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Lifestyle Challenge Week 1: What I learned

As we head into Lifestyle Challenge Week 2, I want to reflect just a bit on what I learned in Week 1; what stuck, what didn’t, and why?

NUTRITION: My nutrition goal is to make sure I eat well; that means eating a good balance of carbs and protein, paying particular attention to pre and post workout nutrition. 

What I learned: I rocked it during the week when I knew I had to go to the gym, or run. I was focused and planned my nutrition around my activities as well as I could. It was easy when I could follow my day to day routine. Things fell apart during the week when my schedule was disrupted due to a birthday celebration and a late night of work. The weekend was also hard because my workout routine was not scheduled, and Sunday was a planned rest day. I did not eat nearly enough on Sunday and went to bed feeling hungry, which meant waking up in the middle of the night with hunger pains.

What I’ll change this week: PLAN AHEAD! I need to make a contingency plan if my routine is disrupted. When I am stressed and hungry I find myself drinking more coffee, eating in front of my computer, and making poor food choices.

HYDRATION: My plan was to drink water with every meal, for a goal of 2-3L a day.

What I learned: Pretty much the same as above. As long as I had a water bottle with me-it was a constant reminder to drink water.It was much easier during the work week. It was not so easy on the weekend when I had to remind myself to drink water. Because I was not following an eating schedule, even my rule of drinking water with every meal didn’t seem to work.

What I’ll change this week: My new water 32 oz water bottle arrived, which means I can leave one at work and have one at home as well. My goal is to find a weekend routine that is flexible enough to make me feel like I am taking a break, but one that works to make sure I am getting the nutrition and hydration I need to recover from my week.

WORKING OUT: My goal was to make sure I took 1 complete rest day.

What I learned: This was not a problem this week, but could have been. Because I knew I needed a rest day, I overdid it a bit on Saturday. This will be an area of constant focus for me, but because my workout routine is such a habit, I do not need to create the habit to get started, which is a good thing.

What I’ll change this week: I am still conflicted over running 2 intervals per week and I am not sure it is what is best. I would like to try alternating hills with intervals or combining the two so that I can build my easy runs or spend more time snowshoeing.

MOBILITY: To add a second mobility session to my day.

What I learned: The second mobility session lasted two days. It was much harder than I thought it would be. I planned my second session right before bed time, which made it more difficult for me to fall asleep. It was the one night I did not sleep well (it may be coincidental, but maybe not).

What I’ll change this week: I am going to try to schedule my second mobility session when I get home from work-before dinner. 

SLEEP: My goal was to get 7-8 hours sleep a night; and I was hoping to sleep better, with fewer wake-ups during the night. 

What I learned:I had a great week of sleeping! I was surprised, because I have not been sleeping well. It could be due to my focus on eating better; it could also be because I was not on my phone right before lights out. The one night I did not sleep well I was doing mobility work right before bed. Another night I had to be on my computer for work in a  somewhat stressful situation, so I went to bed later than my usual time, with my mind completely stimulated, but I made the choice to read before turning out the light and I slept great. I also noticed I slept better when I ate a good dinner. I am pretty sure going to bed even slightly hungry causes me to wake up. Maybe it is psychological, but proper nutrition definitely seems to affect sleep.

What I’ll change this week: I am going to continue to pay attention to my nutrition, hydration  and my screen time, and try NOT to workout after dinner.

LIFESTYLE: The goal was to focus on 1 of 3 options: no screen time for an hour after waking up or within an hour of going to sleep; no screen time during meals. 

What I learned:I learned I love to start my day reading and writing which means I find it nearly impossible to wait an hour to use my devices for those purposes every day. Of course it is a habit, and I am trying to decide if I need to break the habit or not?  I did learn I have a bad habit of eating and being on my device at the same time-sometimes at home during dinner with my husband! I tried really hard not to do this, and caught myself a couple times mindlessly eating while standing at my counter at home. It was worse when I was stressed. This bad habit only seemed to be present during the work week. Leaving my phone downstairs at night helped prevent me from picking it up if I woke up during the night-which may have contributed to  amore restful night’s sleep.

What I’ll change this week: I am still going to focus on no screen time during eating. This is a biggie for me.

So there you have it! It was an awesome week. I love having a FOCUS and since my word of the year is FOCUS, I am hoping these four weeks will get me going on the right track in other areas of my life as well.

I am looking forward to LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE WEEK 2. This week focuses on how much sitting we do each day, and how we sit. And since I have just spent 40 minutes writing, you can see how the minutes add up during a day.




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