All too often, we push ourselves past the limits of mere mortals, and into the netherland of bad health. We eat wrong, we don't sleep enough, we load up on caffeine, and we don't exercise. Notice I said we; I'm guilty too. I know I need to exercise more, I know I need to eat better, and I definitely know I don't need that fourth cup of coffee. Why do we do it, and what can we do to change our behaviors?
Let's start with the easiest part first, why do we do it? We push ourselves because we think that if we go just a little further, that we'll get that raise, promotion, or be able to accomplish one more thing that we really need to accomplish. Too bad this is so foolhardy. What we really need is not more time, but rather more productive time. You have to make sure you're running “hot" all the time, and to do this, you need to take care of yourself. You know that. So how do you do it?
Let's start with the eating issue. Let me begin by saying, I live in Wisconsin, and thus have a love for frozen custard, deep fried fish (okay, deep fried anything), and of course, beer. So let's just say it's not easy for me to make good choices when it comes to food. The first thing I find is that I need to eat something within 60 minutes of getting out of bed, or I'll be hungry the whole morning. It doesn't have to be anything huge, but I need to eat something. I usually look for fruit, or pre-packaged oatmeal. That's easy enough.
Lunch is often trickier, as it's the best time to spend catching up with a fellow manager of mine, so if I can order a diet soda, an iced tea, or stick to water, I can cut many of the calories out. I try to eat slowly, and this often curbs my appetite some.
Next, a small snack, at 2:30 or 3:00 PM in the afternoon is in order. Another small snack works wonders, maybe some veggies, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will tide me over. This makes me less hungry for dinner, which is usually a fairly large meal.
Dinner time is good time for me. My wife and I love to eat, so we frequently go out for a nice dinner (okay, usually a quick dinner), and this just packs on the pounds. Again, I try to pace myself, drink water (no caffeine after 4 PM for me), and introduce a salad instead of a delicious cream soup.
Right before bed, I'll grab another quick snack, maybe a fruit and juice bar and a glass of water, maybe rice cakes, maybe more fruit. If I've been a good boy, I might even eat a “Skinny Cow" ice cream bar.
Then, I try to get myself ready for the next day by packing a few of the things I'll eat tomorrow, saving me a few minutes in the morning when I can get lazy. Keep in mind, this day is an ideal day for me, and I often stray from it (too often) but when I don't, I have more energy than before.
So take the time, focus on your diet, and make it a great life! You'll be glad you did!
Phil Gerbyshak leads a team of IT help desk professionals in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil's personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders’ fantastic book Love is the Killer App: “Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow. " If you'd like to read more of Phil's work, please head over to his blog at http://www.makeitgreat.org . Make it a great day!