Monday, May 6, 2013

It's all in the prep work...

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
- Benjamin Franklin

Someone once asked me what some of the things I did that helped me contribute to my "success" in this little journey into a healthy lifestyle that I have embarked on.  Yesterday, in my sour, non-endorphin-rich bad attitude, I complained that people seemed to keep asking me what my "secret" was to all of this and I think I've found a better answer than understanding that this journey and weight-loss takes time.

It's PREPARING.  By boy scouting the CRAP out of every day - ie. always being prepared.


It's understanding yourself - especially your weaknesses and struggles and PREPARING to head that off.  It's knowing yourself enough to be able to HELP yourself succeed.

I knew my very first problem seven months ago was that I LOVED eating out at restaurants.  One of the main reasons (besides just loving deliciously salty, fatty, greasy food) was that I didn't like to cook.  I didn't have time to cook.  Or I didn't know how to cook.  So every day, day in and day out, we ate out.  Breakfast was a trip through a drive-thru, lunch was a quick jaunt to a fast-food joint, dinner was waiting to be seated at whatever restaurant we didn't eat at the night before.

So by knowing and acknowledging that this was a weakness and a problem for me, I had to find a way to change that.  First, it was just cutting out going out for breakfast.  I would bring cereal instead.  But the biggest one was cooking at home.  At the beginning (heck, who am I kidding, this is still happening currently) I had a very small food repertoire.  Baked chicken breast.  It was easy to prepare from frozen - toss on a baking sheet, cover with spices and cover with foil.  Bake and let cook and voila! Lunches and dinners ready for the next week!

And that's kind of just the tip of the iceberg for meal prep.  It's a good start, but for me, it pretty much spills over into everything else in my life and that again goes back to knowing myself and understanding my tendencies.

For pretty much anyone who knows me, I am known for always being late more often than I'm not.  I like to stay up and then sleep in and then regardless of time, I take quite a bit to wake up and get going.  I tend to putter around in the morning.  I know this and I guess I could just tell myself to stop it, but as I'm essentially a very lazy person, I'd rather find ways to work around this than lose an hour of sleep by waking up early - or viewing it from the other way, lose an hour of day by going to bed early.

Instead, I try to get things done the night before so I can continue on with my morning getting ready for work mad dash.  I like it - it adds an element of urgency to the day.  Makes things exciting.  I like to live on the edge like that.

So getting things ready the night before.  Some nights are more successful than others.  A lot of times, my lateness usually stems from never knowing or being able to decide what to wear, so to help out with that, I like to lay out my clothes the night before.  Or at the very least, knowing exactly what it is that I am going to wear - and then knowing exactly where those clothes are.  Nothing slows me down more than having an idea of what I'd like to wear and then realizing that the pieces are in the hamper or worse, having no idea where it is at all.  Then I pretty much go ahead and lose it and have epic temper tantrums instead where I throw all my clothes around everywhere trying to hunt down this "piece" and then ending up just sniffing something up from the floor and going with that while being grumpy for the rest of the day - and possibly smelly.  Yeah. That happens.  Isn't that why they invented Febreze?  No, that's just me?

It's also having my gym bag by the door and ready to go.  It's checking that I have EVERY single thing that I could possibly need so I don't have a moment of "oh NO! I can't POSSIBLY work out if I don't have *insert item here*".  I know myself well enough to know that I'm inclined to grasp at ANY excuse or possibility that I don't have to work out.  Yes, that's the other secret now that I think about it.   It's actually working out anyway even when you'd rather roll around in your own vomit if given the choice.  Wow, that was a vivid and awful comparison.  Still pretty accurate though...

It's making sure my gym bag is packed with two workout outfits (because heaven forbid it will be time to work out and I don't feel like wearing the one outfit I pack.  I head that off by putting in TWO outfits that are usually also mix and match so essentially I have FOUR outfits to choose from - HA! In your face lazy Catherine!).  It's making sure I have my shoes, my Nike sensor, my heart rate monitor/chest strap, both WearLinks, an extra chest strap, my wireless headphones, wired headphones in case I forget to charge the wireless ones, having my Spi belt, deodorant, whatever, whatever, whatever.  Anything I could possibly ever thing I would need for whatever workout it is I have lined up for the next day.  It's making sure I have everything I need to make sure I take away any option to NOT workout or give myself the best possible attitude/outlook on a work out.  It's making like Santa and checking it all twice!

I speak of all this in the most ideal sense.  Some evenings and some mornings, none of this actually happens or I just go on a bender where obviously the world hates me and I can't find anything or nothing is clean or blah blah blah.  Sometimes the nights before and the mornings of don't always look like this, but I think I'm fortunate enough that it does more often than not.  When you fall into the habit of getting everything ready, you start to really like the feeling of having a morning that goes by seamlessly without having to run around turning every piece of furniture over looking for a sock or a shirt or a WearLink - even when forget to set your alarm and you stumble out of bed at 7:55 am and you know your ride is almost about to roll up.  A little bit of extra effort the night before makes it all pretty worth it.   Especially after the endorphins kick in post-workout and you're really glad that you were ready to go so that no matter how you're feeling the morning of, you are still able to get your workout in and everything is all lovely and full of sparkles and rainbows and sunshine-y daisies. 

So that's pretty much a few of the things I do to get ready for the next day...

What do you do?

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