and I'm free. Gone are the blood sugar dips and the low energy afternoon, instead I am clear headed, full of energy and productive. That is definitely what I call a power schedule! Now I just need to figure out how to eat AWAY from the dang TV...hahahahaha!

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