I’m a collector. A collector of information. I like to read books, mull them over, do some more reading, read some opposing viewpoints, compare it to what has/hasn’t worked for me in the past, hypothesize the perfect and very best way to accomplish something new.
And then I’m tired of thinking about it, so I just move on to the next fascinating thing. Without actually putting any of it into practice.
The last 2? 3? weeks (oh, who am I kidding: it’s been a MONTH) have been that way for me. I’ve been reading about the Metabolic Diet, protein ratios, types of exercise, making exercise charts, making Metabolic-compatible grocery lists, reading about sleep and its effect on weight loss, oh, and once in a while actually lifting some weights while I watch TV (hey, it’s better than nothing.)
And I make all kinds of theoretical goals. What is a theoretical goal, you ask? That’s when I say to myself, “Self, you know what you should do is get more sleep. I wonder what would happen if we got 8 hours of sleep every night? I’ve read a lot of studies recently that say 8 hours is instrumental in maintaining a healthy weight.” And I think, “If I went to bed at 9:00, I could totally get up at 5:00 and get some work done. That would be perfect. Oh. But I have to get up for the gym at 4:00. That means I would have to be in bed at 8:00. Well, that study said you could swing 7.5 hours, so that would be 8:30. Wow, 8:30 seems EARLY. And hey! It’s already 9:00! Damn! Well, I guess I’ll sleep now. Maybe I’ll get up at 5:00 and go to the gym.” But who am I kidding? I’m not going to the gym at 5:00. I don’t have enough time to get there, work out, get home, and leave for work on time. 😛 And I don’t really sleep 8 hours, because by the time I brush my teeth, wash my face and read for 15 minutes or so, my light turns out about a half-hour later.
Oh, well! I think. I’ll start again tomorrow!
But tomorrow is always more of the same.
This is my A-Number-One way of sabotaging myself: waiting until I have the PERFECT diet or the PERFECT workout or the PERFECT time to start. I do in most areas of my life – why limit it to diet and exercise when there’s a whole WORLD of fun stuff to avoid? It’s hard for me to remember that at some point I just have to SUCK IT UP AND DO IT. Even if I only do it half-assed. Even if I spend a half-hour in the gym instead of an hour. Even if I do Pilates while watching “Bones” reruns. Even if I follow my lovely salad with a bowl of mac’n’cheese. Even then. Something is always better than nothing.
Adding to this problem is that I want to do the flashy stuff first. It’s WAY more fun to say, “I get up at 4:00 every morning to go to the gym!” than it is to say, “I go to bed at 8:00 every night so I can have a full 8 hours!” In our society, you get points for the former, but not the latter. Likewise, “I spend 15 minutes every night planning my meals for tomorrow!” gets more accolades than “I spend 15 minutes every night meditating!”
But doing the flashy stuff without the other stuff, at least for me, is like building a house without a foundation. If I’m not getting enough sleep, all the 4am workouts in the WORLD won’t prevent me from inhaling every form of carbohydrate I can get my hands on the next day. If I don’t meditate, all the meal planning won’t save me from the Crazy Brain – in fact, it will just CONTRIBUTE to the Crazy Brain.
So as I’ve been doing all my reading, re-reading, planning, re-planning, procrastinating, daydreaming, WHATEVER, I’ve had that idea percolating in the back of my head: it’s time to do this differently. It’s time to LAY THE DAMN FOUNDATION FIRST. I was thinking specifically of sleep and meditation, when I came across this. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Glamour magazine. But I’ve read the same info in more reputable places. 😉 And anytime I’m thinking about something, and then see it somewhere else, it makes me think that maybe it’s something I should pay attention to. (Is it all in my head? Maybe. Do I really care? Nope. If this is how my subconscious gets me to do things that are better for me, I don’t care if it’s all in my head or if there’s something bigger out there kicking my ass. Ha!)
So. This week. Starting Monday night (so 2 whole nights so far, LOL), I’ve been working on getting at LEAST 7.5 hours of sleep a night. It’s a little embarassing to say that it’s already made a difference. I feel SO much better. And I’ve been meditating, 10 minutes a day. It’s not a lot, but see above, re: better than nothing. Monday I’ll go back to the gym. This week, I’m doing Pilates on the living room floor, so I can get used to going to bed early, and meditating.
Wonder what happens when I build a foundation first. 😉