Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting Ready to Go Back to Work: Energy UP!

Around the beginning of the year, I was sick and tired of always being sick and tired. I knew that I wanted to make more changes so that I had more energy and wasn't always feeling sluggish and like I wanted to go back to bed. My back constantly felt tight- my muscles always felt on edge and my mood did too. I decided enough was enough and I needed to make some changes. When the new job came along and I knew that my sleep was going to decrease, I realized that I needed to get serious about these changes. 

So what were my huge changes? I've really only accomplished two... there's a third that I'd like to work on, but we'll see. The first two that are really working for me- drinking more water and getting more exercise. The third that I would like to work on is cutting out a lot of the refined sugar from my diet. I am trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies, but the ice cream in the freezer keeps calling my name. My husband has a HUGE sweet tooth, so we always have M&Ms, cookies and ice cream in the house. And I apparently have NO will power, so I'm still eating way too much of said M&Ms, cookies and ice cream. Any ideas of what works for you in that situation?

Here's what IS working for me, though- more water and more exercise. On the more water front- I HATE drinking water. HATE it. I don't know why- just not my favorite thing. There are times that I will have a LONG drink of water and think, "Wow, that's really good!" and yet when I get thirsty, I am far more likely to grab a soft drink or worse yet, eat something. I have to trick myself into getting enough to drink. Target recently had Sobe flavored water on sale. They have a zero calorie version, so I stocked up. There was a peelie coupon on the water- buy 5 get 2 free, so I think that I ended up paying about $5 for 21 bottles when it was all said and done. I know that all of those plastic bottles are not great for the environment, so here is my compromise: I drink the flavored water from the bottle, then I refill the bottle with water and drink that. That's 5 cups of water right there. Then I refill the bottle with water again and mix in come Crystal Light or Benefiber drink mix, so I'm not drinking plain water. Now I'm up to 7.5 cups, and that's  pretty good for me. If there are hours left in the day, I might fill the bottle up with plain water again. I can bring the bottle with my anywhere I go throughout the day and it comes to bed with me so if I wake up in the night, I have something to drink. The next morning, the bottle gets recycled and I start fresh with a new bottle. I can really tell the difference in my energy level when I am well hydrated.

The other thing that helps me have more energy is getting more exercise. This is so much easier said than done! I was having a really hard time waking up in the morning. I found myself feeling grumpy and just really annoyed at the fact that I was someplace other than in bed! My muscles were very sore and tight. I could wake myself off with a strong cup of coffee or a Diet Coke, but I was not thrilled that I was so dependent on a drug to perk me up! My son LOVES to watch Baby Einstein- he begs and begs to watch and though I'm not thrilled with him spending a ton of time in front of the TV, we have a new morning routine that makes both of us happy. He gets to watch baby Einstein and I get a few minutes to wake up! I am fortunate in that I have a lap top. I either put Einstein on the computer of TV for my son. Then, whatever he's not using, I use to access Exercise TV. There are a TON of workouts available On Demand through my cable company, many of them only 10 minutes long. I can find 10 minutes to improve my mood and energy level for the entire day! The great news is that their workouts are also available on-line. I can find one for whatever muscle group I feel like working- lower body, upper body, abs or just general stretching- and it's free and there when I want it. When I'm done, even with that little short 10 minute burst, my muscles feel looser. I feel awake and ready to start my day. I'm slowly getting addicted! Last night I wanted more so I did a whole 20 minute yoga routine right before I went to bed. I slept GREAT and felt better when I got up this morning. I am hoping that if when I continue this when I go back to work, I'll continue to feel better and have more energy.

This is also part of Works for Me Wednesday. You can see more WFMW Tips at We are THAT Family.

You can see the first in this very informal series here: Getting Ready to Go Back to Work: Stocking the Freezer.


  1. I don't think you're nuts for taking the "I think I might be nuts" job! Hope it all goes well. I read about you stocking up the freezer. It was great. Come see my Well-fed Wednesdays and glean a few family-friend recipes.

    Take care!

  2. I need to get more excercise too. I didn't realize on demand had workouts. I'll have to check it out. I can do anything for 10 minutes. Hopefully I'll get addicted too, but I doubt it.