by Janice Marie Ferguson
I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than I can count. I have told myself that I will get back on it almost every Monday over the past two years. I get started, and then, by Wednesday, nothing has gone as planned for the week, and I’m right back off. I’ve fell off one hundred times since then.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in pretty good “shape,” and my weight isn’t out of control. But, I have certainly done some backsliding as of late. It happens to the best of us.
I’m happy (and afraid all at the same time) to report that I’ve been (relatively) back on the wagon for the past few weeks. My birthday is this Sunday, and I certainly plan to have some King Cake. Bavarian-filled, please. But, I’m still worried every day that I will fall off indefinitely again. Something always comes up. I’m always too busy, too stressed, too tired, too overwhelmed, too overcommitted. For example, I planned to do my workout at 3:30 pm today. But, several of my phone calls and meetings didn’t go as planned today. Story of my life. Same? Anyway, this “Love Letter” to our Bandits about how to “Get Back on the Wagon” has been on my “Should Do” list for almost a month. Pot, meet Kettle.
Side note: Ever heard of the MoSCoW method: Must Do, Should Do, Could Do, Would Do? For the short version, you basically categorize all your tasks into priorities based on importance. Read more about that here: http://bit.ly/2qUtPc8. Or here: http://bit.ly/2mfH7Kt . You simply assign a letter to each task you have to do on a project, or for your daily “To Do” list. M, S, C, W.
For some reason this “Should Do” just hasn’t been able to graduate to the “Must Do” list. In fact, there’s a lot of “To Dos” of mine who have drowned in the sea of Should Dos and Could Dos. My workout and food prep have been relegated to the daily Could Do list for these past two years. I never utilize the Would Do, as the MoSCoW method suggests, but that’s probably a better description of where I have categorized those items, to be honest. Thinking back, it all started with ordering pizza, because it was fast and convenient, when we painted the new gym in 2016. I was tired and hungry. And I honestly did not care. Such a shame for a fitness professional to admit. But, I’m human, too. I put my pants on one leg at a time just like the next guy. And frankly, I’m in a fight right now to get my fitness and nutrition back to the “Must Do” list. And, I want you to fight with me, too.
I can’t make this long, because I only have 20 more minutes before I miss the absolute drop dead window that will leave me enough time to fit in my workout today. Thank goodness I’m currently “relatively” on the wagon, and I already have half of my dinner prepped for when I get home tonight. But, before I go train, I wanted to leave you with some of the top strategies I’ve been using to help me get back on the wagon and stay there:
1) I signed up for something that I knew I would have to prioritize my training and fitness to succeed at. That thing is the Barkley Fall Classic. No, it’s not the Big Barkley, from the film: Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. But, it’s on the same course. Only one lap. And no books. It’s in Tennessee, and it’s this September. It’s a “50k” through Frozen Head State Park. Last year it was advertised there was only a 37% finish rate. So, I have to train. Or, I’ll give CrossFit a bad name. All the people who like to jank on CrossFitters will relish the thought that a CrossFitter failed at something. So, lesson #1, if you’re like me, you work well when you have something to prove, or when you have a chip on your shoulder. Find that thing that makes you want to go the extra mile to prove yourself. Pride and ego are powerful emotions that can help you succeed against great odds—just have to remember to stay humble and kind along the way.
2) Make a Grocery Menu for the week AND STICK TO IT!! Decide ahead of time each night what you will have for supper. Plan around evening actitivies you have. If you know that you have soccer or trivia night, plan an easy crock pot meal. (Make sure the meals are HEALTHY!! And also include a good balance of the macros: carbs, protein, fat. We use the “plate method” at Bandit CrossFit. It saves so much time and helps you to make sure you are getting close to your proper macros without having to weigh and measure. If you want to know more about that send me a message: [email protected].
3) USE WALMART GROCERY PICKUP!! I can’t emphasize this enough. My routine has now become the following:
1. Sometime on Thursday or Friday: make menu and plan grocery list.
2. Friday: shop for items on walmartgrocery.com. Choose a day and time on Saturday that I can swing by and get them
3. Saturday: pick groceries up and put them away.
4. Sunday: prep food.
If you spend several hours in the week watching Netflix, or browsing social media, you can certainly schedule in some time to make this happen. This whole process takes about an hour of my time in total. I know it means you have to plan ahead. But, planning is the key to staying on the wagon.
4) You must choose yourself. Just like the flight attendant’s instructions: you must put on your own air mask before you can help others. Every week, we make many choices. I have made choices over the years to put myself exactly where I am. I’m not a victim. I did this. I know that sometimes I’m a little too overzealous, and don’t truly consider the unintended side effects of taking on too many responsibilities. And, until my youngest graduates high school in 2019, I will probably continue to take on responsibilities related to high school #momlife that I know will bog me down. But, my kids are my priority in life. So, those responsibilities don’t bother me so much as the ones that are completely non-essential to my value systems. I have been working really hard these past six months to rid myself of some extra burdens that no longer serve me, our gym, or my family, and friends. Many of these burdens are things that will take some time to get myself out of. This didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t get better overnight, either. But, I’m being patient and not giving up on myself.
5) Try the MoSCoW method to prioritize your daily tasks. It really helps you get the most important things done on a daily basis. But, in order for this to work, you have to assess your “To Do” list every day, and then stick to the way you categorized your list. It only takes a couple minutes. After some time, you will start to chip away at all of the things on your plate, and get your life back to a more manageable load of “To Dos.” Just make sure to put an “M” for MUST next to your nutrition and training tasks for the day!
If you struggle, surround yourself with positive and understanding people. Also, make sure some of those people love you enough to call you out on your B.S., and will hold you accountable to what you are trying to accomplish. If you need to get set on the right path, schedule a free fitness or nutrition consult appointment with me here: FREE FITNESS CONSULT
I’m here to listen, and to help you set goals and stay on the wagon for 2018! We’ll do it together!