One step back

Surprisingly, through a fair bit of the start of the year my new years resolutions were all going well, especially for someone who doesn’t really do resolutions.  I was keeping up with a good diet and new recipes, regular exercise on the awesomeness that is the bike trainer, and lots of time resting and reading.  My finances were in order and I was spending a good deal more time with friends.  Work was going well, with everything getting done when it was supposed to and, wonder of all wonders, I was feeling on top of things.  In short, it was really quite lovely.

Pad Thai

And then, around three weeks ago, the assignments started coming in, followed closely thereafter by reading week.  In the throes of grading and the sudden relief of a week off, I let things slip pretty badly health-wise.  My diet went to hell.  I was more pressed for time than usual and I not only ate more carbs, but more soda and sweets, too.  I let my indoor bike rides tapered off a little, and thanks to some frigid, windy, and very icy weather, I all but ceased walking much more than is required to get to the bus stop.  Consequently, I felt gross, my energy dropped, and I started to put the five pounds that I had lost back on.  That’s pretty much where I am right now – after a few steps forward, I’ve definitely taken one back.

To be completely fair, it’s not all bad.  All things considered, I still feel good – happy, calm, and productive.  I’m sleeping well, getting my wok done, and fitting in time for things like cooking, reading, and spending time with friends, all of which really help to relax me.  I’m feeling far, far better this semester than I did last. That said, it troubles me that some of my healthier habits are the first to go when push comes to shove.  Unfortunately, I’m now heading into the part of the semester that is consistently busy and I’d like to get back into a routine that I’m better able to maintain through the busier times.  Work starts up again next week after this brief respite from the teaching part of my job.  With it comes another round of grading plus the usual course preparation and a series of teaching related meetings.  Then, there are papers to write, books to read, and talks to give.

In an effort to better manage my health, I’m going to take the last few days of reading week and try to establish some new, revised habits that I hope will carry into the rest of the semester.  I’m going to try out a few healthy breakfasts and lunches that I can prepare in batches ahead of time and start getting in a daily green smoothie.  I’m going to be better about getting in a bike ride earlier in the day, before I’m too tired, and try to build some extra walking into my routine.  I’m going to try planning easy meals ahead of time to remove some of the decision making process from the end of the day when I’m already tired and decisioned-out.  And I’m going to cut out the extra sugar cold turkey and focus a lot more on snacking on fruits and veggies and drinking water and tea.  It’s not a groundbreaking plan by any means, but it’s a plan all the same as well as a reminder of what I need to be doing to better care for myself.  I’m hopeful that it will help to get me back on track for the latter half of the semester, and all that comes along with it.

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