Welcome to the today's guest blog. I am featuring the views of a guest writer. Feel free to send me your entry (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.
By Jill Dolan
As my beloved, late grandmother would say, “Good intentions pave the way to heaven, but they don’t get you in.”
Heaven for me would be the loss of 30 pounds. I’m a married mother of two with a full time job, and despite the best intentions and a world of resources, I just can’t make it happen.
I have a gym at work that we are urged by our company to use faithfully, a health club membership near my home, a state of the art treadmill in my basement, a pool in the backyard large enough for laps, a double jog stroller, and a shiny red bicycle. With all those resources, which I realize I’m fortunate to have, I can’t go wrong, right? .
I have purchased almost every popular diet and fitness book and cookbook out there. I’ve read and tried them, with small successes (albeit temporary) here and there. I have a multitude of fitness videos. I buy them figuring I’ll get up early or do them after the kids go to bed. I can certainly make time for that, right? All I need is 30 minutes, the DVD player, and a toy-free space on the carpet. No problem.
I buy vegetables and lean meats on every grocery store trip, with the intention of making healthy and low fat meals for my family. I peruse my cookbooks for healthy recipes. My mission is to transform them (and myself!) into healthy eaters. Those are my intentions. This is my reality.
5:00 am. Alarm goes off. Time for yoga video. All I have to do is roll out of bed onto the floor and flick the DVD player on. I foggily think that I would get more benefit from 30 more minutes of sleep, since I stayed up late folding laundry while watching Entourage (or 24, House, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Sopranos, American Idol, name the night, I’ll name the show.)
5:30 a.m. Get up. Skipped yoga tape, but figure I’ll go to the gym on my lunch hour. Pack gym bag, shower, get dressed, then get kids up, dressed, fed, and off to first grade and preschool, then on to work.
7:30 a.m. At work. Plan to go the gym around 1:00, after the usual 12:00 rush. Schedule it on my calendar.
12:30 p.m. The boss calls. Emergency team meeting at 1:00. Special rush project for clients. Everyone has to pitch in. No gym today. Oh well, maybe I’ll jog the kids around the neighborhood in the stroller after dinner or go swimming, or maybe even walk in my neighborhood or on the treadmill after they go to bed.
5:00 p.m. Quitting time. Pick up both kids and fight nasty traffic.
6:00 p.m. Home. We all are tired and hungry. Look in fridge and think about some nice lean chicken and steamed vegetables for dinner. Kids will hate it and refuse to eat. Decide that spaghetti and meat sauce be peaceful, quicker, and use less pots and pans. Make some pasta and open a jar of tomato sauce, add some ground beef. Presto – quick dinner and the kids love it. I eat a portion that’s way too big. (By the end of the week, those vegetables in the fridge go bad. I throw them out and am wracked with guilt about wasting money and perfectly good food.)
7:00 – After dinner. Clean up kitchen while my older child does her homework. Kitchen cleaned up, homework done. Now they need baths. No time for walking or swimming.
8:00 – Baths done, kids have pajamas on. Bedtime. Read books to each child and talk about what happened that day and what’s in store for the next day. Tuck them in for the night. Put them back in bed after they get up to ask for a glass of water, or in the case of my youngest, asking to have any of his various pirate knickknacks covered up because they “freak him out.”
9:00 – Kids asleep! At last, some free time. The kitchen is clean, but the rest of the house is a mess, and there are piles of dirty clothes, even though I’m constantly doing laundry. And I haven’t read the mail or the newspaper yet. Do some straightening up, flip through the mail, glance through the paper, put in some laundry, and sit down to watch a favorite show for a few minutes and chat with my husband, who just got home.
10:30p.m. Go to bed. Set alarm for 5:00 a.m. in order to get up and do yoga video, I’ll definitely start that tomorrow.
OK, so this doesn’t happen ALL the time. I do make nutritious meals sometimes. But sometimes we also eat out, or order in, and our choices usually aren’t healthy. And, I do get to the gym at work most days. However, I change, work out, shower, change again, fix hair and makeup, and get back to my desk all in one hour. This makes for an all-too-brief workout. Even though I do this workout most days, I don’t think it has made a darn bit of difference, although it does keep my stress level in check. I always feel better after doing it. In addition, on the weekends, I do go swimming, ride my bike, or on rare occasions, go to the health club.
So with all these things, my weight still doesn’t budge. What the heck does it take? I know – a personal chef and trainer, and 4 hours a day to work out. Right. I’ll get right on that. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on turning my intentions into reality.Jill Dolan works in the legal department of Bank of America Card Services. Dolan is an ex-Floridian who now lives in Deleware. She is the mother of a six year old girl and a three year old boy.