In the process of building a business, plus tending to family priorities, I have become increasingly aware that perhaps I have neglected some aspects of my own health.
Following a recent discussion with my coach and mentor regarding guiding others related to nutrition, I asked him what one thing he felt I could personally benefit most from focusing on.
I won’t say I was entirely surprised by his answer; however, some might be. His guidance for me was, “if I had to choose ONE thing for you to work on that would improve everything, I’d ask that you get consistent with your schedule, across the board. When do you work? When do you work out? When do you eat? When do you sleep? What days/times are open for other appointments? And have that be precise for at least 90 days straight.”
As always, I gave his input some thought. I am knowledgeable of all the things I’d benefit from working on to improve my health, but perhaps I haven’t been as diligent about applying them all. As I mentioned above, I may have put everything else as a priority before myself.
The data-nerd within myself decided to create a spreadsheet to objectively evaluate how I was doing with creating a “schedule” for myself. I also saw this as an opportunity to share with others the personal impact of these interventions. I know I am not alone in the challenges that I face (limited time, crazy schedule, family responsibilities, etc) and maybe someone will benefit from me sharing my experience. My goal is to summarize my past week each Sunday!
One data point I am tracking is my daily morning weight. I decided to start on Tuesday. As expected, I know when I settle back into my routine and eat in alignment with my goals, some early “weight” comes off quickly. This is primarily water weight as I am certain I overate a bit of carbs when I was out of town last weekend. I was not shocked by a weight increase Saturday morning. On Fridays, I have my favorite pizza and crab bisque from III Guys and subsquently, I had a weight fluctuation up on Saturday. I also had a piece of pagach that evening that my family brought home. That Friday meal is likely higher in sodium than I eat all week. Saturday, I again resumed my normal routine and as you can see, my weight had settled back down come Sunday morning. Sadly, too many people “freak out” about these moments in time. What’s more important is the trend. Even with slight fluctuations throughout the week, I still trended down.
Next, I tracked my daily calories. My daily calorie goal is 2170. My coach often emphasizes that 5% +/- is a “perfect day.” Often times, I can plan well enough to land in and around my goal number, but I did have some outliers this week. I forgot to highlight the 2597, but in total, I had 3 days not fall within that 5%. One day, I was having an off moment where I had that low blood sugar feeling and opted to have a protein bar and that drove me up to 2361. Another day, I didn’t realize till the next morning that I forgot to have my last evening meal the night before and ended up under-eating for the day. I can’t believe I forgot to eat! The 2597 was my Friday where I had that unplanned piece of pagach.
The 2227 is my average caloric intake from the previous 6 days. (Wouldn’t my previous boss who knows I hated Excel be proud that I know how to do formulas now!) I like to share the averages with you to demonstrate how we should not dwell on the impact of any one day, but instead look at how we averaged out for the week. Too many people think all is lost when they have an off day. Even with some not-so-perfect days, I was still within 5% of my goal for the week.
Next, let’s take a look at my macros. I aim for about 160g of protein, 225g of carbs, and 70g of fat daily. Something else I am tracking as I strive to eat more vegetables is my fiber. In addition, a healthy recommendation for fiber intake for women is 25g so I made that my goal each day.
For protein, I was fairly spot on each day. The outlier was the day where I had the protein bar when not feeling well because it was all I had available at the moment.
Carbs, it’s the one thing I tend to end up low on! Hard to believe that this lover of carbs often somehow under-eats them! Some days I planned better than others
Fats were a bit on the high side. That Friday pizza and pagach set me a bit over. (Pizza is more fat than it is carbs and protein). I will make some tweaks in the upcoming week and share with you how I managed to do that ; )
A metric I am also following is my water intake. A good general goal is about 50% of your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. I wanted to strive for an even 100 oz to account for my activity day-to-day. I also know I enjoy a “generous” amount of coffee each day and wanted to offset any potential dehydration there.
For the most part, I hit that goal and then some except for one off-day. Again, an off day didn’t make-or-break me for the week as I still averaged out at 100+.
Another very important metric is my sleep. My absolute minimum that I strive for is 7 hours. I was able to successfully accomplish that this week. If I had the opportunity to sleep later (such as Saturday and Sunday) I did. I am trying to do more preparation in advance for my meals during the week. There are some meals that I prepare each morning that I am trying to do more in advance so that maybe I can sleep longer since I have less to do in the morning. My goal by the end of the month is to be getting more like 7.5 hours/night.
Some other metrics I am also following are staying within my scheduled times to workout. I do typically workout on Wednesday and rest Thursday, and I did have to switch that this week due to an important appointment that I had little say over on when I could schedule it. However, I still kept my Thursday workout within the desired time frame.
That 12-2pm time period is also important to me even on my rest days as I use that time to take care of administrative duties for the gym and do client programming.
Lastly, I am striving for some more regular outside time. I started with 5 minutes on Monday and have been adding a minute per day. Some days, to get that in, I walk over to the post office or the bank instead of drive. Others, I use that time to do a walking cool down after my workout. I try to as often as possible get in this time “device free” to allow my mind to rest a little. Saturday, it was nice enough to do the bulk of my workout outside, so that helped me bank 10+ minutes that day! Next Saturday, not as likely as the high will unfortunately be about half of what it was this past weekend.
Some early takeaways from being mindful of these metrics:
- I felt more productive this past week with my business. I still don’t have things 100% down pat as I still had to do more work each evening at home. Really trying to be able to get all of my work done at the gym versus bringing it home with me.
- I was able to poop each day this week! Exciting stuff, right?! Something I have often struggled with unless the stars aligned is being regular and I was glad to see that improve this week.
- I have experienced improvement with some aches and pains I was dealing with. ART therapy with Dr. David Havard also helped with that too!
- My workouts felt great for the most part! I had a slightly off day on Tuesday, but otherwise, had a lot of really good days!
I am excited to check back in with you next week as I share with you how I did in week 2!
I hope you have found this helpful and by all means if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!