Straight talk: You cannot be a victim to your choices.
I hear a lot of excuses when it comes to health, exercise and wanting to reshape your body.
Two big ones being:
1. I don’t have time to go to the gym
2. I don’t have time to prepare food
Now, first up. I am not saying that you don't have to spend your time or your money any differently in how you currently are. What I'm saying is that if you continue to say 'I wish I could/ was ... XYZ' but you 'don't have the time' then I'm twalkin' to you!
When I hear someone claim that they feel unhappy with their bod or energy, for whatever reason, but then exclaim they don't have time to make their lunch for work or get in a 30 min walk each day, but somehow managed to watch Dawson’s Creek episodes back to back over the weekend, it leaves me wondering what is actually important to them.
It is very real that we DO have time but we’re just not prioritising it in our lives. And that is fine. It’s fine! But you cannot be a victim to those choices to decide to watch Netflix over going for a walk or preparing your lunch the next day if you continue to say you’re unhappy with your body shape, your energy, your mood, your health ...
You just can’t.
I get that sometimes we are are literally back to back with alll the things and there actually is just. No. Time.
I don’t have children but when I think about my own mother, when I was growing up, whew – that gal just crushed it. She was up with the birds every morning, organising us kids, running a hospitality business that was extremely demanding and needed her day and night, picking us up from swimming, dancing, cricket, soccer … I can’t tell you the amount of speeding tickets she got and the amount of times she forget to pick me up from school.
But, what we need to do in these phases of our life is to have acceptance for that. That this season we are in is just what it is. And in times like these we need to figure out where we draw the line in the sand for what is manageable for us to do the bare minimum to still move the needle forward or maintain where we’re at when it comes to our health and movement. That may look like two workouts a week vs five when you didn’t have a full-time job, or kids, or studying to do your masters, or starting your own business – and that is okay. Because all of these things are just phases.
Exercise, health, eating nutritious food, looking after your mental health, however, are not. This is an ongoing thing. Moving your body is a lifelong thing. Health is a lifelong thing. And this is why we need to consider how we can make these things part of our identity in order to not let things fall by the wayside completely in those busy phases.
When we can make the difference between things that are part of our identity and things that are short-term (relatively speaking) then we can get a clearer understanding of what we are prioritising or not prioritising in our life.
The kids will eventually leave the home.
You will eventually finish studying.
You will most likely hire some help with your biz.
But fitness and health are lifelong.
Now, the thing is when we're busy it is pretty hard to prioritise our time that's conducive to our goals. But it's not because you're lazy! It's far more complex than that; it's discovering how your health goals match with your identity and going from there.
So how can we not be a victim to ourselves and our choices to ensure that health and fitness are non-negotiables no matter what phase of life we are in?
1. Consider where you can outsource things (get groceries delivered, help with the housework, use a virtual assistant).
2. Define your non-negotiables so you are maintaining your health in order to operate as best you can in this phase.
3. Be okay with letting go. Perhaps you planned to get in three sessions at the gym but you can only squeeze in two this week. That is fine! But draw the line for what you need for YOU and make that happen.
Get clear on what is truly important and what are the things that are distracting you from what is really the stuff that needs to be prioritised.
4. Focus on what can be done not on what can't be done. No time to get to the gym for an hour session? What can you do at home in ten minutes? Try 6-10 burpees every minute for ten minutes and you're golden!
I am a a bit of a sucker for pain and keep a busy schedule. My days start at 5am and finish at 10pm and I am back to back with face-to-face clients, working with my online clients and creating content for free! All of this takes sacrifice, crafty time management skills and big commitments. But in order for me to be able to carry out all that I need to I have some strict non negotiable to keep me in balance:
1. Movement (no matter what I will ALWAYS do some form of movement)
2. Lemon water in the morning (no matter where I am in the world – always!)
3. Gratitude in the evening (this takes two minutes to do and is a game changer for our perspective. Especially key for busy people).
But the things is, that in the phase of life I am in right now, I am also sacrificing a lot, like social events and sleep. But the thing is that my purpose and my mission is so important to me (to serve as many women as possible) that I am okay with those decisions. I am owning those decisions. And I refuse to be a victim to my busy schedule.
There’s a couple of things we can do to REALLY get a clear idea of how busy we actually are.
1. Do a time audit of how you are really spending your time. Try this: for each hour of the day, record how you spent each fifteen minutes within that hour. Was it scrolling Insta? Watching Netflix?
2. Write up a realistic schedule and time block your day. Block out all the things you HAVE to do (paid work), then the non-negotiables (workout time, sleep, all the things that make you the best human you can be) and then block out free time.
3. Get clarity around what it is you really want. If you are unhappy with how you are currently feeling but you keep making excuses for not going to the gym because of money or time then how are you honestly spending your time and money? Are you buying coffee twice a day? Are you going out on the weekends and buying rounds of tequila shots even though you swear you can’t afford a gym membership? Are you saying you don’t have time to go for a 30 min walk 3x a week but your iPhone tells you your screen time for that day was over five hours?
You cannot be a victim to your choices. Check yourself next time you say you 'just don't have timmmmeeee'. Do you really?
You can have an understanding for where you are in your season of life and adapt as you need knowing that this will pass. But your health will not. Maintaining it should be part of your identity (but, hey, if it isn’t no worries, sister!) no matter what phase of life you are in.