It should come as no surprise that there are some pretty huge differences between how I live my life versus how I lived it prior to dropping 80 pounds. Sure, there are several things that have stayed the same – I’ve always loved making others laugh, bargain shopping, performing well at my job, spending time with friends and family, getting 8 hours of sleep, and watching TV. Outside of those things though, my take on life is very different these days, and not just in what I ate or how much (or little) I exercised.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably have a good sense of what a typical day is like for me now. I do a rough plan of my meals for the week over the weekend and pack my breakfast/lunch/snacks the night before. I usually work out in the morning before work a few days a week, unless I have a plan to go to a class or do a bike ride at night. There is an occasional crazy night out during the week, but most nights I try to take it easy and cook dinner, have a date night, work at a Weight Watchers meeting, or go out for dinner with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.
While this is the me you’ve grown to know and love (wink, wink), let me take you through a typical weekday for me back when I was first adjusting to life after college.
Groggy from one too many drinks the night before, and after pressing snooze the exact number of times I knew I could, I’d roll out of bed at the last possible second. I’d rush through the motions of the morning to get myself out the door as quickly as possible – brush my teeth, get dressed, do my makeup, grab my purse, go, go, go. I’d get my exercise in by hurrying to the metro, just squeezing through the doors before they closed me out and I’d have to wait 12 minutes for the next train. After the adrenaline rush from almost missing the train had passed, and I’d caught my breath from running, I’d search for a seat to melt into for my 15 minute ride to work.
Once I got off the metro at my stop, my stomach would be grumbling so I’d swing by the deli downstairs from my office to pick up breakfast. My go-to meal was a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a sesame bagel, plus a hot coffee loaded with half and half and splenda. I’d anxiously tap my foot as the bagel toasted, since I had very little time to spare to get to my desk. Once the sandwich was in hand, I’d rush upstairs to plop myself into my desk chair for the day, not pausing until I couldn’t ignore the hunger pangs anymore and it was time to eat again.
I’d go back to the same place for lunch since it was so convenient to my office and I only had a few minutes to be away from my desk. My typical midday order was a California Chicken Sandwich, upgraded from regular bread to a hoagie roll, with chicken, bacon, avocado, cheese, mayo, and maybe some lettuce, plus a side of fries or a bag of chips. I’d usually grab a Coke Zero and/or a bag of gummy bears to round out the meal.
Once my workday was over, I normally find myself at a happy hour with friends, where I’d guzzle down 4-5 glasses of wine (I’ve never been a beer drinker) and then allow the alcohol to dictate my dinner choices for the night. I’d almost always go with delivery pepperoni pizza, Chinese food, or Chipotle. My roommate and I also would stop by the 711 on the way home most nights to grab an ice cream toll house cookie sandwich (so good) with pork rinds and/or a slim jim for dessert, and then settle into the couch to watch TV until bedtime.
Then, I’d go to bed, wake up the next day, and do it all again.
This was obviously during a time in my life where I wasn’t really trying to do anything about my weight and was instead embracing being young, having fun and finally being completely on my own. I think it can be all too easy to forget what life was like “before” when you make huge lifestyle changes like I have, so I honestly struggled a little to remember what my typical day was like back then. The one thing that was very clear in my mind was that there was absolutely no planning that went into anything ahead of time and I completely embodied living in the moment.
If I was hungry, I’d go find something to eat.
If I needed a pick me up, I’d go get some coffee.
If I was stressed from my job, I’d go out and drink to forget about it.
I never seemed to have the time to worry about the big picture or to plan ahead even for the next day or next meal. It was always go-go-go without so much as a second thought about what I was putting into my body or how useful some down time could be. I was always very low energy and lethargic, and literally needed the two coffees to get through the day. Now, I’m down to one. 😉
But in all seriousness, I think the bottom line is this. Back then I was only concerned with instant gratification and what I needed in the moment. Now, I understand the value of a balanced, less frantic lifestyle and actually look forward to planning ahead and putting some thought into how I approach my life.
Are you more of a live in the moment or plan ahead type of person? How does this fit in with your healthy lifestyle?