I had lots of interesting conversation with people while I was away, so my wheels have been turning. One was with a friend who was underemployed last year. He spent his ample free time lifting at the gym and getting buff. Really. He looked very buff. He looked good. I'm a happily married woman so I won't say anymore.
A few months ago, he got a job. Yay! So now he's busy and not going to the gym and he's not as buff. And really, he never liked going to the gym and thought lifting was boring. (I'm inclined to agree.) Anyway, the point is, now he's kind of depressed because he's lost some of his buffness.
I could relate to my friend. Rewind about twenty years and I was unemployed and living with my parents after college. I spent my days looking for a job and/or a way to live in Europe, helping with chores, eating lots of vegetables and working out.
For two hours a day.
I like working out, so two hours a day of it was actually fun for me. And let me tell you--I looked good. Really good. I kind of amazed myself by how good I looked. Why didn't I take a picture??? Argh! Didn't I know I was going to be a blogger one day? Oh yeah... blogs didn't exist yet.
Anyway, did I mention I was twenty-two? Did I mention that was a long time ago? I'm sure that helped.
After a couple of months I found a job (yay!) and moved back to New York. I couldn't workout two hours a day anymore. And I had a friend who worked at the Starbucks at 78th and 2nd and he brought me treats at the end of the day. So... um... after a few months of that, I didn't look quite so good anymore. I'm sure I looked fine (remember... twenty-two), but not as good as before.
And I was depressed about it. For a long time. I thought back wistfully to my former hotness, which was no longer attainable now that I had a life. My hotness workout and eating routine was not sustainable.
And that brings me to my point--I know, so early in the post!
Your routines need to be sustainable.
I can't tell you how many women I know get really fired up about looking good for their weddings. Of course, every bride wants to look good for her wedding and this is totally normal, but some women really make a career out of it. Places like Pure Barre even have specials for brides. 'Pure Bride' gives you unlimited classes for a couple of months at a relatively low price, which is super and kind of makes me think the Darling Husband and I should renew our vows so I could take advantage of it.
|Highly recommend a-line cut--covers a multitude of pre-wedding indulgences|
But a lot of women find these no-holds-barred-on-the-road-to-hotness routines--you guessed it--unsustainable. I know lots of women who look at their wedding pictures for the rest of their lives and feel wistful at how hot they were on their wedding days... and some even feel a little depressed about it. I wasn't uber hot at my wedding and so I can look at the pictures without feeling depressed and boy, am I thankful. Way to look at life as glass-half-full, no?
So I told my friend, 'you need to find something sustainable... something that works for you. Something you like, or at least, don't mind, so you'll DO IT. Regularly.' I preached a little sermon and now I'm sure he feels better. Fer shur.
But really, you can't always workout two hours a day. You can't always afford a gym or classes. Life happens. You get a job. You have a baby. You get injured or sick. You want to eat differently... or more. Or you just don't like that 'really effective workout' that makes you look hot but you dread it and never really want to do it, so eventually you give up because really? Who wants to live like that? I don't.
So here are my tips:
- Find some movement you enjoy, or at least, don't mind. Something you can do everyday. Or at least, most days.
- If you stop liking it, change it up. I really think exercise should be enjoyable... or at least, not dread-worthy. If you're hating your workout, do something else. There's more than one way to workout. Try something new.
- Follow an 80/20 eating plan. By this I mean eat healthy foods that agree with you 80% of the time. Then loosen up. I just spent some time with some old friends. The husband said, "Everything in moderation... including moderation." Sometimes you go on a bit of a bender. There are feast days. Enjoy them! Then go back to your regular healthy diet.
- Be flexible. Develop a plan for dealing with curve balls. Because mark my words: they're coming. A life without curve balls is not a life worth living. Stuff is going to happen to derail your type-A plans. Keep plan B in your back pocket.
So that's all I have to say about that. I kind of lost my blogging mojo while I was away, but I realized I just have to get back in the saddle. Blogging. It's like the rest of life--it needs to be sustainable.