Today you are closer to the person you were meant to become.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Self-care and Working Less to Have More

"More than anything, self-care as I see it is less than a list of behaviors and more a mindset that you’re going to do what serves you rather than what upholds the typical routine and others’ infinite expectations." --Mark Sisson

This little sentence really sums up how I've been feeling about life lately. I've spent a good deal of time reflecting on my recent decisions regarding my work hours, priorities, and "vacation" time alongside the standard, socially acceptable expectations surrounding work, particularly in the typical American lifestyle.

Let me explain: In August, I made a decision to cut back on my hours at my law firm to 6/day with no lunch break. At the time, this was to allow me a few hours in the afternoon to work on my thesis project for my master's degree before going to coach volleyball. My day started with work at the firm from 8 am to 2 pm, then from 2 to 5 I would work on my paper, and from 6 to 8 I had practice. I would be home by 8:30/9, have dinner, hang out with my boyfriend, and go to bed. They were very full days, but giving myself the time I needed to work on my thesis kept my stress levels down, and coaching volleyball actually (for the most part) gives me energy.

After volleyball season ended, though, I could have gone back to working full time (8-5) and still had time to work on my thesis. But something weird happened when I stopped working at the firm full time. I became ridiculously happy with my life. Sure, I was already happy...but I stopped loathing my job so much. I had time to go to the gym, to cook good food, to read. This is they type of self-care I think Mark is talking about in his blog post today.

At times, I felt guilty leaving work at 2 in the afternoon. It seemed wrong in some way--me putzing out of the parking lot in my red Mazda tribute while my co-workers continued to proofread, file, and work in the building now in my rear-view mirror. But to be honest, I feel my productivity has increased at work and I have a general sense of satisfaction when I leave for the day because I still have so much day left to enjoy. This is not how the typical American gets to spend a workday, though. I've had to reflect often and tell myself it's okay to be working less--I can still pay all my bills and have enough money to live on, but I'm generally happier for working less (even though I'm making less money).

This all ties in to my plans to being a health coach and complete the psychology of eating certification program. Doing that paired with teaching people how to cook -- a new thought I had earlier this week -- would make for an amazing career. It's a beautiful marriage between two of my passions: health/fitness and teaching. The best part about it is I can continue to develop my volleyball coaching career. I've never wanted anything more.

So, in the meantime, I will continue to not feel guilty about my less than full time work schedule, and I will continue to put my needs first. When that happens, everything else falls into place.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blasting Through An Exercise Rut

I love how the universe works sometimes. A while back Mark Sisson posted a few articles about working out and exercise ruts, and I also joined the Women's Weight Loss Summit. I only watched a handful of presentations, but the ones I did watch were well worth it and have my gears turning on some things I want to try (including the Psychology of Eating certification!). I've also been feeling pretty "blah" about my body and my weight, which I know is a result of taking some time away from the gym to coach volleyball.

BUT, now that volleyball is over I'm back at the gym and ready to get back into triathlon shape! Even so, my workouts have been slightly, well, aimless. I know I need to lift heavy things and blah blah blah but I wasn't super enthusiastic about getting back on the NerdFitness routine I did last fall and overall was lacking general direction. The only solid thing I've been doing is running a mile, something a reasonably fit individual should be able to do--yet that's something that, mentally, I'm terrible at because of my history with running and cardio in general.

Today, though, I listened to an encore presentation from the Women's Weight Loss Summit, and now I'm really fired up to get in the gym and try this for the next month or two. The presenter was Jade Teta with the Metabolic Effect. It was a great presentation and I'm going to be applying his exercise advice to blast through this "meh" feeling and get back on track.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Creating a Productive Life

This will be a quick post today. I'm reading Tim Ferris' book The Four Hour Work Week in anticipation of my 5 year plan and eventually running my own business. It's a really good read and while I'm still skeptical that I could really only work 4 hours a week, he does offer a lot of advice and inspiration for getting things done and to quit procrastinating on the things we really want.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Getting Debt Free!

This is a health blog (I guess), but I'm talking about finances for several reasons: 1) Finances can be a huge source of stress and 2) stress plays a huge roll in our health. Also (3, I suppose), this directly relates to my future plans to work as a health coach!

Fill out this form with your debt/loans to find out
how quickly you can be out of debt!
Anyway, I've found an amazing little tool that makes me even more motivated to get rid of my debt as soon as possible. It's unbury.me, and it really shows how quickly you can get out of debt by using a snowball or avalanche method. Basically, you input your loans with their balance, minimum payment, and interest rate, then decide how much you want to put towards everything each month. Depending on the option you choose (avalanche vs. snowball), unbury.me shows you how much to pay to each loan (and when!) to pay them off as quickly as possible. Once a loan is paid, you take that payment and apply it to another loan (hence the avalanche/snowball terms) to pay those down even faster.