Saturday, October 23, 2010


Simplicity can be a good thing when we're trying to juggle a lot in our lives. More (or more complex) is not necessarily better.

Think about it: You have a job, kids, a house to keep (more or less) clean and tidy, bills to pay, shopping to do, meals to prepare, training to get done - and somewhere you'd like to squeeze in a bit of social life, and maybe some quiet time with your significant other as well.

Much as I love interesting food, and enjoy variety with my training, I find that over-complicated meal plans and training programs can send my brain into overload mode when I already have a lot on my plate. Given my recent history of anxiety, I'm not keen on pushing my limits in that area.

I usually manage to swing a day off every couple of weeks - ah, the beauty of flexible working arrangements! But right now, I'm three-quarters of the way through a four-week stint of solid five-day weeks. I know! You're thinking: Aww. Poor love! (Shut up, OK? I know I have it easy.) Anyway, between standard work days and my irritatingly long commute, I'm not actually home all that much on weekdays. Then weekends are a blur of catching up on the washing, running errands and trying to fit in all the stuff that's piled up during the week.

I'm actually coping quite well, but trying to get my head around anything that requires real brain power outside work is an impossible task. After spending eight seven hours a day using my grey matter to do research, compile spreadsheets, analyse data, interpret laws that appear to be written in a mysterious foreign language and then draw some logical conclusions from all of that, I do NOT want to be thinking hard when it comes to anything else.

So my simple approach involves:

1. Using tried and true exercise programs; ones that I'm comfortable with and that I know work for me. I have an old weight training program that's a basic two-day upper and lower body split. I've deleted a couple of exercises that I simply can't do with my dodgy neck and shoulder, but the rest works beautifully for me. I'm also keeping cardio super-basic. Steady-state or simple intervals suit me just fine at the moment, along with some Spinervals workouts. No thinking required there; just do whatever Coach Troy orders. Plus making an effort to get off my butt and walk more every single day. (Thank you, trusty pedometer!)

Nothing new, nothing fancy, nothing that requires me to carry a written plan around the gym in case I forget anything. Nothing's set in stone though - if I feel like doing something different on a given day, then I just wing it.

2. Eating whatever's easiest - within reason. There isn't much that Bike Boy cooks that I won't eat, so this doesn't pose a problem. I'm not being fanatical about avoiding processed food - if we're home late, I'll happily drag a jar of balti sauce out of the pantry and do a quick cheat's curry. Mostly, I just add extra veggies to whatever's on the menu and I'm good to go.

I'm also aiming to have leftovers from our dinners most nights, so we have lunches ready to go in the fridge. Less work and less thinking...

3. Keeping my gym bag packed with everything I need. Towel, gloves, resistance band, water bottle, ipod. All I have to do is chuck in my phone and leave the bag by the garage door with my car keys before I go to bed, and I'm set for the morning.

My no-brainer, less-is-more plan seems to be working just fine at the moment. I don't feel as though I have to do X, Y or Z. I'm not bored out of my brain (not yet, anyway). I feel challenged, but I'm not dreading my workouts ...or organising my meals.

Best of all, I'm not feeling frazzled or overwhelmed, and I can see improvements in my fitness. Plus my clothes are getting looser.

Now I need to go hang out in my wardrobe and ponder what to wear to a wedding this least I have a few choices. :)


Michelle said...

I hear ya, Sista! The less thinking about that sort of stuff is the best for me otherwise I tend to totally drop the ball.

Have a great time at the wedding ... and hope the weather clears.

Magda said...

Great plan and great approach. I can TOTALLY relate.

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