When things get busy, the first thing that often goes in the daily routine is regular exercise. Given the option between an early morning at the gym and the opportunity to get in some recording time at the studio, I go for recording time. This semester, my lunch hours have been taken up by teaching commitments or preparing for the classes that I’m taking toward my doctorate. Evenings… well I’m either in classes or home taking care of kids and house stuff. Once kids are in bed, it’s time for homework and writing, possibly some audio editing.
But exercise? Nope, it drops to the lowest rung of the priority ladder. I can manage a diet when I’m busy, strangely enough. Planning meals and running from home to work to school to home actually makes things a little easier. I use an app on my phone that lets me track calories, and I can stay within the guidelines for a reduced calorie diet. Exercise… maybe I get in a walk during the day? Maybe a half hour on the elliptical at home during the weekends, if I think about it.
So why am I writing about health stuff? Why am I going so far as to post a current weight of 183 in a public forum? Well… why not? It’s a number. It’s not where I’d like to be, but it’s a number. At the dayjob, there was a health screening day. I went and got a blood test (cholesterol was great, sugars were great), blood pressure checked (awesome as well), and a general analysis of habits and responses. I sat down with a health coach to go over the results, and she asked me about my stress level.
… I tried to be sweet and polite. I was honest, but there’s really no way to reduce the amount of stress in my life. The health coach noted my BMI was high (I’m only 5’5″) but she pointed out that stress-cortisol-weight connection. She also said that given the amount of stress I’m managing, I’m doing well and should just “maintain” for the rest of this semester.
Maintain. Sure. Maintaining the high stress, low calorie lifestyle. Part of me is laughing at the ridiculousness of it, because there will be the potential for more stress at the dayjob in the next few days. Until the end of the semester, the stress can only increase. By the time December rolls around, I could be at a Mark Hamil-like level of Joker with an extra dose of crazy sprinkles. Who knows, the blog might get really interesting in a few months.
But, I’m going to try and maintain, sneak in some exercise, and keep a better handle on my diet and weight. I’ll document it every so often; the goal is always healthy, but wearing cute clothes is always a plus. In the writing and podcasting circles I frequent, this is often a common theme. We want to be healthy creatives, but it is often really difficult to balance all of our different responsibilities and commitments.
I don’t like stress; being someone with anxiety problems makes me like stress even less. I can choose how to manage that stress by compartmentalizing the worry and adhering to routine that minimizes those things that cause stress. Diet is one of those ways… luckily, I don’t mind eating the same things every day. Exercise would be the best way to manage that stress, but again with the time issue. I should probably rethink those priorities, figure out a better way to manage those time/workout commitments.
I’ll give it a try between now and next week. Three half-hour sessions of some kind of good exercise? Sound fair?
I’ll let you know how it goes.