I’ve posted previously of how much I’ve been loving this life of self isolation that I have found myself living. There has been no rushing around and quite a bit of relaxation. A bit too much relaxation, really. I’ve still been exercising, and have done some form of exercise every day. I’ve spent a few hours in the garden each day, getting jobs crossed off the long list, which isn’t a chore for me. I love it, and the heavy work is good exercise. As for formal exercise, that has mostly been strength training and walking, with a bit of cycling on the rail trail. Even though the type of exercise I’ve been doing, is very much the same as before self isolating, the intensity has definitely decreased. I put this down to a few things:
- Needing to take time out after feeling stressed at work in the early days of corona virus. I knew at the time that I was stressed, but I didn’t realise just how stressed I was, until I stepped away. As a result, I decided, that just for a change, I would be kind to myself and just accept how I was feeling on any given day without putting any pressure on myself.
- I have definitely been eating more in isolation. There hasn’t just been more food, there has been more unhealthy food than usual. An unhealthy diet makes me feel sluggish after a while, and less inclined to exercise.
- I seem to have been constantly recovering from injury for two years. That leaves me feeling frustrated and exhausted at the thought of a vigorous exercise session.
- Thinking about the future has taken my focus from what I should be doing. My mind seems to have been in overdrive during isolation. I’ve stepped away from work for the moment, and am really not sure whether or not I will return. The past few weeks have given me an opportunity to try out retirement and I have to say that, so far, I am loving it. I need to make a decision soon, so while my mind is taken up with this constantly, it’s less taken up with the things that I should be thinking about or that I enjoy thinking about.
- Because I have more time available, it’s not as necessary to plan every spare hour. As a result, some days seem to have flown by with not much being achieved.
Having said all that, I have decided that it’s time now for me to get back to a healthier way of living which includes exercise and nutrition. I’ve had fun relaxing over the past few weeks, but it’s time now to rethink how I want to live my life. This doesn’t mean that I can’t still have fun, and have down time and relaxation. I’m sure that I can do all of these things without compromising my values. Lately, I haven’t been truly living my values and that leaves me feeling uneasy.
- Exercise – I’ve come to realise that my exercise sessions are more effective with a plan. I need to start scheduling my sessions into my calendar as I did in the past. Also, I need to go back to having each session planned out in my gym journal. This way, I know on any given day when my session is, and what type of session it will be, including the actual exercises to be included.
- Nutrition – I know from previous experience over many years that I need to plan my nutrition. By that I mean, plan what I will be eating for the week and do food prep at the beginning of the week.
From today, Monday 25 May 2020, I intend to do as I have done in the past and follow my exercise and nutrition plans, so I have made my plan for this week.
In the past, I’ve always taken time on Sunday night to plan the week, but this has definitely gone out the window lately. Today I was listening to The You Project which is a podcast by Craig Harper that I listen to, and would recommend. A few days ago, Craig suggested that to get back on track, try using a food diary. Over the years, I’ve used a food diary many times, both an actual journal, and online diaries. I know that they are effective, but usually, I fill them in for a few days and toss it aside when I quickly become bored.
An honest food diary causes discipline, and helps to create new habits. It always gives an increased awareness of what’s really happening. Without a food diary, it’s so easy to forget that piece of chocolate cake or that yummy dessert and wonder why the kilos aren’t dropping off. That’s my experience anyway.
Craig Harper has put out a challenge for anyone who would like to make changes to make a commitment to use a food diary for 100 days. 100 days! This will be a huge challenge for me, but I plan to take it on, and today is Day 1. Just for fun, I’m going to call my challenge The “100 Days of Healthy Eating Challenge” The food diary could be called a life diary, as I will be recording, food, exercise, sleep, how I’m feeling, what went right in the day and what went wrong. Anything else that comes up during the day can be recorded.
The challenge for me will be sticking to the food diary for the entire 100 days. I know that’s going to be difficult but I’m prepared to take on the challenge and do what needs to be done to make it work. I intend to fill in my food diary each night, for the next day, and tick it off during the day. Any changes and unintended extras will be added. In the past, when following a food diary, I would often omit the unintended or unscheduled foods and forget them immediately. I’m commuting to be totally honest with the recording of my food and exercise.
I’m going to use MyFitnessPal as my food and exercise diary. I’ve used it on and off for years, and am very familiar with it, and I know it works for me. I did think of using a book journal which I love the idea of, but past experience tells me that I get tired of actual writing, and then quickly give it up. I think if you’re about to choose a food diary, you’re best to go with what you know will work for you. The My Fitness Pal app has a place to put in food notes or exercise notes, so I will be able to record the other things about my day, other than the hard facts. I have promised myself that I will record my treats.
This might sound like some kind of hell to some people, but I know from experience that when my exercise and nutrition are spot on, I feel much better about myself and within myself. After a few weeks of relative R&R, I’m ready and happy to get back to my old ways.
Have you used a food diary either in book form or online? Do you enjoy the process of daily recording or does it become a bit of a chore? Please feel free to join me if you think this is something that you’d like to do. I’d love to hear you comments and promise to reply to all.
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