Who has time to lose weight? You do! Last week’s vertical sleeve gastrectomy blog encouraged you to get brutally honest with yourself, use a planner, and make your life excuse-proof—all to bolster your odds of success in a crazy-busy world. This week’s article continues that theme, with a few more ideas to keep you on track with your gastric sleeve diet and exercise routine even when life is at its most hectic.
Tip #4: Make “double duty” your new phrase.
You’re so busy that you don’t remember what your BFF looks like anymore. But you need to meal prep and get in an hour of cardio, too. Invite her to join you in one or both activities. Catch up while you chop broccoli and hike that new trail. Who knows, you might inspire her to join you in your healthy lifestyle. Haven’t had a date with your spouse in a while? Take salsa lessons and burn some calories. Need to listen in on a conference call or learning session but don’t need to particulate? Grab your headset and go for a walk during that time.
Tip #5: Fill your weekends.
I know, I know: it’s your time to relax. But when your life is going full throttle, you have to change your mindset if you want to change your body. Schedule two of your workouts for your days off to lighten up your “have to” workouts during the workweek. Block off a chunk of time to plan, shop, and meal prep—with your spouse and/or kids, if possible, so you can get in some quality time while you’re checking things off your to-do list (see previous tip). And if you start feeling resentful at your lack of downtime, try to reframe what “leisure” means to you these days. Sitting on the couch won’t contribute to your VSG goals, but listening to your daughter talk about the school dance while you’re prepping salads for the week will.
Tip #6: Recruit a pal.
I don’t care how many balls you’re juggling, you’re not too busy to check in with an accountability partner. This may be a spouse, your mother, a good friend—anyone who is equally comfortable cheering you on and telling it like it is. Knowing that you have to report in to someone who isn’t afraid to say, “You can do better,” might make you reach for an apple rather than an apple pie.
Tip #7: Make your sips count.
Unless you’re fresh off of surgery and need to get all of your calories via liquids, don’t drink your calories. When life is full tilt, a glass of wine or a beer might seem like a nice way to unwind from your full schedule. But do you have the time to work off those calories? And after a workout, a smoothie or energy drink can seem like a good way to recover so you can move onto the next thing on your to-do list, but how many of the calories you just burned off are you putting back into your system? Talk about a waste of valuable time! It’s just as easy to grab a calorie-free drink as it is a calorie-laden one. And, of course, the ultimate drink—water—should always be your go-to beverage of choice.
Tip #8: Get rid of all-or-nothing thinking.
The worst time waster of all is all-or-nothing thinking. If you can’t do an hour-long workout, why bother, you wonder? Or if you indulged in a slice of cake in the break room, you might as well have a crappy dinner because your diet is ruined for the day anyway. What you’re doing is not only throwing away what you can accomplish today, but putting at risk all the time you’ve already invested in your success. When you can’t schedule an hour for exercise, it’s likely that you can find 10 minutes for a walk—maybe even a couple times throughout the day. And if the office goodies manage to suck you in, don’t compound that choice with a rich dinner. Minimize the damage (and the time needed to recover from the cake binge) with a healthy dinner.
Unlimited time isn’t a luxury most of us have, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight and keep it off after VSG. These tips and tricks can help you work around your demanding lifestyle to enjoy the kind of health and happiness you deserve.
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