I hear from many women struggling to make healthy food choices in the midst of a busy life. Here’s a question that was recently submitted.
Marie asked, “My biggest issues are pre-planning so that I am not grabbing non-healthy foods in a pinch. I’m a busy mom, professional, wife and errand-runner….Starbucks™ looks good too often, and it is a way to feel appreciated and rewarded. Can you help with this?”
I’m guessing most of us can relate to Marie. When we’re busy, pre-planning is essential. We pre-plan with our businesses and our jobs don’t we? We don’t just show up at an important presentation and “wing it.” We pre-plan for family events, we put lots of things that we want to be sure to take care of on the calendar. We remind our kids about their assignments. We make lists for holiday shopping. But how many of us give pre-planning for ourselves the same priority?
I have days when I’m good at this and days when I’m not, but I realized a long time ago that there is a huge payoff when I do take the time to pre-plan meals that I enjoy and create healthy options for busy times. I also benefit tremendously when I pre-plan the experiences that leave me feeling appreciated and rewarded so that impromptu stops at the French bakery down the street are less tempting.
That said, this pre-planning is not an easy thing to do.
What often happens is this: we are busy, we often have more to do than we have time for, and we get tired. And we make the mistake of telling ourselves that a way to deal with our tiredness is to skip things—not do the extra work. A problem, however, is that we often skip the things that we need for ourselves. So we drop our own priorities and tell ourselves it’s some kind of a bonus. “I won’t work out I’m too tired.” “I won’t pack a lunch, I’ll just grab something at Starbucks™.”
We let the things that actually fuel our senses and our souls and our lives drop off our priority list—because we are too tired.
Here is the mistake many women make. It’s a mistake that contributes to a tremendous amount of emotional eating and overeating. Too many women pay themselves last. If you wait to attend to your needs until the end of the day when you are literally so worn out and overworked that all you want to do is curl up on the coach and zone out with a good book, a TV show and maybe some comfort food, you’re not likely to give your needs much quality attention. You’re too tired. Easy options—like food, are likely to be the strategies you turn to.
When we don’t make the time, we won’t get the time.
I challenge you to start using your calendar for more than your responsibilities to others. Start scheduling YOUR life and your priorities, your needs AND your rewards. One of the strategies that I stress in my Emotional Eating Toolbox™ 28 Day Program is creating the habit of sitting down and scheduling your needs. It’s a habit that will pay you back. Choose a time, once a week, to sit down with your calendar and schedule your needs and the ways that you will pay yourself.
Does scheduling work for you? What strategies do you use to keep up with your needs and to plan ahead?