I love the summer time. I can wake up, leisurely get ready for my workout, have a great sweat session, and go about my day. But something happens in August. I start to panic. I start to remember. I remember that I am a teacher, and I am going back to work in the middle of this month.
My fitness journey was easier in the summer. I have more control of my schedule, I am generally able to cook in my kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I have energy to work out. During the school year this all becomes more complicated.
I have been in school for about a month now. I have had some hiccups along the way because sometimes Sundays don’t go as planned with planning my week ahead. I started this journey in February, so I was in the middle of the school year making change happen and staying on track. I was reflecting on how to make it better this year so I am still successful and reaching my goals. I have compiled a list of survival tips that I will make sure to put into action, and I hope some of them help you! You do not have to be a teacher to use these tips, they are fun for everyone!
- Plan Ahead – We keep important dates and events in our calendar, we need to start thinking about meals like this. Plan your dinners ahead of time so the last minute pizza delivery won’t happen! I use a handy meal planner I created, and now you can use it too! I use this menu as a way to keep myself honest with my meals and focused. I know what I am cooking and how I can prep for that dinner. If you would like this emailed to you, please leave a comment or contact me here!
- Plan Ahead Part 2 – Once you planned your dinners, now go ahead and think about lunch! There are so many great options that you can prep on Sunday and have ready for the week. Sometimes I get so crazy I put the individual servings into Tupperware so I can grab and go in the morning. Try some of my favorites: Chicken Enchiladas, Burrito Bowls, BBQ Pulled Chicken, or Lasagna Zucchini Boats.
- Think About Snacks – What will you have during your plan period or that moment you have to yourself? I always bring some fresh fruit or veggies with me to snack on mid morning. Some of my favorites are easy like carrots, clementines, grapes, or strawberries. You can read my blog about my top 5 go to snacks here 🙂
- Think About Food Emergencies – We all know this can happen, a forgotten lunch, random mega hunger, having to stay late…because of this make sure you have a stash of *healthy* options you can turn to before the dollar menu. I have Apple Pie Lara Bars and Almonds in my desk. You could also have oatmeal (if you have a microwave at work). I also keep some bags of Shakeology servings too. You never know when you will need a quick, healthy meal on the fly! It is better to be prepared then left scrambling.
- Storage – So right now it seems like you are packing a lot of food…well yes. Some people think that limiting the amount you eat is how you lose weight. This is totally false! You need to be consistently fueling your body with nutritious food throughout the day. So make sure you have a bag that fits it all! I have an insane amount of Tupperware, but I know I have plenty of options for my meals. I also just purchased a Fitmark Meal Prep Bag. Yes, it is large, but it fits everything! It is also fun to buy an awesome new lunch bag…unless that is just me.
- Eye on Your Goals – I know that at my school there are always treats in the teachers lunch room. These can easily derail you from your goals. I am not saying I never have a cookie or half a donut, but I do plan ahead. On Friday mornings I normally head straight for the fruit and do my best to exercise my will power against the sugary options. If there is a birthday or another important celebration, I will plan ahead and go in knowing I get one small treat that I can really enjoy. Just remember to plan for your goals, it gets easier as you practice!
- Plan Your Workout – I AM NOT and will NEVER BE a morning person. I am lucky to get out of bed and get dressed in the mornings. So working out in the AM is not an option (I tried it once and literally fell over in the middle of my workout…so yeah, that’s not happening again). This means that my next, and only other option, is to workout after work. Trust me, I would love to go home and sit on the couch relaxing after working with kiddos all day. In order to remind myself of my goals and my motivation, I set a reminder on my phone for 4pm. This hits just about halfway through my commute home. That means when I get home and check my phone….my reminder is there waiting for me. It says, “Remember you NEED to workout! You will feel AMAZING after and think of those after pics!” I also make sure to get right upstairs to change into my workout clothes and begin ASAP!
- Buddy Up – If you are comfortable with your coworkers, see if there is a fitness buddy you can have at work. This person could be on the same program as you, go to the same gym as you, or just have similar goals. It is helpful to have someone who understands why you aren’t loading your plate with donuts, cookies, and cake. It is also helpful to have someone there to help motivate you and celebrate with you on your victories! I am lucky to have a few people at work I can talk to, but also an amazing support system in my accountability groups.
I hope these tips helped you out, I know it can be daunting thinking about everything at work and your fitness journey. If you have any questions, or tips of your own, I would love to hear them!
Here’s to being happy & fit,