It’s time for a little honesty on this fine Tuesday.
Here goes: I’ve been a big fat slacker in many key areas of my life over the last few months.
Okay, that’s a lie- it’s been more than a few months. Truthfully, I’ve let a lot of areas of my life slide a bit since I quit my teaching job in June 2012. Not having to go to an office (or classroom) every day and working from home or at a gym has definitely allowed me to adopt a lifestyle that is a bit more relaxed in nature. Relaxed might not even be the best word for it, because there have definitely been plenty of stressful days, weeks and months since quitting teaching. (There has been a lot of joy and happiness in my life as well- but that’s not what this is about today.) I hate to say that “I’ve let myself go…” but I kinda have.
For years I used to do my hair, make-up and dress up for work each day. Nothing too fancy, but I would generally wear a blouse, blazer and slacks (and sometimes even heels!).
(If you live in the Myrtle Beach, SC area (or if you’re Lee!) you may recognize my friend and former classmate Rusty Ray. I taught at the same high school that I graduated from and he had come back to speak to the students there.)
I was also on a very set schedule and very much lived by a daily routine. Each week day was pretty much the same and weekends were spent packing in everything that I couldn’t do during the work week. There are a lot of things that I do not miss about having such a set routine like packing breakfast and lunch each day, having to wake up at 4:30 am every morning and not having any flexibility in my schedule (being a teacher, I’d have to take at least a half day off for an hour long doctor’s appointment!). But, there are some things that I do miss.
Above all, I miss being accountable. Even though I complained about it, it was kind of nice having to look “professional” each day and putting in a more effort with how I presented myself physically. Since quitting teaching, my jobs have allowed me to wear gym clothes and/or yoga pants with cute KIND shirts every day and I’ve lived in comfort. Stretchy clothes don’t really let you know that you’ve put on 5 lbs. the way that pants that zip do- and that can be a good or bad thing.
Another thing about my former life as a teacher- it was so much easier to eat mindfully and lose weight! It was a pain in the butt having to pack two meals and snacks every day, but it was also a weight-loss blessing! I could only eat what I packed (the only alternative was going down to the school cafeteria to buy food- which I never once did in my eight years in the classroom!). When I work from home, there’s delicious food in my fridge and pantry just steps away and it’s accessible all the time. On days when I’m on the road a lot, I go out to eat. And let’s face it- even if you’re choosing the healthiest thing on the menu, it’s not always as low-calorie as you think.
Since I make my own work schedule now, it’s also tempting to stay up much later than I used to (which also means sleeping in later). I usually go to bed around 10:00 and watch t.v. for a bit or play on my phone (very bad!) and end up falling asleep around 11:00. I’ve had a hard time sleeping really well (I usually get up once or twice during the night) and finally get out of bed around 7:30 am. I know that’s not super late, but I have found that I am much more productive with a wake-up-by-6-asleep-by-10 kind of schedule. (I’m also kind of depending on daylight savings time to help me out a bit there.) There are some days that I only work about 4 hours, and others when I work 12! And I pretty much always work on evenings and weekends… it all takes some getting used to.
Inspired by my good friend Cassie’s wonderful printables, I made myself a weekly report card that I hope to actually follow up with and check off each day. I’ve been thinking about having some kind of simple system for accountability for a while now and then (as if by fate) Cassie posted her 4/40 Challenge (which I highly recommend checking out!) – which gave me a little kick in the butt .
It’s a simple concept: each week I’ll write out different goals for the upcoming week related to how I eat/drink, mental health and self-care in general. I am not including exercise on this list because (thankfully) it’s not something that I struggle with. Between getting paid to teach group exercise classes and all of the hiking that I do because I love it, exercise isn’t really something lacking in my life.
The one thing that I still struggle with most is staying consistent with healthy eating and weight loss. I just can’t seem to find my groove! Right now, meal planning and tracking seem to be the best tools for helping me stay mindful. I’ve also been a big slacker when it comes to drinking enough water- and living out here in a dry climate, I really need to step it up!
Speaking of living in a dry climate, I’ve got to pay a little more attention to my skincare routine. It’s not enough to just moisturize right after getting out of the shower- I’ve got to be very aware of putting on lotion (especially on my hands!) several times throughout the day. Other than that, just taking care of my skin (and face) in general needs to be more of a priority. I’m in my mid-30s after all!
Other things that I’m adding to this week’s report card: reading more, foam rolling, relaxing (taking a bath, meditating, gentle yoga, etc.), spending quality time with Greg (that doesn’t involve distractions like tv, iPhones, etc.), walking the dogs more and getting to bed much earlier than I have been (and waking up earlier too!).
After I printed out the file, I just filled in the specific goals for the week:
Feel free to download the report card if you feel it will be of use to you! Just click right here and then print: Weekly Report Card (you can print in black & white of course if you prefer!)
Have a great Tuesday!
Do you feel better when you’re on a routine or strict schedule? What do you struggle with?