Monday, June 28, 2010

Progress or Regress?

I just finished my last workout before traveling. I actually felt a bit anxious leaving the gym. Will being away for 2 weeks negate all the work that I’ve put in over the past few months? How much muscle will I lose? How much fat will I gain? Will I be able to maintain my progress given the busy schedule I have ahead of me? I’m really tense.

I’ve been given different advice and have been reassured that the body needs rest and that two weeks away from the gym is not really that long. The thing that scares me is that I never seem to maintain a routine for ‘that long.’ It’s not that I don’t want to or that I’m not committed … it’s just that when it’s travel that takes you away from the routine, it becomes that more difficult. You don’t always get time to exercise. You’re eating out all the time since you won’t be cooking at ‘home.’ Plus your overall schedule becomes erratic … still, I think I’ve done more than just exercise and try to eat properly over the past few months. I think I’ve actually learned a bit more about how my body is responding to food and exercise … instead of my oh so intelligent behavior of starving myself. I’m not (as) afraid to eat anymore. I’m starting to finally accept what I’ve been told over and over again – you need to eat properly to lose weight. You need to exercise and balance it with rest. You need to stay hydrated otherwise your body will retain water … etc. etc.

Anyway. I’ve got to learn to trust myself and trust that I have changed my lifestyle. These two weeks will be a test to see how much I’ve progressed … I hope it’ll be a success.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Art of Procrastination

I'm so busy, it's unbelievable. I've got tons of laundry to do (followed by folding it and putting it all away, a London shopping list to create, DVDs to order, emails to catch up on, and of course this blog entry (which I started months ago) to complete ...

Of course, I'm trying to tackle all these chores when I've got a really big task - a conference paper related to my PhD due in a week. I know the task will get done, but I also know, as I'm spending time typing this out, I should be working on it now -- instead of ... who knows when!

I don't know what it is that makes me put things off until the last minute. I think, ironically enough, a lot of it is about control.
For example, I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to be writing about for my conference paper. In order to complete it, I've got to do a lot of research and sit down and really, really concentrate on the task. The vauge idea that I have about my topic is not enough to inspire confidence within me, so I shift my attention to things that I can control ... tasks in which the end result is easily achievable.
My favorite ways to procrastinate are:
1) Making to-do lists. Whenever I start a to-do list (which is quite often) I feel like I'm being organized. I'm writing down the tasks that I need to complete. It makes me feel productive, but I know I'm just putting off the inevitable.
2) Looking through online shopping sites, especially Amazon. I can't tell you how many times I've filled up my shopping basket with things I'd like to buy ... I rarely purchase them, but just browing through the different items (particularly shoes) makes me feel happy!
3) Checking my email/Facebook/other blogs. I think seeing that others are emailing, posting status updates, or writing blogs makes me feel like I'm not the only one spending (wasting?) my time in that manner.
4) Organizing almost anything. Turning something chaotic into order definitely makes me feel more in control and productive -- and hey, at least I'm getting something done!)
5) Going to the gym. I have mixed feelings about adding this on my list of ways I procrastinate. I mean, exercise is important. Exercising helps me clear my mind. Exercising invigorates me. Okay, so spending several hours at the gym might be unnecessary (though I disagree) ... I could scale it back a little and get more work done ... hmmmm ... perhaps. I'll give it some thought.
You know, when I look through this list I think - wow, I do a lot of stuff. Granted it's not the task I should be working on, but I am being productive, aren't I? Look at all that I've completed today ...
Laundry. Check.
Clothes folded and put away. Check.
London shopping list. Check.
DVD order. Check.
Emails written. Check.
Blog to post. Check.

Ok. I really need to get some work done.