There is definitely something to be said about convenience. Life is busy and hectic and complicated and any faction of my life that I can make EASIER is a must. It could be little things but those little things add up.
The reason I bring this up is that I’ve recently struggled with the convenience aspect. A change in my daily life has thrown a monkey wrench into my convenient life. I used to drive to work every day and park in a garage about 2 miles from my office. In nice weather I’d walk those 2 miles in the morning. It was relaxing and convenient (and cheaper than parking downtown). With the issue I’ve had with my knees for the last few months, that walking kind of went away–which wasn’t too bad because the weather also turned ugly.
The other convenience of this was that I always packed my gym/swim bag in the car and went straight to the gym. It saved time, it was easy and I didn’t have to go home first. I also often beat some of the gym people by getting there earlier than most. Well the parking/commuting routine has changed and Michael and I are commuting together since he got a job downtown. While it’s a good thing for the environment and it saves money, it’s SUPER INCONVENIENT for me.
I have to go home first to get my car and then drive to the gym. It takes time, it’s a hassle, it’s one more step in my evening that makes me grumpy because I feel like I’m wasting my evenings with logistics. I admit, it’s made me upset. It’s a change to my normal routine and I hate it.
I recognize that I’m probably acting like a brat about this, but it really does make it harder. It’s hard to leave the house after you get home from work. Motivation is at a nil, especially in the winter when it’s dark and most likely raining. I haven’t figured out a good solution to this problem yet and I’m sure it will get easier once I’m used to the NEW routine. Once I figure it all out, I’ll let you know.
What are some other conveniences that make life easier?
One of the best ways to stay on track with food and exercise is to make it EASY and to make it a HABIT. Once it’s part of your daily life, you don’t think about it much and it’s not a struggle. I promise. It didn’t take me very long when I first started counting my calories to get used to it. My brain just made the switch and it became the norm. After a month, I didn’t have horrible hunger pains and I actually started to enjoy going to the gym.
I have a few ideas I want to share with you. These are things that have definitely made my life easier in terms of food and exercise.
Spend Sunday afternoon prepping healthy food for the week. This is something I’ve adopted and it works really well. I often do a crockpot meal on Sundays so that I have leftovers all week. Crockpot recipes usually take less than 30 minutes to prepare and then it cooks all day. Not messy, not complicated. Perfect!
This also includes chopping and cutting up fresh vegetables I just bought at the grocery store. Spending 30 minutes of my day to chop up the peppers, carrots, celery, etc that I will snack on all week is nothing! It’s worth it! Store them in individual snack size ziplocks so you have just grab it. Also, if you remove the trigger foods from your house and have these healthier options already prepped for easy snacking, you will make better choices.
Spend 1 hour a week meal planning to make it easy after work to eat healthy foods. Michael and I got sick of going to the grocery store several times a week. It was irritating getting home from the gym hungry and tired and sweaty and then realizing a trip to the grocery store was needed to make dinner. For a long time we sat together once a week to plan our week’s dinners. We planned around what we already had on hand, and then I did my weekly shopping for the rest of the things we needed. It definitely made our lives easier and cut down on trips to the grocery store.
Have a separate gym bag that is always packed with clean workout clothes ready to grab. This is a lifesaver! I have 4 workout outfits in my gym bag and always keep my running shoes and heart rate monitor in it. I have everything I need to go to the gym and all I have to do is grab my bag. There’s no time wasted searching through the closet or trying to find things and forgetting something crucial at home. Also, if you leave the bag in your car it’s even easier to go straight to the gym–no excuses!
Buy “grab-and-go” foods that are healthy. While I’m trying to get out of the habit of eating processed foods, there are some healthier option that can make it easy to grab a snack and go. Those little fruit cups are a good idea, string cheese, protein bars and an individual serving pack of hummus are easy, too.
What are your tips for making food and fitness more convenient?