Work/School/Family/Sleep/Weight Loss... How to make it all fit.

I'm 5'2", 22, 212.4 pounds with an ultimate goal of 135 lbs. I've lost almost 60 pounds since March. I've been great with planning meals, counting calories, getting regular exercise. I'm worried that once I start working full time, I'm going to start gaining back weight.

I'm starting my first real adult job, working 40+ hours a week with a hectic schedule. I did a brief winter job when I was 18, and worked part time between 14 and 17, but this will be my first job that is full time permanent, as the last few years have been spent on future planning and concentrating on my classes. I'm also going to school full time (mostly online, with a few on campus), working to become a pediatrician. Here's a copy of my schedule for September:

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Any advice on balancing work/sleep/school/family/weight loss would be incredibly helpful.

Replies

  • WBB55
    WBB55 Posts: 4,131 Member
    edited August 2015
    just so we understand. On Mondays you have class from 11 pm-7 am, then another class from 7 am-4 pm and another class from 6 pm-8:45 pm. Then Tuesday you start again at 11 pm-7 am in class?

    Edit to add, ok, now I get it. I was missing the dates when I first looked.
  • ejb060793
    ejb060793 Posts: 281 Member
    No, that's mostly my work schedule. The only two on campus days for school are Sept 14 from 6pm - 8:45pm, and Sept 28 from 6pm - 8:45pm. From Oct - Dec, every Monday will be on campus classes from 6pm to 8:45pm. Sorry for not clarifying.
  • soapsandropes
    soapsandropes Posts: 269 Member
    You may have to let some of your time for exercise go, good news is that you can still lose weight if you keep your focus on your food. You should also pay close attention to your sleep hygiene, switching between days and night is going to be tough.
  • ejb060793
    ejb060793 Posts: 281 Member
    Every day when I show up for work, I have to have taken a shower that day (part of the work requirements...) I'm planning on 10 to 20 minutes a day being spent showering. Thanks for the tip on paying attention to food, though!
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,585 Member
    I think by "sleep hygiene" he meant getting enough sleep and making sure it's good sleep. Your body is going to be out of whack if you're constantly changing up your sleep/wake schedules so focus on getting enough sleep is going to be a high priority, even higher than exercise, IMHO.

    My advice would be to simply focus on your food for the first couple of weeks. Combining a crazy work schedule with school is going to take some getting used to. Once you sort of get the hang of things take a good look at your day and see if there's a good fit for getting in some exercise. Perhaps every day as you're heading home from work you can hit the gym for an hour, or do it on your way there. Or only every other day.

    As an example, I work 9 hour days (with every other Friday off), have a half hour commute each way and attend school online so most of my nights are spent doing homework. It's really hot here in the summer and I run outside (I refuse to use a treadmill) every other day. I also lift weights with a friend at the company gym on work days that I don't run. That friend is the type of person who gets to work at 5am every day so wants to lift by around 3:30pm. To make this all fit my schedule right now looks like:

    Week A
    • Monday - Run in the morning (work until 5pm)
    • Tuesday - Lift in the afternoon (work from 6:30-3:30)
    • Wednesday - Run in the morning (work until 5pm)
    • Thursday - Lift in the afternoon (work from 6:30-3:30)
    • Friday - Run in the morning (no work)
    • Saturday - Rest
    • Sunday - Long run in the morning

    Week B
    • Monday - Lift in the afternoon (work from 6:30-3:30)
    • Tuesday - Run in the morning (work until 5pm)
    • Wednesday - Lift in the afternoon (work from 6:30-3:30)
    • Thursday - Run in the morning (work until 5pm)
    • Friday - Lift in the afternoon (work from 6:30-2:30)
    • Saturday - Long run in the morning
    • Sunday - Rest

    The only constant thing about it is that I'm waking up and leaving work at around the same time every day so my family doesn't suffer from the day to day difference. This will change as we move into the Fall, when the sun starts rising too late to run before work and my runs get longer as I ramp up for race season. I end up running at all different times and watching the weather to see if it'll be cool enough to run after work or not. Once we get into Winter I'll be running and lifting in the afternoons. And so on.

    The point is, you need to determine what you have time for and what works best for your schedule. I doubt there are too many people with my crazy schedule but it's what I need to do to make it all fit.
  • ejb060793
    ejb060793 Posts: 281 Member
    @SueInAz Thank you for sharing your schedule with me. Helps me realize that if other people can do it, I can too :smile:
  • jackjackattck
    jackjackattck Posts: 111 Member
    I can totally relate to this, when I was in grad school I was working 45 hours a week while going to school in the evenings for about two years. The biggest thing that worked for me was advanced meal prep! I would cook a lot of meals on the weekends in preparation for the week. On week days, I woke up at 4 AM to do a workout, then prepared breakfast. I left the house at 6 AM for work and did not get home until about 7 PM, too exhausted to work out, so that is why I had to work out in the mornings. When I left the house though, I left with two meals and multiple snacks in a lunchbox with an ice pack to last me throughout the day. We have access to microwaves at work, so I brought chicken and veggies or some sort of hot dish. For the evenings at school, I would bring a sandwich or wrap that i could easily eat in the car or walking in between classes. It was difficult, but having a full days worth of meals and snacks prepared for me really saved me from the drive through or the fast food places on campus. Good luck!
  • ejb060793
    ejb060793 Posts: 281 Member
    I have been considering advanced prep as a viable option. I prepacked a bunch of celery and carrot sticks today, which is a pretty small step, but at least it's something. Thank you for the tips!
  • JustChristy79
    JustChristy79 Posts: 156 Member
    @ejb060793 Yes, it can be done. My husband works 6am-11:30, goes to gym for an hour at lunch, then back to work from 12:30-4. Then back to the gym for 2 hours of cardio after work. He showers at the gym & goes straight to school to heat up & eat his dinner before going to class. His class gets out at 9:30 & he still has an hour drive home. That's some long days.

    He's dedicated to his weight loss journey & isn't letting a busy schedule get in the way. He's been very successful at it, too. (Did I mention that he's 40 years old & we have 4 crazy kids?) I'm really proud of him. :smile:

    The key is preparation. On Sundays I spend about 4 hours in the kitchen. I carefully plan, prepare & weigh/measure all his meals for the week. He eats all his meals away from home, but never goes out to eat. He can't even remember the last time he had fast food. And it shows. He looks really good. :blush:

    You absolutely can do it! Make a plan & develop healthy habits! Best wishes!
  • airbent
    airbent Posts: 150 Member
    I would absolutely take SueinAZ's advice and focus on food for the first few weeks. keep in mind that with a schedule this busy there will be more opportunities to get some walking in, which will give you some workout calorie wiggle room to work with while you figure the rest of your exercise out. I'm not sure what type of work you'll be doing, but even if it's a desk job, you will be walking to and from classes that aren't online, between classes, between class and the library perhaps, from your car in to work. You can incorporate ways to maximize this like picking a further away parking spot, taking the stairs, etc.

    Be prepared with snacks because workplaces and campuses are notorious for vending machine temptations.

  • ejb060793
    ejb060793 Posts: 281 Member
    @JustChristy79 Thank you for the advice and kind words. I was going to ask if it took a toll on you and the kids with him being gone so much, but sounds like it works out well for you both.

    @airbent I'm working as a scribe in an Emergency room, so I'll be doing a lot of walking/chasing down physicians.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,833 Member
    ejb060793 wrote: »
    I have been considering advanced prep as a viable option. I prepacked a bunch of celery and carrot sticks today, which is a pretty small step, but at least it's something. Thank you for the tips!

    May I suggest a heartier snack? Add a hard boiled egg, hummus, or peanut butter to the vegetables. (Go easy on the peanut butter as a mere 2 tablespoons/32 grams is 200 calories.)
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,833 Member
    You may have to let some of your time for exercise go, good news is that you can still lose weight if you keep your focus on your food. You should also pay close attention to your sleep hygiene, switching between days and night is going to be tough.

    Adding a link for sleep hygiene:

    http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips
  • Asher_Ethan
    Asher_Ethan Posts: 2,430 Member
    On the days I'm busier I feel like I eat less because I don't switch to mindless eating. You can still lose weight with just diet but any time you get the chance to work out I will highly HIGHLY suggest doing weight lifting.