Getting in Shape

Where do I find the time and energy?

Hi ladies! So I have an issue. I need to go down 2 dress sizes for my dress. I always have the option of switching out the back zipper closure for a ribbon wrap up closure which is fine but I need to lose the weight I've gain since starting my full time office job. I need help finding time to work out again. I've gained a total of 20 lbs since high school (24 now) and it's not good on a 5' 1'' frame. I currently weigh 145 lbs. I'm a vegetarian and try to eat healthy. My weakness is my strong as hell sweet tooth. I work about 1 hr 20 mins from home. I love working out but can't find the mental energy and time. Here's my schedule:

Monday-Friday:
Wake up at 6, make breakfast, get ready for work
Leave for work a little after 7 and drive 1 hr 20 min commute 
Work from 8:30-5:30 (sometimes 6). Have 1 hour lunch but can't usually get away from my office to do anything physical. 
Arrive at home a little after 7pm
Make dinner because I'm hungry, baby!
Work on my online vintage shop that I own, house work, or quality time with my FI (he and I have very diff. schedules since he's a full time college student)
Sleep by 11

I don't like the idea of working out after I get home because a couple of reasons: I'm hungry when I get home and exercise wakes me up which isn't good for when I need to go to sleep in a couple of hours.

Am I doomed to having to wake up even earlier? I thought about hiring a fitness trainer because I need the accountability but I'm saving all of my extra money for the wedding. 

Any advice?

Re: Where do I find the time and energy?

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You need to make yourself a priority.  Use that one hour lunch break and go for a walk.  I understand that sometimes work gets in the way, but they give you that lunch break so use it.

    I know you don't want to workout after work but unless you want to get up at 5am every morning, I suggest you make an effort to get at least 30 minutes of something in after work.  Pack a healthy snack to eat on your way home from work so you aren't starving when you get home.  Get some workout DVDs, or watch some videos on YouTube.  Look on Pinterest for some quick, at home workouts that you can do.  Schedule your workout into your day like you would schedule a meeting or an appointment.  Stick it on your calendar.  Set a reminder on your phone.  Have your FI keep you accountable.

    But a big thing that you need focus on is your eating.  Watch your portion sizes.  I am not one to remove things from my diet but rather just keep a close eye on what I am eating.  If I want pizza I will have a large salad before and then limit myself to one and a half slices.  If I want pasta I will eat only the portion size but then add in some chicken and veggies to help make a substantial meal, but a healthy one.  My Fitness Pal is a great way to start.  It will help you to realize just how much you are eating and places that you should make cuts or substitutions.

    Trust me, it is hard to get started (I am at that point right now...again) but once you get into a routine (which takes about 2-3 weeks) you will actually want to keep it up and look forward to that walk during lunch and that 30 minute workout when you get home.

    vikinganna87
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Commit to working out on every Saturday and Sunday.

    I current do Insanity. I like those workouts because they are fast (30 ish minutes) but they are intense.

    Can you pack a snack to eat in the car so you arent starving when you get home?

    If you really want to start taking care of yourself, you might want to start looking for a job closer to home, or moving.

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    vikinganna87
  • Thank you ladies for your advice. I'm currently looking for a job that's closer to home. The commute has been fun but I'm over it, haha. We can't move closer to my job because of my FI's location to school. He only has one semester left and then we're planning to move to a different state by the end of next summer so no point in looking for a closer apartment to my work or breaking the lease. 

    I like the idea of taking weekend classes. I usually reserve my weekends for my vintage shop but I've got to make this a priority. It is important too. I'm going to look at late morning classes for the weekend and pack snacks in my car. If I pack some snacks for my ride home and work out half hour, I think this might just work. 

    I've tried the Fitness Pal apps for months but I never say any progress. I would eat very well and stay within my calorie range but the weight nor inches never came off which is why I realized that maybe I'm just sitting on my butt too much. 
    vikinganna87
  • I would recommend meal prepping too. I noticed that when I took the time to prepare my lunches & dinners for the week, it was way easier to stay on track. Skinnytaste has a great turkey chili that makes a lot- I use that for my winter meals quite often. 

    I commuted 45 min each way last year, and it was so hard to go to the gym as much as I wanted. Hoping you get a job closer to home! 

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Can you find a gym near your job? That way you could squeeze in a work out either right before work or during lunch. 

    KatieinBklnmissxasia
  • Can you maybe workout with your FI? It doesn't have to be intense, I have been steadily losing weight from just briskly taking my puppy for a walk for 30 minutes at a time. 




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  • It sucks (I know, because I do it) but the easiest thing to do may be to get up at 5/5:30 and work out at home. Even if it's just a 30 min workout DVD.

    Also, don't forget that your weight loss is going to be about 80-90% diet. Vegetarian doesn't necessarily = healthy. Portion control in particular is going to be key, along with making sure you're making smart choices (salads and whole grain sandwiches instead of frozen meals and pizza, that kind of thing). I also echo the recommendations for My Fitness Pal or a similar app. I'm on Weight Watchers and the app is crucial to keeping me on track. If you haven't tracked your food recently, there are definitely some things in your diet that are going to surprise you as far as the amount of calories, fat, etc.

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    amelisha
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    It sucks (I know, because I do it) but the easiest thing to do may be to get up at 5/5:30 and work out at home. Even if it's just a 30 min workout DVD.

    Also, don't forget that your weight loss is going to be about 80-90% diet. Vegetarian doesn't necessarily = healthy. Portion control in particular is going to be key, along with making sure you're making smart choices (salads and whole grain sandwiches instead of frozen meals and pizza, that kind of thing). I also echo the recommendations for My Fitness Pal or a similar app. I'm on Weight Watchers and the app is crucial to keeping me on track. If you haven't tracked your food recently, there are definitely some things in your diet that are going to surprise you as far as the amount of calories, fat, etc.

    This. If you're not weighing (solids) and measuring (liquids) your food - all of it, but especially dense stuff like peanut butter, cooking oil, cheese - then you can easily be taking in 50% more calories than you think, and that will completely wipe out any deficit you've made from working out. You're not tall or heavy so you have a lot less room for error than bigger people do and it is SO EASY to eat an extra few hundred calories a day and have no idea if you're not weighing absolutely everything. Accurate calorie counting (including the stuff like oil to sauté vegetables and cream in your coffee) is what is going to make the difference for weight loss. You cannot out-exercise your diet if you're eating as much as you're burning in a day.

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  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary

    I, too, hate to wake up early. My workouts cause me to wake up at 6...15 and that's plenty early for me.


    But I agree with PPs that the key here is time management: I love the idea of finding a gym near work, so you can pop in for a quick workout right after you leave. I love the idea of 30-minute workout dvds. In general, people who are short on time should be looking at high intensity workouts (keywords: HIIT, Tabata, intervals). Short bursts of intense movements at a sprint pace can get you fit in a fraction of the time (some info to get you started: http://www.self.com/flash/fitness-blog/2013/05/fitness-tabata-burns-13-calories-per-minute).

    I have also heard great things about Bodyrock.tv which has free 15-minute workouts that you can stream on your laptop/tablet/whatever screen you want.

    I LOVE doing this kind of workout--it's so fast that you're done almost by the time you begin, and I really do feel awesome and energized afterward. I feel like a fucking infomercial.

    Good luck! I know this shit ain't easy (she said, thinking back on her Christmas week full of cookies, grandma food, and more cookies).

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    This baby knows exactly how I feel
  • Another idea - if you prefer working out in the evenings to 5am (I know I do!) then bring a healthy but high-energy snack to work and eat it around 4pm. Then you can work out immediately when you get home and then do dinner after that, without worrying about feeling starved. This will also help in keeping dinner portion control in check if you aren't ravenously hungry when you get home. I've been using this strategy for a while and it works for me! I usually have a granola bar, fruit, or yogurt... and a large glass of water.

    It's always hard when you first change your routine, but once you get into the swing of things then it starts feeling natural. Have fun!
  • porkchops926porkchops926 Cape Cod member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I had almost the exact same issue. I worked about 1 hr 15 min from home for 5 years. I got up at 5:30 every day, left for work by 7, came home at 7:30 because I worked 10 hour days. 

    The downside: If you are really serious about fitting exercise in then I think your best bet is to fit it in both days on the weekend, and then 3 days during the week. That way you get the recommended 5 days in but don't have to do it EVERY day during your work week. I completely understand that you have other things that you want to make a priority, but losing weight is about making a lot of changes and sacrifices that let's be honest, most of us don't want to do. Waking up a half hour earlier will enable you to fit in a decent workout, and after about a week of doing it you'll be used to it. For me I would rather do it right when I got home, but I get that it's not right for you. 

    The upside: 80% of weight loss is diet. Exercise helps build muscle and kickstart your metabolism but the real nitty gritty of everything is diet. Having an office job like many of us do makes it even harder because we're not moving. I would seriously consider logging your calorie intake. I didn't think I ate that much and usually stuck to salads for dinner but I was surprised when I calculated the whole thing how much the salads were when you add in dressing and all the extras. I think the absolute best thing you can do to help jumpstart weight loss is to eat smaller meals and supplement with healthy snacks (handful of nuts, raw fruit) in between. This keeps the metabolism burning all day and you'll actually feel leaner. 

    Sorry this is so long. I'm actually going through the same process so I just thought I'd share my plan because it's working.
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  • Believe it or not, working out is only 10% of the equation. Eating clean, healthy foods is 80%, and the other 10% is your genetics. You're best bet is to fit in what workouts you can, and be super focused on the foods you're eating. Make sure you're eating 3 small, healthy meals and 2 small snacks, eating every 2-3 1/2 hours. For the sweet tooth, freeze bananas, and when your sweet tooth strikes, put one in a blender with a little almond milk and it turns into a banana soft serve (I add a few extra dark chocolate chunks in after I blend it up, too).
  • Hi ladies, thank you for all of your wonderful advice! I have some good news. My work is starting a 4 day 10 hour schedule so I'm going to take it. It'll start sometime this month. I like this because that means not only one less day of commuting a week (saving that gas money!) but it also means I have another full day to hit the gym without work getting in my way. I joined my local Y and went to my first Zumba class today. I used to dance in high school and did a little Zumba with the Wii Fit but there's nothing better than doing it in class. I have a great time and can't wait to go back. 

    I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and have used for for a couple of days, so far so good. I'm looking to see what other classes there are at the Y to do during the week because working out at home is not good for me. I've tried it many times and I lose motivation quick if I'm by myself. 

    Thanks again and cheers to a healthier year!
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