How did you make yourself a Priority?

I know this sounds like a silly question... since I would think that common sense would help me solve this lol. I am a 34 year old woman, with one child, works 40-45 hrs a week and a University student part-time. I am 5'7-5'8, weigh 245lbs, have PCOS and just found out I have very low Iron. I also have very bad restless leg syndrome lately, which makes my sleep quality crap. My partner is very supportive and says to me yesterday "I need you around, you need to find you time and get healthy. Or else you will burn out". I am not disagreeing with him... the truth is I don't know how to take "me" time without feeling like I will fall behind (in housework, schoolwork, time with my kid etc). I need to plan out my day after work since I have so many things I feel I need to get done. My partner helps where he can, but he too often only comes home past 7pm. I think like so many women, I feel like if I don't get it all done, who will? I don't want to take time away from my little man, I already feel guilty enough for always having to do homework. And I already feel exhausted to the max once I go to bed. I know this school thing is not permanent, as I graduate in a year, but I can not wait a year too find this motivation to get healthy. I am also finding that with all this going on, I am getting dumber? Like I can no longer grasp my courses like I used to (probably from lack of sleep, stress). And common sense here says Find the Time! But I don't know how? And I am in Accounting for job and school, so I am pretty organized. Its an odd feeeling.... a defeating feeling... like why can't I get my S*%# together and get this weight off? I know what I need to do, I have the tools to do it on here.... But I don't ever fulfill that fitness/weight loss goal? So any tips, advice... a good smack in the reality is appreciated. Thank you.
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Replies

  • urloved33
    urloved33 Posts: 3,361 Member
    I joined Massage Envy - It was a starting place for me- I could not afford it but I could not afford not to - its been a year and it helped me to turn the focus onto what I need and its just grown. I still go even though I no longer have a contract to go...I still make my monthly appt and do me...to keep me self care focused.
  • skctilidie
    skctilidie Posts: 1,401 Member
    It’s really hard to balance it all. Start with baby steps.
    In your case, I’d start with trying to adjust your diet to fix the low iron. Low iron both makes fatigue worse and can be a cause of the restless leg syndrome, which then makes you even more tired since you don’t sleep well. If you can make little changes to fix that, you should have more energy that you can divide out amongst all the things that need it - work, school, kid, yourself, etc.
  • hipari
    hipari Posts: 1,367 Member
    Sounds like a very busy life situation, but I’m sure you can get through it! Here’s my ideas/suggestions:
    - start with the low iron, whether it’s fixed with diet, supplements or a combination
    - focus on the food first. If there’s issues with what your family likes to eat etc., start with the lunch you eat at work and take it from there
    - meal plan. Seriously. I do a meal plan for the next week every Sunday, and go grocery shopping. Sure, it takes time that day, but it’s amazing how much time I have for other things when I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner, who’s picking up groceries and do I have all my breakfast items for tomorrow morning. You said yourself you’re organized, so this shouldn’t be too hard. For me, this is also one of those things where it doesn’t always feel helpful when I do it, but I spend the entire following week regretting if I don’t.
    - how old is your child, could you do some activities together, like playing sports or going to parks, or even playing something like Pokemon Go?
    - Your partner is absolutely correct that you need to find time for yourself. Could he help you with that in some concrete way, like coming home an hour earlier one or two nights a week and take care of your child so you can go workout?
    - Are there some things you do every day that you could do more actively? This has been said a billion times, but for example: if you work on the 2nd floor of a building, taking the stairs every day is extra activity and might even be faster than the elevator if you count the time you spend standing there waiting for the elevator. When you start making these changes, you could start with just one, and when you feel comfortable with that as a routine, choose another and add it to your routine.

    Good luck, I’m sure you can figure this one out and reach your goals!
  • rj0150684
    rj0150684 Posts: 227 Member
    Honestly I’ve found that when I take time for myself (mostly walks), I’m a lot more focused, available and productive when I’m doing all the other things (work, family, house work, etc). I may be spending a little less time (usually at work, which is when I walk), but the time I am spending is much more productive and I get more done, even though I’m doing it less. Find something that helps you decompress and make time for it. Take a phone meeting on your cell and walk while you do it. Eat at your desk while you work and walk (or use the gym or meditate or whatever) during your lunch time. Obviously those might not work for you depending on what you do, but they’re suggestions that work for me. You’ll figure it out, just don’t be afraid to put yourself first sometimes. Everyone else needs you at your best as much as you do.
  • health4me84
    health4me84 Posts: 14 Member
    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!! I really do appreciate it. Having low iron is the pits for sure, but I am working on that with diet and supplement since my Dr. says it seems like it may be more of an absorption issue? I actually do meal plan every Sunday as well. It feels very time consuming, but like said above, I regret it when I don't lol. Now that its spring/summer I may start to walk in the mornings since its not dark. I do get an hour lunch which would also be awesome for walking, but I do have office clothes/shoes on. Would I change at work? Or put on some sneakers with my skirts lol. I am joking, I actually use my lunch hour for homework, since I do online courses. Honestly, as proud as I am to be graduating from school soon, this school thing with so much homework is brutal. So time consuming! But I guess nothing easy is worth doing right? I also really liked the idea of buying a few pre-packed dinners and adding more veggies to. Again like said, not the healthiest... but better than eating out completely (and cheaper). As far as the chores, I think this is probably my own control issue thing lol. I have to stop taking it all on and allow my son (who is 10) and partner to take on more. So the plan is wake up earlier for walks, plan quicker meals, do as much homework as I can earlier in the day, go to bed earlier and let the family do more S*%$ around the house :) Thanks for the support!
  • bmaw01
    bmaw01 Posts: 40 Member
    IMO, you are probably wasting time and you don't realize it.

    Are you watching TV? Spending time online? Posting and reading on this and other forums. Take a pen and paper and write down what you do for the week. Write everything. That's what I did and I found that I was wasting time in areas that had ZERO benefit to me. I got rid of my TV, blocked online sites that are time wasters and gave up gaming. We all have 24 hours in a day. Don't skimp of sleep. Get 7 hours a night. That leaves you with 17 hours a day to get stuff done. Use Google Calendar to set up your week in advance. Block out huge chunks of time to get work done. Preplan your meals on Sunday, so you don't have to cook during the week. That's what I do. Can you delegate your weekly task to someone else? Laundry and cleaning can all be done by other people. Same with shopping. Get someone else to do it. Even if it's your boyfriend.

    Finally, I follow the 80/20 rule. 20% of my action will dictate 80% of the results I'm after. Focus on the 20%. So, you don't want to focus on things like cleaning and laundry. Put your focus on the things that are going to get you the results you're after. That would be school, family and diet. Everything else can be outsourced. A millionaire taught me this rule and it has changed my life.
  • Emmay00
    Emmay00 Posts: 5 Member
    That was really nice of your partner. Perhaps you can have a follow up conversation. Like, I loved that you want me around and want me to thrive and not burn out. Thank you for supporting me. What I will need is ----. Ask for him/her to take over a chore that you can use the time to work out or meal prep. Like the evening dishes, the morning routine, the laundry. Whatever it is. You seem to have support. Use it.
  • health4me84
    health4me84 Posts: 14 Member
    Both above, thank you for your time to respond. I appreciate that so much. I agree with wasting time for sure! Now that I'm in my last year of school and basically not enjoying it anymore (3.5 years straight no bresks) I find that I surf the internet or waste time otherwise to avoid doing homework. I didn't want to admit this, but I do. I really need to "unplug more from social media etc. I actually don't come on the boards very often normally just log food, but browsing overall has to decrease. I did have a conversation with my partner and we came upwith a chore schedule thing and even my 10 year old boy wants to help. It's great. I really have to let the control go. All prepped for this week and my new semester starts Monday. Here's hoping to an enjoyable summer☺
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 1,742 Member
    When my children were home (they're grown now) I used to read whatever chance I got in between doing things. I loved to read & the books took me away to what ever I was reading (don't know if you like to read) I used to get up earlier than everyone else as well
  • JessiBelleW
    JessiBelleW Posts: 773 Member
    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!! I really do appreciate it. Having low iron is the pits for sure, but I am working on that with diet and supplement since my Dr. says it seems like it may be more of an absorption issue? I actually do meal plan every Sunday as well. It feels very time consuming, but like said above, I regret it when I don't lol. Now that its spring/summer I may start to walk in the mornings since its not dark. I do get an hour lunch which would also be awesome for walking, but I do have office clothes/shoes on. Would I change at work? Or put on some sneakers with my skirts lol. I am joking, I actually use my lunch hour for homework, since I do online courses. Honestly, as proud as I am to be graduating from school soon, this school thing with so much homework is brutal. So time consuming! But I guess nothing easy is worth doing right? I also really liked the idea of buying a few pre-packed dinners and adding more veggies to. Again like said, not the healthiest... but better than eating out completely (and cheaper). As far as the chores, I think this is probably my own control issue thing lol. I have to stop taking it all on and allow my son (who is 10) and partner to take on more. So the plan is wake up earlier for walks, plan quicker meals, do as much homework as I can earlier in the day, go to bed earlier and let the family do more S*%$ around the house :) Thanks for the support!

    My best tip is to talk to your Dr about faster ways of boosting your iron. Low iron causes fatigue (I couldn't make it 3 hours awake at my lowest) and it takes time to build up inside your body when you supplement.

    Yes, get your son to do things around the house! Also take a walk around the block WITH your kid/ partner - time spent together and a bit of exercise in :) The cat nap will also be your best friend
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,256 Member
    Look to others that have busy schedules and try out what they do. There are 168 hours in a week. Exercise should take about 3-4 hours of this time. Logging my intake/output takes ~5 min/day.

    For my n=1. I get up at 5 am take Synthroid and 16 oz water, do calisthenics/run and review the plan for the day. I get our 3 kids up at 6:30, do calisthenics with them, breakfast, ready for school and dropoff to daycare/school. Work from 8-5. I eat at my desk and work out over lunch. Every hour I make sure I get in min 250 steps. Leave work hit the gym for 30 mins. Head home and catch up with the family - homework, dinner, rock climbing, music, etc. and download, review the day, prep for tomorrow, put kids to bed and spend quality time with the wife. Sleep at ~11pm - 12am.

    My wife does the same routine, but gets up at 4:30 to work out, then works from 6-3 and picks up kids from school.

    We've been doing this for over 3 years now prioritizing health. I went 14 years not prioritizing this and suffered for it in all aspects of life. Looking back and remembering my statement "I don't have time for this" was just fear. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Seems silly now.

    My partner helps where he can, but he too often only comes home past 7pm. I think like so many women, I feel like if I don't get it all done, who will? I don't want to take time away from my little man, I already feel guilty enough for always having to do homework.

    Understand that everyone needs purpose. What people (men especially) want is to get a task, complete the task, and be recognized for doing a good job. Time to flex those management muscles and delegate tasks. The most frustrating thing for me is to watch my wife get frustrated, but not ask for help. How old are your kids? Where can they step up and start helping with the household chores?
  • laur357
    laur357 Posts: 896 Member
    Age appropriate chores for your child - cleaning their own room, dusting, folding laundry, etc. Also, are you and your partner in a financial situation where you can employ a cleaning service (or a local teenager looking to make some money) for a few hours once a week or every other week? That can save you a little time or at least take away the stress of feeling like you aren't keeping up with housework.

    I walk during my lunch hour - keep a pair of comfy flats at your desk, they don't look quite as jarring as full-on athletic sneakers with career wear. Sketchers and Puma both make some that look more work appropriate!
  • lucerorojo
    lucerorojo Posts: 790 Member
    My hat goes off to you mothers! I'm single and have enough taking care of myself. Your schedule of full-time work and school PLUS a family sounds exhausting. You sound like you are burnt out, which is understandable with that schedule. Have you taken a vacation? A real two week vacation away from it all? Can you take a semester off from school and the time you would normally be using to study/classes you could exercise, relax and me time? I know you want to finish ASAP but from your description it sounds like it is really a drain now.

    I don't have experience juggling a family in with all that so the only other advice I could offer if you cannot let go of school for a while or take a vacation is to do meditation or yoga daily. Even if you do not learn a formal meditation practice there are lots of recordings on youtube. Or just take 5-10 minutes in the morning and close your eyes in silence or listening to a fountain or soft music. Do the same after work.
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,143 Member
    You do realize that if you eat right, take time to exercise and some quiet time for your mind; that you will be more productive, efficient, and better organized in your home and family life.

    you really can't afford not to do this. It isn't selfish.. you need to be an example to your children and you owe it to them to take care of yourself first.
  • mkculs
    mkculs Posts: 317 Member
    From the vantage point of 59 years, I will say the first thing to prioritize is sleep. If you aren't getting good sleep, almost nothing else will ever feel "right." So find out what your doctor can do to help with the restless leg syndrome (I don't know anything about it, and if there is nothing to be done, I'm sorry and move on to my next suggestion). Second, create exercise time with your child, so you are spending quality time with him/her while doing something healthy for both of you. Whether it's walking or biking or just running around the yard, start with realistic goals--10 minutes you can squeeze in here, another 5-10 there, at least 3 times a week. Just getting started will help you feel better and give you some incentive to try harder next time. And maybe you can't find much time between now and when you are out of school--but doing a little is better than doing nothing. I was stuck in the mindset, "why bother if it's only 10 minutes?" until I realized 10 minutes 3x/week is 30 minutes more than I had been doing.
  • Iwannabfit76
    Iwannabfit76 Posts: 101 Member
    You HAVE to make time for yourself and it will probably mean letting go of something in order to do that. The question is, do you think you need to be a priority? I battled with this for 20+ years. I missed out on so much!
    NEVER GIVE UP! By God’s grace, I did this with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, 5 bone spurs on my spine, #fibromyalgia, plantar facetious and heel spurs, Achilles bone spurs, and chronic pain from so many health issues! I did this when I made myself the priority! Best to you! orh8wyxrpr17.jpeg
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  • lucerorojo
    lucerorojo Posts: 790 Member
    ^ Wow! I cannot believe it is the same person. Very inspiring!
  • AudreyJDuke
    AudreyJDuke Posts: 1,093 Member
    Great pics of great success!