I heard a very interesting quote the other day: “Plans are useless, but planning is priceless”. At first it sounded like a very odd thing to say, but then I realized it is a bit true to a certain extent. You can make all the plans you want until you are green in the face, but if something unexpected pops up out of nowhere those precious plans you made really aren’t so precious after all. Now don’t let this discourage you, think of it as an opportunity to learn how to prepare yourself as best as you can for the unexpected. That way when life does throw you a curve ball, you are ready to go on the receiving end of it.
I’m sure that many times you have made plans to either workout on your lunch break or after work, but then you get pulled into a lunch meeting or invited out for cocktails after work or your kids need help with their homework and it winds up taking all night, and then there goes your window of opportunity to exercise. Although it is important to schedule in your workouts, it’s just as important to have a backup plan. If you are working out five days each week, then you can always move around your off days to best suit your schedule for any given week. Say for example you workout Monday to Friday and something comes up on Tuesday and you just can’t find the time to exercise. A good option would be to workout on Saturday or Sunday instead, that way you’re still getting active your usual five days. If the weekend rolls around and you happen to find yourself lacking the will to go the gym or you just really don’t feel like doing a heavy workout, then maybe try something a little different instead like hiking or going for a bike ride with your family or blasting some music and dancing around your house. Make it something fun and get your loved ones involved too so that it won’t feel like such a hassle to be active.
When it comes to nutrition and maintaining a balanced diet, planning ahead is an absolute must. As I’ve mentioned before, packing healthy snacks each day is so important; the worst thing is to find yourself stuck in a situation where your only food choice is a cheap donut or even worse, nothing at all and then you wind up starving and by the time you get home you gorge yourself on fast food or crummy frozen pizza. Always keep a few options with you all times such as unsalted nuts, fresh fruit or dried unsweetened fruit, cut up fresh veggies with hummus, air popped popcorn or even a sandwich on sprouted grain bread loaded with fresh veggies and a lean protein. Prep your snacks ahead to save on time; you can cut up your veggies and pop popcorn at the start of the week, and fill a baggie with enough nuts and fruit to last you for a few days, so you won’t have to think about anything except tossing the baggie in your purse or putting it in your desk drawer at work. I always keep a bag of unsalted nuts in my desk drawer at my office and it has come in handy countless times whenever I got stuck working later or just found myself feeling hungrier than usual. Don’t put yourself at risk for getting off track just because you didn’t have a little something healthy to nosh on when you really needed it. Another important thing to keep in mind is cooking your meals ahead as well. Most of us don’t have the time or the will to cook a nice meal for the family every night, so taking a few hours on the weekend to cook large portions of meals is great practice. You can make soups, pasta sauces, grill or roast your proteins or veggies, and cook grains/beans in the span of a few hours if that and that way you won’t have to do much on your busy weeknights, but most importantly you won’t be tempted to order in greasy food instead.
If ever you do find yourself or your schedule completely thrown off just remember that there is no need to panic and that you will get through it. As I’ve said many times before just do the best you can, but be sure to always make a conscious effort to make the healthiest choice possible in all situations. Sometimes your willpower will be lacking and you may go overboard on the cocktails or nachos or cheesecake, but that’s just life sometimes. You always have a choice and you always have the option to start over again no matter where you are at on your health journey. One thing that you should never do is say to yourself “Oh I’ll start my diet on Monday or next month or I’ll wait until the New Year”. Don’t wait, start right now and if you already have started, keep going and don’t ever be complacent even if you’re already in super shape; when you are at the top of your game, that is the ideal time to improve and kick in into high gear instead of getting comfortable and gaining all the weight back or slowing down on your workouts.
Sometimes you will make plans with the best intentions, but they may not follow through accordingly as much as you may want them to. A good example of this was last week just as I was about to go for a run I tripped and fell right on my glasses breaking them. Needless to say my workout ended up being a total bust, but the next day (once my glasses were fixed) I was able to get back out there and do a full workout. Sometimes we may get delayed, and sometimes we may just have to let go of our plan altogether. As much as it may suck at first, you always have the option to start over so just because it didn’t pan out the first time doesn’t mean that you can’t modify it in some way to try again the next time. Like I said, don’t get discouraged just prepare yourself as best as you can each day and you’ll be able to handle anything life throws at you.
Start It, Finish It