Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks. I had my boyfriend’s birthday last weekend which basically left no time for anything else; I have been trying to squeeze in seeing as many friend as possible because I kind of ignored people during my contest prep; I am on a couple of jobs for work that are requiring some overtime (I am starting to see a ramp up towards busy season – for the non-auditors out there, usually January to end of March is INSANELY busy… like 14 hour days 5-6 days per week type busy); and I have a thousand chores to do around the house that also got neglected during contest prep. FYI this is my long winded way of apologizing for not posting for a couple of days and pre-emptively apologizing for not posting this weekend because… It’s the Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine Show!
I went to the Ottawa Food and Wine show last year and let me just say that it should be called the wine and food show because there was WAY more wine than food. It was so much fun though. I discovered quite a few wines in all price ranges that were awesome and definitely got my drink on. In order to keep track of which wine’s we liked (really me, because at that time my boyfriend was just starting to like wine) we took a quick picture with our phone. Then when we were like “what was that one from NZ for like $13 that was awesome?” we could go through the photo’s and remember “It was Kato”. True story, it’s $13 at the LCBO (for non-ontario peeps, that’s a really good price since the LCBO over charges for everything), go try it if you like Sauvignon Blanc.
This year we are in Toronto so we are giving the Toronto show a go and have heard good things. I am hoping to find some wines to add to my repertoire of “go to” bottles. In addition, some friends are coming down and joining us which will make it even more fun 🙂
Ok, but on to the actual point of this post, which is time management.
Have you ever heard the saying “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it”? It’s true! Sort of. In my experience by busy or not busy doesn’t have a whole lot to do with your ability to get things done. The main factor is structure. Last busy season, I had a client that ran about 7 weeks from start of January to almost end of February. At the beginning we were working until 7pm most nights and that slowly worked its way up to leaving between 9 pm and 11pm during the last few weeks of the job. During that time I did the following:
- I went to the gym in the morning usually 3 times per week, but at least 2 times every week without fail
- I ate 5 – 6 meals per day every day and 90% of these were homemade by me
- I lost about 8 pounds in that time, just over a pound per week.
This is NOT the typical busy season experience because you are sitting in a desk all day, you get your dinner purchased and you are exhausted all the time. Most of my colleagues gained about the same amount of weight, ate take out food almost every night and maybe went to the gym on the weekend but definitely not consistency. So what did I do differently that allowed me to succeed?
Oh yes, planning is key. Everyone thinks that having a healthy lifestyle take so much more time than having an unhealthy one. Well I’m telling you it doesn’t. (I’m not talking about competition training because that’s a whole different ball of yarn).
This was what I did:
- I worked out in the morning when I can’t make excuses! I’ve written about that before, and while I hate waking up at whatever hour is required, I feel way better the whole day.
- I got my boyfriend to hold me accountable. Most mornings I went to the gym, he would come with me. This actually worked out great because on the nights before a scheduled workout, he would come over just before I got home and sometimes would start making dinner 🙂 then we would eat, sleep and wake up early to go to the gym. Since I was working such long hours, this was the most important “us” time and was really helpful in maintaining good communication and really benefitted our relationship in a time that most accountants can tell you is very stressful on relationships.
- I made LOTS of food for dinner and then had leftovers for lunch. When I’m less busy I will just make a double batch of something and have one dinner and one lunch. During busy season I will make enough for 5-6 meals because I am typically having dinner at the client or won’t have time to make dinner when I get home.
- I had snack that could be kept at work. I would store a bag of almonds and dried fruit, some yogurt and a couple servings of protein powder at the client site so if I didn’t have time to pull together some snacks that day, I knew I would have things available to me at the client without resorting to take out food.
- I had a goal! I had planned to compete in a fitness competition in May and oh boy was that some serious motivation to stick with the plan during busy season. When I don’t have a goal, I make excuses, when I have a goal I will go out of my way to make it work.
Now I know a lot of you are guilty of saying, “I don’t have time to make dinner… let’s just go grab take out”. But how long does that take you? You have to get in your car and drive to get the food, bring it back and eat somewhat cold, unhealthy food that you probably don’t even enjoy that much and the whole process probably took 2-30 minutes depending on how far you drove. You now don’t have leftovers and will have to buy lunch tomorrow or make something fresh instead of grabbing Tupperware. AND you could have made an awesome meal in those 30 minutes.
Like I said, it doesn’t take more time to live healthy, what it does take is planning. You need to have good healthy food in your house so when you want to go grab take out, you can instead whip up a quick stirfry because you have everything you need on hand.
Some really fast meal ideas:
– Stirfry of any sort over rice or quinoa that you cooked a huge batch of so that you will have leftovers
– Steamed veggies, pan fried chicken or fish and the aforementioned rice or quinoa
– Egg drop soup in homemade broth
– Omelettes or frittatas (which you can made in large portions)
– Oatmeal (even the slow cooking kind take only 15 minutes
Or better yet, made a huge pot of something on Sunday and eat it for dinner for the next 3 days. Think stews, soups, curries, roasts or any other large meal.
So this is what my plan is for this busy season too 🙂 I have roped in a new motivator in the form of my best friend who has agreed to start doing morning workouts 2 times per week with me. I will start increasing the leftovers from the food I make. I will start packing snack that can keep for a few days in my work bag. Plus, I have that goal for motivation because the next competition I want to do is also in May… but more on that to come!
What are your thoughts… do you think it takes more time to be healthy?