(wo)man on the run: what do you see in the rearview mirror?

I don’t have time to write this blog post. I spent 2+ hours in a car today carting around a 3 year old, she had to pee during rush hour traffic which lead to pulling over for a 45 minute potty/pick- up-a-few-things stop at CVS where we ended up in serious negotiations over nail polish and gummy worms which ended in a lay-down-in-the-middle-of-the-aisle stonewall (well played, chica…why didn’t i think of that?). I spent the other part of the day in meetings, which means the real work comes home with me, I haven’t exercised yet but have identified a free hour between 9p and 10pm (UGH!), 50% of today’s to-do list will be transferred to tomorrow’s, I have to check my twitter because information overload awaits me, how can I have 25 emails I just checked 2 hours ago, I accidentally threw laundry in the kitchen garbage can, dammit we’re out of toilet paper and I JUST got back from CVS, do noodles qualify as dinner?

Where the hell is Jane, I need her to stop this crazy thing.

Sound familiar?

Why does life feel like a merry-go-round operated by a guy who just shotgunned 10 Red Bulls? Why do I feel like I just shotgunned 10 Red Bulls?  Maybe I really should shotgun 10 Red Bulls. Hmm…

Are we running too fast? In our hurries to get somewhere, everywhere and nowhere, what are we leaving behind? Let’s take a second (collective deep breath) and do a pain-free (hopefully) glance into the rearview mirror to see what we have left in the dust.

What’s in your rearview?  No time for a healthy diet? No time to shop for healthy food?  No time for exercise?  No time to relax?  No time for fun?  We often leave these things behind when “life happens” and then find it nearly impossible to work them back in.  The #1 reason people state for being unable to exercise or follow a weight loss plan is “I don’t have time.” Is this an excuse?  Maybe so, but so what, excuses are reasons. They help us understand our challenges.  It’s very true, you may NOT have time.  The problem isn’t you, it’s your life.  Mine too. I have spent every phase of my life looking forward to the next phase, because I would finally be through a challenge, have something accomplished that would finally allow me to have MORE control over my time (e.g., school will be done, kids will be older, got a job, making more money than before, etc etc).  I have come to find that the opposite has occurred.  I don’t have more time, I have less.  None of us is getting less busy, nor will we.  What to do?

The funny thing is that having no time is a perception. The reality is all we really have is time.  Really think about that.  It isn’t so much about the amount of time we have, but how we have chosen to allocate all the time we’ve been given, some 80+ years.  Sometimes we carefully select how we want to spend our time, other times, it just sort of happens, something needs to be done, we do it, and then time slips away.   The key is how to get control over your time so that you can reclaim the amount of time that you need to stay healthy. If you aren’t making time for a healthy lifestyle, then the simple truth is:  you are killing yourself. Sorry for the drama bomb, but I believe it to be true.

I’ll be honest, I like my rollercoaster fast, so I’m not going to tell you to slow yours down. That being said, we do need to make sure a few things have a permanent place on the agenda. Exercise, healthy eating, good sleep, and good fun are nonnegotiables. It is absolutely essential to do a PRE-mortem of your life to figure out what you can give up so that you can keep yourself healthy.  The stronger, fitter, and healthier you are, the more effective and productive you will be. This I can promise you. Schedule the activities necessary to accomplish good health just as you would schedule anything else that is important in your life. Then guard that schedule with your life.  Because that schedule? It is your life.

So back to my original question… The answer is NO, noodles do not qualify as dinner, so throw a bag of frozen veggies on them and a quick sprinkle of low fat shredded cheese and whole wheat bread crumbs.  I could also use to defuse, so plan is to hop on the treadmill for American Idol, the deal is I can go as fast or slow as I want, as long as I’m on there.  Afterwards…I will feel soooo much better. How do I know? Because it happens EVERY time.

When healthy lifestyle slips off the wild ride, it’s time for a U-turn. Otherwise you will be going too fast for your own good.

Take it from a shrink, there’s a healthy way to be damn crazy.


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  1. Mike b says:

    This one hits home sherry. I often find myself having worked 50 hours by the end of Thursday and it’s easy to let the hard stuf slide(diet, exercise) but if I have learned anything over the past few years it’s that doing the hard stuff makes it easier for my body to get through the long days. So get up early, or go out late and exercise because like you said you WILL feel better. And I don’t buy busy is an excuse or reason for bad diet. You have tought me that there are almost always healthy choices around. Like today when I was in the car for 4 hours and told you I was getting munchy, you told me to get some carrots, I got off the next exit went to a store and got a bag of baby carrots. It took me 10 min. To do. My body thanks you for the advice. KEEP IT UP!!

  2. Jess says:

    Well said. Your blogs have helped me realize that I need to stop making excuses that prevent me from making healthy decisions. Since I’ve been following, you have motivated me to figure out a way to fit in regular exercise and it has lasted for two months! That is a lot for me since I have never really exercised regularly. I actually look forward to my exercise days instead of dreading them. I feel good about myself, my health, and sanity and I feel like I am setting a good example for my family. My health is a priority in my life, I forget that sometimes being a Mommy. THANKS!!!

  3. Barb, RN says:

    I found another reason to make time for exercise. Dr. Paul Bhella recently explained his research on the effects of exercise on the heart. According to him “those who exercised 4 to 5 times a week were able to maintain youthful heart mass.If you exercised 6 to 7 times a week throughout your adult life, your heart has the elasticity of when you were a young person.”
    So if you want to be young at heart and help yourself to relieve stress,regular exercise can help. A glass of red wine helps too. That was my suggestion, so raise your glass.

  4. I absolutely adore this post. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from my friends, “I just don’t have time.” It kills me, because what I know they are really saying is, “I have no desire.” or “I really don’t care.” Having no time is not an excuse…especially when these same people have time to go out to happy hour, go to a concert and stay out ’til 2AM, or go eat Mexican two times a week. I know in their hearts they really mean, I hate exercise, its hard, and I’m lazy.” I just wish I could get them to care more. I have tried in the most supportive ways possible to encourage them to eat healthier, stop smoking, and get more exercise. But I have also learned that a person will not change unless they want to do so for himself/herself. Until then, I’ll just try to keep leading by example. Hope it works eventually!

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