15 November 2014

Paradigm Shift

par·a·digm shift
a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.

Most of my life I have been an instant gratification type of person. I gave little thought about the future and just did what I wanted to do. Not a good way to live. Over the last few years, I've been shifting my way of doing things, but it is not easy and it is not perfect. But I am trying. Now I am at a point where I have to make a huge paradigm shift if I wish to live the way I want to. Let's examine this.

I am approximately 18 months from completing my Ph.D. In order to make that happen, I have got to be consistent, diligent, and organized. I have to write, write, write. All of the suggestions by people who have completed a Ph.D. say to write everyday, even if it's only for 15 minutes, write every single day. Don't break the chain. That is not something I have been doing. I tend not to do school work during the week and save it all for the weekend. I have to break that habit. I have to have a paradigm shift. I have to make time everyday to write. I have to!!!

Unfortunately there are other things I need to do with my days. I have to work. I have to do somethings around the house. I have to sleep. I have to write. There are also things that I want to do. I want to go to Crossfit. I want to walk the dogs. I want to watch some TV and spend time with my husband. I have to find a way to balance what I have to do and I what I want to do. This requires a shift in some of my ways of thinking. I am stuck in the mindset that I have to leave my house before 6:30 am to get to work. That is not true. If I leave at 6:30 am, I can usually be to work by 7:00 am - that's a half hour early. I like getting there early, but most times I have nothing to do and I sit and cruise Facebook. So leaving at 6:45 am would not be the end of the world. I'm up by 5:00 am, so that means I don't have to leave for an hour and 45 minutes. A shower takes 20 minutes. Feeding the birds takes 10 minutes. Getting everything ready can be done in 10 minutes. That still leaves me over an hour of time. Much of which is spent on my phone checking emails and Facebook. Ugh!!! When examined closely, I'm sure not as busy as I think I am in the mornings. So I have at least an hour to write in the morning.

Let's look at the afternoons. I leave work at 3:30 pm and am home by 4 pm. I go to the 4 pm Crossfit and am home by 5:15 pm. I walk the dogs from 5:30 to 6:30 ish. Then dinner, clean the kitchen and prep for the next day, relax for a bit and in bed by 9 - 9:30 pm.

So what about this:

5:00 - 5:15 coffee, bird food, etc.
5:15 - 5:45 Write
5:45 - 6:15 - get ready
6:30 - leave

4:00pm - Crossfit
5:30 - 6:45 - walk dogs
7:00 - dinner
7:30 - 8:30 - clean kitchen, prep for next day
8:30 - 9:30 - relax, look over next day

This is totally not that hard. But it will involve a shift in thinking on my part. First, that I can't do anything in the morning because I'm too busy. Second, that leaving the house at 6:30 or a little later is the end of the world. Third, that walking the dogs in the dark is bad (this won't last long). Fourth, that prepping for the next day takes too much time. Fifth, being lazy and tired. I just have to suck it up and do it.

This will also require me to be very motivated and productive at school during the day and to utilize my weekends productively. It totally can be done. People do it all the time. I just have to shift my thinking and not focus on what I want now but on the ultimate prize.

Okay, let's get this done.

09 November 2014

Determination and seeing old habits

I have kicked some nasty habits in my time. I quit drugs. I quit smoking. I quit binge eating. Yes, some are worse than others but they were all just habits that I needed to change. Quitting drugs and smoking was tough, but honestly not as bad as beating binge eating. I could make sure that I didn't have drugs or cigarettes around, but there was always food in the house. And binge eating was a very unconscious thing. Smoking was unconscious also, but with no cigarettes around it wasn't an issue. So binge eating was my toughest habit to kick so far. At first I did it so unconsciously that I did not even realize it was happening until it was over. When I decided it needed to go, I started to notice it as it was happening. I still couldn't stop it, but at least I was aware it was happening. Over time I gradually started to notice it earlier and earlier. Eventually I was able to notice it before I did it and was able to stop it. Now I haven't had a binge episode in years. I have eaten more than I should, but never a binge.

Well, when I realized a couple of weeks ago the self imposed stress I was under, I also realized that it was tied to my lack of activity and crappy eating. I've been working to clean up both, but it hasn't been perfect. This weekend I had a huge project due for one of my classes. I knew this project was due, I've known for 10 weeks that it was due. I was supposed to have been working on it for the past 10 weeks. Have I been? NO. I finally started working on it this week and really started to cram it last night. I've spent the entire day working on this project and I finally turned it in about an hour ago. It is not my best work by far, but it is what it is. What I noticed though is that my eating has been pretty bad since about Wednesday. As I got closer and closer to the deadline, my eating deteriorated. On Friday night, I felt like pasta so I got mac and cheese and cookies and ice cream and I ate them all. Yesterday I had to proctor in the morning and I ate crap for breakfast and snacks and came home and had cookies for lunch. I had a pretty decent dinner because by the time I was starting to tackle this project. My eating was directly tied to my stress over this project. Directly!!!! I sat here this morning munching on Cheetos and that was when I realized it. I said to myself, "I don't even really like these" and then replied "It's because of this stupid video" and it hit. That's what was going on. I bet that if I tracked my eating compared to my stress levels I would find a direct correlation.

My post last night was a direct result of not making the connection. But now I have made a connection and knowledge is power. I am going to do a couple of things this week. First I will track my food and make note of my stress levels. I will record the things that are eating at me and the things I am eating. I will also try very, very hard to reduce those stress levels. I will do some work every night, because I have a huge project due next Saturday. I have some money concerns but I have some work arounds, so no need to stress over that. Everything else is good. I just need to be aware. Awareness is the first thing. Once I'm aware, then I can change behaviors.

So I'm feeling much better today. I have completed my assignments and I've made a breakthrough in my eating habits. I'm very happy. This week I will work on both. Knowledge really is power and now that I have the knowledge, I have the power to change.

Not sure what to do

So I have been trying to get my eating and working out under control and I do not seem to be making any progress. In fact, I feel worse today than I have all week. Of course, I have not been as 'good' as I should. I've had dessert more days than not. I have missed dinner more nights than I care to think. I just cannot seem to get it under control. I'm not sure what to do. Of course, Magnum ice cream and lemon bars are not going to help at all. I need to get my act together and I need to do it now. How do I do that?

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